I don’t miss taking my class of 30 elementary school students on field trips. These excursions were exhausting and stressful. I still get a case of anxiety when I think about 7 year old Jasmine wandering away from the group to go to the gift shop because she had money. The students were more interested in being out of the classroom and being somewhere other than home. If there was a teachable moment, it would get lost in the excitement.

A homeschool field trip with my 2 sons is a perfect symphony. First, the destination would be a place of mutual interest. Second, I can direct their attention to anything that I find important and in turn they can highlight their points of interest. In other words active learning is in full effect.

We don’t bother with reports or instructional handouts. The best learning occurs when the mind is engaged. The best retention of information is when that information is relevant and meaningful. My job as their teacher is to facilitate them making connections between their new learning and old learning. These connections will be remembered years later because they were engaged in their own learning.

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