A local homeschool group is a wonderful resource and thanks to the internet and especially Facebook, getting in touch with other homeschoolers is easier than ever! But what about groups in adjacent areas? Where we live there are a limited amount of field trips available just because there isn’t much out here unless you like rock climbing, hiking, and off road riding. So I belong to some other groups outside my immediate neighborhood that are specifically set up to create field trips and let people know about events that might be of interest to homeschoolers.
A two hour drive is about all I’ll do for a day trip (not for weekly or daily thing), so I set my radius at about 120 miles. For something really special though, I’ll drive three hours! I looked at the map and started searching for homeschool groups in cities and counties inside my circle. I have been able to tag along on lots of field trips that I would never had known about if I hadn’t been a part of that group.
Here is a list of some that I’ve found for our area. Of course, your driving tolerances will be different than mine, so think about that and create your own circle of influence!
San Diego Homeschool Field Trips
This may sound far, but going the back way down the 15 freeway really has very little traffic and it takes about two and a half hours to get from the desert to downtown San Diego.
Inland Empire Homeschoolers
Great stuff is posted here and usually with an hour an a half from home.
SoCal Field Trips
All kinds of events posted from all over the southland, just be sure to look at the start times for events! You don’t want to say you’ll be there on time at 8am for an event that is three hours away. Traffic in Riverside and going into LA can be a bear!
They can also be found on the web at the SoCal Field Trips Website.
There is a Meetup group called Riverside Area Homeschoolers. This one has a small membership fee but they plan wonderful group trips.
Last but not least is SoCal Roving. It is also a Meetup group but has no fees unless you sign up for an event. I have found them well organized and easy to contact.
Once last thing I wanted to mention. When I first started signing up for homeschool field trips online, I was worried about sending money to a stranger. Most of the events are paid through PayPal accounts and you are emailing a stranger money. The beauty of the Meetup and Facebook groups is that there may be a scammer among us once in awhile but people catch on to them pretty quick and spread the word. Look at how many members are in the group or how long the group has been around for reassurance. You can also google the name of the poster or group organizing and see if there is any negative feedback floating around the web. Anyone that jumps on a group, posts a field trip, asks for money, and then flakes on everyone usually gets talked about and won’t be able to do it again. Personally, I find this an amazing advancement!
Field trips are one of the BEST parts about home education! There is nothing like living in the world to learn about it. Zoos, aquariums, amusement parks, shows, etc. It’s all there! Go have some fun!