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View Full Version : What's the most extreme travel/field tripping you've done for homeschooling?



farrarwilliams
07-10-2012, 11:34 AM
Okay, the board is slow, so I'm trying another poll. Have I mentioned that I enjoy polls? ;)

JinxieFox
07-10-2012, 02:02 PM
Hm, do you enjoy polls, Farrar?

Let's see, since we have lived overseas (2 different countries for me, 3 for my son) over the past 3 years, I chose "local spots". We really don't have a need to take long field trips far away because, hey, everything around us is new! Here in England, we've visited the Butterfly & Wildlife Park in King's Lynn (about 45 minutes from us), Bury St. Edmunds where we can see Abbey Gardens, and the Mildenhall Warren Lodge (very local).

In Korea, we explored Buraksan Park and most of Pyongtaek, including a place that did military re-enactments and made rice dough (so tasty).

We are considering spending a few nights at Legoland Windsor in London... That's more than an hour away and totally counts as an educational field trip, right? ;)

MarkInMD
07-10-2012, 02:04 PM
Pretty much just daytrips, but we're looking to change that.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
07-10-2012, 02:31 PM
We stay local, but Boston has so many things to see that we never lack field trip opportunities. I'd love to take the kids to NYC and DC some day.

lynne
07-10-2012, 02:32 PM
I picked daytrips too, but we're planning to visit more out of state places since they are getting older. We're tying in a trip to Gettysburg soon with a visit to family in PA.

Pawz4me
07-10-2012, 02:33 PM
We have an RV, so I voted "road tripping for weeks on end" although that may be a bit of an exaggeration. Our longest trip so far was only 17 nights. But we've managed to cover many of the major attractions between Key West and Nova Scotia.

LuvMyPink83
07-10-2012, 02:51 PM
I'd love for us to get out more but we simply can't right now. But they do play outside daily with ps kids in the neighorhood even when it's cold. But when we do get out more, it'll be mostly local with the ocassional trip to visit family in the same state.

I voted for the grocery store!
;)

farrarwilliams
07-10-2012, 03:11 PM
Dh and I love to travel in general and I feel like "hey, it's also homeschooling!" is now the excuse. So that was Africa. Hard to say it was really because of homeschooling, but we tried to take full advantage of the educational value. We haven't road tripped for days on end, but we have camped with our co-op and for science before and taken trips to see things mostly for homeschool reasons. Often we just dovetail things though. We just got back from seeing my mom, but part of the reason we went now was so we could take BalletBoy to see part of the American Dance Festival. We're studying the 19th century right now, so we did a plantation and some civil war stuff on the way down and back.

But I respect that some people are homebodies too. I do actually think the grocery store is educational. Also, The Price is Right. Because it's important to know how much stuff costs.

AmyButler
07-10-2012, 03:22 PM
I'm not sure what to answer! We always look for educational stuff when we are traveling, but that was even before we homeschooled. My older daughter complained about us dragging her around battlefields until she actually studied them in school and found out that she was the authority in the class. When we lived in VA, we spent a lot of time at Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, and Yorktown Battlefield, because it was fun and we enjoyed it. I did take the little one out of school twice to go to Disney, and had her make journals of the trip, do the passports in Epcot and Animal Kingdom, and work on Girl Scout badges, so yeah, even Disney turns into an educational trip for us...I haven't got a chance to take her overseas yet, but I want to go back to England with her (I only had 5 days in London myself). How about "Life is a Field Trip?"

dragonfly
07-10-2012, 03:32 PM
Does Bronycon count as educational? :) I suppose the Cross Bronx Expressway in 100 degree heat was educational, but not in a good way.

Mostly we stick pretty close to home. An hour or two is generally the most I'm willing to travel.

Sherry
07-10-2012, 04:10 PM
Most of our field trips are within 2 hours of home. Few are closer than 30 minutes, 45 minutes to an hour would be average.

We try to take a couple of long weekends each year and also include a few fun/educational activities in our an annual visit to out-of-state relatives. Those are things we'd do even if we weren't homeschooling. This year's vacation highlight - the boys will be seeing an ocean for the first time.

