Fun, Frugal Field Trips
I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things about homeschooling is the opportunity for so many awesome field trips! However, as a one-income family with five (soon to be six) people, paying for some of those trips can really be a stretch. Zoo memberships, cave explorations, and much more, sound like so much fun, but sometimes they are just out of our price range. So, what’s a family to do? Should we just resign ourselves to the mundane? Absolutely not! I’m here to say that there are excellent opportunities to be had for a small price tag.
First of all, one of the best field trips for kids is definitely a day in the fields (or woods, perhaps). If you’re like me and live in the country, it may be just a step out the back door for an excellent adventure. However, many times you don’t have access like that or simply get tired of trudging over the same old places. Most people have access to beautiful hiking trails within driving distance of their homes. All it usually costs is the gas to get there, and perhaps a picnic lunch. While there, you can explore trees, wildlife, native plants and flowers, streams, and much more. A bonus is that you get your P.E. for the day, too!
One of our favorite things to do is go to local state parks. Often, most things are free there and many offer special programs designed just for homeschoolers! Our state parks often have nature centers that showcase the local plant and animal life, along with local history. Many state parks have Homeschool Days or Months, and offer special classes (many times for free) with a naturalist.
We were excited to visit a state park, about 100 miles away, this fall. It had a train museum (which the boys loved), a natural spring and dam, playground, fish hatchery (nearby) and walking trails. This was an awesome day of learning, set in a beautiful area relatively close to home. The boys learned history, science and had plenty of physical activity to keep them busy.
Another of our (free or frugal) favorite field trips is to go to Rendezvous in the Spring or Fall. These are usually Civil War reenactments in our area (yours may be Colonial or another type). They are almost always free events, with living history, local craftsmen and lots of exciting things for kids to explore. Last year, we went to a huge Civil War reenactment that had a battle, along with a camp set up. The reenactors were super friendly and answered any of our questions, cheerfully. The boys also got to pet their horses, eat yummy food, and their favorite part: hear the cannons explode. 😉
I hope this article encourages you to get outside and explore God’s amazing creation as part of your schooling, and that you see you can do it with very little expense!
Jenny is a wife to her amazing husband of 17 years and stay-at-home momma to 3 kids with another on the way. She blogs at https://www.inconvenientfamily.com where she is learning that blessings aren’t always convenient.