We understand that no matter what we do, we can’t replace actual field trips in our homeschool. However, we surely can try our best with virtual field trips. We can learn how to make the most of virtual field trips to maximize learning.
Of course, virtual field trips will never replace the actual site of a location. We all understand how many live events and physically being on a site can benefit our kids.
When I was growing up, I didn’t experience much at all in terms of an exciting education. I grew up in the Bronx, New York, but my lifestyle was such that exposure to the arts or places where I could be more “cultured” was non-existent.
I did go to an occasional New York Yankee game, of which the memories I cherish.
It wasn’t until I got older that I realize what a loss it was. I lived in the Big Apple, yet I never saw a play on Broadway, never went to a museum, the Statue of Liberty, or any other amazing staple site in the city that never sleeps.
As I became an adult, I was determined to make up for the lost time. Every visit back to the city, I did something. I also want my kids to experience these things.
Living in another country (a small country), it has become harder for me to provide that live experience for my kids. I have appreciated the availability of virtual field-trips to discover places from the corners of the earth.
Kids are technologically savvy. So using field trips online to explore the world makes sense, especially in times when traveling is not something we can do so easily.
How else can we visit the Colosseum in Rome, the snow tops of Mount Everest, the ocean depths, or endangered animals like mountain gorillas in their habitats – up close and personal?
Virtual reality tours are more than the next best thing. Odds are, we couldn’t even visit a fraction of the places in real life that we can get a glimpse of online.
Since these online tours are now available to us, here a few tips on how to make the most of field trips virtually at home:
Review the field trip videos before your kids watch them. Decide whether you want to use them at the beginning of a lesson, in the middle as a tool alongside the lessons, or at the end of the lesson as a review or a re-cap.
Most of the time, it is necessary for kids to get organized during the field trips that are online. I usually need my son to be ready to take notes when watching virtual field trips. He is very high energy, so taking notes during the video really helps him to focus.
Here are some resources we use at our home to capture what they learn:
30+ Virtual Field Trips For Kids (FREE Virtual Field Trip Log) | The Educators’ Spin On It
2. Connect your trips to current lessons.
Connecting virtual field trips with the content you are teaching provides a great learning experience for your kids. Rather than just learning from a textbook or worksheet alone, virtual-reality field trips allow kids to make connections that encourage and support their educational journey.
3. Provide the online trips guided by your child’s interests.
Kids appreciate when you pay attention to their interests. I love developing unit studies to break up the monotony in my homeschool. I try to add in components in our unit studies that get my kids engaged in topics they enjoy.
For instance, in our county of Brazil unit study, we added a study on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). My whole family is into BJJ and train whenever we can. Including amazing virtual experiences full of fun information they are eager to learn about provides a different feel to school “work.”
4. Keep it short.
There truly is no need to make our kids sit by a long, drawn-out video. You can find some cool virtual trips that give A LOT of useful information but in a short time. Note: I list a few resources for you to explore with your kids below.
5. Use other sources for learning as well.
We understand that our kids have different learning styles. Providing various learning tools will give your child many opportunities to gain knowledge, regardless of how they like to learn. Use crafts, use worksheets, use activities, and don’t miss out on virtual tours online to maximize their learning potential.
6. Live animal cams are super fun if your children are captivated by various animals or you are studying about life science or animal science.
Here are some resources to explore for cool virtual-experience field trips your kids will enjoy:
Amazing & Informative Virtual Field Trips for Middle School | Education Possible
A Virtual Tour Field Trip to The Rainforest With Videos And Songs For Kids | The Educators’ Spin On It
How to Easily Take Virtual Reality Field Trips Around The World | Hess Un-Academy
Top Museums You Can Tour Online for Free | Learn in Color
Wonders of the World: 30+ Virtual Trips for Kids | Typically Topical
30+ Virtual Online Field Trips For Kids (FREE Virtual Field Trip Log) | The Educators’ Spin On It
FREE Disney World Virtual Rides on YouTube | Yo! Free Samples
19 Ocean Videos for Kids that are Teacher Approved | Mrs. Wills’ Kindergarten
Visit a Volcano Virtual Field-Trip Webquest | Ms Sewell’s Class
Curious kids need nurturing and encouragement as part of their education. Online field trips are a perfect way to fill that need.
Realistically, it may not be feasible to visit all the places we would like to in real-life field trips. This makes visiting places virtually, even all over the world, a fantastic tool to expose our kids to the world right from the comfort of our own homes.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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