We are gearing up for another year of homeschool, and I am just so giddy to settle in to a new rhythm with my kiddos. This year I moved our learning area to our basement where we’ll have more room to create and play, and I’m wrapping up loose ends with wooden puzzles & other pre-K toys, interesting books for three different grades, and inspiring wall decor / plants.
The curriculum we use is from My Father’s World which works off a 4-day schedule. This has worked great for us as. Prior to the pandemic, we often had a morning social event one day a week. I leaned into the flexibility to be involved in larger social gatherings and still complete all of our learning. Now, we are thinking about things a bit differently. We are playing outside a whole lot more (awesome) and we are even more aware of the amount of screen time we allow (also, awesome).
Below are 10 “field trips” you can enjoy throughout the school year. Even if you don’t have students at home, any of these ideas would be refreshing for a solo trip. I’ve also included a few questions for your kids to ask for some of the field trip ideas. I love encouraging good conversations!
If you are near the Detroit area, I’ve included the city, otherwise a quick Google search will help you find something in your hometown. If distance to your destination seems a little far, plan to make it a day trip and pack a lunch / snacks / water, download an audiobook for the drive, and buckle up!
Pandemic or not, let the adventures (safely) continue on! :)
- POST OFFICE:
Schedule a tour of the facility and learn how the mail is sorted, loaded, and delivered to your door. Ask about the different delivery vehicles, why are some mailboxes on the house and others at the curb, and how exactly does the mail travel via airplane?
Some questions to ask: who reloads the ATM machines? Why does a person need a bank account? What kind of unusual coins or bills do you have at this branch? How quickly can your counting machine count money? What happens to worn-out coins or torn dollar bills?
Questions to consider asking: do you enjoy working in such a quiet space? How are books organized? How many books do you have at this branch? What is your favorite category to read, and why? How is your children’s department special? How does the library help the community? Which book category is borrowed from the most?
- NATURE TRAILS:
Douglas Evans Nature Preserve, Beverly Hills
Red Oaks Nature Center, Madison Heights
Cranbrook House & Gardens, Bloomfield Hills
Quickstad Park, Royal Oak
Robinwood Park, Troy
Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve, Southfield
Rouge Gateway Trailhead, Dearborn
Belle Isle, Detroit
Blue Heron Lagoon Trail, Detroit
- ART MUSEUM:
Detroit Institute of Arts
- BOTANICAL GARDEN:
Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, Detroit
Grandpa’s Tiny Farm, Frankenmuth
Heritage Park Petting Farm, Taylor
Hess-Hathaway Farm Park, Waterford
SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium, Auburn Hills
Royal Tropical Fish and Bird Haven, Royal Oak
Lou’s Pet Shop, Grosse Pointe Woods
- SCIENCE CENTER:
Michigan Science Center, Wayne State University, Detroit
Charles H. Wright, Detroit
Henry Ford, Dearborn
Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, Grosse Pointe Shores
PS. In case you’re wondering, here’s an updated preview of our homeschool space. I added vertical strips of 1/2″ black masking tape to the wall, this is called “dashing”. I bought the bookshelf on the right from Marketplace, along with four vintage wooden school chairs, and I smooshed two adjustable-height tables together to make a large workspace for my kiddos. Not shown, but will soon, are two large vintage posters and a new wall calendar for the year.
What kind of adventures will you take your homeschoolers on this year? What are some of your favorite places to visit as a family? Do you have any suggestions that are not on my list?