We love field trips, which is one reason I am going to have to reduce our list during the upcoming school year. Given the opportunity, we will hop into the car and drive just about anywhere. Since we live in the middle of nowhere, homeschool field trips take up to an entire day and sometimes into the next depending upon how late we return home. (Tired children are extremely difficult to wake up.)
We always carry plenty of water in stainless steel containers and plastic bottles of water for refilling our canteens.
I always have my children wear shirts that have bright or distinguishing colors so I can easily spot them in crowds of other children. I have lost a child before, and it is not fun.
The idea of packing a lunch may seem obvious, but I cannot tell you how many times we go rushing out of the house with just something to whet our appetites. To prevent spending a lot of money and the consumption of junk food, we stop at a grocery store for lunch either before or after our trip. Everyone will have more options and will hopefully make some healthier choices.
Now that my children are older, I no longer carry a porta-potty, but when they were younger, we never left home without one.
Remember to keep a blanket in the car ready to spread out anytime for an impromptu picnic.
Many places you may consider taking your children on a field trip have free or reduced priced days. Check the schedule before you plan to attend to see if you are able to take advantage of those discounts. Gathering a group of friends and their children can often earn your group a discount on admission.
If you missed out on a recent event, mark it on your calendar for next year so you won’t let it happen again. If you enjoyed an event, make a note on your calendar to consider for the following year. Sometimes planning ahead can get you that best reserved seat, your name on the list, or a ticket before everything is sold out.
Do a little studying ahead of time. If you have plans to visit a train museum, read a few books on trains before going. If you are attending a play, see if a study guide is available for the play you will see. These resources may assist your children with a better understanding of what they will see and experience.
Along with printed directions (GPS may decide not to work – ask me how I know) and the telephone number of the location, bring proof of payment if you pre-paid and the name of the contact person with whom you made arrangements.
Also, keep a copy of your homeschool registration because being able to prove you are a teacher with your students may garner more discounts and keep the law away.
There are some wonderful field trip ideas, and opportunities arrive often. Before making your reservation, decide if the field trip is one that will truly benefit your family or if it is an excuse to just get out of the house to avoid opening a school book (or doing housework). Both are sometimes my excuses.
It’s good to be flexible with your schedule if possible, but you need to consider whether your children will benefit from a particular field trip at a certain time or if you should consider the trip at another more convenient or beneficial time.
What fun and exciting field trips do you have planned for the new school year? Do you have any field trip tips to add to this list?