Ahhh….the field trip. Undoubtedly one of the most fun parts of being a kid in school. I remember how my friends and I looked forward to field trips. Planning where we would sit on the bus, what we were going to see, what we would have for lunch. Often, I could hardly sleep the night before the trip!! I had some great field trips growing up, and they are probably one of the biggest parts of my school career that I remember.
One of the beautiful things about homeschooling is that you can take many many field trips to all kinds of places. We have gone on trips with our homeschool group and just as a family that we would not have been able to do otherwise. From local trips to nature and science centers, to bigger trips to theme parks and other attractions, we have had a lot of fun.
However, our trips are generally limited to what is within easy driving distance of our home. There are places I would love to see that just aren’t a close drive away. And many people may live in areas where there aren’t a lot of places to visit nearby. Fear not, if you have a computer with internet access, or can get to one at your local library, it is still possible to take field trips right from the comfort of your living room! In fact, this week’s Crew Round Up is all about virtual field trips.
For starters, check out the Smithsonian Institution’s virtual exhibits. There are literally hundreds you can look at. From topics like history, pop culture, famous people, and ancient civilizations, you can find a virtual exhibit to suit everyone. Tie them to your history studies, or plan a unit study around one of the virtual exhibits. My boys actually go on the page from time to time just to check out stuff on their own. While a trip to Washington D.C. to see the museums in person is on our family wish list, it isn’t going to happen anytime soon. The virtual exhibits allow my kids to experience some cool things from our living room.
Tramline offers numerous trips for kids of all ages, complete with teacher’s notes. You can visit various ecosystems like the Columbia River, salt marshes, and a temperate forest biome. You can also take a trip to learn about Shakespeare, the Natural Wonders, or America. Field trips are broken up by recommended grade levels.
If you are studying the Arctic, check out this trip from Polar Husky. This is great for kids of all ages.
For elementary age students, take a virtual trip around the world with Scholastic’s Global Trek. This is a great resource if you are studying geography.
Like the Smithsonian, the Louvre also offers virtual tours of its exhibits.
If you are looking for a virtual tour to tie in with your literature studies, check out Google’s Lit Trips. They take the characters from well-known literature and map out their movements using Google Earth. At various locations along the journey, there are links to many media sources that relate to the book.
Finally, Nasa offers a great free virtual field trip that works well for older students. Explore Mars and learn about areas of Earth that are analog sites for the red planet.
For those who want to see exciting places and things, but are not able to travel far and wide, the internet is full of rich experiences that are free or low cost! Happy traveling!
If you know of any other cool virtual trips to take, let me know in the comments! Feel free to share this post. To see what other members of the crew have to share about virtual field trips, click here: