Field Trips and Family Activities

June 29, 2017

Hey Mama,

We’re on the convention circuit right now. We've traveled from Florida to Pennsylvania, and from Tennessee to Colorado to California. There are times when it seems like a field trip, and other times when it is a fun family activity where we can meet new friends and get reacquainted with old friends. And, of course, sometimes, it’s a zoo and I need my quiet time. (Grin.)  

Take a look at these ideas from The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine (always free to read online!):

“Bringing a Field Trip to Life”

“School in a Suitcase” 

And remember:

"For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace" (Romans 8:6 NASB*).

This life and peace spoken of above is eternal. The one controlled by the Spirit will have PEACE as well as eternal life—and that peace extends to this life, too. Peace can be ours. Now. Despite the trials, the difficulties, the problems, the sometimes "unpeaceful" encounters, we can find peace despite it all because of the Prince of Peace, because of what the Lord has done, and because of this promise—the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. Get in His Word, the Bible. That's where you'll find how to have a mind controlled by the Spirit. Mind and heart on Christ today, Mama.


*Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible® (NASB). Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by

Lisa Marie Fletcher    

Homeschooling in Canada is on the rise. According to the 2015 study from the Fraser Institute, the rate of increase in the number of homeschoolers from 2006 to 2011 was over 29%. Although accurate numbers might not be fully available since many families don't register, it's obvious that homeschooling is becoming more popular and, maybe, dare I say it, mainstream? 

New homeschoolers often have the same kinds of questions. Let's take a look at some of these. 

1. How do I start? What do I do now?

Right away, the questions begin. “How do I homeschool in Canada?”

The first thing to do when you decide to homeschool is take a deep breath. Most of the time, there is first this sense of excitement and then a sudden rush of panic when you make that decision. So take a minute and slow things down. It's ok if you don't have a plan or any idea what to do right away. 

Your next step is to find out what your province requires from you. Homeschooling regulations across Canada are pretty easy (although a few provinces require more than others). Once you find and understand what is expected from you legally, then you can move ahead. 

2.  What curriculum do I use & where can I get it?

Before sinking a chunk of money into a set of books, it's important to look at your child, yourself, your learning philosophy and styles, what worldview you want to teach from, and what kind of budget you have available to spend. Ask yourself all kinds of questions about what you want and need from a curriculum. Research different homeschooling methodology like Charlotte Mason, Classical, Unit Studies, Unschooling, etc. See which resonates with you. Study your child and see how they learn best. When you have all that figured out, research what curricula lines up with your observations. Read reviews, look at samples, talk to people who use it, ask lots of questions, and give it a test run before buying it. Then, when you've found itget it. (And always look for it on sale!) 

3. Will I ruin my child's chance of getting into a university?

Not usually! Most universities are willing and excited to accept homeschoolers to their school. But, if that is the path your child plans to take, then you will need to be more proactive in their high school learning journey. Make decisions based on what their end goal is and work from there. 

4.  Can I do this?

My answer is, as always, yes. Yes, you can.

But, be realistic. Often, reading about homeschooling or flipping through blog posts about homeschooling can paint this idyllic picture of a peaceful, fun-filled, easy-as-pie adventure where kids happily do their work, finish their chores, and have this amazing family bond . . . But reality can be grittier than that. Homeschooling is realthere are days where your child will sit, arms crossed, scowling about one page of math, or would rather dump LEGOs® on the floor to build than do anything else, or fight each other all day long. It can be very exhausting. 

But there are two important things to remember. 

  • Your reason why.  Make sure you write down why you want or need to homeschool in the first place. Make it clear and remind yourself of it frequently. This will keep you from quitting on the hard days.

  • It's worth it. The light that pops up in your child's eyes when they “get” something. The joy on their face when they are learning something they love. The special interactions between siblings. The field trips, the memories, the really great daysTHESE are the ones that matter. 

So yes, you can do this. I believe in you!

Welcome to Homeschooling in Canada.

~ Lisa Marie Fletcher

Lisa Marie is a mom with 5 kids ranging from 2 to 13. Between teaching the kids, chasing littles, and pretending to clean the house, she works on her site, The Canadian Homeschooler. Her mission is to connect homeschoolers in Canada with each other and with resources that will help them on their journey. 


