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Thursday, July 2, 2015

How to Save Money on Field Trips (31 Days of Field Trips Series)

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$$$$ The price of field trips is often a discouraging factor when it comes to scheduling them into your curriculum.  Field Trips can be pricey if you aren’t careful. Today I will share some ideas of ways to cut the cost of field trips.

First and foremost is to look into FREE trips.  These can vary by location.  Nature Field Trips are typically free and can take place even in your own yard or at a near by park/reserve (if not free, they are generally inexpensive).  Geocaching is a fun, free outdoor field trip.  Letterboxing is also an option (which we have not tried).

Many Factory Tours are FREE – Factory Tours USA is a great resource for finding tours near you!  Your local grocery store may even offer a FREE program.  Ours did!

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We also toured a Cheese Factory in California for FREE!

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FREE trips DO Exist!

Virtual Field Trips are also an option (more on them to come in the series)

Lots of places are inexpensive, are free for kids 6 and under (or if your lucky 12 and under, though that typically means they aren’t really geared for children).  You just have to shop around a bit for your area.

Consider a season pass, if it’s a museum or another place you could see visiting more than twice (generally), look into a season pass, they are often a lot more affordable.

Ask about Homeschool Days, as homeschooling becomes more and more mainstream, many places are having homeschool days and discount rates to bring business to them during off season times.  The costs are typically quite a bit lower, may include parents for free, and often also include some sort of educational program.  If they don’t have Homeschool Days, ask them to consider it!

Organize a group trip for a discount rate!  (More on this in a future post)  Typically places give discount rates for larger groups.  Rally your homeschool friend together and make it a group day!

Going to a field trip further away?  Consider camping!  It’s a great learning experience as well, and a lot cheaper than hotels!

Pack lunches!  Not all places will have picnic areas, but you could look for nearby parks or other locations to enjoy a picnic lunch instead of eating out or buying from an onsite shop!

Check discount sites like Living Social, Groupon and other more LOCAL sites in your area.  A new one I just discovered that is in several areas is Certifikid.

Most families have a homeschool budget of some sort, I urge you to budget in some field trips!  Determine how much a month you can spend on trips, and then plan based on that.  This will also help determine how many trips you can take a month or semester or year, however you plan it.  You won’t regret it!

31 days of field tripsWoman lying on grass
You can also join us in our Facebook Group Homeschooling Tips for Moms

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Why Should We Take Field Trips? (31 Days of Field Trips Series)

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What are the Benefits of Field Trips?

One of the major benefits of Homeschooling is the ability to provide more hands on/real life learning.  Field Trips is one of many ways to make this happen!

Field Trips really allow children to SEE the world from a wide variety of perspectives. There are so many learning opportunities afforded children on field trips that they may not otherwise experience. 

Being in a place previously learned about engages multiple aspects of the brain.  They are engaged in activities that involve walking, talking, seeing and listening.  They are now more able to EXPERIENCE what they are learning about.  Field Trips can appeal to all types of learners, kinesthetic, visual, and auditory.

My children always walk away from a field trip with more understanding, new insights, new ideas, new interests. It’s a win, win!

Field Trips can also be a time for children to spend time with other kids.  The dreaded socialization argument is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.  But one thing I love about field trips is the fact that my kids are able to interact with a wide range of people (older and younger), many of which they have never met before.  I’ve always said that people who feel that Homeschoolers are ‘not socialized’ should attend a Homeschool Days event somewhere!  (It’s also a great way to meet other homeschool mom’s or dad’s and to learn from each other!).

I tried finding studies about field trips and their importance in learning, and while was able to find many articles that have researched and proved such, they were all in regards to classroom learning and field trips.  I am sure the benefits are much higher in those regards, and as homeschoolers many of us do not follow the typical ‘classroom learning regime’.  However, the thought also occurred to me that typically schools take 1-2 field trips a year (that’s it!) and the educational benefits were measurable….how much more measurable are the benefits in homeschooling?  Where we are able to take as many field trips as we see fit, and tailor our learning to be in step with those field trips (when we feel inspired to do so) and at the same time following the interests of our children! 

It really is an amazing opportunity to homeschool our kids, tailor their education and provide for them REAL LIFE learning and experiences!

I Don’t Have A Lot of Money to Spend on Field Trips

I know that money can sometimes be an issue when it comes to field trips, so that will be discussed more in detail during this series as well.  What kind of field trips, planning field trips, field trips near you (though, I am not able to cover every location; I will hit several states) will also be covered.

How Often Should I Take Field Trips?

This really is a personal preference.  I try to take a Field Trip once a week.  I consider a field trip day, a school day…but we also homeschool year round.  As we talk more about field trips, you will see that they don’t have to be huge expensive excursions.  They can be simple, inexpensive….and even in your own yard!  For some field trips come quite naturally, for others they have difficulty working them in. 

The purpose of this series is to help give you the tools to work field trips in as part of your curriculum.  Field Trips can cover a wide array of subjects (History, Science, PE, Art and more).  You can turn them into unit studies, use them as supplements/enhancements to core curriculum, or have them just for fun! 

The point of field trips is to have hand on, life and world experiences to further enhance learning and spark interests.  The more they see and experience, the more they will know and the wider their interests will be.

 

31 days of field tripsWoman lying on grass
You can also join us in our Facebook Group Homeschooling Tips for Moms

Monday, June 29, 2015

Poppins Book Nook–Forests for Tots (ages 18mos-3yo) Link Up and #Giveaway

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Forest Themed Board Books

Our Cozy Forest (Hook-And-Loop Pictures)
Who's in the Forest?
Baby Animals In the Forest
In the Noisy Forest (Talking Flaps)
Forest Animals (Touch & Feel (AZ Books))
Forest Animals (My First Library) This one uses REAL LIFE pictures with sounds!
The Mitten
Living Book of the Forest Another REAL LIFE picture book with sounds!
Who Lives in the Forest? (Funny Animals)
Peek-Through Forest (Little Snappers)
Lamaze Cloth Book, Peek-A-Boo Forest Cloth book for the littlest ones!

Forest Themed Toys






Forest Themed Activities

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Forest Themed Sensory Bins
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13 - 1         Pine-Needle-Discovery-Bottles

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Forest Animal Unit for Toddlers Part 1 and Part 2 has lots of cute hands on activities!
Toddler Curriculum – Forest Animals from adaycare.com
Squirrel Themed Activities
More Squirrel Themed Activities
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Some younger activities, but also older kids as well!
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Follow Jen @ Chestnut Grove Academy's board Forest on Pinterest.

Giveaway

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Enter the Woods with The Gruffalo Bundle Giveaway! Get ready for some fun in the woods with this month’s Gruffalo Bundle Giveaway! The Gruffalo is a fun children’s book set in the woods and has a very funny, yet easy to follow story. This month the Poppins Book Nook group has partnered with NCircle Entertainment to offer readers a chance to win a brand new copy of The Gruffalo storybook, The Gruffalo DVD, and the Gruffalo’s Child DVD. This month’s lucky winner will enjoy all this woods themed family storybook and DVD fun with their family compliments of NCircle Entertainment and the Poppins Book Nook cohosts.
Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company NCircle Entertainment in connection with Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the PromoSimple terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here {http://enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org/disclosures/}.  Just enter the PromoSimple below to win:


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