Friday, October 7, 2011

Learning is Everywhere…Even in Your Own Backyard

Learning is Everywhere…Even in Your Own Backyard

Author: dbuck5892
Homeschooling has many advantages. That goes without saying. There is one advantage, though, that stands far above the rest…Field Trips.
Whether you live in a large city or a rural community, you can teach concepts in a differentiated manner providing hands-on experiences for your child that he or she wouldn't necessarily participate in a traditional school setting.
Think about the everyday things you do. You go to the grocery store, you drive to the mall, you mow the grass, and you work in the garden. Each of these things, while seemingly mundane, can offer educational opportunities for you to share with your home schooled child. They will get you up and out of the house, and provide interesting, enriching educational activities.
Math can be confusing and monotonous if a child is simply tasked with drill and kill activities or must recall formulas and complete problem after problem. A simple trip to the grocery store can turn math concepts into an interesting experience. Some possible teachable moments that can be captured at the market include addition and subtraction, using coupons and advertised discounts. The concepts of budgeting, estimation, and percentages, as well as the use of calculators are abundant in one store. If you visit a "super store," the possibilities are endless! A trip to your backyard can help with the concepts of perimeter, area, angles, and measurement. Have your child measure certain plants, small trees, and the amount of time it takes to run around the perimeter several times (a bonus is the physical activity here!).
Science is everywhere. Trips to your backyard, to the local park, to national parks are invaluable for demonstrating concepts such as life cycles, erosion, fossilization, botany, and nature in general. If you are lucky enough to live in Utah or Nevada, the rock formations and canyons serve as a natural classroom. Living next to the ocean or a lake opens up entirely new worlds. Go CAMPNG for the weekend. You'll be amazed at the teachable moments you stumble across. Trips as simple as visiting a bakery, a nursery, an amusement park, or going on a hike provide opportunities to learn about a plethora of science concepts.
Social Studies/History is all around us. If you live near historical monuments or landmarks (which most of us do), a trip to one is an invaluable way to reinforce what your child has been learning. Taking your child to a nursing home to read to older folks not only gives them a sense of community, but opens up dialogue about the past. Your child can learn mapping skills by walking around the block, can learn the workings of other cultures buy attending a festival, and can learn about government with a trip to a local government office. Forget memorizing dates and boring facts…let your child experience the learning!
Language Arts might seem like a tough one to figure out field trips for. Not so. Have your child attend book signings and talk with the author, visit a ghost town and have him or her write a creative story about what the history of that town might be. Keep a "field trip" journal and have your child write before, during, and after the trip.
These are just a few ideas for your homeschooler. Don't let them limit you, let them open your mind to see new opportunities. Almost every trip you go on can provide valuable learning experiences in all subjects.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/homeschooling-articles/learning-is-everywhereeven-in-your-own-backyard-5281310.html
About the Author
If you are looking into more information on homeschooling or would like to know about some great homeschool conventions visit www.greathomeschoolconventions.com

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