I’ve been contemplating putting together a few field trips for my local group. At first I was excited about it. Remember when we were kids and got to go to the zoo or the post office? But then I thought maybe it wasn’t a good idea because I did remember going and it wasn’t very fun. We just had to stand there and listen to what the docent or worker was telling us. And then they asked if we had questions and I was too shy to ask in front of all those people. Maybe it would be better if homeschooling families just assumed everything was a field trip. Going to the post office for stamps? Kids wonder where the mail goes? Ask! Grocery store? Lot’s of stuff to explore there. We can go to the zoo all day and stay the whole time in front of the zebras watching and asking questions. If we can’t find a docent, my smart phone may have the answer.
Our family has taken advantage of group discounts with other homeschoolers many times over the years. Whale watching on a weekday morning, the zoo, the science center’s new exhibit and IMAX movie, lots of stuff that we might not have done otherwise, we have done because someone has organized a group trip. Many of them have been amazing experiences.
But what about the little field trips like when we were in elementary school? The post office, the pizza place, the grocery store, etc. Could we somehow do these kinds of group activities in a way that would benefit us? I think we can! I was talking to a local pizza shop owner the other day and asked about doing a homeschool field trip. He asked what we would want to know. I mean, any of us can make a pizza, right? He could show us how they do it with their big oven. Then I thought of something. What might our kids want to know? Why did they decide to open a pizza place? What kind of experience did they have? Did they go to college? Was it hard to do? Our older kids might ask questions that us parents might ask. Did they have to take out a loan to start up? Have they started a business before? Bottom line for me would be “What’s your personal story? Why are you here doing this?” He was excited about that! And we’re totally booking the tour.
What other places can we explore? How about the Chinese Restaurant, the health food store, the rock climbing adventure place, the little book store, the local realtor, or the sheriff’s office? All these little places in our town have interesting people and stories. We want to know about them. And I bet we’ll be doing a little homeschooling outreach as well. Some of these people probably don’t know any homeschoolers and I bet they’d be pretty impressed to meet our crazy bunch of kids. I can’t wait to get started!