Planning Homeschool Field Trips: 10 Things To Do Before You GoAndrea Thorpe
Now that the winter doldrums are behind us and warmer weather is upon us, homeschool families are eager to get out and move about. One of the best ways to do so is by taking field trips to variety of fun and interesting places. Children enjoy field trips because they’re able to explore new destinations. Parents enjoy field trips because they offer children hands-on learning and specialized information.
Farms, museums, gardens, landmarks, industrial centers, battlegrounds, and businesses are great field trip destinations. Educational opportunities at these sites are plentiful, so homeschool parents will want to venture out so their children can glean valuable information. However, in order to experience a worthwhile field trip, some advanced planning is necessary. Here are ten things to do before you go on a homeschool field trip.
- Visit the location’s website. Most of what you’ll need to know about your field trip location can be found via the website. Be sure to explore the website thoroughly. The information found there can answer your questions and can be used to plan the outing.
- Get detailed directions. Make sure you have accurate directions and have an idea of how long it will take you to get to the location. Consider mapping out an alternate route or two in case you run into problems on the road.
- Know the parking procedures. Parking can vary from location to location. Are visitors expected to park in a lot or on the street? How far are the parking areas from the entrances? What is the cost of parking?
- Note how much time you’ll need. Some destinations are huge and cannot be explored thoroughly within a single day. Other destinations are small and can be explored in a short amount of time. Spend some time planning out the day’s activities so you’ll make the most of your time.
- Understand payment procedures. Some locations will only accept cash as payment, while other locations will require payment via a credit card. You may even be required to pay in advance to secure participation. Some locations will admit younger children for free or give a discount on certain days.
- Determine where to eat. Field trips often involve lots walking and thinking, so children will need ample energy. Find out if your destination has on site restaurants or easily accessible vending machines or picnic areas. Are guests permitted to bring their own food? Explore these options so everyone maintains healthy blood sugar levels and remains well hydrated.
- Prepare children ahead of time. Sometimes children need to have background information in order to understand what they’ll see and hear during the trip. Teach lessons and read books to help children be active participants during the field trip.
- Check for group rates. Some venues offer discounted admission rates for large groups. Check to see how many people it takes to receive a group discount. You may be able to save money by inviting fellow homeschooling friends to join you on the field trip.
- Explain the rules. Does the location have a code of conduct? Are there certain behaviors that are not permitted? What should children do if they are separated from you during the day? Review such before you arrive to help make sure everyone stays safe and has fun all day long.
- Pack an emergency bag. You’ll want to be prepared for the unexpected. Pack extra medications, a first aid kit, and additional clothes. Should something unpleasant happen during the field trip, the contents of your emergency bag may just save the day.
Field trips can be a great addition to the homeschool schedule. By following these ten tips, homeschool families can enjoy field trips while making memories.