You can aways recognize a homeschool field trip by the parking lot full of mini vans. Mini vans rock!
During our homeschooling years, if there was a place to go in the State of Alabama to visit…we did! From the quirky and unique to the sentimental and historical sites, we explored them! We even discovered new and not well known places.
Our homeschool was not just at “HOME”, because so much learning can be done by seeing what you are studying first hand! Homeschool field trips can be both entertaining and education.
How to organize your homeschool field trips and
take your lesson plans on the road!
We taught our lesson plans with History and Bible as our foundation. We needed a way to organize all the possible field trip ideas for homeschoolers to visit.
Beginning with History in chronological order, we read books, watched movies, viewed online sites and visited any places, things or people first hand, for the “hands on learning” experience. Our homeschool theme of study printable kept us organized in the details.
Maybe we should have called our homeschool “van school” since we were in the car at least one day a week and several weeks a year for educational “family vacations!”
Yes, we planned vacation trips around our History lessons.
Example: When we studied Ancient History, there’s not a lot of Bible towns, Greek or Roman museums in Alabama.
But we do have architectural influences, Greek festivals and a half dressed city representative, Vulcan, “god of steel” museum.
A couple of hours away, there is the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee which isn’t too far to drive! You just have to think outside the box….or maybe state line.
Visit people, places and things to do that relates to your homeschool lesson plans.
What field trips can you plan for your homeschool lesson?
Let’s take the Bible in chronological order, beginning with the days of creation and create a field trip plan.
In the first few verses of Genesis 1, we can study light, the earth, space, water, plants, fish, fowl, animals, and people!
Look for museums and places to visit that bring those subjects to life.
Places to visit could be a Science museum, a Natural Science museum, a water treatment plant, a planetarium, a plant nursery, an aquarium, an aviary, the zoo, and a college with an anatomy department just to name a few!
Moving forward from Creation to the Flood in the Bible you will discover very culture has a record of the flood!
Look for places with fossils, archeology sites, or nations or cultural sites such as Native American mounds or caves…. which is some of our first civilizations in America!
What does your state have to go see and do?
The possibilities to see and do in that list is a years worth of travel and we’ve only hit the first 12 chapters of Genesis!
When it comes to the amazing state you live in, where can you go, what can you do and who can you see?
Research and organizing is easy to do and doesn’t require too much time! You may find new things about your state to make you fall in love with it even more!
Free homeschool field trip printable
Find both free printables to organize your homeschool field trips and a colorful infographic in our Freebie Library.
Homeschol field trip ideas:
A Google search for “Transportation” sites in Alabama resulted in planes, trains, boats, cars, wagons, horses and mules and anything else that helped people move.
Not only can you find museums at airports or train stations, but you may even find children’s transportations or early works educational programs. Many offer online “educational resources” to help you learn more about them or their historical significance along with activities to do while you are visiting!
Use our “Theme of Study” organizational printable to plan your Van-School lessons!
Tips to organize your State’s sites
● Research your State and all it’s “sites” to see, by the categories on the free printable.
● Keep it simple! If you find a master website listing Civil War sites to see, just add that main link to your organization. Like us, you may find too many Civil War sites to list!
● Know your best days to visit or tour! Look for “closed” days. Many places close on Mondays dues to weekend hours.
● Take note of the entrance fee or cost to visit. Are there any other fees not included to enjoy your visit? We discovered that most offered homeschoolers discounts or even free days to tour!
● If you find a museum, zoo, or place for frequent visiting, check into their family packages or yearly membership! Sometimes, 2 visits pay for the yearly membership fee!
These make great gifts to give to other families too! Tell your extended family about the memberships you would like for birthdays or gifts in general. Most memberships for these educational sites are tax deductible!
The following are the categories we used on the free printables.
Outdoor Homeschool Field trips
Most states have a full listing of their parks with the ability to click on each one to learn more about their operating time, camping, sites to see and activities. Alabama has parks within a 4 hours drive from each other that take you from the mountains to the beach!
You may find hidden gems in your search! We have beautiful community parks that have historical significance and a change of scenery from your normal park activities!