Art Field Trips and Mission Trips for Education and Fun

by Sharon Jeffus

Experiencing learning firsthand through a field trip or camp experience is a wonderful tool for homeschool families.  Most art museums are free or inexpensive. At a young age, children can learn by describing and verbalizing about the paintings and asking questions. The younger the child, the shorter the attention span, so looking at a variety of historical paintings can be a delightful and memorable experience for the whole family. Children learn history, art, and culture simultaneously. Be sure and research the museum and any traveling shows that might be there, remembering that a child's mind is like a camera. You don't want to introduce them to any negative or horrifying images, but want their experience to be positive and delightful.    


Here are some fun suggestions:


1. Put a sketch pad and pencil or crayon into each backpack. Choose some paintings for kids to replicate or draw how the painting makes them feel. With older students, you may want to talk about perspective and some of the elements and principles of art, and have them copy or do their interpretation of the artwork. 

2. Choose a couple of paintings that you like and can discuss with the children.

3. Have kids choose their favorite picture, and photograph them with it. They can write about it.

4. Choose an interesting painting before you go to the museum, and then have them find it. This is like a “Where's Waldo?” experience.


Whenever opportunities are offered for art classes, especially art painting parties, where you can do this as a family, take advantage of this. Some camps are also available that offer art experiences. Visual Manna is offering an art family camp the last week in July at the Montauk State Park area near Salem, MO. Visual Manna is also offering an online high school art program and also mission trips to a variety of places, including Israel and Kansas City, which include three days of doing murals, a day at an art museum, and a day working with Christian professional artists. In May of 2018, we are offering a mission trip to Israel perfect for families. Go to or email me at for more information.


It’s been a while since I saw the movie, Field of Dreams. I’m a tad foggy on all the details of the movie, but no one could ever forget the line that James Earl Jones spoke to Ray: “If you build it, they will come.”

I don’t know about building a baseball field out in the middle of an Iowa cornfield, but as it pertains to field trips and family activities: “If you do them, they will have fun.” They, being your kids. I’d like to include YOU in the “they,” but that’s not always the case. In fact, the thing about field trips and activities is that, for most parents, it might be more like: “If you do them, they will be HARD.”

Even today, as I write this (the first day of summer), we’re celebrating Kid’s Day. This morning, I started the day off with waffles. In a few hours, we’ll go see Cars 3, then we’ll all eat at a favorite Mexican restaurant . . . and we may even squeeze in a little fun in the evening. I can tell you now, it won’t be cheap or easy for us . . . BUT the kids will have a blast, feel special, have some good memories in the future, and will feel loved by their mom and dad.

I’m telling you, the easy path would be to forget Kid’s Day, field trips, and family activities, and get stuff done around the house, and do what YOU want to do . . . BUT: “If you do one of those things, THEY will have fun!”

So do it . . . for them!

Be real,

P.S. Hey, I’m planning my fall speaking loop for October 2017, and while I have several events lined up, I still have a couple openings that I’d love to fill by speaking at YOUR homeschool group.

Contact me if you live in or near these spots and would like me to speak to your church, family night, or homeschool group.

  • Fayetteville/Raleigh, NC - Sat., Oct. 7
  • Wilmington/Sumpter/Columbia/Myrtle Beach, SC - Mon., Oct. 9
  • Augusta/Jacksonville/Palm Coast, FL - Wed., Oct. 11
  • Cocoa Beach/Melbourne/ Fort Pierce/ Lakeland, FL - Oct. 13, 14


My two older girls were really struggling with their math

and everyone, including myself, was frustrated.

It turns out that they had not memorized their Math Facts

and had to keep doing extra work

when learning long multiplication and division.

So I made them an App!

Learn more at:

If you are not a member of, you can go to and purchase the most recent hard copy issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. It's coming off the printing press now. Hopefully you went to your Member Dashboard if you ARE a current member of, so the magazine is automatically mailed to you. Last week was the deadline for that. Hit the CHAT button on the bottom right of to find out how to get on the next mailing batch. 

Kerry Tittle    

Years ago, I might have said that field trips were planned to add excitement to our homeschool adventure. Twenty years later, I can confidently say that there is immense educational value in these trips, and they are now part of the core in our learning mission. 

