“It never hurts to Ask!” I have found that educating my child at home, and in the world, requires a lot of new experiences, ideas, and other people to share their gifts, talents, and knowledge with us. We are always learning, individually, and together, and I wanted to share some of the ideas we have come across, quite successfully, because we simply made a phone call or email, or simply asked.
Anyone who homeschools with their kids knows that a big part of the experience is to seek out and discover new ways to excite imagination and learning. This is true of kids who attend brick-and-mortar schools as well. Kids who do go to a seat-based school usually have opportunities to go on field trips to museums, community services, and other fun things. Homeschooling kids need these opportunities too, and it is our job as educators to provide new experiences to learn and just have a great time with other kids and parents. Here are some field trips that Captain and I have arranged, and enjoyed, and they didn’t cost a thing (except for some stickers and badges that we got for the kids). We recommend trying these out…
#1. Visit Your Local Fire Department!: We did this 2 ways. In California, I arranged a tour with the local fire house for a large group of moms and kids from The Mommy Network. I simply looked up the local fire department online and sent an email to their public relations department explaining that I had a group that would love to tour. The captain called me back immediately and we set up a date. It was awesome! This was an extensive tour of the facility’s barracks, kitchen, garden (with chickens!) and then on to the firetrucks themselves. The kids learned about fire safety and even got to try on the gear and climb all over everything, with lots of cool firefighters on hand to help. The guys were great and even had a tug-of-war and other fun stuff to do on the lawn. At the end, the firefighters gave each of the kids a goody bag with fun stuff AND their very own plastic fire hats. What a great tour! At another time, on a visit to Troy, Ny, we were simply walking by and poked our heads in to the firehouse and the wonderful Captain on duty let our little Captain climb around inside the truck and was there to answer any questions we had. Both ways are fun, but I highly recommend arranging an actual tour with the fire department as if it very informative and fun. For a firehouse tour, you will generally need to gather a group of at least 8 people, but you can arrange this when you call or email.
#2. Visit your local Police Department!: For this tour you will need to do the same thing as above and contact your local police department’s tours/relations department. We did this in Paso Robles, CA and they had regulations on the size of the group (6-10) which wasn’t a problem. When we arrived, we had a tour of the building and jail cells. The tour leader talked about safety and showed us how people are fingerprinted, searched, and processed through the jail. Captain and I handed out stickers and each kid got a small, metal police badge that I found very cheaply online through a wholesale sticker outlet. It was fun and informative, and once again, I was surprised at how easy it was to arrange.
#3. Visit a Veterinary Hospital! : This is as simple as emailing your local animal clinic or hospital with your request to tour the facility and learn about what veterinarians do and how animals are cared for there. Include a time frame of possible dates and the number of people who will attend. We toured Paso Petcare in Paso Robles, CA, and they are awesome! We ended up taking our new puppy there, actually, after we had visited and saw how clean and nice their clinic is, and how they care for the animals. They were wonderful and welcomed us all. Dr. Lucy gave us the tour, and we all learned about the rooms, the surgeries and care that the animals need. There were things to touch and animals to see and we got to meet the resident one-eared cat that had been rescued by the staff. Lots of questions were answered and the kids loved the animals. Getting to see how they are cared for was a wonderful experience!
#4. Arrange a tour with your local Ambulance company!
Learning about what people do in the world is awesome, and I would like to thank all of the people who took the time to share with us their experiences in helping people and animals in the world. If you have arranged any cool tours for kids and parents, we would love to hear about them. I look forward to all of the adventures in learning to come. Thanks for reading!