The Most Rewarding Homeschool Field Trip Ideas for Every Homeschooler
Who says you can’t have fun field trips with your child while homeschooling? As a parent, I can’t get enough of them. Some years we have had more fun doing field trips than others, but all-in-all, it’s totally worth it.
I enjoy South Carolina because of the wealth of history, which calls for more field trips. Unfortunately, we don’t live a hop, a skip, and a jump from more historical places like Charleston, but that doesn’t keep me from finding somewhere to go.
Since I’m registered under the homeschooling association for South Carolina, our field trips must last as long as a typical day if we were at home doing book work.
That includes the mileage to and from the location.
How we do field trips
Our typical homeschool day lasts about 4.5 hours, so it’s super exhausting to stay out that long with twins.
So, if we can’t stay out that long, I’ll do 1/2 a day of bookwork to make sure we cover our entire school day.
Now, I’ll be honest – I haven’t been able to enjoy going on field trips as often as I like because it’s truly a labor-intensive activity, and I have to get my husband on board to come along and help out.
What I incorporate into my children’s homeschool through field trips are usually science or social studies related.
Some of the field trips we’ve gone on in the past required me to drive a long distance so I could give them a better experience.
Locally, we try to look for things that are free or that have discounted prices for homeschoolers.
My kids seem to have enjoyed our field trips over the years.
We have often had our closest friends tag along and have lunch afterward.
I can count anything educational as a school day.
Sometimes, you have to be creative about what constitutes a homeschool day.
Can a field trip be anything?
My friend who just finished homeschooling for close to 25 years told me this: You can use some days to do activities that are good for others. They do that in public schools.
I remember those days pretty well.
My oldest son went to public school for several years and played the violin starting in fifth grade. In middle school, he had days when his orchestra class would go to different elementary schools in the district to play for them.
They wouldn’t come back to school until the end of the day.
There was also Field Day. Who doesn’t remember Field Day?
That means, if I call on my kids to bake the elderly bread and take it to them, that may not be an ideal “field trip”, but it’s a good work, and it teaches them kindness and citizenship skills.
It can be hard to think of field trips that will give you a break from the dreaded bookwork, but not only will your kids enjoy themselves, but you will too.
That is why I’m giving you a list of field trip ideas for your kids that can actually count as a homeschool day:
Go to your local zoo.If you have a zoo in your town, see if they offer homeschool classes. I’ve been going to monthly classes with my daughter, and she enjoys it so much!
Your zoo could let you attend the class at a discounted rate if you have a membership, and I have found this to be beneficial because we like to go on other days to look at the animals.
By the time we pay the entry fee when we go, we have well paid for the membership.
Find a history museum. If you’re near the city, you should be able to find a museum or something similar with some historic value.
If you’re registered under a homeschool association, you may be able to get in for free. Sometimes, they may ask for small donations to continue to support the work and upkeep of the museum.
Just google what’s in your area.
Local fire department. We actually have a fire department museum downtown that is so neat. The firefighter gave us a tour of the back where they have their kitchen.
We also got to see all the vehicles they use, and the firefighter told us about what each one is used for.
Now, my four-year-old wants to be a firefighter.
If you don’t have a museum, call a local fire department. They are usually very friendly, and maybe you can barter a bag of coffee in exchange for a tour.
Visit an art museum. One of my favorite field trips. You may be surprised that the art museum holds classes for young children, then if you’re kids are on their best behavior, you can look around after.
Our art museum is discounted for homeschoolers – $5.
Visit the state museum.We recently went as a family, and honestly, ours is so large that we could come twice.
But, since we are a part of the homeschool association, we get in for free.
They may also offer some monthly classes. Ours no longer does classes since Covid, which truly hurt my feelings.
The classes were a great source of knowledge for science, art, social studies, etc. since they would have teachers from different businesses (including non-profit) to teach for all ages.
A farm. Now, this could be a strawberry farm, blueberry, peach, etc. Let your kids pick the fruit, then you could have them find a few recipes that they prepare.
You can teach math by using measurements to prepare a meal or dish.
For science, you can study how the particular fruit grows, then do a craft or coloring page of the fruit.
A horse farm. If you research, you might be surprised that there are several horse farms in your area.
Some teach how to do basic horseback riding, while some might let you come out to feed the horses.
My nine-year-old did a horseback riding class with her friends a couple of times and really enjoyed it.
Railway museum.Many towns have a railway museum, and ours actually takes you on a trip around town. It’s not free, but it could be fun to do as a field trip.
Local children’s home.If you have time, you should google your local children’s home. They likely accept donations like toys, socks, school items, and even food.
This can be a humbling experience for your child – and depending on their maturity level – they can take away so much from this experience, too.
Visit a beach, lake, or river. Who says going to the beach can’t be a field trip? Remember, incorporate some science behind it.
Learn about tsunamis or hurricanes. (Maybe do that after the beach so they’re not too scared to go after you learn.)
You could also study what shells are, or discuss sea life like jellyfish or stingrays.
For lakes and rivers, you can discuss how some are man-made or created naturally by God.
How about discussing how some water comes from the purest lakes in the world, or even discuss the environmental effects of flooding on our rivers and lakes.
There are so many ideas you can come up with.
Your local park.Last fall, I took my kids to the park after we printed out a worksheet with different types of leaves.
I had them hunt for those specific types of leaves, and then they played.
Wouldn’t it also be neat to study the history of the park you go to and have them do a small project on it?
Let them go to different parks and take pictures to do that project.
Have them research which park was more kid-friendly? Which one was more expensive to build? Which one is the oldest?
This could be a great project for older kids.
Local festivals. We have festivals very often downtown. Many of them can be educational because they are centered around different cultures like a Greek or an African festival.
Once a year, our city hosts an International Festival where hundreds of people come to represent their country. They bring artifacts like clothing, pictures, art, etc.
People also dance and bring food.
It’s pretty entertaining.
Visit a new business. If you are in a small town where everyone knows everyone this might be so fun for your kid; it could be neat to visit a new business and ask to interview the owner.
Some questions you can ask are: “How long have you been in business?” “What’s fun and stressful about having your own business?” and “How many employees do you have?”
Then, if it’s a restaurant you have to stay and eat, right?
A garden center or nursery. Study different types of plants, then visit a private-owned garden center.
The owner will likely be happy to show you around.
Then you can maybe buy your own seeds or plant to have your child tend to.
The library.The library doesn’t get old, does it? It’s local and free, too. The best part is if they have classes for homeschoolers.
If not, taking your child to some of their afterschool programs for public school might be beneficial. Then they can check out books!
As you can see, there are possibilities for learning are endless.
I learn more on field trips than I could ever remember by reading a book.
If you have multiple children, at least one of them is likely the same way. This also helps you learn what kinds of learning styles your child has, and then you can center their curriculum around that.
Trust me – I understand being in that season of life where you don’t feel like going anywhere because you have a newborn or multiple children.
See if someone can watch your baby while you take the older children out. If you go with friends, maybe they can help as well.
Make the best of these days because we all know how fast time flies.
What are some of your favorite field trips? Comment below.