Planning the Homeschool Year: Field Trip Field Guides

School-PlanningIt’s back to school season! While we don’t have to be on the curb at the crack of dawn or make sure our children have their lunch money, we do need to plan out our coming year of homeschooling. Let’s get started!

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On our field trip check list is a new item for the coming school year: Field Trip Field Guides!

It all started with my oldest daughter wanting to create a scrapbook. To be truthful, I’m horrible at scrapbooking. Let’s just be honest, I am not a crafty person. But, when my child desires to do something creative and educational, I tend to be a softie and indulge them. Thus, the idea of field trip field guides was born.

I wanted to create an organized, self-contained, easily accessible system of scrapbooking our yearly field trips and events. Something I could grab on the fly, which didn’t require a lot of searching and hunting, but could go with us anywhere and serve our purposes.

After a lot of thought and a bit of research, I’ve finally created the perfect system for our family!

Field Trip Field Guide Kit

One plastic container with fitted lid
Five sketch books
Five rulers
Five boxes of colored pencils (your basic 10 pk)
Two pair of scissors
Two glue runners
Pencil Box (pencils, erasers, and sharpener included)
Five basic shape stencils
Package of small ziplock baggies (jewelry size)
Two mini microscopes (loupe)

The plastic container is approximately 14″ x 10.”5 x 3″, making it small enough to fit in any Field-Trip_Guides backpack and easy to grab. The sketch books are about 50 pages, making them thin and light to carry. The idea is to scrapbook field trips and nature walks, thus 50 pages should be more than sufficient for the year. All other items are likewise thin and light, making for an easy fit in our kit and less burdensome to carry. Surprisingly, the entire kit only cost about $20 to put together as most of the items were purchased at the local dollar store.

Me being me, I created covers for each of our field guides (sketch books) and an image for the top of our kit. This makes each guide more personal and fun!

You’ll also note there are five field guides in our kit, but we have only four children. We wanted this to be a family exercise, thus there is an extra field guide for us parents which we share. Sometimes mom is doing the sketching and, because Pop is the better artist, other times it is my husband.

The entire kit being packed in our helpful container, our field guides are constantly at the ready and able to be grabbed on a moment’s notice. If we have a last-minute field trip, I merely grab the box on our way out the door and we are set.

Now, it makes no sense to have these awesome guides and not have a plan to put them into action!

On event days, I add the field trip kit to our backpack and we are ready to go. Simple and easy. Sometime during our trip, whether it be at lunch or we purposefully take a moment to work on our guides, we find a quiet spot and get to work. Glue runners enable our children to adhere event tickets to their guide or perhaps brochures; mini ziplock bags allow our children to add small keepsakes such as sand from the beach or flower petals; stencils, colored pencils, and drawing materials encourage them to embellish their guides with images reminding them of the event; and the microscopes (small loupe) enable us to better see details in nature while exploring.

Field Guides In Use

Putting our guides to the test. They’re awesome!

Thus far, our field guides are a hit! The kids love working in them. Mommy is loving the kids’ enthusiasm for the kit. Pop, being an artist, loves having a sketch book on hand. And, everyone is learning tons. Our children excitedly plan for what will be included in their personal field guides, and rejoice over the individuality of the experience. No two guides are the same, and each is uniquely beautiful.

I wish we had created this kit years ago, but, alas, here we are. Now, to put them to good use and plan tons of amazing field trips for the year. This should be fun!

🔔Time to Chime In: Our goal is to attend one field trip a month, minimum, with a nature walk once a month as well. What is your field trip goal for the year?

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11 thoughts on “Planning the Homeschool Year: Field Trip Field Guides

  1. I love the idea of the field guide kit. I’ll have to look into something similar…I know my daughter will definitely enjoy it. Our goal is like yours almost because last year we did not get to go to many places last year. We are try to do at least one a month. Hopefully it will work this year (crossing fingers).

    Liked by 1 person

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