MamaB2C
07-10-2012, 04:37 PM
I kinda go backwards. I always, without fail heavily incorporate education into any and all travel and always have, but the main purpose of the traveling is not education ever really.

dbmamaz
07-10-2012, 04:52 PM
Most of our field trips are also within 30 minutes, but when we went to my mom's last week, we planned field trips while we were there. thats about it, tho. serious homebody.

Magnolia School
07-10-2012, 04:56 PM
We travel as much as we can manage. So far it's been weekend trips and also trips around the country to see family. Wherever we are, I try to find one or two things at to go see. We're also learning how to car camp, and the better we get at it, I think the more trips we'll take. It's cheep and it's fun, especially if there is a warm shower around.:smile: When the kids were smaller the sheer volume of stuff required kept us more at home, but my kids are 9 and 11 now and so we are taking advantage of their increased mobility and interests to get out and about. I'd still love to take them on a trip across the U.S. and also to Europe. Some day we'll get there. I traveled a lot myself as a kid and I don't think I really appreciated or even remembered many things from my trips until I was in my teens, so we'll try to do it at a time when it'll really stick.

jess
07-10-2012, 05:16 PM
I chose "I think I once took my kids to the grocery store..." because it was funny, but we have done some actual field trips. Day trips so far, or stuff where it's hard to say whether it's a "field trip" or just a family trip. Soon we're going to be getting into stuff in history for which there are more local/semi-local historical sites, so we'll probably do some more then. Historical sites that I want us to visit may also decide the route we take on family vacations, even if they aren't the primary goal of the trip.

Cafdog
07-10-2012, 05:25 PM
I'm embarrassed to admit, we've been very light on the field trips. Now trips for sports, that's a different thing. We drive 150 miles round trip (in Bay Area traffic) 3 times a week for classes, and travel more than an hour away every six weeks for regional tournaments. We just got back from driving down to Anaheim so DD could compete at the US Fencing Nationals. My less than 90-days-old car has 5200+ miles on it already. I must confess that on our off-sports days...I don't even want to look at the damn car! ;)

farrarwilliams
07-10-2012, 06:13 PM
I think trips for sports should count. That's in the name of education, albeit athletic education.

Stella M
07-10-2012, 06:17 PM
We don't travel really.

One, we are too poor, and two, it's $$$ to get to anywhere from here.

Also, I don't like field trips...they are stressy.

We do a lot of cultural-type field trips locally, seeing as we are 10 min out of the city.

But yeah, mainly it's poverty. I have actually counted the grocery store as an excursion once.

naturegirl7
07-10-2012, 06:33 PM
Mostly local and daytrips around home or while we are visiting family in other states.

But we did take a trip to Mexico last year. It was not for educational purposes, but it was very very educational. I think cuz we are just that kind of family - we don't like theme parks really. We like outdoorsy and cultural stuff instead.
DS helped plan the vacation, which meant reading vacation guides and looking at various travel/cultural websites. And he picked out lots of cool stuff like 3 different mayan and ruins, cenotes, caverns, and snorkeling. We did studies beforehand about the coral reef and all the things we may see while snorkeling. We had been learning about mayans for ancient history anyways and learning some Mayan math in an attempt to make math more fun. While at Chichen Itza and waiting for them to reopen for the laser light show, we hit the gift shop. He picked out 2 amazing books about Mayan history, culture, art, and religion - all on his own.

naturegirl7
07-10-2012, 06:41 PM
And we regularly take educational trips to the grocery store. It is nutrition, budgeting, and math. Oh and socialization! :)

ginnyjf
07-10-2012, 07:04 PM
Borderline health keeps me at home, so I count a trip to the library or our history museum as a field trip. Luckily, Russ is willing and able to take Zack out of state and they have a man vacation every year. It's less about education and more about eating and hanging out and being gross, but male bonding is important too. *adds to homeschool planner under "social studies" and "life skills."*

KristinK
07-10-2012, 09:06 PM
Ginny that totally counts as "life skills" :D

I voted for the camping/overnights, but they're never really planned for homeschooling purposes. Really I think ANY trip is educational, whether or not it has been planned as such. Everytime we camp, the kids learn something new, even if it's just how to catch a fish or how to dig a shitter in the woods, LOL. None of our trips so far have been purposely for SCHOOL, but our goal (once the kids are a bit older) is to do some excursions further into Canada so the kids can learn the geography of our country first-hand. I have always wanted to do that, and rather regret that I never did it pre-kids/post-schooling. So we really want to do it as a family, if DH can ever manage to get that much time off work!!