Recently, I went with a group of boys to the World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. I suspect that my son went for the fun of going with other boys.  However, that trip left a deep impression on him. He wasn’t prepared for the somber understanding of what sacrifices were made for our country’s freedom. He left with a historical empathy and a broadened perspective of the cost of war. He came home and began reading dust-covered books in his room on World War II without my prompting. It wasn’t all sobering. We had a lot of fun touring the wing with airplanes and seeing other cool military artifacts. But he left a different person. We now have an army helmet, ammunition box, and such decorating our school room, as well as pictures of military aircraft gracing our walls. Just because of a trip with a purpose.

We have gone on several types of field trips, but my family’s favorite options have been touring local businesses or factories. My adult children still remember one of their favorite trips was touring a local coffee roaster. I was surprised how much factual information was still retained!

Occasionally during these ventures, we will encounter information that isn’t Biblical or conflicts with our worldview. This is an incredible opportunity to open discussions with your child.  Encourage them to use their resources and examine the information in light of God’s Word. This has been some of the best bonding times with my children. It stretches their apologetics and sharpens critical thinking. 

The opportunities to enrich your child’s learning experience through field trips are limitless! 

    * art museums

    * natural history museum

    * science museums

    * parks and visitor centers

    * theaters 

    * zoos

    * historical sites

    * Game and Fish Dept.

    * Often local news stations welcome visitors and groups for            tours.

    * planetarium

    * farms

    * fire department

    * State Capitol

    * lumber mill

    * veterinarian

    * botanical garden


These places are usually inexpensive, if not free, and designed to stimulate curiosity and actively engage the student in a way that a textbook can’t.  Sometimes these places offer hands-on activities. This opportunity can produce an appreciation and relevance of what they are learning at home.

I am a firm believer in integrating field trips into your curriculum. Not only does your family get to experience amazing time together, it also imparts greater understanding of the world around them.

~ Kerry

Kerry Tittle is a mother of 9 children and an 18-year homeschool veteran. She was the founder of ReformationKidz Publishing that was lost to a natural disaster. Her desire is to honor Christ while encouraging parents during the hard years of homeschooling. is your online HOMESCHOOLING platform with over 300 courses, streaming videos, report card generator, quizzes, tests, answer keys, and an interactive (massive) encyclopedia set (ten libraries) and a timeline generator. Your kids can even create CUSTOM TIMELINES for reports. Unlimited use - Netflix style. Use coupon code: JUNEBUG to get your first month for $5, and then just $10.95/month thereafter. Save almost half off just by using that coupon.

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Marcy Crabtree    

I’ve often said that if I ever write a book, it will be titled, Homeschooling by the Field Trip Method. We absolutely love taking field trips and are always on the look-out for opportunities to enrich our unit studies. Choosing which field trips we will take during the school year is almost as important as choosing which curricula we will use.

Field trip opportunities will vary from city to city, and state to state, but most everyone has access to some kind of trip opportunity. You may just need to think outside the box a little. Here are some ideas to get you started:  

1. Tour your state capitol building. This is a great opportunity to learn about the history of your state and how government works. It’s likely that your capital city also has a historical society or history museum. 


2. Visit a local historical site. Every state has a history, and most will have a state park, war site, pioneer village, or other place of historical significance for you to explore.      


3. Bring history to life by attending a war reenactment or renaissance fair.  


4. Do you have an animal-lover in your house? Call your local animal shelter for a tour.    


5. Visit the birthplace of a famous person from your state. Look for presidents, war heroes, inventors, artists, musicians, military heroes, politicians, and sports heroes.   

6. Visit an old cemetery and see if you can find the burial spots of your local heroes.  

7. Take a civic field trip. Tours of your local police or fire department, post office, airport, or campaign headquarters can usually be arranged with a simple phone call.  


8. Call around to local dentists, chiropractors, and veterinarians and ask for a tour or educational class. Many community workers love to talk with children about what they do, and your students just might discover a passion. 


9. Museums of all kinds make for wonderful field trips. Looks for science centers, children’s museums, historical museums, natural history museums, toy museums, sports museums, and art museums. Watch for traveling artifacts coming to a city near you!  


10. Explore ocean animals at a regional aquarium, or learn about your local animal habitats at an animal rescue hospital. Visit a zoo to learn about animals from around the world.    


11. Learn more about the solar system by visiting a planetarium.  

12. Find an active archaeological site, and volunteer to help dig!


13. Factories will often offer educational tours. Look for factories that produce cars, food or drink, toys, furniture, or other local industries.


