Homeschool Field Trips Worth Taking
The World Is A Playground and Life Is Pushing My Swing! ~ quote from Natalie Kocsis
We love field trips. We try to get out and away from the kitchen table at least once a week but often more. That’s one of our favorite benefits of homeschooling. Back when T was in public school they had about two field trips a year and they were expensive! The world is now our classroom. There is so much out there when you aren’t restricted to fitting these trips into a hectic weekend. Another secret we discovered, weekdays at museums and events are far less crowded and you often get the attention you wouldn’t normally because there are so few daytime guests.
A great example of this would be our last trip to The Natural History Museum. I have to recommend this trip to anyone that can manage it. We receive the educators discount which means we both get in for under ten dollars and we get private tours. They let you take your time in the main exhibit but then they take you through the rest of museum where you can see fossils and hear all about how East Tennessee looked 5 million years ago. We were surprised to hear about saber-toothed cats prowling the same grounds we were. They had just excavated a red panda right before our last visit. We also were taken out onto the dig site and got to see all the equipment and hear stories of discoveries made by kids just like T. It’s a great place and very educational.
Another place we visit a lot is Sycamore Shoals. They take you back to 1772 when the first democratic government on the continent was established, the Watauga Association. The museum changes a lot so there is always something new to see. The last exhibit we attended covered the Indian raids on the settlers and included a movie which we had the theater all to ourselves to see. We also like to walk around the fort and even do some homework out there. They have several events a year where the place comes to life with everyone in era garb and attending to tasks you’d expect from such a colony. It’s fascinating and it’s fun.
We covered American History this past year so Sycamore Shoals was amazing and it led us to discover The Carter Mansion, the oldest frame house in Tennessee. We like to study here as well but it is especially fun when it comes alive at Christmas. The Carter’s invite you in, serve you hot cider, tell true stories from history while they push cloves into oranges, and sing Christmas carols. Everything is kept authentic, all candle lights and fir branches for decorations. It is outstanding. We also attended Rocky Mount Christmas which was also exceptional but they don’t allow cameras so I can’t share that one.
We also love Hands On Museum in Johnson City. They are constantly changing things up and you can subscribe to their home school email newsletter to get information on special classes they are offering. We have had a lot of fun here. We love the frozen shadow room and have spent way too much time in there as well as the Ark. We have visited exhibits such as the Rain Forest exhibit and their Focus on Engineering. We have in our schedule the “Get Energized” exhibit so we can learn about renewable resources as I write this. This museum is always time well spent.
Another great way to get out into the world is to visit your favorite bookstore. I love to give T a chance to pick a book that he wants to read. He has plenty of assigned reading with his curriculum but its fun to see what he chooses for himself. I also love to pick up books and, of course, the coffee and the giant cookies are something anyone can get excited about.
What about the park? Sometimes there is no better school day than one spent outside at the park. You can work at a picnic table in the fresh air, bring a lunch and also play and meet a lot of other kids too. It’s just good in every way. We have a few favorite parks but without question, our favorite is, Warrior’s Path State Park. Not only do they have a Narnia themed playground that is super cool but the park has programs all year-long that can take you on hikes, nature walks, or scavenger hunts with Park Guides. There are also bike trails. We have even ended up at the giant fire pit for campfire stories. We love Warrior’s Path! You never know what the day will hold out there.
This list could span to eternity because honestly, your options as a home school are endless. As I said the whole world is your classroom.
We would love to hear from you. Share your favorite World Classrooms with us. We love inspiration and new ideas!