Today we will be discussing Field Trips.  The summertime is a great time to go and do some field trips that you might not have had time to do during the school year or because of weather.  So start thinking, where would you just love to take your children.

For me, and it might just be the teacher coming out in me, but I always like to have an educational reason for my field trips.  I also like to do as much documenting as I can so I can count the trip as part of our school.  Here in MS, our home school laws are pretty lienent, but I know that in some of the other states the laws are much more rigid and you will need to be careful how you document you home school.  So start now and always keep the habit of documenting your field trips.  One way to do this is to keep a journal.  I have one just for field trips.  I include dates, times, destinations, related subjects, any work perform, and pictures.  Pictures are something that I feel gives legitimacy to your field trip.  Also if you keep a lesson plan book, make sure you document the field trip in your lesson plan.

I have two Field Trip checklists that are available.  I have changed them to accommodate homeschoolers.  Both are checklists to help you, as the field trip coordinator,  make sure not to forget anything important.  But if you think of something else that needs to go on my checklist, please let me know.

Now let’s discuss the actual field trips.  There are so many places that you can take your child and make a learning experience out of it.  So let’s start by making a list.  When you are making your list think in terms of subjects or local attractions.  Subjects would be science, history, geography, geology, etc.  Local attractions would be something like Elvis’ birthplace.  Which is where we live.  We also have furniture factories, a buffalo park/zoo and a new Toyota plant.  Think also of people you know.  Do you know anyone that owns a business that might make a good field trip.  We know a couple that have retired and have opened a pottery place.  You can go there and make your own pottery from start to finish. Things like that make great field trips.

History places are wonderful as well and during the Summer many places have days dedicated to children.  Here in North MS, we have many Civil War sites and monuments.  This Friday one of those places are having a Kids’ Discovery Day.  It’s free, but also very educational.  The best way to find these things out is to just call.  But also look in your newspaper.  One new way that I have found is Facebook.  I just found a Facebook group that is dedicated to keeping families informed about things going on in our area.  I’m not sure how you would find these kinds of groups, but it can’t hurt to search.

But even if there is no kid’s day, you can still have a great field trip.  One of the first things I like to do when we visit a history site is to read about it.  I’ve found that our local libraries do a great job of having books on places in our state.  So go and see what you can find at the library.  Also the historical place itself will have literature that tells all about its History.

Another great idea is to do a couple of lessons on the site before visiting.  This seems to make a huge difference in the children and what they learn.  Some suggestions are:

Salt maps

Reenactments

Flags

Mini-books/lapbook components

Make weapons or tools used during that time period.

And of course read books

Another thing I have learned through the years is that inviting other families can make an ordinary field trip, Great!  So if you are a member of a home school group, you might put in the newsletter that you are planning this trip.  If not you might just invite some friends to go with you.  The checklists that I have available take into account others going on the field trip with you.

So let’s look at the checklists.  And remember if you have any suggestions to be added to the checklist, just let me know.

I have a lesson plan full of activities for Summer Science Fun that is available.  It is for sale for $3.  If anyone is interested in purchasing this, just email me or leave a message on my blog.  I use paypal and I’ll give you the information to send the money and then I’ll email you the file.  These lesson plans include things like taking a Nature Scavenger Hunt, making a “Soda Bottle Terrarium”, studying about clouds and making a cloud in a bottle, and much, much more.

While looking for the field trip file I had saved, I found another great resource I had saved sometime in the past.  It is called “Field Trip Notebook Pages”.  It can be found at http://www.thetravelingpraters.com/ .  It looks like a great resource to journal your adventures during the Summer.

I’d like to invite everyone to the upcoming webcasts on The Homeschool Channel .  Today, June 6, 2012, there will a webcast titled “Fun Summer Activities for Homeschoolers” hosted by Susan Evans.  Tomorrow, June 7, 2012, The Justice Family will be hosting “Awesome Science”.  Both webcast begin at 3:30pm Central time.  So come on over and find out about some great Summer fun for your family.

Ok that is about all our time, so I’ll see you next week.

Webcast Schedule

June 12th – Lapbooking your Summer

June 19th – Making books

June 26th – File Folder Reports

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