MrsLOLcat
07-10-2012, 09:48 PM
We've done day trips, and when we've been on trips for other purposes (to visit friends out of state), I've pointed out bits and pieces. We stayed in a hotel in Jefferson City, Mo., once, and then passed through Hannibal on our way to friends in Illinois; we went on a ride on a steam train in Pennsylvania when we visited DH's dad; things like that. I would LOVE to just get in the car and drive for days and visit places far and wide, but until I have the cash flow and time to rent an RV, it's not gonna happen. Maybe I need to mooch my dad's fifth wheel ;) (Yeah, right... he'd NEVER let me drive it.)

farrarwilliams
07-10-2012, 10:59 PM
I find it hard to parse most things like this too. I mean, all travel is educational. And I like to travel and would no matter what. I just thought it was maybe an interesting question.

ScienceGeek
07-11-2012, 01:54 AM
My dh travels a lot for work so he racks up the frequent flier miles which we've started using for international trips. We'v taken the boys to Japan twice - very educational! and last year we did London and Edinburgh - tons of history and museums. This fall we'l be going to Japan again - we live near San Francisco so its about the same travel time as to Europe - and the boys and I started learning Japanese in preparation for the trip. Everyone always ask why we keep going back to Japan.... we love it, its soooo different in almost every way and the people there are so amazing polite and nice. If we're standing in a train station looking confused it only takes a few seconds for someone to ask if we need help. Once I had a woman take me by the hand and lead me to the right train and then she came and found me when it was time to get off and switch trains!
We also do day trips, lots of local museums in the bay area, though I hate going into San Francisco. Just did a weekend to Monterey Bay - Aquarium and lots of walking around the coast looking at sea anemones, otters and other critters. And we try to go camping at least once a year - I grew up camping in the Adirondack's every summer so its just not summer without camping.

Grocery store....I try NOT to take my boys there, drive me nuts in the store, always sneaking pudding in the cart. ;)

Paula
07-11-2012, 09:25 AM
My first post didn't seem to make it, so let me try and answer this again.

My answer doesn't exactly fit in any of the choices. We're fans of field trips, whether it's recreational, vocational, vacational (yes, I'm makin' that a word), or a trip to the store. It's all educational.

Here's what we do/have done:

When my little guy was preschool age, I chose an "Apex Destination" (Disneyland) and segmented it into smaller units based on the "lands" (e.g, Adventureland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, etc.) Each month we would study that particular "land" and take mini-field trips locally. For example, after we did Tomorrowland (the universe, stars, planets, etc.), we visited the Discovery Museum in Sacramento.

We have another Disneyland trip planned for October so we've been jumping around with different themes. We just started Bug's Land (aka entomology, a perfect summertime unit!), and today we are going to a nearby entomology museum.

Choosing an apex destination and breaking it into chunks works for us because it: gives us something to look forward to and work toward and allows us to study units within one great theme (we did the same thing for The Academy of Sciences in San Francisco).

So the short answer: big future trip segmented into local trips. :)

Is that silly?

farrarwilliams
07-11-2012, 11:18 AM
For my family, the extreme homeschool experience is when we are parked in one place for weeks on end :p

We have been saving up for a trip to Nepal next year. We are going to try to trek to the top of Kala Patthar, and then spend a few weeks in Kunde hanging out with the local kids, and hopefully visit the Hillary School and the Magic Yeti Library. We'll spend a week or so in Kathmandu at the tail end of the trip. This is definitely intended to be an educational/homeschool trip -- my wife would never go for it if it wasn't.

Is there a medal? Clearly Rick wins. :) That's so cool!

Cafdog
07-11-2012, 01:06 PM
I think trips for sports should count. That's in the name of education, albeit athletic education.

Bless you. :heart: That makes me feel so much better. I have felt very guilty about not making more time for museums, etc. When you live out in the middle of nowhere - EVERYTHING is a long, slow, commute. Just can't face it most of the time.

