Are any of you old enough to remember the commercials "What would you do for a Klondike Bar?" I sometimes feel like that when it comes to field trips. What would I do for a field trip? An awful lot!
Before we even began formally educating our oldest, we went on field trips with our friends who homeschooled. They were so much fun! Who doesn't love taking their children to the apple orchard? All the way through this journey we have focused on hands-on learning. Books can be great resources, but as Kurt frequently quotes when another book arrives on our doorstep "To the making of many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body." (Ecclesiastes 12:12) The next verse tells us "Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind." Sometimes I wish it said: go on more field trips. LOL!
I have come to call this style of learning we follow Eclectic Experiential Education. When our girls have been involved in hands-on learning, it changes things from being a story, to being their story. I wrote about this earlier this year in our Blogging Through the Alphabet post :E3.
Did you enjoy going on field trips as a child? Me too! They were the highlight of the year! As a home educating family, we have put as many field trips and hands-on learning days in as we could fit. Often I have given the girls a day off in the middle of the week because I knew we were going someplace special on Saturday with Daddy.
Too often parents think that high schoolers should just buckle down to the books and stop taking field trips. Perhaps it should be the opposite! A local retired public school teacher recently pulled me aside and said "Carol, I love to see how you've taught your girls, all of the hands-on is so good for them!" High schoolers especially need the opportunities to be out in their community, to see how the real world operates, and to watch our local governments in action.
Life is a field trip! It is going places, doing things, and interacting with others! Please don't think I have an easy life with all the free time I could want and that's why we go on field trips - far from it! On the contrary, my schedule is full: three or four days or nights a week of merchandising work at a local grocery store, being a 4-H Leader, and of course, Wife and Mom. I have made time for field trips because they are important! The experiential learning sticks.
Here is a short sampling of field trips or other experiential learning we have participated in the past 5 years or so during high school :
Homeschool Day at our State Capitol
Page for a day at the Capitol
Third House Legislative meetings at our local library
Missisinewa 1812 historic reenactment
4-H Ag Days
Youth Preservation Summit Weekend
City Council Meetings
County Council Meeting
4-H Shooting Sports
Running lights for a puppet performance
4-H Fashion Revue
State Fair (both visiting and working)
Canal Boat Trip
Native Plant Conferences
Qualifications Day at the Indianapolis 500
Delaware Nation PowWow
World's Largest Wind Chime
Bald eagle watch
Historical Society Museum
Indiana War Memorial
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Dolphin Watching/ Aquatic Research
T.C. Steele State Historic Site
Chateau LaRoche Castle
There are so many more... including that the girls each volunteer at a living history museum more than 120 hours each calendar year. In case you've been wondering, the picture we're using this week for An Honest Look at High School is one I took of Arlene last December when we were visiting our State Capitol building. We started out just looking at the architecture, and ended up talking about the State budget. Sometimes you're surprised by what they ask!
High School = Field Trips!
Read, watch, learn, even research... and then go do!
Life is Field Trip, make sure your high schoolers enjoy it!
Click on the links below to see what others are sharing about homeschooling today!