14. Is your state or city known for something unique? Baseball bats, horses, silly string, Coca-cola? Explore the history of that topic. If your town is known for something, chances are there’s a museum, park, or site of some kind to visit and learn more.  


15. Get together with some friends and learn about local farms. We’ve picked apples and pumpkins and watched how maple syrup is made!

16. Look for educational opportunities at local colleges, especially those with agricultural programs. We have visited schools growing cotton, operating dairy farms, and training in woodworking, as well as some with art and history collections.  


17. Finally, plan a vacation around something your family is interested in. Because of our intense love of history and government, Washington, D.C. is our favorite! What’s your family’s passion? Even a trip to the beach can become an amazing learning opportunity. 

More than anything, have fun! For added educational value, have your students write a brief synopsis of the field trip for their notebook or portfolio. Don’t forget to take pictures!

~ Marcy

Marcy Crabtree is a Christian homeschooling mom to one teen son. An encourager at heart, she is passionate about cultivating relationships with other moms and spends much of her time doing so both on her blog, Ben and Me, and in social media.


Share this newsletter with a friend, and be sure to let those 
CONSIDERING  homeschooling know about the enormous  FREE  info-pack which awaits them here: . Corner 
Did you know? Every class is INCLUDED for members! 
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Whether you are vacationing or "staycationing," has resources you don’t want to miss. Have you explored our hundreds of streaming videos, available to watch anywhere in North America (and most available around the world as well)? All you need is a membership and a good Wi-Fi connection, and you can watch our videos on a mobile device, whether you are in a hotel or in your living room. Your children can go on a journey with Donkey Ollie and his friends, learn about famous Christians in the popular Torchlighters series, hang out with the Bedbug Bible Gang, and more. Older students can enjoy a Drive Thru History, trek around the world with Stevie, and watch numerous history documentaries and apologetics videos.


Your family can have fun digging into the Bible and digging for treasure with Bible-themed scavenger hunts. You’ll get fired up for nature, pick a parable, search for your supper, and solve a whodunit mystery.


Plus, there are countless ways to learn together as a family! With our family-themed electives, you can make heritage crafts together like cornhusk dolls, explore the challenges and rewards of homesteading and DIY, or learn to cook with whole foods in our cooking class from Sue Gregg.

These are the final days to join during our JUNEBUG sale! Just $5.00 for the first month and $10.95/month thereafter locks you in at the sale price for as long as you keep your membership. An ultimate membership is usually $19.95 per month, so this is a sale you don’t want to miss. Sale ends June 30, 2017. Discover all the courses and resources we offer that can make your summer even more memorable.

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in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Contest Corner 

I have discovered as a wife that the home economics course I took in middle school did not equip me for managing a house or for being a housewife with four children. In fact, the main thing I remember from the course I took was learning how to make no-bake cookies. It has taken me many years to learn what I have needed to learn to manage our house, and I am embarrassed to say that I still don’t do a great job of it. I do not want our daughters to be hampered by the same inabilities that I had. So, when I had the opportunity to review the thirty-six-week curriculum, Home Economics Household Skills: Becoming a Daughter with Purpose, I realized that this was a perfect opportunity for me to go through a home economics course with my older daughter and for both of us to learn.

Becoming a Daughter with Purpose is a large, thick 408-page curriculum. The author, Amy Maryon, sells an e-book version on her website for $20 or in paperback through Amazon for $29.99. The book is meant to be a 36-week curriculum for a high school-aged student, but middle school students and adults would also benefit from this book.

Each week includes a devotional. These devotionals are usually on a character quality, such as devotion, gladness, or strength. Then, there is a main section of text and tasks for the week. Sometimes there is only one main section of learning. Other weeks, there are several main branches of learning. For example, in week one, she teaches your teen how to clean and declutter her room, how to vacuum and how (and who) to send letters and notes of encouragement to. Most sections are written with the expectation that you daughter will follow the instructions to complete the work as a hands-on assignment. At the end of the week, there is a form and guidelines for teacher evaluation of work. (. . .)

(Read the rest of the review.)  

YOU can WIN this set for your homeschool!


TO ENTER: Email Kathleen with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, “Home Economics” for a chance to win* it for your family! 

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