I wrote yesterday about my intent to homeschool my boys for awhile using the Oak Meadow Curriculum. Good news — today that is still the plan.
With all my uncertainty and wavering on the decision to educate my boys myself, I have been focusing on my “Why”. Why is it, really, that I want to homeschool. Actually there are about 20 reasons – but the great big “why” is so I can shape my children’s education to be perfect for them.
And one fun way to do that is with super cool field trips.
I believe that if children experience the amazing-ness that is nature and our natural world when they are little, they will be willing and committed to protect it when they are older. So, when you look at it that way, these field trips could truly change the world.
This great big world is full of amazing and awesome experiences. I am so excited to share these things with my little ones. Not to mention how field trips really bring learning to life.
Oak Meadow’s curriculum is very conducive to real-world exploring, learning, and field trips. I have done some planning and matched up some Must-Do childhood field trips that correspond with our Oak Meadow Kindergarten Curriculum.
Here are my field trip ideas for this school year:
September: A big topic this month is insects. We will be going to different forests, marshes, and a beach to collect and compare different insects. What makes an insect suited to living in a wet area – or a dry area – or in a tree? I don’t actually know, but I am excited to find out.
October: There is a focus on weather this month. Our field trip will be to the beach! We will plan to go to the beach each season (Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring) to explore the differences during the seasons. We will also be taking lots of pictures and compiling a little “Seasons” book comparing the weather through the various Canadian seasons.
November: Since it begins to get dark early during this month, it makes sense to study night time. This month we will be learning all about stars as we visit our local observatory. Many Universities offer a family night to use the amazing high-power telescopes. Many museums also have a planetarium where little ones can experience a star show. Or simply drive to the country on a clear night and observe the stars with only your eyes.
December: During December we will be learning about Terrariums and sprouting seeds. This month we will head to a greenhouse for our field trip. This timing will be ideal as we will be starting some plants inside this month at home. We are wanting Junipers in a certain space in our yard, and we need oodles of them, so we decided (or more so out budget decided for us) that we will be starting them from seed. Hopefully the greenhouse tour will give me some tips too. And learning to grow something is an absolute MUST for little ones, isn’t it?
January: This month our Science focus will be on freezing water and ice. We will take lots of walks down to our stream to observe the changes in the water depending on the changes in the temperature. I won’t be planning a bigger field trip than that this month. I will be planning for many days snowed in this year (now that I know what to expect out here!) While we are walking to the stream we will also look for animal tracks. The snow makes finding them much easier. We will learn how animals survive the harsh winter (And with any luck, this Mama will survive it too …)
February: In music and movement this month we will be focusing on classical music. I am really excited to take my boys to the orchestra. We have never done anything like that before and I am eager to see what they think. We will plan to make lots of our own homemade musical instruments after that field trip.
March: The Oak Meadow science focus this month is clouds. We will be planning a very special field trip this month (since it is a birthday month, we will tie this trip in with a birthday celebration). We will be visiting the CN tower to be up close with the clouds. Though any super tall building near you would likely serve the same purpose. One of Ben’s favourite books is Little Cloud by Eric Carle, so I am sure this theme will be a big hit with him.
April: With spring brings the return of many birds. This month we will be visiting our local aviary to learn all about these feathery creatures. I was shocked to see how many aviaries there are all over the world – it is definitely worth a quick Google search, I bet you have one close by too. Our aviary is fantastic for children with lots to see and touch.
May: I was excited to see that there is a Science unit in Oak Meadow on bees. Bees play such an important role in our lives. My boys know quite a bit about the importance of bees, but I am eager to go to an apiary (again there are an unbelievable number of these!) to learn about what plants can help bees and what we can do as a family to protect them.
June: Our final field trip this year will be to our local humane society as an extension to learning about animal care. We will learn about the wonderful work our humane society does, about the animals in their care, and about how to help any stray or injured animal we tend to find out here where we live. I think this will be an eye opening experience for my boys. And a good chance for me to practice self-restraint and not bring home poor, lonely animals. On second thought, perhaps John will take them on this field trip.
I have said it before, but I am going to say it again. I really feel that two of the biggest things we can do for our young children are to read to them and give them time to explore and experience the amazing world all around them. Their natural curiosities will take it from there!
This post was sponsored by Oak Meadow. If you are interested in learning more about Oak Meadow and their incredible child-focused curriculum you can read all about the details over on the Oak Meadow Website. I would highly recommend them and I would love for you to join me on this journey!
Thank you for reading friends,