Easily boost learning at home with virtual field trips. These online learning experiences provide you with outstanding opportunities to make learning exciting and fun.
Get tips and tricks for making the most of these special learning time. Plus, get your FREE Virtual Field Trip Notes & Planning Page!
Boost Learning at Home with Virtual Field Trips
Field trips are such an awesome way to add learning fun to your homeschool. But, field trips can be difficult for many homeschoolers. Do you have experience with any of these homeschool field trip struggles?
- Multiple ages & stages
- Special needs
- Distance (too far to drive)
- Location (specific museum, site, or organization is nowhere near you!)
It can be a bummer when you really want to boost your homeschool with field trips but are dealing with any or all of these struggles!
Fortunately, you have the wonderful option of virtual field trips. Yes! Fist bump for positive use of technology!
Virtual field trips allow you to use video or live streaming to experience the benefits of a field trip in your home.
No driving. No packing snacks and lunches. No extra cost for souvenirs. And you can even wear your pajamas!
Virtual field trips are this homeschool mom's dream come true!
Excellent Resource for Virtual Field Trips
My boys and I have been using Field Trip Zoom for several months. We've learned so much through the interactive, live presentations. Topics have ranged from American Presidents to National Bat Appreciation Day. Professionals present on topics that they're passionate about and eager to share their expertise with others.
Field Trip Zoom is super simple to use. You scroll through the Zone Calendar to determine what virtual field trips are coming up and you would like to sign up for. There is a "Getting Started With FieldTripZoom" video to teach you how to navigate, schedule, and watch.
When you find a virtual field trip that you would like to attend, you click on the title and come to a page like this:
You're provided with a description of the event, suggested grade levels, length, categories, date(s), and time(s). You click on " to schedule". A reminder email is immediately sent to your inbox, as well as a day prior to the event.
Many of these events are interactive. At the end of the presentation, your kids may have the opportunity to engage in a Q&A. My boys look forward to this time and I find it helps them pay better attention to the presenter!
With five boys who have busy schedules, I appreciate the ease of booking these events. It's helpful to have the suggested ages/grades so I can plan to have my younger boys do a separate activity, if necessary. Most of all, I love the price 🙂
My frugal homeschool mama heart skipped a beat when I discovered that the Homeschooler Membership is $49.95 for the year. That cost covers 10 months of programming with unlimited events for all ages. That's $4.99 a month. You can give it a try for free for two weeks to see if it's right for your homeschool.
Last time I checked, family membership to our "local" (50 minutes away) museum is $150 (and that's only for 2 parents + 4 kids). I'm saving on gas, food, and my sanity. Priceless.
Plus, the variety of topics are just phenomenal! Here are just a few:
- Bullying Prevention & Tolerance
- Civil War
- World Wars
- Christmas Traditions Across Europe
- Black History Month
- Engineering Science
- College & Career Readiness
One of our absolute favorite virtual field trips was with Ken Nesbitt and his presentation on Poetry for Kids. My boys still talk about this event! Mr. Nesbitt was engaging and funny as he drew my boys into the world of poetry. We even got to make suggestions about what words to use for a poem created with the viewers!
Virtual field trips via Field Trip Zoom have been one of the best learning fun activities that we have added to our homeschool ever!
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Virtual Field Trips
Your homeschool time is precious. There are only so many hours in one day and you want to make sure that you are wisely using your time. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your virtual field trips:
1. Set clear rules & expectations
If your kids are like mine, they'll get excited about participating in a field trip at home. Prevent chaos by setting clear rules and expectations that work for your family. These rules should be about acceptable behaviors while viewing and interacting with the presenter.
My younger boys are allowed to have a stuffed animal friend watch with them. They may whisper their observations so others are not disturbed. Of course, I have to give a reminder to all of my boys to respect others' space and keep body parts to self.
2. Be prepared
Use the Virtual Field Trip Planning pages to help you be prepared. Print out supplemental worksheets provided by some of the presenters. Have your viewing area clear of extraneous items. Set aside about 15 minutes prior to the start of the virtual field trip to make sure that everyone has used the bathroom and completed other necessary tasks.
3. Stream Your Virtual Field Trip on a Wide-Screen Computer Monitor, Laptop, or T.V.
You'll be able to see more details and allow everyone to be more comfortable with a larger viewing area, if possible.
A tablet can work fine for one or two viewers. If you have more kids, you'll be glad that you took the time to stream on a larger device!
4. Take Notes & Have a Discussion
When the virtual field trip is complete, don't stop there! Keep the conversation going. Ask your kids for their feedback.
Go around in a circle and have everyone share a favorite detail. Have your kids give the virtual field trip a rating out of 5 stars and keep a chart to record responses for all virtual field trips. Use the Virtual Field Trip Notes worksheet to have your kids record these responses (and place in homeschool portfolios or memory books!)
5. Jump Down a Rabbit Hole
If time permits, continue to explore the concepts presented in the virtual field trip. Do a Google search. Head to the library and check out books on the topic. Encourage your kids to work on a project related to the subject.
6. Consider Your Ages & Stages
Some kids can handle multiple field trips at home in one day. Others may benefit from one virtual field trip a week. You know your kids best so plan accordingly.
Free Printable Virtual Field Trips Notes & Planning Page
To help get the most out of homeschool virtual field trips, I created these printable Virtual Field Trip Notes and Planning Page. As you book your events, it can be extremely helpful to record the date, time, title, and if the presentation uses worksheets. My motto is homeschool fun happens best when you plan for it.
The Virtual Field Trip Notes can be used by your kids or yourself. These notes are fantastic records to add to homeschool portfolios!
Get your free printable Virtual Field Trip Notes & Planning Page by subscribing to Rock Your Homeschool. You'll receive access to all RYHS freebies plus weekly email updates. Click HERE or on the image below to get started!
How can virtual field trips help you add learning fun to your homeschool?