Planning for a Field Trip

The planning you need to do for both types of field trips is similar, but there are a few minor differences.

  1. If you are visiting a supported site, determine who the coordinator for your trip will be. This person will be very important to you as you plan the trip and during the field trip itself. If you will be managing the field trip on your own, locate any resources about the destination that will help you plan your trip, such as a Web site or information pamphlets.

  2. Determine the logistics of the field trip, such as the date, start time, end time, and so on. If you are going to receive support from the site you are visiting, the start and end time will likely be defined by your trip coordinator at the site. There might be only certain windows of opportunity you have or there might be special programs or days you will want to take advantage of.

    Some destinations require that you have tickets or only have a certain number of "slots" available on any given day. Others will allow field trips only on certain days or for special events. These types of limitations will often be the driving factor when you plan the logistics of a field trip.

    When you visit a destination that will provide formal support for your field trip, one important question you need to ask is if there are group sizes that you need to consider. Sometimes, you need a group of at least a certain number to take advantage of special opportunities. In other situations, you can only take advantage of such opportunities with groups less than a certain size. This information will be very important if you intend to invite others to participate in your field trip.

  3. Plan the itinerary for your field trip, which should include a general schedule of events. Also, think about key learning opportunities that you want to stress.

  4. If you need to purchase tickets or make reservations for the field trip, do so. (This step depends on how many people will be attending, so you need to decide if you will be inviting others on your field trip before you can do it.)

  5. Create a document that includes all the information you have collected about your field trip. This will be useful enough for yourself, but if you have involved other homeschoolers in your field trip, this document becomes an essential means for communicating important information to them.

  6. Decide how much, if any, preparation you want to do for the field trip. For example, if it doesn't closely relate to upcoming lessons that you have planned, you might want to include some special lessons to prepare students for the field trip. If there are books or other information relating to the destination, have your students start reading that material well before the field trip date. (Web sites are usually very good sources of information about field trip destinations.)

  7. If you are going to want your students to complete some work as a result of the field trip, such as a report or worksheets, prepare the work that you are going to want them to do.

More on: Homeschooling

Reproduced from Absolute Beginner's Guide to Homeschooling, by Brad Miser, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing. Please visit to order your own copy.


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