Do you homeschool your kids? Are you worried they don’t always have the same experiences as traditional school students? There are all kinds of ways that you can make homeschooling as enriching as conventional schooling and help them to get the most out of their educations.
For instance, if the subject you are working on is geography, there is no real need to stay cooped up in the house for studies. In fact, kids can get a lot more out of field trips, where they can see various places, landmarks, etc., in person.
So, if you don’t have the means to travel, how can kids learn about geography through field trips? Geography can start right where you live. For example, if your kids are younger, you can teach them about the area you live in and take them to visit specific landmarks, government buildings, museums, and more. While visiting these places, mention street names, so your kids learn about your city or town.
Today we will look at some fun and exciting homeschool geography field trip ideas and discuss the benefits of field trips. Let’s get started.
- The Benefits of Field Trips
- Field Trips Make Learning More Exciting
- One Field Trip, Many Subjects
- Ideas for Geography Field Trips
The Benefits of Field Trips
Some of the most enriching educational experiences for kids are hands-on experiences. So, it is no surprise that field trips are an excellent way for kids to learn about various subjects, including geography. It is also a great way to get the kids out to enjoy fresh air and exercise.
Field trips can be an extension of what your kids are already learning through books, and they will get real-world learning. Kids get to see and experience new things they just wouldn’t be able to do through books.
In fact, many kids learn better through experiences than through books. An added bonus is that a field trip can make learning fun and memorable.
One of the greatest benefits of field trips is letting kids explore things and concepts in real settings. They may be able to see a picture of a place in a book, but they will learn more about it by actually being there and experiencing the things done there.
Obviously, there is a good chance that experiences will be limited because this is not precisely world travel, but it is a great place to start.
Maybe you live in an area where a major political event has occurred. You can set up a field trip to take your kids to where the event occurred. Once they can be there themselves, they will likely be better able to understand more of the event or events that have happened there.
Let’s look at some of the best reasons to schedule geography field trips for homeschooling.
Field Trips Make Learning More Exciting
Students taking part in field trips are often more motivated to learn. This is because they are doing something besides sitting in a classroom (or, in the case of homeschooling, your house) with their noses stuck in books. They see things in person, making their studies seem more real.
In fact, chances are that they will enjoy learning about the area they are visiting so much that they will want to learn even more about it. They will actually get to experience things instead of just reading about them. In most cases, this leads to a greater interest in any subject they are learning about through the field trip, including geography.
One Field Trip, Many Subjects
Just because you are specifically taking the kids on a geography field trip, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use the day as an opportunity for them to learn about other subjects as well. You can combine a few different subjects into a single field trip, and even though they will be learning a lot of things, they will be having a lot of fun, so it won’t seem like learning.
A great example is combining geography with history and science. You can take them on a field trip to a local museum, where they can learn about local geography, animals that are native to the area, plants and trees that are native to it, etc.
So, they will also be learning about science. Don’t forget to have them look at any documents or artifacts from your area, and they will also get a history lesson.
Ideas for Geography Field Trips
One of the best places to take kids for a geography field trip is, as already mentioned, a museum, especially if it is a museum that offers interesting exhibits about not only your own area but also the rest of the world.
Obviously, history comes to mind when considering a field trip to a museum, but you might be surprised at how many other things kids can learn, including geography.
Another great thing about visiting a museum is that it will take at least two hours to look at everything (depending on the museum’s size). So, the entire field trip can occur at the museum and take up most of the morning or afternoon.
Here are some more great ideas for geography field trips.
Nature Reserves and Wildlife Parks
If you teach your kids about local geography, a great way to get up close and personal with that geography is to visit a nature reserve, a wildlife park, or even a national or state park.
Not only will kids get a chance to learn about the “lay of the land,” but they will also be learning about wildlife in your area, so the lesson can be geography and science.
This is also a great idea if you don’t want to spend much money on a field trip. Some parks charge a small admission fee, while others don’t charge anything at all.
Do Activities with a Compass
A compass is a great learning tool for more than just geography. You can start teaching kids how to use a compass when they are in the lower grades. To do this, you must turn it into a game to help your kids remember how the compass is used.
There are many ways you can incorporate a compass into your field trips. For instance, you can walk around your neighborhood, and the kids can use the compass to help them navigate. Another idea is to get the kids to make their own compass. They learn how to use a compass for geography and a science lesson on making the compass.
Go on a Walking Tour
A walking tour of your city is an excellent way for kids to learn about the area’s geography. You can teach them about streets, landmarks, specific buildings, etc. They will be learning about their home, and that is always a great place to start when it comes to teaching them geography.
When walking with your kids, you can take plenty of time to stop and look at various things in the area. So, once again, you can combine the geography lesson with other lessons, including social studies, history, and science.
Don’t Forget Virtual Field Trips
There will be times when you just can’t go on a traditional field trip. For example, the weather may be too miserable to go outside for any reason, let alone a field trip. But another option is becoming increasingly popular with parents who homeschool their kids: the virtual field trip.
This is also an excellent option for those who can’t afford to travel the world but want their kids to be able to learn as much about world geography as possible. Sometimes, a virtual field trip is much safer than a traditional one. There is no traffic to worry about or many other dangers.
A virtual field trip is a great way to break barriers and “travel” any place without leaving your home’s comfort. There are many benefits to virtual field trips, including the following:
Virtual Field Trips are Free
It can cost quite a bit of money to take kids on certain types of field trips. Not only do you have to consider admission fees to the places you are taking them, but you also have to think about food, drinks, fuel for your vehicle, etc.
If you take your kids on a virtual field trip, you don’t have to worry about gassing up the car, buying take-out food, etc. Make them a few snacks and send them to any countries they are interested in “visiting.”
Virtual Field Trips are Safe
One thing you never have to worry about on a virtual field trip is physical safety. You will always be around to ensure your kids only use the websites you allow them to use for their studies so they are not in danger of encountering online predators.
Students can enjoy their “field trips” without worrying about following many rules. Students can see what it’s like to climb the tallest mountains in the world, travel through raging rapids, diving in coral reefs, and they will always be perfectly safe.
Virtual Field Trips are Accessible to All
While there may be some places that are not wheelchair accessible, resulting in some students not being able to go on these particular field trips, accessibility is not an issue with virtual field trips.
These trips are totally inclusive, and students who have disabilities can enjoy the same field trips that other students get to take part in. Your kids will get to do things online that they may not have a chance to do in real life, at least for the moment. This will make learning about geography, even more fun and exciting.
When you can bring the world to life for your kids, learning about geography never has to be boring. There are so many different types of field trips you can take with your kids, and you will likely learn just as much as they do. It will be an excellent experience for both you and your kids.