TGIF: Take a Family Field Trip

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My parents were both teachers. So, basically that meant that all of life was “educational.” We, my four siblings and I, were their guinea pigs for teaching techniques, projects, and yes, even tests. I think Dad even paid us to take his tests to see that they were effective.

We had lots of educational vacations: visits to Mount Rushmore and to art museums are two that stand out. I don’t think I knew at the time how rich in experiences our childhood was. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

Now I have the privelege of exposing my kids to the same kinds of things. Since FishPapa and I have taken on the responsibility of educating our children at home, family field trips really fit into the pattern of our life. So far in 2009, we’ve made several trips to see local landmarks. They also happen to fit our history study for the year which makes our reading that much more meaningful.

The FishFam on a recent visit to Mission San Luis Rey.

Studying the Missions is a rite of passage for all California children. So how fun that we live within comfortable driving distance of the mission that I studied for my 4th grade report. I convinced one of the FishBoys to write his report on it so that we could go see it as well.

This FishBoy chose Cabrillo as his explorer to study, so we visited Cabrillo National Monument.

Whether you home school, public school, or private school, taking a family field trip is a fine way to reinforce what your children are learning and to make it come alive for them. It doesn’t have to be a historical landmark that you visit. It could be a sporting event, the zoo, the botanical gardens, a science/history/art museum, a local nature center, an aquarium — the options are just endless.

It’s great family fun — and it’s “educational.”

What great field trip have you taken with your children? Share it in the comments.

(Check out Amy’s place for more fine things.)

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  1. I love the CA missions! I have always wanted to take a family vacation and go up the coast hitting all of the missions (yes, this would be a long car ride) but I think it would be so much fun. My kids are too young now, but eventually, I plan to do this. I went to college in Santa Barbara, so I’m a bit biased, but I do think it is one of the most beautiful missions!

  2. I was looking all over in that picture for fishbaby, then I noticed one of your big brothers had her. How sweet!

  3. We live outside of Washington, DC so the field trip possibilities are endless. We just took one to Mount Vernon and my husband took the older two to the Museum of Natural History. So much to do – so little time!

  4. We’ve gone a few field trips but the one that stands out was to George Washington Carver’s monument in Missouri. We had read up on him and then just going and seeing all that he did and where he lived was amazing!! 😀

  5. Giggling over the pic with your sisters. Did the three of you have some sass or what?! 😉

  6. TSM, I agree. Santa Barbara has the most beautiful setting of the missions I’ve seen – I think I’ve visited five of them.

    Yes, my sisters and I were a handful, I’m sure. In that photo we were imitating some blue jean commercial. Can’t remember which one — but they probably can. We did lots of reinacting – Charlie’s Angels, Wonder Woman, etc.

  7. Hee hee- san luis ray was the mission project I alluded to in my comment about your t-bird post. Lets just say I didnt do it justice. 🙂

  8. forgot to say our field trip this month will be the san diego zoo. My sister got the whole family tickets for christmas and I am so excited to use them. Hopefully the weather stays nice. 🙂

  9. I couldn’t agree with you more! Take adantage of the resources you have around you!. When I was a kid we didn’t go anywhere, unless my Grandmother took us(she lived over 2600 mile away!) I was always very envious of the kids who had gone to zoo’s, museums, and landmarks. I try with my own kiddos to get them out as much as possible. Last summer to Mt. Rushmore, we go to the zoo often as well the Natural History Museum. I think I might have inspired my parents – they took the older 2 kids to Chicago last fall and visited many fun and educational places. My kids know so much more than I ever did at their ages and in this instance its a good thing!

  10. Since you are in the San Diego area, I am going to suggest that you check out Balboa Park if you have not already done so. The museums are free on Tuesdays on a rotating basis. Our favorite right now is the Reuben H. Fleet Science Museum, Air and Space Museum, and the Model Railroad museum.

  11. Shannon, thanks for the suggestions. I’ve heard of that. Just need to get some Tuesdays off for hubs.

  12. We actually drove from Vancouver to Seattle .. haha .. about a 2 1/2 hour drive. We went to the Seattle Zoo. What a great day we had!!