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Winter Field Trips for Homeschoolers

by Jessica Parnell | Jan 31, 2017 | 3 min read

As the song goes, “Baby, it’s cold outside!”
My family always comes down with a sickness in the winter. No, it’s not the flu. It’s cabin fever, and no one gets hit harder than this homeschool mama!
While I’m often tempted to stay in my jammies and put on the Discovery channel every afternoon during this season, I know that’s not going to cure what ails us. We need to get out, explore, and shake off our winter blues. Are you looking for ways to reinvigorate your homeschooling in the winter? Look no further! Here are our suggestions for the best winter field trips and outings to cure any case of cabin fever in homeschoolers!

8 Great Winter Field Trips and Activities for Homeschoolers

  1.  Go on nature walks. It may be cold outside, but if you bundle up and get outdoors, you can learn a lot about winter animals, plants and habitats by studying winter birds or animals that hibernate.
  2. Snow sports. If you live in an area that gets snow, take advantage of it by spending one day each week enjoying winter sports on the slopes with skiing or snowboarding. Try your hand at ice skating, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Take some time before or after to do a lesson on that pursuit.
  3. Visit your local museums. Because most other students are in school during the winter months, homeschoolers can take advantage of low patron traffic—and even lower ticket prices—at museums for fun winter field trips. Practically every museum has a website or an educator on staff to help you map out exhibits and activities. You can check out the options and plan the trip before you go with a lesson plan to get everyone excited about what you’ll discover there. Be sure to call in advance to find out when school trips are planned so that you can avoid the crowds. Check out the cool website for the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.!
  4. Learn about winter farming at a local farm or greenhouse. We all think about visiting farms during spring, summer and fall when it’s planting or picking seasons. Guess what? Farmers are busy throughout the year. Visit a local farm or greenhouse to find out what they do during the winter months.
  5. Join a gym or the YMCA. The winter blues and doldrums are often caused by a lack of vitamin D. Both exercise and more time outdoors in the sunlight are medically proven to make us happier, healthier and chase away the blues. Join a gym or begin taking classes at your local Y. Winter is an especially good time to teach little ones how to swim so they are ready for summer.
  6. Visit the post office, a local factory or other local business. We utilize many services and businesses, but don’t fully understand them. Take your homeschoolers on a fun winter field trip to a local business and learn just how it works and how things are made.
  7. Visit local pottery and crafts shops, and then try your hand. Winter is a great time to engage in artistic pursuits. Visit a local potter or painter and then try to emulate their craft.
  8. Go on vacation. Let’s face it, sometimes the best way to beat cabin fever is to get out of the cabin and go on a fun trip! Visit family, take an educational road trip, or finally make it to Disney. Winter is a great time to take a vacation. Winter rates are usually cheaper, there’s  generally less congestion traveling, and destinations like beaches and amusement parks have smaller crowds.

Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean your homeschool routine has to be as bleak as the weather. Spruce up your homeschooling days and family time with these winter field trip ideas for homeschoolers. You may just find that winter becomes one of your favorite seasons!
No matter which winter field trips you choose, remember to create some writing assignments or journals to use for your homeschool portfolio!  These are perfect experiences to document your time and learning.
What are your favorite winter field trips? Tell us in a comment below!

Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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