Welcome to day 4 of the 5 day homeschool essentials blog hop. Homeschool essentials will be different for every homeschool family. So make sure you visit the other TOS crew members to see what their essentials are. I hope you enjoy this blog hop series and find some helpful information along the way!
Be sure to stop by everyday this week to find out what our other homeschool essentials are.
As you know we are a very busy, on the go family. And as our blog motto states, "The World Is Our Classroom." So yup fieldtrips are a homeschool essential for us!!! There is no way we can stay at home for more than a few days or we all start to get a little stir crazy! Plus it is way more fun to learn through up close, hands on experiences. So at a minimum we are out exploring the wide, wide world at least twice a week...often more. I must admit, we have even done 2 fieldtrips in one day! We like to use EVERYTHING and ANYTHING as a learning experience and firmly believe in experiential learning, which is the process of learning from experience.
"For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them." Aristotle
Looking at famous pieces of artwork in a book is boring, reading about the Civil War isn't all that exciting and watching YouTube videos of spiders spinning webs is dull. BUT examining artwork from the Louvre up close, walking the same path that Civil War soldiers did and watching a spider spin it's web between two tree branches at your favorite nature center is way more exciting and more memorable too!!!
In this article The Educational Value of Field Trips, Greene's research shows that children learn quite a lot during fieldtrips. She states in her article that, "enriching fieldtrips 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." The article discusses how children are able to recall factual information more easily after fieldtrips as well as make better connections. Children exposed to experiential learning were found to be stronger observers, evaluators and be more flexible in their thinking.
As a mom who takes her children on lots of fieldtrips I couldn't agree more with Greene's statements. My children have such an appreciation for art, history and more thanks to our fieldtripping adventures.
|Some of our 2014 fieldtrip adventures!|
The #1 reason I hear from other homeschool moms that they don't do fieldtrips is money, the second is their fear of taking time away from their schedule and curriculum.
First let me say fieldtrips don't have to be extravagant or costly, but they do require some research. I have found lots of FREE fieldtrip destinations around Atlanta by planning in advance and just simply asking. It may surprise you some of the places that will give you a tour if you just ask (like grocery stores, pet stores, factories, etc). I love sharing fieldtrip ideas with families so much that I even created a SE Homeschool Fieldtrip Group on Facebook (feel free to join). We try to keep our fieldtrips either free or under $7 per person. Memberships save us a lot of money. Every year we purchase 2-3 memberships and I try to purchase them when they are offering a special promotion like a percentage off. The nice thing about memberships is that they often have reciprocal benefits too that not only get into the museum you purchase it at but also other museums in the state and around the country. Also the museums and nature center we have memberships to offer homeschool days once a month too which is pretty awesome too.
A few days ago I shared the 10 Reasons We Love Books, in the post I mentioned the library and how many books we check out each week. Utilizing the library helps save us money which we can apply to fieldtrips. Also here in GA many of our libraries have passes for several local attractions that can be checked out so you can get FREE admission (ask your library if they offer programs like this). Tomorrow be sure to stop by to find out the other way we save money for fieldtrips!
Second read the article I linked to above. It is really okay to get out and go on a fieldtrip. Break the schedule and don't worry about your curriculum lesson (I promise it will be there waiting for you when you return). The joy of homeschooling is the flexibility. As homeschoolers we can provide our children with hands on, enriching, real world lessons that they won't get in a book, at home or sitting in a classroom.
Here are a few other posts I wrote about fieldtrips that you should check out: 10 Places To Take Nature Walks In GA, Exploring Nature, 10 Frugal Fieldtrips, FREE And Low cost Fieldtrip Ideas (Nationwide), 10 FREE Fieldtrips In GA, Fabulous Fun Filled Fieldtrips and GA Unit Study.
What is essential in your homeschool?