This article was originally published in Parent News magazine in November 2011…
One of my most favorite parts of homeschool is the field trips. Of course, the kids love them too, but it’s a chance for the adults to get out of the house, away from the books, and play a little. In public school, most field trips require an act of Congress to put on the books. There are insurance forms, bus drivers, parent chaperones, permission slips, and a million other things that go into the logistics. Then there’s the dreaded budgetary and curriculum issues. After all, it’s hard to go on a field trip when you’re spending all your time teaching kids to pass a standardized test and nothing more.
It’s been so long since I’ve been in the public school world that I wonder how many field trips the average kid goes on these days. At my homeschool, we average about 3-5 a week. It’s a simple decision-making process- find a cool event or place, find a way to make it educationally relevant, hop in the car, and go. Our field trips include museums, park sites, picnics, athletic events, and anything else that pops up. As long as it looks like fun and it’s potentially educational, we’re there!
Another great thing about field trips is the ability to plan them into my own travel. I travel a lot for my speaking and my adventuring and this gives the kids the opportunity to see amazing sites all over the country.
Why restrict your kids to a classroom day in and day out for 8 hours a day? It’s no better than being trapped inside a cubicle in a windowless office. Take them out of school and take them outside. They’ll be better for it.