Cafdog
07-11-2012, 01:14 PM
When my little guy was preschool age, I chose an "Apex Destination" (Disneyland) and segmented it into smaller units based on the "lands" (e.g, Adventureland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, etc.) Each month we would study that particular "land" and take mini-field trips locally. For example, after we did Tomorrowland (the universe, stars, planets, etc.), we visited the Discovery Museum in Sacramento.

We have another Disneyland trip planned for October so we've been jumping around with different themes. We just started Bug's Land (aka entomology, a perfect summertime unit!), and today we are going to a nearby entomology museum.

Choosing an apex destination and breaking it into chunks works for us because it: gives us something to look forward to and work toward and allows us to study units within one great theme (we did the same thing for The Academy of Sciences in San Francisco).

Is that silly?


As a Disney fanatic, I say no. ;) BTW - I can't believe I only just recently learned about the Disney Youth Education Series. They are mainly planned for large, local, field trips, but there are "individual enrollment" opportunities, as well. They have lessons on physics (and how they relate to roller coaster design), animation, etc. They run year-round, and are not just tied to the "Homeschool Days" in October. My DD is really geeked to participate in the physics course.

Sadly, we went to DisneyWorld back in February, so our Disney budget is blown for this year. Will have to wait for 2013!

CatInTheSun
07-11-2012, 01:17 PM
Jr Park Ranger programs are AWESOME. We've got quite an array of badges.

AmyButler
07-11-2012, 01:38 PM
We are going again in April of 2013. I am going to look into signing my daughter up for a class while we are there. Since an adult has to accompany the child, I know we are going to be arguing over who gets to go with her. It will probably depend on what course she takes. Her sister will fight for the physics (I will let her win that one over me, but her Dad will give her a good fight), I will fight for anything at Animal Kingdom (but my older daughter will give me a good fight), and her Dad will just want to do whatever he possibly can behind the scenes! What I am trying to figure out right now is if the tickets through the military or the tickets through the education program are going to be cheaper. All I know for sure at this point is we are staying at Pop and getting the dining plan.

ourjourney
07-11-2012, 02:31 PM
We do lots of local field trips - most within an hour or two from home, a couple of multi-day trips within the US per year, and occasionally when finances allow, an international trip. This year we are excited to be traveling to Shanghai, China. I rarely sit down and decide how I am going to make a particular trip educational. It just seems to always turn out that way. I mean, how can you really explore the world and not learn anything in the process? For a few trips though I have had us study a particular culture, country, ceremony, or historical event before we hit the road so that we have the background knowledge to appreciate a place to its fullest.

MamaB2C
07-12-2012, 04:22 PM
Paula, I think that's brilliant and I am stealing it.

Paula
07-12-2012, 06:37 PM
Paula, I think that's brilliant and I am stealing it.

Haha, no need to steal. I will gladly share. :)

Tillmalo
07-12-2012, 07:28 PM
We try to do some kind of local field trip about once a month but that doesn't always happen. It's funny, when we first started homeschooling last year I was so excited about the exploring we could do with all our "free" time. then reality set in....the days just flew by faster than I imagined. Daily chores, appointments, and school work easily filled our time. My little guy has a high functioning autism diagnosis, so the suggestion of visiting new places can bring on a lot of anxiety. I usually try to pick excursions that fit his current interest.
Last year, he was obsessed with the Presidents, so we traveled to DC for President's weekend and it just so happened to be homeschool week at Colonial Williamsburg. We had a great time!!

Penguin
07-13-2012, 01:17 AM
We don't do much usually. There's not that much on our island, and going to Seattle is a whole day affair. But this fall we're going to N. Ireland to visit my family for a month, and we'll fit all sorts of things into that time. The Titanic Exhibition and lots of other museums. We're going to spend the last week in England -- 3 days in London, 2 days at Legoland Windsor, and 1 day in Bath. DS1 is really into Roman history and we'll be starting ancient history with DS2 this year, so visiting the baths will be awesome. Going to start doing some more reading about London and British history for the next few weeks!

mseward
07-28-2012, 11:02 AM
We're adding West Africa to our vision board for next year! We need to visit Goree Island to see where slave ships docked and loaded-up before heading to he Caribbean and U.S.