Homeschool Field Trips-Using Your Vacation to HomeschoolApr 4th, 2008 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: General Homeschool Posts
On day one, we took a guided tour of the zoo that is here on the premises as well as a special animal lover’s workshop. We are staying in an ecological preserve where we have seen many native animals including crocodiles, serpents, monkeys, birds, etc.
Through the two programs, we learned more about these native animals than we have ever heard before despite our participation in a regular zoo program at home. The kids were fascinated by the baby crocodiles (which they were permitted to hold), as well as the many unique animals in the preserve.
I intend to count day one as a science day.
Day three will also be counted as a science day. On day three, we headed to a nearby national park lagoon, where we snorkeled for the day, learned about the many different species of fish and appreciated the beautiful jungle.
I will count day four as a social studies day. On day four, we spent the morning touring the nearby Mayan ruins of the city of Tulum.
Our tour guide–a native Mayan–was absolutely outstanding. He is very proud of his heritage and its traditions–many of which he and his people still practice today (including animal sacrifices, purification ceremonies, and–sadly–childhood marriages). Because of this fierce pride, his presentation was easy to follow and intriguing. My kids cannot wait to return home and share what they have learned with their friends who are studying the Mayans now.
What will the remainder of our vacation bring? I am not sure that we will continue with educational field trips, but I do know that what we have learned in the three “homeschool field trip days” will be remembered much longer than anything they could have learned from a textbook.
Don’t hesitate to make your vacation part of your school day. Homeschoolers and field trips go hand in hand.
If you don’t have immediate access to cultural tours or science related field trips, put together a project that can be completed during your stay. For example, if you are on the beach, collect shells and identify them, see how many different species of seaweed you can find, or search tidal pools for sea life. If you are in the mountains, hike through the beauty around you, interview those who live in your vacation spot to learn about the native plants and animals, or create your own scavenger hunt that requires some real exploration.
For some, the preparation for special projects seems daunting. However, we have found that these projects not only provide educational opportunities for our kids, but also some much needed down time for us.
Additional homeschooling posts:
Starting Homeschooling Step Four-Know Your Child
Does your child love to get dirty and explore the world around him? Is she a child who loves to sit down and listen as you read a story? Is he an analytical thinker, who tends to question what is happening around him? Is she one who can connect events and experiences to lessons in life? Does he seem to thrive when able to create with his hands? Does she naturally "get it" the first time she hears it? These kinds of questions can help to define the best kind of learning approach for your child.
What do Homeschoolers do after "School"
Just fielded a question the other day about what homeschoolers can do after they finish their "school work.