field trips – Time4Learning https://www.time4learning.com Homeschool, Afterschool, Skill Building Mon, 15 Jan 2018 16:31:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Florida Field Trips for Homeschoolers https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/florida-field-trips-for-homeschoolers/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/florida-field-trips-for-homeschoolers/#respond Thu, 21 Dec 2017 13:30:43 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=11761 One of the chief perks of homeschooling is the ability to truly experience learning, up close and personal. The flexibility of home education means being able to pick up and explore the world around you any time you wish. The field trip method of teaching is not just fun, it’s one that tends to help […]]]>

One of the chief perks of homeschooling is the ability to truly experience learning, up close and personal. The flexibility of home education means being able to pick up and explore the world around you any time you wish. The field trip method of teaching is not just fun, it’s one that tends to help children retain information about what they are studying for longer and with more depth.

Even if you are a long-time resident of Florida, you may not be aware of all the fun, educational field trip opportunities in the state. And, for the many families visiting the Sunshine State for vacation, you’ll be delightfully surprised to discover how easy it is to blend in learning with your travels! To help you locate the educational things to do in Florida with children, we’ve organized them by geographical area. Browse the list below to find the Florida day trips that are perfect for homeschool families. Plus, as a bonus, we’ve even included a free download of Time4Learning lesson plans that might be the perfect supplement for each trip!

Homeschool Field Trips in the Florida Panhandle

Panhandle Field Trips
  • Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site — The 19th century will come to life for your homeschoolers at this historical site that includes the Museum of Commerce, the Museum of Industry, the Pensacola Children’s Museum and a Colonial Archaeological Trail.
  • Constitution Convention Museum State Park, Port St. Joe — Travel back into a time in Florida’s history where statehood was just a dream in motion. Take the self-guided tour through exhibits that include a replica of the convention hall where the state constitution was ratified. This one is a must in your homeschool field trip plans.
  • Emerald Coast Science Center, Fort Walton Beach — This location lets children get hands-on with science in subjects such as robotics, electricity, natural gas, chemistry, and the ecosystem of the Emerald Coast.
  • Florida Caverns State Park, Marianna — Visit the only Florida state park that offers cave tours to the public. You’ll learn about stalagmites, stalactites, columns, and flowstone on your guided tour. Not all the educational places to visit in Florida are right for everyone, so make sure to read carefully about the tour’s somewhat strenuous and claustrophobic nature before deciding if it is a good fit for your family members.
  • Gulf Breeze Zoo, Gulf Breeze — Not every zoo offers you the opportunity to feed a giraffe, so don’t miss your chance at this destination. You’ll have plenty of hands-on encounters with wildlife here and have multiple opportunities to meet the keepers and ask them questions.

Homeschool Field Trips in North Florida

North Florida Field Trips
  • Butterfly Rainforest, Florida Museum, Gainesville — Although you’ll have the opportunity to view hundreds of different species of butterflies here, this exhibit also includes plenty of birds, turtles, fish, and other animals to see as well. Just one of the many interactive features of the Florida Museum.
  • The Daytona 500 Experience, Daytona Beach — STEM principles come to life when students get a chance to learn the physics behind the thrilling sport of motor racing. This behind-the-scenes view of the world’s only motorsports stadium will have homeschoolers ready for the races.

Are you a Jacksonville homeschool family? Discover even more opportunities for homeschool field trips in Jacksonville.

  • Dudley Farm Historic State Park, Newberry — There is no better way to explore the history of farming than with this display which will take you through three distinct generations of farming in the Dudley family. See the traditions of a farm come to life as park staff perform daily chores, tend to livestock, and raise crops.
  • The Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse in the U.S.A., St Augustine — Your homeschoolers might be surprised how comfortable they feel visiting and learning about a 200-year-old school where the schoolmaster lived on the floor right above where the students were taught!
  • Whetstone Chocolates Factory Tour, St. Augustine — This might be the tastiest Florida field trip of them all — children get a chance to tour an active chocolate factory plus a chance to test chocolates and confections as you tour. Learn about the history of chocolate making, too. This would be the perfect tie-in to any Willy Wonka themed study!

