8 Experiences to Look for When Planning your Historical Homeschool Field Trip
Historical destinations are the perfect off-site classrooms. From living history demonstrations to hands-on museums and guided tours, your homeschooler will have the opportunity to see the lessons from their history books come to life. Most historical destinations are saturated with educational opportunities that will peak your child’s curiosity and lead them down a path of historical pursuit and discovery—you just need to know where to look! We’ve compiled a list of experiences to look for when planning your historical homeschool field trip.
1. Living History and Reenactments
Living historians and reenactors are truly passionate about the subjects they portray. They’ll demonstrate a trade, craft, or event in history while answering questions from the public and maintaining character throughout the engagement. Even their historically accurate clothing tells a story!
2. Preserved Homes and Structures
If walls could talk, there are many historic buildings that would have captivating stories to tell. Dive deeper into history with a tour of a preserved historic home or structure. Discover the history of the grounds, the building, and those who inhabited it.
3. Civilian Stories
Oftentimes the stories that are the most impactful are those of the everyday citizens that experienced influential events in history. Search for a museum or tour that tells the stories of the children, families, and civilians that lived through the events of the history books.
When visiting a historic destination, there are sure to be a variety of museums with historical artifacts as well as interactive and hands-on components. With just a little research, you can find a museum designed to engage students with fun new learning experiences.
You may be wondering, why a cemetery? Teach your homeschooler the significance of honoring the dead. Search the cemetery for the oldest tombstone or for the burial site of a significant historical figure.
If you visit a historic war site, you can’t pass up the opportunity to walk on the hallowed grounds of the battle. Educate your child on the events that took place on the battlegrounds and walk through the battlefield with a humbled perspective.
7. Guided Tours
Guided tours are often the best way to learn! Licensed guides and historians can lead you through the historic destination pointing out some of the most significant spots and stories. Oftentimes, these experts share fascinating anecdotes that you won’t hear anywhere else.
If you’re visiting a historic destination that is quite large in scope, it can be hard to picture just where and how events unfolded. Dioramas offer a scaled down depiction of historic events that are easy to digest for everyone, including students.
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to start planning! Start in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—an amazing outdoor classroom. With the renowned Civil War battlefield, hands-on museums and tours, and engaging living history experiences, homeschool field trips to the region are an amazing way to learn about an iconic time in our nation’s history.