Field Trips

Exploring the neighborhood.

No, we are not visiting the ocean, nor have we been swimming in its warm waters.  We are stuck at home, sorting pictures on our desktop that have long needed to be organized.  Pictures of the ocean, from a trip we took some time ago. It will have to do.

Hawaii, 2019

We have taken some awesome field trips this school year.  That's not happening during the stay-at-home order, so those trips feel extra special now.  


In September, we revisited one of our family's favorites, the Out'N'About Treehouse Treesort, in southern Oregon.  This place is magical and one of the most peaceful places I've ever stayed.  It's pastoral.  Imaginative.  It defies time and space.  This was a return visit for us, and we might just go every year.  I think humans feel at home in trees, (or at least I do,) and I am beginning to feel like this place is another home for us.   

[C] and [A] climbed the apple tree at the swimming hole.  The apples were ripe and delicious.

[G] joined in a game that continued throughout the weekend: send the apples down the stream and catch them as they float by.

The management has made a game of naming all the structures with tree puns.  We thought of some pretty good ones ourselves.  This outhouse has the best reading material, and it was usually a lot closer than the bathroom in our treehouse.  

This was our treehouse this year: Magistree.   It's one of the highest.  

This is the view from our balcony.  We're pretty high up there.  In a tree.  Which is alive.  

I told you it had a bathroom.  And a shower.  This is not your father's camping trip.  

The rest of the interior looks like this.  Queen bed...


Dining room (or school table--this was a school field trip after all, and we studied a little too)....

...up the stairs to the loft

...where we would tuck the kids in to bed and read stories and feel the wind sway our house in the treetops.

This place has the most amazing creaky bridges.  

I love this one, because of the way it's built around the oak tree's branches.

We spend most of our time just swinging on ropes and tires...

Or watching dappled sunlight...

Or trying out new recipes in the communal kitchens, sharing them with new friends, or sitting by the campfire.  

[A] tried the zipline for the first time.  It took some guts.  

The weather was perfect for afternoons at the swimming hole.  Update:  [C] is correcting my memory; the water was freezing.  (But worth it.)

I love this place.  I hope it stays around for a long, long time.  

Next year, our treehouse has room for more.  Maybe you will join us.

Field Trips
Our Curriculum

Our field trips are interdisciplinary, and it's often difficult to differentiate between these and family excursions.  Because of this, we "do school" on the weekends, but we also have recreational outings during school hours.  My schedule sets aside at least about two hours week for a field trip, although I would venture to say we spend much more time than this field-tripping.  We often coordinate our field trips with other homeschool families to build friendships.  Playdates at the park are common.  Any destination is a possibility, since we can always find a way to make our outings educational.  

We love zoos, nature centers, and gardens.


Memphis Zoo

Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha Nebraska

Some random nature center ... I can't remember where.

Memphis Botanic Garden

Memphis Botanic Gardens, TN

Cheyenne Botanic Gardens

Memphis Botanic Gardens

Cheyenne Botanic Gardens

Thanksgiving Point, UT

The Secret Garden, Thanksgiving Point, UT

We invested in a museum pass offering reciprocity to other museums, and went all over the country stopping by as many science museums as we liked.  You can also find reciprocity memberships for zoos, children's museums, and botanic gardens.  

A Science museum somewhere in the Midwest. 

 We love historical museums, too.  Especially living history museums.  

In New Mexico, maybe Pecos?

Shiloh National Military Park, TN

Casey Jones Museum, TN

Stones laid by the Confederate army during the Battle of Memphis?

This was a bit of natural history we stumbled upon during a hike:

[A.] has a special fondness for WWI airplanes so an airshow made for a really fun field trip:

I don't want this post to be misleadingly overwhelming.  These pictures cover the last two years, two years where we traveled a lot to hunt for jobs, and two years where we didn't have a pregnancy or an infant to complicate getting out.  I'm enjoying being portable, but it isn't always this easy.  And it isn't always necessary.  I'm often the one who needs to get out, to do something different.  Having an impromptu field trip gives us license to cancel our regularly-scheduled school agenda.  We aren't trying to squeeze it in ... rather it acts as a substitute.  "This counts for math today," I'll announce on the way home from a walk where the dominant conversation was geometry.  
So please don't think we have enough energy to do it all.  We only need enough energy to get out as much as we need.

Many of our field trips are simply picnics:

Nesbit Park, TN

An al fresco day of book-work at the park

Sometimes we venture only to the mailbox, and sometimes we drive the length of the country: 

Southern CA (Okay, in this case, we only drove the width of the country.  Almost.)

 A favorite art museum had some lovely gardens in which to play: 

Dixon Art Gallery, TN

Dixon Art Gallery

Yes, grocery stores do make great field trips, but farmer's markets are more fun ...
Hiking is my way to multitask art, physical exercise, snacktime, and science.

Silver Lake, Utah

Timpanogos Cave, UT (Only 3 miles, but the kids' hardest hike yet and the one by which all other's are measured.)

Farewell Bend Park, Bend, OR

Bend, OR

Bend, OR

Sometimes our field trips are just stopping by the road somewhere, searching for early signs of Autumn.

Did you know there's a movement call Disneyschooling?  This field trip counted as a school day, and my class actively participated in the lessons.  

This was a homeschool swimming field trip (Twin Lakes, OR).  The water was warm enough that day to get neck-deep.  

We keep our ears open for community events, such as festivals or shows that can enrich our schooling.

The Nature Festival, Bend, OR 
Tanning a deer hide to make a buckskin shirt?  I'd call that educational.  Think of all the great literature we can conceptualize now ...

Nature Festival

Children learn a lot from going places and seeing things.  We enjoy "doing school" this way.   It broadens our world, and in turn we bring what we have learned at home, out into it.    

(See the lizard?)


Popular Posts