The secret that most homeschooling families know, is that homeschoolers do not just stay at home. What? How can that be homeschooling? The truth is that in homeschooling, we can go and see much easier than a school. Where a school has to arrange for a field trip with buses, permission slips, and tour times, we can just hop into the car and go. For the most part homeschooling one child makes taking a field trip and the ability to travel a little easier.
We live near many of the battlefields of the Civil War. One day when my daughter was studying the Civil War, I looked at her and said, “Come on, let’s go!” Instead of reading about the battles of the Civil War, we actually walked around the battlefields.
We are truly blessed to live in an area that has so many historical parks and museums. However, you may not be able to pick up and go to the historical park that you are studying. There are other places to go and learn. For instance, in the fall, we like to go to a pumpkin patch. The pumpkin patch that we go to has a learning center. At the learning center, the children and adults listen to the life cycle of a pumpkin or apple depending on the event. My daughter gets a bit of education on the life cycle of a fruit and we get some yummy healthy pumpkins and apples to take home.
We try to take advantage of the local events and facilities. I use several methods to find out about learning opportunities including:
- Check the newspaper or local circular.
- Libraries are great resources of events in your community.
- National Parks events – Get an America the Beautiful National Park Pass. The pass is great if you live in an area that you can take advantage of touring National Parks as part of social studies or history.
- Local vendors and stores can often provide a great resource of events
- Homeschool Co-op or Homeschool groups – Parents in homeschool co-ops often share information of events and tours for homeschoolers.
- Museums and science centers often have homeschool days throughout the year.
- Government open houses or talks – Recently, a government agency had a lecture on insects. We attempted to go to the lecture, however so did many other people. In the end, there was not enough room for us and we opted to get the DVD. However, as we walked back though the government buildings, we enjoyed the wonderful educational displays.
- Word of mouth – Friends are one of the greatest sources for information regarding to events or showings.
- Everyday Opportunities – I do not know how many times, I try to make the most of an opportunity. Sometimes through the normal everyday events, we find great opportunities: getting tires changed, shopping at the grocery store, watching a tortilla-making machine at a Mexican restaurant, the doctor’s office, farmer’s markets, etc. Make the most of just everyday things. Most people are willing to show you what they do if you ask nicely. Sometimes, you will find that they will tell you about events such as homeschooling days or open houses that may not be announced to the public, yet.
As you go about your planning, look for opportunities to learn in everyday and some not so everyday places. Try some of these ideas for your homeschool.
Have a wonderful and adventurous day!