Today is Day #14 in our Travel is… series!
Here in Autismland, we say that travel is the ultimate field trip and we take a ton of them! We do a 4-day school week saving Fridays for travel to learn new things. Some weeks, we travel around the great state of Florida while some weeks we take our travels to farther locations. No matter the destination , there is always something to learn not only at the destination but in the experience of getting there as well.
Local Field Trips
We have a great book , One Tank Trips, made by our local tv station. On a Friday that we don’t have a field trip scheduled with our homeschool group , we open the book to pick a destination. I let the children take turns picking a destination each week so it’s fair. They are required to pick the destination as well as find directions to the place, pack our lunch and drinks as well as inform me if there is an entrance fee.
This teaches them how to find directions either in an atlas or through Google, how to be responsible to menu plan for the family in addition to packing it and how to make sure there are funds available for it. It is announced during dinner on Thursday night so that everyone can be prepared to go on Friday morning. We discuss at that time what attire would be, what we need to bring (nature journals, sketch books, sunglasses) as well as what to expect when we get there. This part is necessary for my child with autism who doesn’t do well with surprises. After our return home, we sketch and journal the day in our Field Trip Journals.
We are looking forward to traveling out of state every month this year. We have been to Baltimore where the children explored the military fort where Francis Scott Key penned the Star Spangled Banner, Washington D.C where we explored our nation’s capital. Atlanta to see the church where Martin Luther King Jr. preached, and finally, a Disney cruise to the Caribbean.
The children have seen these places first hand which cements the learning into their brains. Those places are now personal to them and when we hear about them in the news, they can relate to what is happening.
Field Trips When Traveling
When we travel we pick one educational place to visit while we are there. Just one. Don’t overload the kids or suck the fun out of the trip by trying to make it all educational. Your children will learn as they travel without any formal lessons. A ton of learning happens naturally .
We also take our time in transit to and from the destination in order to stop at a few places that peak our interests while we travel. You’ve seen the signs of off the road places that look intriguing. The kids like to pick one or two while we travel to check out. You never know what you will learn there.
The state welcome center on the highways is a great place to stop to take a picture of the Welcome to sign as well as get brochures for various attractions. The Florida welcome center hands out orange juice samples if you stop between 8 AM – 5 PM. You can find info on the Sweet Tea Trail at the Georgia welcome center. The Alabama one has a wonderful nature walk in the back of it. These are things we didn’t plan but found regardless because we padded our travel times to include them.
Give your children the experience of taking field trips to many places. Experiences like these will not only be treasured forever but will make learning come alive for children . It will spark an interest and curiosity for more that will serve children so well later in life.
You never know when your Ultimate Field Trip may ignite a love for something the child will carry with them the rest of their life. You will also get fond family memories for everyone. That, in itself, is worth it in the end.
Please click the image below to see the other posts in this series.
Penny Rogers is a sweet tea drinking, Jesus Loving, transplanted new Hampshire girl living in the South with her Cracker children and husband. They have pretty crazy adventures living and homeschooling in autismland. Sharing those adventures keeps her sane. Follow Penny on Facebook | Twitter| Instagram | Pinterest | Google+