Homeschool Field Trips in Central Florida

Central Florda Field Trips
  • Central Florida Railroad Museum, Winter Garden — Have you ever wanted to see an authentic telegraph machine or a handcar? This is the place to do it! Take a tour of a museum that chronicles the history of the two main railroads that ran through Winter Garden.
  • Dinosaur World, Plant City — One of the most fun, educational field trips in Florida will transport your dinosaur-loving students right back to prehistoric times. Wander among hundreds of different life-sized dinosaur replicas while learning facts about each one and how they lived.
  • Florida Air Museum, Lakeland — The history of the first 100 years of flight is on display at this extensive facility. Allow your family at least a couple hours to take in the Howard Hughes Aviation Collection, the Rockets and High Speed Flight Exhibit, the Amelia Earhart artifacts, and so much more.
  • Manatee Observation and Education Center, Fort Pierce — Manatees, or sea cows, are vulnerable to extinction, but at this environmental education and wildlife viewing center there’s a high likelihood that you will get to see one. Get a thorough understanding of the fragile ecosystems of the Treasure Coast and their inhabitants.
  • Skeletons Museum of Osteology — Do you have a homeschooler who is fascinated by the inner framework of the animal kingdom? This one-of-a-kind museum hosts 500 real animal skeletons in a setting of true-to-life dioramas. What a great supplement for any animal study!

Homeschool Field Trips in South Florida

South Florida Field Trips
  • Everglades National Park, near Miami — Homeschoolers can hike, canoe, and even camp their way through the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. The ecosystem of the Everglades provides the perfect setting to study everything from animal habitats to plant diversity.
  • Perez Art Museum, Miami — This extensive art display offers both ongoing and visiting exhibits. The architecture of the building, alone, is worth a visit, but students will also be amazed by the hanging gardens and the many genres of art available for viewing from landscapes to portraits to Renaissance art.

Are you a Miami homeschool family? Discover even more opportunities for homeschool field trips in Miami.

  • Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers — The era of invention is on full display in this historical site where Henry Ford and Thomas Alva Edison had homes they retreated to in the winter months. There are even dedicated learning events just for homeschoolers!
  • Morikami Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach — If you’ve ever wanted to experience a Japanese tea ceremony, this is your chance. The gardens are exquisite, but your homeschoolers will also get to experience a typical Japanese train, shop, and living quarters inside the museum.
  • The Mound House, Fort Myers Beach — Explore 2,000 years of island life via tours and exhibits at this ancient Calusa Indian mound. Your budding historians will thrill to visit an active archaeological dig site which includes a large cutaway of a shell mound.

Homeschool Field Trips in the Florida Keys

Florida Keys Field Trips
  • Crane Point Hammock, Marathon Key — If your family are nature trail lovers, then this destination is for you. You’ll very likely stumble upon wildlife as you wander through the hardwood hammocks and find trees that grow nowhere else in U.S. Also learn about the lives of the Cranes, who worked so hard to conserve this local ecosystem.
  • Dolphin Research Center, Grassy Key — You’ll find yourself inspired to kick off a dolphin unit study after a visit to this rescue and research facility. Get interactive with these creatures by swimming alongside them in the water or just shaking their fins.
  • The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West — One of America’s most famous authors lived and wrote at this location for over 10 years. You’ll appreciate the helpful insights from the educated tour guides and will enjoy the dozens of cats who make their home here, too.

Florida Field Trip Resource

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

Download

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Holiday Fun For Children in Florida This Winter https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/holiday-fun-for-children-in-florida-this-winter/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/holiday-fun-for-children-in-florida-this-winter/#respond Thu, 30 Nov 2017 14:00:33 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=11490 Even if Jack Frost isn’t nipping at your nose just yet, Floridians know that winter break is just around the corner. That means it’s time to start searching for things to do with the children during the holidays and beyond. Even if the activities in your part of the state are similar to what was […]]]>

Even if Jack Frost isn’t nipping at your nose just yet, Floridians know that winter break is just around the corner. That means it’s time to start searching for things to do with the children during the holidays and beyond. Even if the activities in your part of the state are similar to what was available in years past, you can bring some freshness to any event by looking at it as an opportunity to learn something new.

Not only have we pulled together some fun winter happenings from different regions of Florida, but we’ve also added in some suggestions for turning each of the listed outings into a learning adventure that can start even before you leave home and can continue once you’ve returned. Know of other parents in different parts of the state who might benefit from this holiday info? Be sure to share this post with them!

2017 Holiday Activities for Children in Northern Florida

Holiday Activities for Kids in Northern Florida

Gingerbread Extravaganza – Jacksonville, FL (Nov. 30 – Dec. 23, 2017) Something very special happens each year at Old St. Andrews in Jacksonville. Chefs, bakers, artists, and even families and children create magnificent gingerbread houses that are displayed throughout this event. Each display represents dozens and even hundreds of hours of preparation by the submitter. Learning activities you may want to tie in with your visit:

  • Turn gingerbread into science by having your child predict whether a gingerbread man will sink or float when dropped into liquid. Then test your theory!
  • The small gingerbread figures you can buy in bags at the store are perfect manipulatives for math activities such as testing addition and subtraction facts.
  • Check out a few different versions of The Gingerbread Man story from the library and compare the illustrations. Which ones do your student prefer and why?

