Homeschooling parents realize that field trips break up the monotony of the home classroom, and are an opportunity to take children out into the community and find new, exciting learning experiences. Whether you go big or go local, the potential for field trips for homeschoolers is enormous. The following six ideas are perfect for broadening your children’s experiences in art while on the road:
#1: State or city park – Grab your brushes and watercolors, camera, or your sketchbooks and colored pencils and take your children to a local park for an art field trip like no other. Taking in the environment around them, homeschool students can draw, paint or photograph the landscape; try different seasons for artistic variety. Learn more about the logistics of painting outdoors by reading: Plein Air Painting With Students – A Guide for Teachers.
#2: Art supply store – Integrate learning between subjects by taking your children to a craft or art supply store. While there, decide upon a new art project to undertake, and have your homeschooler use their math skills by adding up the cost of the items. Alternatively, create a scavenger hunt by providing a list of items and have children search the store to find the items, then add up the cost. This will help kids to understand the real world costs of materials, as well as the variety of creative projects available.
#3: Library – Take your child to your local library and peruse the art section together. Each select a few books on artists or movements that look interesting, and take the time to look through them together. Look for books on specific artists – that usually have big images – and discuss the characteristics of the artist’s style. Skimming books on movements can teach about the similarities between artists, and the defining ideas of the time.
#4: Local landmarks – Call ahead to local landmarks – such as century homes, estates, memorials, aviaries, aquariums, marinas, boardwalks and other places of importance or history in your area – and check to see if field trips are allowed. Because homeschool groups are so small, you’ll probably be given the green light. Like with parks, have your children bring along art supplies or a camera to create artwork inspired by the area around them.
#5: Art museum – Whether you take a field trip to a local art gallery or a metropolitan art museum, your homeschoolers will learn about artists of the past and today, art movements, history, other cultures, and the professional business world of art. Depending on the children’s age, consider having a guided tour or simply walk around and talk about the artwork together.
#6: Art-related workshops and businesses – A professional business is a great field trip experience for homeschoolers; one that traditional school students often don’t get the opportunity for. Introduce your children to possible future careers by visiting an architecture firm, web design company, florist, bakery, greeting card designer, ceramic workshop, theatre company and other careers in the arts. Call ahead to arrange a tour with employees.
It’s easy to think that a museum may be the only possibility for an art-related field trip, but actually there are a number of ideas if you think outside the box. Look for the creative potential in every place, and you’ll open up a whole new artistic world to your homeschoolers.