How to Make Sure Field Trips Happen {Part 2}

by GfG on October 24, 2012 · 1 comment

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{Last day to enter my giveaway for Simplified Dinners!}

Field trips are really great ideas.  They don’t have to be trips to NASA to be worthwhile..  They do have to actually happen to be worthwhile, though.   Last week, I shared some solutions to solving some field trip hindrances{How to Make Sure Field Trips Happen: Part 1}.

Let’s tackle the last two.

Problem 3:  We don’t know what to do.   This is easy to tackle, but does take a little bit of time.

Ask your friends, local and online.   Asking around can bring all kinds of ideas.  If you aren’t in a local homeschool group, consider joining one to get their newsletters and field trip information.

I ask my friends on Facebook for recommendations for field trip ideas on a topic (example anything related to the 1800s or Texas history or astronomy).  What is the use of having 500 friends on Facebook if they can’t help you?  Seriously.  I’ve found some terrific outings as a result of simply asking.

Google and google some more.  There is a wealth of information at your fingertips via the internet.  Type in whatever it is you are studying plus your location.  I’m willing to bet you will get some options, probably more than you want to actually do.

Set aside a specific time to plan field trips.  I take a week during my summer to focus on this.  To be honest, it’s just now happening for this school year.  Better late than never, right?  I start by creating a spreadsheet with 36 rows, corresponding to our weeks. I figure out what we’ll be studying that week and then I start looking for field trips (aka: I google and I ask my FB friends) The spreadsheet also has columns for movies, crafts, and activities.  I fill in as many weeks as I can.  No, I do not go on a field trip every week (or do a craft/activity every week).  I’m not crazy.

Problem 4: We get busy and they just don’t happen.  I think this  the most common issue.   I have a few suggestions, but my most tried and true ones are the last two.

Set a specific day as field trip day for the month.   Pick a day of the month and designate it as field trip day (ex: the 2nd Wednesday) is when you go on a field trip OR you could simply look at your month and see what other obligations you already have, choosing a day that looks good.  As that day approaches, stand firm in respecting field trip day and pick something to go do.  This is works best if you plan ahead for what you will do, but if you are the spontaneous type and have plenty of options, just get up and go!

Ask some friends if they are going on any field trips and tag along.  If you aren’t great at planning, find a friend (or two) that is.  Ask if you can join them on their outing.  Odds are in your favor (especially if you bring great snacks or chocolate for the other mom).

After you research/find/invite yourself on a trip, schedule them!  I think this is the best way to tackle field trip avoidance. I realized two years ago that I was allowing our daily life to get in the way of taking field trips.  You know: if it isn’t scheduled, it doesn’t happen.

Seriously, the most important step…. write it on something “official”.   For me, putting it on the calendar is my preferred route.  Now it’s right there and the kids can see it (quite a motivator).

Invite someone to join you.  If you put it on your calendar AND you invite another family, then you have some accountability to actually follow through.  This really does work.  Especially if each mom tells the participating children.

So, there you go!  See, field trips really can happen.  With a little bit of advance planning, you can truly make your homeschool fun with field trips (and heighten the learning, remember?).   I  know that if I don’t plan it in advance, educational field trips will not get done and I do believe field trips, movies, and crafts enhance our studies.

After two years of handling field trips this way, I’ve enjoyed field trips more and they have actually happened.

Which tip can most help you make sure field trips happen? 


 Linking to the Hip Homeschool Hop

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