There’s a phenomenon that hits our home each year and has the ability to wreck our homeschooling routine and rhythm like nothing else: spring. So spring homeschool field trips are a must! Something about the warm weather, new growth, and the sunshine just call our names and make it impossible to homeschool the way we did during the winter. After years of homeschooling, I’ve learned to embrace the spring fever with spring lesson plans that play into our homeschool plan and with a few well-planned spring field trips. That’s what we’re going to tackle today, spring field trips. Because nothing says “spring homeschooling” like taking advantage of the flexibility and freedom to get on the road (even if it’s just for a day) and enjoy an educational spring field trip.
Making Spring Field Trips for Homeschoolers Work
I’m a huge believer in hitting the road and experiencing learning. But, poor planning can wreck your plans and ruin even the best intentions. The first, and best way to get the most mileage from spring field trips is to plan well. Last year we gave you a few great ideas on how to plan your vacations with homeschooling in mind in our Vacations While Homeschooling blog series. You’ll want to take advantage of our suggestions for packing busy bags, journaling, etc., even if you’re just taking a day trip! Planning with a Purpose can be easy and ensure that your spring field trips are successful and help you stay on track and meet your homeschooling goals.
7 Great Spring Field Trips for Homeschoolers
- Complete a unit study with a spring theme, then find a local (or not so local!) nature center or farm that fits into your unit study and explore what you’ve learned, live! Think ducks, flowers, gardening, grass, migration, etc. Check out books from your library for every age and grade and create posters or lap books with your findings. Be sure to include drawings, poems, science experiments, etc. in your spring unit and take your lap books and cameras with you on your field trip!
- Read a good survival guide, or camping field guide (My Side of the Mountain is one of our favorite survival stories) as a family then take a camping trip. Practice survival skills using a camping survival kit that you make from your studies. Be sure to go hiking and spend time nature journaling. Finish your trip by writing your woodland survival short stories and reading them to one another on your drive you.
- Explore ecology by studying your local water systems and animals within them. Then take a day kayaking or rafting trip. Create habitat diorama where each student chooses one animal you’ve studied and created their natural habitat and ecosystem within the box. Integrate writing by decorating the outside of the box with sentences or paragraphs describing the animal’s life cycle, natural habitat, predators, feeding habits, etc.
- Study the mathematics and engineering that makes roller coasters work. Practice designing one yourself using a K’nex kit or this website. Then take a day trip to your local theme park for a few rolling thrills to experience roller coasters in all their topsy-turvy glory!
- Our family always needs summer clothing and sandals, which means a yearly trek to the outlet mall. Give your learners a budget, challenge them to sort what they have and make a list of what’s needed, and then make a trip to your local outlet mall. Study the fliers and sales to compute the percentages off of the regular price to find the best deals. Reward your savvy shoppers with a trip to a nearby pretzel factory, creamery, or local burger joint to enjoy your savings!
- Get out for some green time at your nearest state park or National Park. Take a hike after you make a homemade nature journal. Use these free printables and ideas from homemakeingwithaheart.com or this nature observation printable from homeschoolscientist.com. Most National Parks have a Junior Ranger Program. Complete the steps needed, and you’ll earn a Junior Ranger badge and even be part of a pinning ceremony!
- Send your middle or high schooler to a local farm to volunteer and shadow a farmer. Generate a list of questions about the local economy, agricultural systems, climate and weather impact, etc. to take along. Then, armed with the answers, have your student write an essay or complete a project about what he/she learned. Take it even further by challenging your student to start his/her farm stand using vegetables and fruit grown on a farm you plant together!
Spring homeschooling doesn’t have to be a battle between spring fever and spelling lists! Get out of the house with a few well planned and timed spring field trips to enjoy the spring weather without sabotaging your homeschooling plans. Trust me; the time away will pay off in more focused and focused learners!
Where are you headed this spring? Tell us in a comment below!