Do you remember how exciting field trip days were? A day of not sitting at a boring desk, reading out of the same material, shuffling from class to class, just going through the mundane monotony. Believe it or not, sometimes homeschooling can feel the same way. Thankfully it doesn’t have to be all school books and dull work! Even homeschoolers need to get away from the schoolbooks and take a field trip! I have compiled a small list of ways to educate outside of schoolbooks.
Visit a Museum.
Children’s Museums are a lot of fun! They’re interactive to keep the kiddos engaged while providing relevant information. Even I always learn something new when we visit a children’s museum. I’m pretty sure almost every state has a Children’s Museum. If there’s not one in your state, why not plan a road trip and go visit one? (While observing safety precautions, of course.)
The beauty of visiting a Museum is that there’s practically a museum for everything, somewhere. While a Children’s Museum may be the easiest to visit, there are specialty museums. If your child has a specific interest, research if there’s a specialty museum for that interest.
Go to a Historic District.
Historic Districts are a great way to learn about the history of a town or even the nation. Some will even have official tours. A Historic District can include traditional houses, important landmarks like a courthouse, structures, fountains, or even historic sites like a battlefield.
A lot of downtown Historic Districts include stores or restaurants. Personally, I love eating at a historic looking cafe while enjoying delicious modern food. It’s a fun way to explore your city and learn a bit of history about it, too.
Take a Fun Class.
Does your child have a special interest in Art or a Foreign Language? What about an activity like Ballet or Martial Arts? While you can easily find lessons online, some things require in-person learning. Plus it’s a lot more fun that way. Do some research and I’m sure you’ll be able to find someone who can cater to your child’s special interest.
This is admittedly easier to do if there’s a college nearby. Colleges tend to offer special programs for children. Depending on the age of your child (or even yourself) they may be allowed to attend some college lectures.
If there isn’t a college nearby then check out your local library. If they don’t have the program you’re looking for, they may know where you can go.
Watch a Movie.
Take a page from you school days and put on a movie! Whether you require your kids to take notes or not is up to you. It doesn’t have to be some educational movie either, even fun movies can lead to serious conversations or interest. One of my favorite movies is Anastasia. While it is not historically accurate, it did spark my interest in the Romanov family which lead to learning about the Russian Revolution and other events surrounding the fall of the Romanov Dynasty.
Movies like Captain America, West Side Story, and Sherlock Holmes could open up conversations of factual history such as World War I and II, racial tensions, or life during the Victorian and Edwardian time periods. Of course there are other movies, such as Hamilton, that are both fun and full of historical facts.
Get in the Kitchen.
Preparing a meal or dessert is an excellent way to not only learn a life-long skill, but it could also aid in learning things like fractions and measurements. Being together in the kitchen is also a way to spend time together as a family.
If you’re not proficient in the kitchen, check out your local eateries and see if they offer any group cooking lessons. This might be something a locally owned restaurant would do, making it a great way to support your community.
Watch a Show.
Watching a show is a fun way to practice foreign languages. Since most shows usually have more than one season it makes it easier to keep characters and relationships in the show straight. Plus, you won’t be hearing the same exact lines over and over like you would if you watched a movie.
I admit that watching a movie in a foreign language could be good if you’re just beginning a language study, but watching a show means that you can hear words in different contexts and become familiar with all the ways they may be used.
Using subtitles in a foreign language can also be a great way to practice reading in your target language. Or you can keep them in English for reference. Just remember that there are usually differences between how something is written and how it’s spoken.
Visit an Aquarium or Zoo.
Who doesn’t love going to a zoo? Okay, maybe there are people out there who don’t, but I don’t personally know them. Going to Zoos and Aquariums is a great way to learn about animals and how to care for them. Many zoos have a place where visitors can observe how animals are cared for. Visitors can often feed certain animals in both places.
While most zoos and aquariums will have many of the same animals, I encourage you to visit multiple ones if you can. Some places may have different animals or opportunities, especially if there are multiple in the surrounding areas.
Explore Around You!
There really are so many ways to learn outside of a book! Explore the opportunities your town or state may offer and have fun! Who knows what you might find in your town or the towns around you.
What is your favorite thing to do that could also be seen as educational?
Let me know in the comments!