Field Trips/Travel . . . How can we create meaningful, educational experiences?
Bringing a Field Trip
By Jennifer L. Padgett,
As homeschoolers, we have a myriad of field trip possibili- ties and the flexibility to be worldtravelersif we so desire,
but how can we create meaningful, educational experiences? Is there a way to
guarantee that our children are learning
and retaining valuable information during these excursions? Taking the time to
educate your children prior to field trips,
as well as completing some follow-up
activities, will definitely enhance their
This past fall, we took a tour of Henry
Wadsworth Longfellow’s home in Port-
land, Maine. I was really excited about
it because we had been doing a thematic
study about Maine all semester long and
felt that learning more about this his-
torical poet, who spent much of his life
in Maine, would complement our unit.
However, the challenge was how to pro-
vide a meaningful experience for my
sons, who are three years apart in age.
My goal was for them to relate informa-
tion learned on the field trip to the Maine
history unit we had been studying, and to
realize Longfellow’s link in recording life
in the United States at that time.
Before the Field Trip
One of the easiest ways to inspire a stu-
dent’s interest is by reading related chil-
dren’s books. There seems to be a book
out there for just about any historical
event! Therefore, we read the follow-
ing children’s books: The Midnight Ride
of Paul Revere written by Longfellow
awatha, also by Longfellow, with pictures
by Susan Jeffers. Both books were “child
friendly,” with detailed biographies and
historical information about why these
epic poems had been written.