When you take field trips in your homeschool, do you prefer to take them with a large group or just with your family? Most people think of a field trip as a class of same-age children walking around with their teacher and a couple of chaperones. They have gotten off their bright yellow school bus and march into a museum in a row. They’re all wearing name tags and the teacher leads them through the museum as a guide tells them something about each exhibit. They move from one item to another quickly. Some children are listening intently and others are paying attention to each other or something out the window.
Homeschool field trips in groups are almost the same. There may not be a yellow school bus, but some mother will be in charge and it will feel like school. The children will be guided through the exhibits much too quickly. Some children will want to slow down and read all the information, but they will have to leave too soon to keep up with the group.
You can see that I’m a homeschool mom at heart. After participating in the large group field trips and our slow family field trips, I much prefer the family trips. When our family takes a field trip, we think of them as a vacation or fun. We love going to see a historical site or natural place. We take our time if we see something interesting to us. We let each child read as much as they want about what interests them.
When our youngest took his senior trip in DC, he spent most of his time in only one of the museums. That was fine with us. He was soaking up all he was learning there, because he loved it. That’s what learning is all about! Field trips aren’t for testing, they’re for fun and maybe sparking a new passion to learning.
So I say, if you can, take some field trips the slow way. You’ll love it!
@2016, copyright Lisa Ehrman