Field Trips
Who says homeschooling has to happen at home? Most homeschoolers will tell you that they spend almost as much time out of the house as in it. Field trips are learning opportunties that offer fun ways to make every life experience a learning experience. You'll also find tips and strategies for planning, managing, and attending field trips with your homeschool support group.
Resources
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a 2,180-mile footpath along the ridgecrests and across the major valleys of the Appalachian Mountains from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in northern Georgia. It traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, it was built by private citizens and completed in 1937. The trail traverses Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.
Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-watching, Shore Walking

With Jim Arnosky as your guide, an ordinary hike becomes an eye-opening experience. He'll help you spot a hawk soaring far overhead and note the details of a dragonfly up close. Study the black-and-white drawings -- based on his own field research -- and you'll discover if those tracks in the brush were made by a deer or a fox.

In his celebrated style, this author, artist, and naturalist enthusiastically shares a wealth of tips. Jim Arnosky wants you to enjoy watching wildlife. He carefully explains how field marks, shapes, and location give clues for identifying certain plants and animals wherever you are. He gives hints for sharpening observational skills. And he encourages you to draw and record birds, insects, shells, animal tracks, and other finds from a busy day's watch.

Community Field Trips in Connecticut
CiCi's Pizza Field Trips
CiCi's Pizza offers Lunch & Learn Field Trips for school groups. This is a hands-on workshop at CiCi's designed by teachers to help kids develop basic math skills. Students use pizza ingredients and other related items to solve problems, and in the process make and enjoy their very own pizza! They offer beginner, intermediate and advanced math level curricula.
Factory Tours in Connecticut
Cornwall Bridge Pottery
Cornwall Bridge Pottery is the country's most prolific producer of woodfired pots for everyday use. They have been producing high quality, lamps, planters, plates, mugs and bowls since 1974. When you visit, you will see the 35 foot long woodfired tube kiln based on a design that dates back to 10th century China. Watch the potters as they work at the wheel producing the variety of wares that fill this kiln. This workshop is the only location where seconds are available for purchase.
Stonington Vineyards
Stonington Vineyards is open to the public seven days a week. A visit can be fun and educational for the whole family. You may picnic in the vineyards, you bring the food and picnic blanket and they'll supply the wine chilled. Stroll in the vineyards and see the seasonal changes in the grape growing process. This vineyard is a real hands-on experience of a working farm winery.
Chamard Vineyard
Located in Clinton, the Chamard Vineyard tour takes you through the winery for an informative look at the wine making process. After the tour, you'll be treated to a complimentary tasting of Chamard wines in the tasting room overlooking the vineyards. This tour is free and is offered year-round.
Zoos & Wildlife
Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo
Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport is Connecticut's only zoo. Situated on 52 lush acres of Beardsley Park in North Bridgeport, on the Trumbull-Stratford line, the Zoo features More than 300 animals representing approximately 125 primarily North and South American species. Zoo highlights include several endangered species, a South American rainforest exhibit, walk-through prairie dog exhibit, New England farmyard, a Victorian greenhouse, and a carousel Museum.
Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration
Located in Mystic, the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration offers exhibits and interactive programs to bring you up close and personal with all kinds of amazing creatures great and small… sharks and whales, seals and sea lions, exotic frogs and playful penguins, and much more.
Field Trip Tips & Guidelines
Organizing Homeschool Field Trips for Groups
Organizing group field trips is becoming a highly desired activity in homeschool support groups and co-ops. Not only do they offer social interaction but learning experiences as well. But without good planning, a field trip can end up being just a glorified play date. Home education time is limited, especially with the increasing number of extra curricular options for homeschoolers. Parents are becoming more selective of outside activities and attendance on group trips will fall off if participants aren’t seeing an educational benefit in addition to social time. This e-book will describe how to plan and host a great group field trip that will leave the participants anxious for more and perhaps even take a turn at planning themselves.
A Field Trip Should Not Be a Free-For-All
A reminder of the importance of teaching children respect and proper behavior when out enjoying field trips.
Field Trip Report Form
This handy printable form lets your child record a written record of your field trip visit.
Field Trips in a Large Family
There are lots of things to love about a large family, but being agile and moving about quickly isn’t really one of them. Learning in action and experiencing something first hand is one of the best things about homeschooling. It’s often what really sets apart our education from that of a traditional brick and mortar school. It is worth it to make the effort for field trips, though it doesn’t necessarily make them any easier!
Field Trip Guidelines
Some helpful guidelines from Home School Legal Defense Association. The guidelines could easily be adapted as a list for members of a homeschool group. There is also a helpful checklist for field trip planners.
5 Steps to a Successful Field Trip
Summer is a great time for field trips. Your schedule may be a bit more flexible, making it the perfect time to head out and explore! Field trips are an excellent way to enhance the learning done during the previous school year and inspire future learning. Planning and enjoying a field trip for a group or for your own family is easy. Here is a list of ideas to make the most of every experience.
The Ultimate Guide to Field Trips for Homeschoolers
Field trips don’t have to be elaborate or cost of ton of money to be both fun and educational. Some of the best “field trips” are a nature walk and park lunch with friends. Especially when your children are young, keep them simple. Nature walks, zoos, and local places like the bakery, pizzeria, greenhouse, post office, police station, fire station, coffee shop, you name it you can tour it!
Field Trip Planning Form
Helpful form for getting organized when planning field trips. Free and printable.
10 Tips for Finding and Planning Homeschool Field Trips
While it may be easy to understand the value in visiting the aquarium, history museums and other great field trips, a good field trip can provide much more than interesting facts and new discoveries. Field trips don’t have to be complicated or expensive in order to be effective. These ten tips will help make your planning go smoothly.
Field Trips 101
Field trips can inspire your child to study a topic, give him further insights into his current studies, or provide closure to a completed unit. Is there somewhere you’d like to take your children to reinforce a topic this year? Or just want to visit because it would enrich their lives? If you let your support group (or even just a few other families) know that you are planning to go and they are welcome to tag along (think: group rate)—voila! You’re planning a field trip!
Featured Resources

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