Wednesday, January 22, 2014

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials- Places

A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place. Part of the appeal to homeschool (for me anyway) is the flexibility and freedom it affords. We have room to have a school room, but the reality is that our wide open floor plan on the main floor is where we usually end up. The laptops rotate from kitchen peninsula to living room to dining room table. School books are stored in bins and a huge desk; math is done at the table, science while flopped over a chair, grammar on the couch together; you get the idea. As soon as the weather hits anywhere above freezing, you'll find my kids memorizing timeline cards on the tramp or reading in the play loft, in the great outdoors, riding bikes and taking long rambles.
In addition to around the house we've homeschooled in a hotel (swim school, anyone), on the road, and at the library. Really the world is our classroom, and we make the most of it. Not to discount books and equipment (read more about that tomorrow), we've gathered supplies, resources, ideas and experiences as we go.

In the past we've traveled extensively along with making a few cross-country moves and each place has its own unique culture and opportunities. I'm the original findcoolthingsforyourkidstodo and some of the obvious places to look are:

Parks- national, state and city; We've walked lava beds and discovered ammonites at the Caprock in NM, watched baby octopii swim in the Tide Pools of Leo Carrillo, looked at the burial mounds at state parks in the times.
Museums -gotta love 'em.
Science centers- our Girl Scout troop had a week-end overnight at COSI in Cincy every year. Still my fav science museum eveah, but Monterrey takes a very, very close second.
Aquariums - MA, NM and TN- we've visited them all over the country and every one is unique.

Living history re-enactments -Plymouth and DeSmet are my two personal favs.
Farms and Fairs -our local county fair is a Mon-Thurs deal every year, billed as "The Best 5 Days of Summer" - yes, it is.

Sports events-- our friends made an ice-skating rink in their back-yard, which is small potatoes compared to some of the big events at amazing arenas. We also have an amazing Outdoor Center that has several cool opportunities for the kids, and local homeschoolers go ballroom dancing, play ultimate Frisbee and volleyball several times a month.
Library events -we have seen some fabulous dramatic performances and puppet shows at libraries
Performing Arts Centers - We've seen the Nutcracker perform across the country.
Book store events -signing and other fun stuff.
Field trips- hospitals, factories -our fav to date was a tour of the Fire Truck Factory
Art shows/Music festivals - we have a couple of local ones every year- nothing like a yearly sunburn from a musical festival at the end of every summer, right?
Camps- Drama and Shakespeare are yearly go-tos for us. Great stuff.
Clubs and Organized Groups- over the past couple of decades we've participated in Boy and Girl Scouts, Awanas, Lego League and more. Our kids have camped at Philmont, skied, and sat in helicopters, and memorized hundreds of Scripture verses because of some of these programs.
 Homeschool Class Days, Co-ops and Park-Days -art, chorale, science, geography, physical science and chemistry are just some of the great classes we've taken because of the generosity of the homeschooling community. Can't find a group that fits what you are looking for? Start one.
Don't overlook the obvious in your own town. Our city has an amazing sculpture walk, with amazing sculptures all over the city.

Where do you find amazing places to hang out at? Parents and city magazines and newsletters, local FB and homeschool groups, the Sunday paper's "events" pages, friends and other homeschool moms.

Where you homeschool is more than just scheduling a field trip or two, it's about creating a lifestyle of learning, where you engage and interact with the world around you, embracing the place.

It's so much easier to trail blaze with a tribe. Please visit my tribe of wild and wonderful Crewbies and read what they have to read about Homeschooling Essentials:

Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Victoria @ Homemaking with Heart
Kayla @ The Arrowood Zoo
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Deanna @ His Treasure Seekers
Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool
Beth @ Ozark Ramblings
Rebecca @ Raventhreads

In truth, there are 89 of us writing all week long about Homeschooling Essentials. The complete list is here!
@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!


Beth Hollmann said...

I have a confession: I hate museums. Hate them. I know I need to get over it, but they drive me crazy.

We have a great park near where I live with hiking trails that is perfect for nature study. They even publish their own list of birds to look for there. We need to go soon, as the wildflowers will start blooming before we know it and I want to be able to see where they will come up. Last year we went in January and found some wild ginger.

I have been taking the kids to see Shakespeare with the other family we do our mini-co-op with. That has been so much fun!

TC Harris said...

I LOVE finding new places to take our kids to broaden our homeschooling experience. I love ideas for new places to go.

Kayla Arrowood said...

Couldn't agree more!! Homeschooling happens for us everywhere!! Places high and low and near and far!! LOVE HOMESCHOOLING!