When your homeschool routine has taken a turn toward the mundane, there is an easy and fun way to spice things up. It’s time to head outside those four walls and experience all that Tennessee has to teach you! Your opportunities for exploration can begin right in your hometown. Check with your local postmaster to see if they offer behind-the-scenes tours of how the mail is processed and shipped. Find the closest historical graveyard that might be the final resting place of early war heroes or other famous figures from the past. Volunteer at a local service agency and ask for them to show you around and better explain some of the needs in your community. All of these are ways to move your homeschooler’s learning from text and images into something they can feel and experience. When you are ready for the adventure of a full-throttle day trip, though, there are so many things to do in Tennessee with homeschoolers! We’ll get you started in your search by sharing some field trip ideas across the Volunteer State, organized by geographical area. Please make sure to contact each site before you plan your visit, as COVID-19 may have impacted their hours of operations.

Home education is not the same in every state. Make sure you’re getting the information you need to start homeschooling in the Volunteer State.

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Homeschool Field Trips in Western Tennessee

Homeschool Field Trips in Western Tennessee
  • Casey Jones Village, Jackson – Have a train enthusiast in your family? They will thoroughly enjoy visiting the former home of Jonathan “Casey” Jones, an American Railroader whose tragic, but heroic, death was immortalized in a ballad. His home site features a railroad museum and a farm, as well as fun activities such as mini-golf.

  • C.H. Nash Museum at the Prehistoric Chucalissa Archaeological Site, Memphis – Long before Europeans set foot on the soil, Native Americans had established a vibrant culture in the current Memphis region. This site takes students back in time via a museum, prehistoric American Indian mound complex, and hands-on archaeology lab.

  • Discovery Park of America, Union City – The third Tuesday of each month during the school year is Homeschool Day at this unique science center. Students receive the field trip admission rate and tickets are on a first come-first served basis with 24 seats available per session. Educational activities will vary by grade level.

  • Lichterman Nature Center, Memphis – Right in the heart of Memphis is a natural treasure. This environmental education site offers homeschoolers the opportunity to view live animals, enjoy nature walks, sit in on wildlife programs, and explore the many exhibits that will enhance your nature studies.

  • Shiloh National Military Park, Shiloh – When your homeschool lessons turn toward the Civil War, it’s time to visit the sites of some of the most legendary battles. There are three different battlefields to discover, a national cemetery holding around 4,000 soldiers and family members, and even six 800-year-old Indian mounds in the area.

Homeschool Field Trips in Central Tennessee

Homeschool Field Trips in Central Tennessee
  • Carter House and Carnton Plantation, Franklin – The Battle of Franklin was a key episode in the Civil War. Two different farms in the vicinity of the battleground are available for touring, each which were directly impacted by the battle, and one which was even used as a field hospital for the wounded.

  • Dunbar Cave State Park, Clarksville – Excavations show that this particular cave has been used by humans for thousands of years, and you can even view drawings left by early inhabitants on the cave walls. This would be a wonderful trip for teaching geography and human prehistory.

  • Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville – This museum hosts an impressive display of art from within TN and even around the world. It has a heavy focus on education, which you will experience at the Martin ArtQuest Gallery, a hands-on art-making space for families and children. For each of the visiting exhibitions, there are educator guides available on the website.

  • Hands-On Science Center, Tullahoma – Getting up close and personal with science is the mission at this hybrid museum, visitor attraction, and educational center. Each Thursday, homeschoolers ages 6 and up are invited to take part in organized experiments and projects.

  • Tennessee Agricultural Museum, Nashville – When it comes to educational trips for students in TN, this site dedicated to America’s rural heritage is a prime destination. You’ll experience historic log cabins, a one-room schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, a large variety of antique farm equipment, and plenty of gardens and nature trails.

  • Wilderness Station, Murfreesboro – Homeschool families will love taking part in the many outdoor educational programs offered by this recreation facility. There are free educational backpacks that you can check out, each with a different nature theme. In addition to the organized programs, you can explore the Tree Trail and Sensory Trail on your own.

Homeschool Field Trips in Eastern Tennessee

Homeschool Field Trips in Eastern Tennessee
  • Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, Harrogate – On the campus of Lincoln Memorial University is a collection of more than 35,000 items of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia. Examples of items you may see on your visit include Lincoln’s walking stick, a cupboard made by Lincoln’s father, and over 1,000 original pieces of Civil War sheet music.

  • Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, Greeneville – The 17th president of the U.S. lived here both before and after his presidency. Visit the homestead and Johnson’s tailor shop and see the final resting place of the president, which also happens to be a national veterans cemetery.

  • Fort Loudon State Historic Area, Vonore – On the banks of the Little Tennessee River sits a fort that played a key part in the French and Indian War. The Tellico Blockhouse served as both a fortification and a trading post in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The visitor’s center and museum gives you insight into the history of the fort.

  • Roan Mountain State Park, Roan Mountain – Sometimes you need a destination that will let you really stretch your legs when you arrive. At this state park, you can explore 12 miles of hiking trails, tour the century-old Miller Farmstead, and fish or play in the Doe River. When you’re ready for a short rest, an Interpretive Center explains the long history of the local area.

  • Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga – This is one of those family activities in Tennessee that every member will look forward to. Whether it is holding your hand out for a butterfly to land on, petting the stingrays, sharks, and sturgeon, or watching the antics of the penguins, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

  • Tuckaleechee Caverns, Townsend – This particular field trip was millions of years in the making. It is estimated to be the earth’s oldest mountain chain. This would be a wonderful tie-in for science learning, especially in the subjects of geology, mineralogy, tectonic plates, and underground water formations. (Racoon Mountain Caverns, Forbidden Caverns, and Bristol Caverns are other great places to visit in Tennesee with children.)

TN Field Trips Unit Study Suppl.

Is there anything more fun than learning through field trips? To make your experiences at these destinations even more meaningful, Time4Learning members will appreciate this download of free activity tie-ins.