Kids in public school have field trips, and there’s no reason why homeschooled kids shouldn’t have them too! Middle school students are hard to please, but field trips are a fun way to get out of the classroom, or out of the house in this case, and experience a bit of the real world.
Even things that don’t seem terribly educational on the surface serve a role in teaching kids about the world. The end of the year picnic for your homeschool group is just as appropriate a field trip as a trip to the science center, because it gives homeschooled kids a chance to engage their peers in social situations and have some fun.
Ideally, a field trip isn’t just a break from the daily grind of schoolwork, but it gives kids a chance to learn even more from real-life experiences. Trips to an art museum, for example, don’t just teach about art. Kids also learn what a museum looks like and feels like, and they learn about the expected behavior in art museums, like not touching the artwork! Many museums don’t allow photography of their art or exhibits, and it’s important to explain these things to kids. These are lessons that could never be learned just from a book. It’s about learning some culture and learning how to behave properly in different situations.
Field trips are also helpful to add depth to subjects covered in school. Learning about steam locomotives is great in the classroom, but seeing one in person at the local museum, or even taking a ride on one, is even better. Learning about the behavior of bees in colonies is interesting from a book, but fascinating to kids who are learning the art of beekeeping from a real beekeeper.
Field trips like this help to round out the incomplete parts of a homeschool curriculum, and turn students in to real people. So get the kids out of the house and let them reap the benefits of learning through real-life experiences.