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The Top Homeschool Virtual Field Trips

by Jessica Parnell | Oct 13, 2017 | 3 min read

I don’t believe there are two words that bring more excitement to students of any age than “field trip.” Is there anything more fun than grabbing a brown bag lunch, hopping in the car, and going to experience, discover, and take part in what you’re learning? Nope, nothing. From museums to farms to nature centers, homeschool field trips open the world in ways books cannot. But we can’t go on field trips every day because we’d never accomplish the homeschooling tasks that keep us on track. Or can we? You may be surprised to find that you can experience rich and exciting homeschool field trips without leaving home. In this post, we’re giving you some inspiration to find and explore the top homeschool virtual field trips that will entice, engage, and excite learners of all ages (including you!).

Getting Out While Staying In

All good homeschool field trips should have certain qualities in common. They should be fun and educational, and engage in real-world activities or knowledge related to concepts your family is studying (even loosely related is fine). So, how can you have fun, explore concepts more deeply, provide real-world understanding, and have fun while you’re at home? Homeschool virtual field trips come in many different forms, from virtual museum tours to video conferences with scientists to pre-recorded shots of volcanic eruptions. The key is to start with the topic you’re interested in and search from there. Virtual field trips are so much more than online experiences — they bring facts to life, putting your learners in the heart of the concept and allowing them to experience more than they could imagine.
Stay with me as we explore the world of online virtual homeschool field trips. All that’s required is an Internet connection, a working tablet, phone, or computer, and an inquiring mind!

The Best Homeschool Virtual Field Trips

  1. Museums are often a go-to for homeschool field trips. But what if you really want to visit a museum that’s just nowhere near you, like the one at the Great Wall of China? Enter virtual homeschool field trips to museums all over the world! From art to nature to the military, many museums have opened themselves to bright minds virtually. Unsure of where to start? Check out the museums here, here, and here.(HISTORICAL SITE/GUN/ETC IMAGE)
  2. Historical sites are another amazing way to experience the past in your homeschool field trips. We can’t fully understand a culture, event, or person without using our imagination to get “into their skin,” so to speak. What better way to do that than at a museum where exhibits bring the past to life? Travel to the Smithsonian, Mt. Vernon, and even Colonial Williamsburg without ever leaving your couch. Talk about living history!Around the World in 80 Days Cover
  3. Google Lit Trips make characters jump off the page and into the real-life setting of a story as it exists on Earth today. According to Google, “Lit Trips are downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth.” You’ll travel along with the story’s characters within the setting and be prompted to better understand characters through content pop-ups that relate to the story, history, background, author, culture, themes, and more! These files are free, but do require a registration.
  4. Discovery Education Virtual Field Trips are specifically designed to be used in the classroom by teachers and students just like you! Best yet, many are free! Studying earth science? Go behind the scenes at an active copper mine. Journeying through geography? Spend time visiting Kilimanjaro. Topics are grouped by grade level or subject and range from visits to the National Archives and space with NASA, to conversations with the president of the United States, to getting down on the farm with dairy cows. Check out the upcoming or archived virtual field trips from Discovery to find one that fits into your homeschool curriculum and studies today!

Put excitement and participation back into your lessons with homeschool virtual field trips. Your learners will be more eager to learn and homeschool when you make connections to the real world and engage them through experiential learning.  Stay in and explore with these homeschool virtual field trips and bring the world into your home for all to see, savor, and discover.
Have you taken a homeschool virtual field trip? 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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