One of the things we love about homeschooling is the field trips. We belong to two homeschool groups, and we have been pretty active with field trips so far this year. Living on the coast of Florida, we have a lot of trips we can take that relate to the unique ecosystems we have here. One of our trips was to the Barrier Island Sanctuary near Sebastian Inlet. On this trip, we got to tour the sanctuary on both the ocean and river sides. We actually walked through five different zones on our trip.
The sanctuary is home to tons of wildlife, crabs, manatees, dolphins, spiders, and dozens of butterflies. During the tour the kids were given a sheet that included all the species of butterflies they might see, and were asked to keep track of how many there were. We saw about seven different kinds, and they were beautiful. We also got to take home a “souvenir”. One of the programs sponsored by the sanctuary is a mangrove growing project. Mangroves are very important to the river ecosystem where we live. Each child was given a mangrove to take home in a jar. The idea is to grow the mangrove until it begins to sprout roots. We then return it to the sanctuary and they will put in the river. Ours are sitting in the kitchen window, and the boys named them Steve and Dave!
We also took a trip to my hubby’s fire station. Unlike most fire station field trips, this one was focused more on students in 7th grade and up. Of course, we looked at the trucks. But we also talked about careers in firefighting and the kinds of training and education it takes to become a firefighter.
Many of the kids were interested in the medical side of things and learning about what paramedics do.
Our most recent field trip was to the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, located on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology, which is centered in Melbourne. The museum features rotating exhibits of international collections of textiles. Now, I was not sure how interested my boys were going to find this particular trip but, the museum docent had a cool scavenger hunt planned for the kids that they really enjoyed, and we saw some very cool stuff!
Each item had information about the country it came from, (many of which I had never heard of) and we went home and looked them all up. I am thinking we are going to return to the museum when they update their exhibits and use them as a starting point for a geography lesson. FIT also has a botanical garden on the premises, and we took a walk through there after visiting the museum.
We have some other cool trips coming up in the next few months, a farm (where my youngest is begging me to let him get a fertilized chicken egg), ice skating, and maybe a theme park. What cool field trips have you done so far this year? Let me know in the comments!