Dickens on Centre – Fernandina Beach, FL (Dec. 8 – Dec. 10, 2017) Travel back in time to the Victorian Era at this unique holiday festival on Amelia Island. Much of the downtown area is transformed into an English village including period-dressed carolers and actors who keep the atmosphere authentic. You’ll even have an opportunity to dress up for yourself! Learning activities you may want to tie in with your visit:

  • Although the city of Fernandina Beach will be bright with holiday lights, find out what kind of lighting London’s streets would have had in the time that Dickens lived there.
  • Play vocabulary and spelling games with this Charles Dickens interactive word list from VocabularySpellingCity.com.
  • Dickens filled his novels with unusual character names such as Pumblechook and Mr. Pardiggle. Why might an author choose such strange names for his characters?

2017 Holiday Activities for Children in Central Florida

Holiday Activities for Kids in Central Florida

Gaylord Palms ICE! – Orlando, FL (Nov. 21, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018) Even if you’ve never dreamed about wandering through two million pounds of ice sculptures, this is an event to definitely put on your calendar. Artisans from China will even be doing live sculpture carving throughout the event. There will be scenes featuring holiday celebrations from around the world. Learning activities you may want to tie in with your visit:

  • Brainstorm creative ways you can keep ice from melting.
  • Compare and contrast what happens when you place regular ice and dry ice in a cup of water.
  • Have older students research the Ice Age era and share their findings on the way to the event.

Now Snowing – Celebration, FL (Nov. 25, 2017 – Dec. 31, 2017) If you have kids who dream of nothing but snowball fights and snow angels, then you’ll definitely want to stop in at the month-long Now Snowing event in the town of Celebration. This old-fashioned holiday extravaganza includes horse-drawn sleigh rides, an ice rink, Celebration Express train rides, and “snowfalls” that happen four times nightly. Learning activities you may want to tie in with your visit:

  • Get color-smart and find out why snow appears white.
  • Discover the history behind putting bells on a sleigh.
  • Bring along a few items to the ice rink to test which ones slide the best. Be sure and make predictions before hand by thinking through which items have the most/least friction.

Holiday Activities for Children in Southern Florida

Holiday Activities for Kids in Southern Florida

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Holiday Nights – Ft. Myers, FL (Nov. 24-Dec. 23 2017 and Dec. 26-Dec. 31, 2017) The winter homes, gardens, and historic buildings of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are open to the public and during the holiday season they are decorated with thousands of lights and traditional holiday decorations. Daytime tours are still available on these dates as well. Learning activities you may want to tie in with your visit:

  • Watch videos and play learning games about inventors at LearningGamesforKids.com.
  • Look up images of early inventions of both Edison and Ford and see if your student can recreate some of them with Legos™ or other building toys.
  • Because both Edison and Ford’s inventions often involved energy, find out what energy transfer is and how it affects most every object in the universe. Time4Learning’s Science4Us content includes an Energy Transformations module that can help bring understanding to this concept.

Winterfest Boat Parade – Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Dec. 9, 2017) From the New River to the Intracoastal Waterway to Lake Santa Barbara, this annual parade of decorated boats has been going on since 1971. Over a million people line the waterways to view the spectacle and even more catch the event streaming online. Learning activities you may want to tie in with your experience:

  • The theme for this year’s festival is “Broadway on Parade.” You’ll definitely want to explore some of the history of New York City’s theatres and the most popular shows that have come from that district.
  • If your family could enter its own decorated vessel into the parade, what would it be like, and why?
  • Create a boat-building challenge and test it out in your own bathtub. What materials are best for floating?

In addition to the ideas listed above, you can often enhance and extend the learning experience for any field trip by letting your children take part in the planning for it. Having them find the venue on a map and chart out the route you’ll take to get there can be part of the fun. Before you arrive, give kids as much information as possible about what to expect, any rules they will need to follow, and what to do if they accidentally get separated from you. Be sure to bring along notebooks and pencils or crayons in the car, so that your child can recreate as much of the experience as they want on the way home. Car rides to and from an event are also great times to discuss vocabulary associated with the places you’ll be visiting.

Are you a homeschooling family living in Ft. Lauderdale, or soon will be? Discover even more ideas for homeschooling in Ft. Lauderdale.

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