COVID has had our children stuck inside for too long. It’s time to get them out into the world and learning again! Field trips have never been more important – in a world where social interaction has been reduced to an absolute minimum. Speaking as a mother, I’ll walk you through my take on the benefits of field trips.
Experiential learning gives children the ability to understand how things work in the “real world”.
With our children having spent the majority of 2020-2021 either at home or within the four walls of sterile classrooms, it’s never been more important to provide them with the opportunity to really grasp educational concepts by seeing things from outside the classroom.
Seeing how concepts really work makes it easier for children to remember information. After all, we learn better through experience than being taught information by somebody else.
COVID has had a huge effect on everyone, and many of us have started to see our children’s grades suffer. Although grades aren’t the only goal, we understand that grades measure how children think, explore and figure things out.
By taking children to new environments to learn from different stimuli, people, and media, we can reignite their passions. In turn, we help them get back on track with their academics.
Through homeschooling, we’ve suddenly had a huge role to play in our children’s academic achievement. We’ve had to acknowledge that we’re not teachers (unless of course, you are!) and we can’t do it all. Field trips can give us all a helping hand in keeping our children interested in certain topics, and therefore, learning.
Ability to Apply Knowledge
Field trips give children the opportunity to apply what they have been learning. Whether they visit a museum, outdoor park, or technology center, they’ll have the chance to see their learnings be applied to real-life situations.
It’s also a wonderful way to teach children about the practicalities and realities of everyday life. I mean, you can’t learn everything in a classroom.
Empathy and compassion for cultures, countries, and ideas have never been more important. Our children are living through huge changes on a social level. It’s important we provide them with the ability to learn as much as possible about the world, people, and places.
Cultural field trips can immerse children in new ways of thinking and give parents a huge helping hand. It could be that they learn about different foods, religions, or cultural practices. Anything that helps to open up their minds and encourage empathy is a winning ticket in my opinion.
Experiential learning gives children a place to have fun with a little creative problem-solving. They’ll learn about themselves and their own unique talents in facing challenges, as well as learning from their peers.
Using creativity in coming up with solutions offers children a brilliant learning opportunity. It’s also something that we see the smallest of children engage with! Learning to build towers, put puzzles together, and fit shapes in holes are some our first learning opportunities. This alone demonstrates its importance. The more opportunities children have to creatively use their minds, the more they develop logical reasoning and a passion for facing challenges.
Children have much more of an opportunity to communicate with their peers and teachers when in a field trip setting. They’ll share their opinions on what they’re seeing and learn from their friends.
The best field trips ignite a passion for learning and leave our children talking about the experience for days. And we all know that passion for a subject makes for a more impactful learning experience.
Field trips give our children the chance to develop social skills in new situations. Whether that’s talking to a close friend about classmate drama, or speaking with a teacher or staff member at a museum, taking our children into new environments provides them an opportunity to communicate about new and interesting topics and help develop their social skills.
And with being stuck inside for over a year, they’re probably going to be in need of little socializing…
Concrete experiences and new concepts help children reflect on outcomes. This helps them to develop new connections in the brain as well as apply what they’ve learned to life outside of an educational setting.
Let’s say a child takes part in a science experiment that doesn’t have the “desired” outcome. Maybe they created a different outcome to their peers. It’s all good! Seeing how their actions led to a certain outcome will mean that they spend time reflecting on what happened and what they could have done differently. This is something that there isn’t as much opportunity for in the classroom.
History and the Future
Class trips to museums and other educational places provide children with new ways to learn about the world around them. They’ll have the chance to learn about the history of their home country as well as the culture and history of other places that they aren’t so familiar with. This is another important way to encourage empathy and compassion in our children, as well as to help them understand more about the ways in which we have an effect on and can help the world around us.
Learning From Mistakes
On field trips, children have the ability to engage in hands-on tasks that give them immediate feedback. This allows them to determine whether their methods were effective or not. Through this, they develop new ways of thinking, as well as an understanding of how various things work. Over the last year, our children lacked chances to engage in trial and error outside the home. This kind of learning could be hugely beneficial to them.
Benefits for SEN children
Introducing an environment with new and exciting stimuli can help SEN children engage with and understand concepts behind the activity.
Saying this, many SEN children may find lots of stimuli to be stressful. Field trip and excursion providers can usually advise what they are able to offer in these instances.
Student and Teacher Bond
There’s something about getting outside the classroom that can make teachers feel like more of a friend than an intimidating authoritative figure. At least that’s exactly how I felt during school excursions as a child.
As a result of COVID, it’s normal for children to become a little introverted and develop a fear of others. Field trips are a wonderful way to help our children see that we’re all on the same team and looking out for each other, teachers included. Group excursions can work as an ice-breaker in the face of tough situations.
Excitement to Learn
I’ve mentioned this a little already, but field trips are the perfect way to reignite the excitement to learn. I think we can all agree that homeschooling has taken its toll and that none of us want to look at a piece of schoolwork ever again – well, our children probably feel the same.
Museums, events, and other places of experiential learning offer heaps of hands-on, interactive, and exciting opportunities to learn away from pieces of paper and whiteboards.
Field trips and excursions offer the perfect way to get our children feeling excited about learning again (or maybe for the first time). Leaving the school environment is particularly beneficial for social interaction with both peers and adults, and is something that our children have been sorely missing for the best part of a year.
Whether it’s a trip to a museum, park, or event, field trips offer the opportunity for hands-on learning that can help to cement an understanding of old concepts as well as introducing new ones.
Are you ready to book your next field trip? If so, check out educational field trip providers in your area on Tripology.