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Homeschoolers get to go on all of the fun field trips! My family takes a homeschool field trip every chance we get. Visiting a new location, special events, and working through our homeschool curriculum are all reasons we might go on a field trip. There are just so many homeschool field trip locations available!
We like to join other families for field trips whenever possible, but the majority of our field trips include just our own little family. These tips are designed for a one family field trip. If you are organizing a homeschool field trip for multiple families you will also need to coordinate arrival and departure times, carpooling, and parking options.
The key to a successful homeschool field trip is planning. A little advance preparation will help the trip go smoothly.
Homeschool Field Trip Planning Tips
Check the website
Check the location website while you are early in the planning stages. Many of the typical homeschool field trip locations will have a section on their website dedicated to helpful field trip information. For ease of homeschool field trip planning, try to answer these questions:
- What is the admission price? Are there any coupons or homeschool discounts available?
- What are the hours of operation?
- What is the schedule of events?
- Is there an app available?
- Is there an eating area?
- Do they honor reciprocal memberships?
Buy tickets in advance
Buying admission tickets in advance usually let’s you skip the line, getting your kids engaged and learning faster. It also means that you will never show up to an event only to find out that they are sold out. An unintended benefit of buying homeschool field trip tickets in advance is that it forces you to go. If I have already spent the money, we are going, no matter how tired or busy I may be that day.
Look at schedule of events ahead of time
Checking out the daily schedule of events in advance lets you plan your day. I try to only choose a few special activities for each field trip so that we have time to explore the location and not just run from one activity to the next.
Check online for related printables
Field trip related printables can be a great way to target specific learning objectives during a field trip. Sometimes the field trip venue will have printables online (check for an educator tab), but often Pinterest and Google will be your best bet.
Prep your bags the night before
It can be tough to get everyone fed, dressed, and out the door on time in the morning. Make it a little easier on yourself and prepare everything ahead of time. This might include bags with clip boards and pencils for the kids, a cooler bag with lunch, or a bag with sunscreen. I generally use this pocketed bag to stay organized during our field trips.
Plan for meals and snacks
If your kids are anything like mine, they are always ready to eat. Planning ahead for meals and snacks means that I know our food options. Check the location website so you know what amenities to expect. Sometimes we pack a cooler with lunch and snacks. Other times I plan to purchase food from a cafe. We always bring our reusable water bottles.
If you are bringing food with you, prepare it the night before.
Get a copy of the map
I highly recommend getting a copy of the map so you can find important places, like bathrooms, quickly. Many places now offer digital maps through their apps. If there is a free app for your homeschool field trip location, download it at home when you are connected to WiFi.
Reserve library books
Sometimes I like to use a homeschool field trip as a way to create excitement and interest around a subject. My kids come home wanting to know more about what they saw. Capitalize on this enthusiasm by having library books already available.
How do you plan for field trips?
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