Who lived in your state first? What happened to them? What is your state’s history? Go online to your state’s capitol for free educational resources! Use their information as a springboard!
Is your state is rich in Native American history? Find out what you can see or visit to learn more!
What is your state’s archeological history? Look at State colleges because many have science departments that allow for tours! Alabama offers a natural history tour and a forensic tour where you can solve a crime while another college offers ghost tours!
Each State has a History and places to visit and discover!
You just never know what you might learn.
Visit your State’s Capitol. What other sites or places do they list near to tour? Because your state capitol is usually surrounded by other “state” buildings and businesses you may discover unique places to see!
Across the street and down a block from the Alabama State Capitol is a Cattleman’s Association with their “Cow Mooseaum”. Did you know jello/ gelatin is made from cow hooves? Yeah….that was a tough one for the kiddos to learn. But the museum’s other activities quickly over rode their turned stomachs and we visited many times!
Look at your state’s involvement in the explorers, the Revolutionary War,
The Manifest Destiny, the statehood, the Civil War, and anything that could be “Historical” in events, things and people!
Who is famous in your state?
What did they do?
Where did they live?
Are there any inventions came from your state?
What is your state known for?
You may find museums, houses or an invention to tour! Museums of Natural History- Alabama has two fantastic Natural History museums and surrounding grounds for kids to explore. See what your state has to offer!
You may be surprised to discover your state has great educational or historical recreation sites.
Does your state have a “village” where reenactments take place?
A colonial village for kids to travel back in time?
Look for planetariums. Again, check with your state colleges too!
Do you have a Civil Rights museum? An Archives Department?
A museum of war?
Look for transportation museums or places to see! Research planes, war, trains or rail road, space and rocket center, car or speedway! Are any of these manufactured in your state and allow for tours?
Not sure if your state offers plane rides or not, (our’s doesn’t) the other museums do have family tours, activities for the kids and even demonstrations of their transportation.
Take a train ride boat or ferry tour, or be an astronaut for the day!
Art museums have great areas for kids to explore and express themselves! Best of all, Art museums are constantly rotating their exhibits so you can go several times a year and see new things!
What exhibits are they displaying? Check their calendars for the entire year’s exhibits to better plan your visit! Whose works will be displayed that you can learn more about?
Does your Art museum offer educational classes to homeschoolers?
What music, dance, or theater themed sites can you find?
Research these in your state for museums, theater tours or shows you can see!
Community centers and community theaters are great places to experience plays and if you’re lucky, you might find they are doing a play about someone historically significant!
Zoos are the obvious choice!
Does your zoo have an educational department with classes for kids? Do they offer homeschool discounts or even free tour days?
Look into safari parks or rescue centers.
Places that kids love to visit over and over again.
Early learning museums or hands on museums. Science museums
Does your state have amusement parks? You’d be surprised at what you educational information you can apply just by visiting an amusement park for the day! Physics, Art, or maybe just a day to make memories can be found having fun riding rides!
What does your State produce?
Maybe your state has a “product” such as the Coca-Cola museum Chocolate Museum, Potato Chip Museum or something that your child love to eat or do.
Example: favorite drink, food item, farm or barn!
Alabama has ice cream factories, candy makers, drinks manufacturers, potato chip makers, cookie factory, animal farms with petting zoos and horse barns with horses to wash brush and ride! Just to name a few!!!
Other than the horse barn, all have great tours for families and offer food samples or to go packages! Kids love these field trips!
What quirky places does your state have to visit?
Is there anything in the Geniuses Book of Records?
Does your state have that weird “thing” that attracts people?
What cool site, festival or yearly event does your state host?
Tennessee has a Medieval Renaissance Festival for the month of May with jousting! If you are studying that time period, it’s hard to find places to go, things to do and people to see unless you get creative!
When your state doesn’t offer the “theme” or place to go, thing to do or people to see the you need in your lesson of study, is there a near by state that does?
‘If so maybe you can have a “van school” too!
You may find like us that many museums in your state have partners in other states or “sister” programs.
Gas the van, pack some snacks and plan a homeschool field trip across your State!
forget Him knot!