It may seem difficult at first to plan unique homeschool field trips for multiple ages. Some homeschool groups determine that separate field trips are best. That can be one solution, but most families have multiple ages of children and want their kids to learn together.
Simple Field Trip Scheduling Trick
A sanity-saving tip is to try to aim for a middle school age when planning field trips. The field trips are enriching enough so that older teens don’t feel they are too babyish and younger kids can still be engaged.
These 10 unique homeschool field trips for multi-age children will help you to keep your kids learning together and keep field trips stress-free.
One/ Visit the local courthouse.
Many people who work for the local county are willing to give you a tour of the local district or county clerk’s office along with a view of the courtroom when they know you’re an educational group.
My boys and I got to sit in for a civil legal matter court case with the permission of the bailiff. A criminal case may be more exciting, but you may not necessarily want your children to observe that case or the judge may not allow it.
Learning about the law should be exciting and observing a civil case was enough to pique my boys’ interest.
Two/ Tour the Federal Reserve Bank.
Leave it up to me to call the FBI and ask them for a field trip to visit our local FBI office. They don’t allow that, but recommended that we tour the Federal Reserve Bank. This was a great alternative to the FBI building but I would have never known unless I had made a call.
Before we entered the bank building that housed literally billions of dollars, we were required to have a major security check and pat down, which all the kids got excited about.
Learning about how money is made, marked and circulated was more captivating than reading about economics in a book and our kids will never forget that unique field trip.
Three/ Visit a local community airport.
We lived near a small community airport and I learned that besides having a 1950s diner at the airport to eat lunch at, they also gave us a tour of the hanger and would give a free airplane ride.
This was a memorable field trip though not all the kids took them up on their offer for a free ride. But the older kids did and we had two high school boys that were interested in being pilots.
Four/ Observe a history reenactment.
Approximately an hour from where we lived, there was an American Civil War Reenactment along with a fashion show from that time period. There were tents with crafts and period toys. They had something displayed for all ages and for both boys and girls.
We could bring our lunch, purchase fresh lemonade, watch live engagements and learn about the past.
Five/ Pick strawberries or visit a berry patch.
Would you believe me if I told you that picking strawberries is one field trip that my boys, who are now finished homeschooling remember as one of the memorable ones? Maybe they looked forward to this because it was our first field trip outdoors when the weather had changed to beautiful spring time.
Local merchants just couldn’t wait for us to show up each spring as our kids brought baskets to pick strawberries. In the morning, we took our time deciding which strawberries looked more plump to pick and in the afternoon ate our packed lunch and spent the rest of the day visiting with each other.
After we got home, we froze our collection and baked strawberry shortcakes.
Six/ Find your way out of a corn maize.
During the fall is a great time to visit a local corn maize. We divided the kids into three teams and gave a map to each group. All the ages had to work together to read clues and find their way out of the maze.
We have visited several maizes through the years, but if you call ahead you can ask them if they put on a local agriculture class.
We had a 30 minute workshop with photos and hands-on items to teach our kids how corn grows. It’s a great substitute for a 4-H class.
Seven/ Tour a local TV station.
At another place we lived, a local TV station welcomed our kids and their questions. And we came prepared with a lot of them. The kids learned about everything from weather to how commercials are made.
Eight/ Book a class at the local aquarium.
It’s one thing to visit an aquarium, which is fun, but it’s quite another to have a class about coral reefs or other marine animals.
Save Your Sanity When Planning Field Trips
I took the time to call ahead and book a class for only our group. The class was lead by a professional and it was interactive. The teacher had brought many hands-on things to hold and see while learning about coral reefs.
Nine/ Wild animal sanctuary nearby.
Only by asking through the local chamber of commerce did I find out of the ordinary places to visit.
I learned that a local church sponsored a wolf sanctuary near by.
The wolf field trip was taught by a professional wolf handler. And seeing massive and beautiful animals up close makes this field trip one that sticks in our kids’ mind.
Ten/ Learn period dances.
This field trip was a bit harder for the teen boys in our group to get excited about, but after they came and started dancing, it was hard to get them to stop.
Hiring local professionals is key so that nobody feels awkward.
We hired local square dance groups and local groups that taught period dances from the medieval period.
Coming in costume helped too and it was a way to learn about a time period where everybody could get up and move instead of sitting and being lectured to.
A wonderful side benefit was that all the kids were tired afterward.
Sometimes it’s hard to plan field trips for all ages because certain field trips may seem geared toward a certain ages, but we are not homeschooling to make it easy on us. Encouraging our kids to learn together not only fosters sibling togetherness, but it teaches kids tolerance in dealing with different ages. That is a real life skill.
What field trips have you taken that work best for multiple ages?