Monday, February 17, 2014

Field Trips from Home

Virtual Field Trips Round-Up
It's unfortunate that we don't have the time and money to visit all the museums and parks that we'd like to see. But thankfully, we can often take virtual tours! Following is a list of some of the websites I've found that offer some kind of virtual field trip - some we've used as we've planned ahead for a visit, and some we've used because a real world visit just isn't possible. 

Check out the Google Art Project to visit art galleries all over the world, and save your favorites into your own "gallery collection" - perfect for studying art history.

The Virtual Museum of Canada is a website dedicated to offering virtual tours of museums, historical sites, zoos, and more.

The Virtual Tours website lists links to online museums and virtual tours.

The Smithsonian Museums offer many virtual exhibits.

Visit the National Park Service website for lots of information about the National Parks and Historic Sites. The Teachers Page offers classroom materials and suggestions for planning field trips that can be very useful for homeschoolers, and on the Kids Page, you'll find info about the WebRangers program, which allows kids to earn Junior Ranger badges by learning about the parks through the website.
Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine, FL
Working on a Jr Ranger badge at Castillo de San Marcos
Everglades National Park
Working on a Jr Ranger badge at Everglades
Want to get more specific? Here's a couple of places that we have visited in person, but I've also discovered they have great online information!

The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto - Visit the Exhibit Tour homepage and the Photo Gallery page on the website.
Hockey Hall of Fame

Hockey Hall of Fame

Ponce de Leon Lighthouse and Inlet Museum has a virtual tour page on their website.
Ponce Inlet lighthouse  Ponce Inlet lighthouse
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has online exhibits and free curriculum materials.
National Baseball Hall of Fame
I find that most museums have photo galleries on their websites that can give you a pretty good idea of what you'd be able to see if you paid a real world visit. Of course they hope that the photos and information they give you online will whet your appetite and you will stop by and actually walk in their doors, but much can be learned simply by browsing the websites.

In our homeschool, we have very often "visited" places all over the world using TV shows and DVDs. Check your local library or Netflix for ideas. NEST Entertainment and Schlessinger Media have many educational films on many topics and are often carried by libraries. TV shows from The History Channel or National Geographic Channel etc are available on DVD as well. Our family has thoroughly enjoyed the series Cities of the Underworld, for example. More recently, I've borrowed DVDs from the library about cruising in the Caribbean - not because we're planning to go on a cruise soon (although I would love to be able to do that!), but so that we can see the islands and countries that we've been learning about in Social Studies.

I am also thankful for homeschool bloggers who share pictures and descriptions of the real world field trips they take. Many times I've had the kids come to the computer to see a field trip through another homeschool family's eyes. If you want to see more of our family's real world field trips, just click on the Field Trips label HERE or in the sidebar and see where we've been. I know that many other homeschool blogs have their field trip posts tagged or labelled so they are easy to find too. Start with the blogs that have contributed posts to this Schoolhouse Review Crew Round-up! (The link to the round-up will be live on Wednesday, February 19th) In the meantime, visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to see past carnival and round-up topics, and the reviews Crew members are working on. 

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