Field Trips: Benefitting From Life Lessons

Just because it’s called homeschool, doesn’t mean that all learning has to be at home. Field trips are an essential part of homeschooling. As a parent-teacher, I have seen what lasting impacts our field trips have had on RD. Field trips help to reinforce our lessons and help  substantiate what has previously been discussed or covered in his lessons. Example: Learning about the behavior of bees in colonies is interesting from a book, but it would be more fascinating to kids who are learning the art of beekeeping from a real bee keeper, out in a bee farm. Field trips help to round out the parts of homeschool lessons he or she only reads in books.  So, you hit two birds with one stone: you are able to get the kids out of the house and let them benefit from great learning opportunities, plus, you have given them an invaluable learning experience they will never forget!

We had just recently covered life cycles in our Science class, when we scheduled a trip to Davao. During our stay there, we visited three places, namely: Davao Crocodile Park, Davao Butterfly House and the Philippine Eagle Foundation. Our visit to the Butterfly House was a chance for me to objectify our lesson on the life cycle of the butterfly. RD had a chance to see caterpillars feeding on plants in the Hatching House, see the different kinds of cocoons, as well as watch butterflies fluttering about in their (almost) natural habitat. He was able to hold the butterflies, and witness them sucking up nectar from flowers up close.

A highlight to this trip was that we were able to purchase some cocoons which we hung up in the living room as soon as we got home. During the next couple of days, he was able to see the “birth” of these butterflies from their cocoons, and each “coming out” was greeted with a lot of excitement. It was fascinating to see a butterfly coming out of its cocoon up close.

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Below are more benefits to field trips!

  • Bringing an area of study to life. There is nothing like seeing tools used by ancient people (for example) to really bring history alive. Going on a visit to learn how to do something will enrich the experience in a way that reading about it never could.
  • Seeing things in a different environment can help children make connections. Sometimes seeing something for real, or touching it, can be a breakthrough in learning.
  • Can accomodate different learning styles – we all learn in different ways. Field trips can allow children more scope in experiencing types of learning.
  • Gives you access to resources not available in the classroom or at home. Artifacts or architecture for example, are best seen.
  • Helps pull together disparate information. Field trips can be a good way of ‘summarizing’ an area of study for a child.
  • Socialization. Field trips introduce children to new and varied social situations. Allowing them to meet someone with a passion for a subject can spark their own enthusiasm.
  • Introduction to a wider variety of role models.
  • Incease knowledge and understanding of a subject.
  • Add realism to a topic.
  • Allows children to display different sides of their personality. Children react differently in different social situations, and an outing gives them the opportunity to explore this.
  • Increased motivation and interest in a subject.
  • A way of following the child’s interests. In some areas – like horse riding – only a field trip will do!
  • Give everyone a break! Sometimes you just need to get away from your studies for a while and go do something fun. Not educational in itself – but relaxation is an important part of any study program.



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