3 Fantastic Field Trips for Homeschoolers

3 Fantastic Field Trips for
Homeschoolers
Whether you’re going on a field trip to extend learning,
provide hands-on opportunities, or to visit experts in a field of study, you
can be sure that your homeschoolers will benefit from the outing. As EducationNext
points out: “In particular, enriching field trips contribute to the development
of students into civilized young men and women who possess more knowledge about
art, have stronger critical-thinking skills, exhibit increased historical
empathy, display higher levels of tolerance, and have a greater taste for
consuming art and culture.”
Whether you’re planning to visit a local firehouse, museum,
aquarium, or cultural center, you can be sure your homeschoolers will reap the
benefits of the field trip. Here are some excellent field trip destinations to
help you start planning your itinerary:
Historical Sites
Significant To Your Lessons
Historical sites are abundant in the
United States, so there is agood chance there is at least one near your home. Of
course, historical sites such as Gettysburg, Boston, Washington, DC,
Williamsburg, and Philadelphia are fantastic places to go on a field trip when
you are teaching about our nation’s history. U.S.
News & World Report
ranked the best historic destinations in the USA,
and any of their locations would be a fantastic trip for homeschoolers because
they contain “preserved landmarks, notable monuments, and tourist-friendly
services.”
Depending on where you’re going, you might spice things up
by encouraging the kids to dress up. For example, if you’re going to Colonial
Williamsburg, they could wear colonial
costumes
. Or you may want to create a scavenger hunt or challenge questions
for them during the trip, and give them journals or cameras so they can
document their experiences.
Science Centers
There are only so many experiments and hands-on activities
you can provide for your homeschoolers. Taking a field trip to a science center
will give them more opportunities to touch, learn, and experiment. There are
some science centers in the U.S. that cater to younger children; in fact, Parents magazine has rounded up a list
of the 25 most innovative
places
that are perfect for younger kids, and I have included their top 10
picks here:
1.    
The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in
Columbus, Ohio
2.    
Exploratorium in San Francisco, California
3.    
Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts
4.    
Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New
Jersey
5.    
St. Louis Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri
6.    
New York Hall of Science in Flushing, New York
7.    
California Science Center in Los Angeles,
California
8.    
Sci-Port Discovery Center in Shreveport,
Louisiana
9.    
The Franklin in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
10. Maryland
Science Center in Baltimore, Maryland
If you take a field trip to a noted science center, kids
will be engaged in the interactive exhibits and will remember their experiences
learning about science in fun ways for a long time.
Museums
Museums hold mysterious and fascinating objects, from
dinosaurs to early airplanes. Museums are fantastic field trip destinations for
homeschoolers because they have exhibits that appeal to a variety of interests
and have several connections to your homeschool curricula. Of course, as Larry
Olmsted, contributor to Forbes points
out, museums that are geared toward adults have exhibits
that are appropriate for children, such as the dinosaur skeletons at New York’s
American Museum of Natural History, Chicago’s Field Museum, and the
Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC.
But, there are 12 museums in the U.S. that are best for
children, according to Olmsted. You may want to consider these when compiling
your fantastic field trips for homeschoolers short list:
1.    
Children’s Museum Indianapolis in Indianapolis,
Indiana
2.    
Port Discovery in Baltimore, Maryland
3.    
Boston Children’s Museum in Boston,
Massachusetts
4.    
Brooklyn Children’s Museum in New York City, New
York
5.    
Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio
6.    
Children’s Museum of Denver, Colorado
7.    
Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, Illinois
8.    
Children’s Museum of Houston, Texas
9.    
Children’s Museum of Maine in Portland, Maine
10. Please
Touch Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
11. Minnesota
Children’s Museum in St. Paul, Minnesota
12. The
Strong in Rochester, New York
Wherever you take your homeschoolers for their field trip,
they are sure to have a fantastic time learning, exploring, and experiencing
outside of their normal learning environment. Historical sites, science
centers, and museums that are geared toward kids hold the key to enriched learning
opportunities.
Jamie
Strand
is a
former homeschool kid and unashamed science nerd. He’s a community college
professor and proud father of two daughters who wants to inspire a passion for
science and math in today’s young people. That goal drove him to start SciCamps.org with help from a good friend.
When he isn’t teaching, Jamie can often be found digging for fossils in the
backyard with his daughters, exploring the local nature preserve, or binge
watching Star Trek reruns.