Education – Outside the Box

School has been in session for a few weeks now, but not all our schooling takes place sitting at a desk pouring over textbooks. Throughout the month of September, our family has had some fun, exciting and memorable learning opportunities. You might even call them, oh, I don’t know . . . wait, yes I do. . . Field Trips! or Educational Vacations or even Education Outside the Box.

Whatever you want to call it, the first month of our 2013-2014 school year was memorable. We visited the Missouri Botanical Gardens where . . .

  • Botanical Gardens  Apron Strings & other thingswe wandered through mazes
  • we explored a tropical rainforest
  • we visited kitchen gardens and herb gardens and daylily gardens
  • Miss BoPeep found her sheep
  • SheepWranglers rode them wild
  • Dad demonstrated how a lock and dam works
  • the kids joined Tom and Huck on a lazy ride down the river
  • we crossed rope bridges 2 stories high
  • we walked and walked and walked

We visited the Museum of Transportation where . . .

  • Museum of Transportation :: Apron Strings & other thingsthe boys became the Engineer of the largest steam locomotive ever built
  • we walked the rails in search of adventure
  • we walked through the history of the automobile
  • the boxcar children came to life
  • we walked and walked and walked

We stepped back in time one day with our homeschool group when we visited the NEMO Old Thresher’s Day where. . .

  • Old Threshers 2  Apron Strings & other thingsthe old art of typesetting came to life with storytelling
  • the girls dream of a kitchen of their own someday, maybe cooking on a wood range, maybe not
  • the children helped do laundry, the old fashioned way
  • we learned about rare animals like the Jacob’s 4-horned sheep (remember the spotted sheep Jacob sorted out of the flock in Genesis?)
  • we ground corn for meal – would you call this child labor? or entertainment?
  • we saw how rugs are made, using things we have around the house – a great lesson on recycling!

So much was packed into that day. We also had the opportunity to . . .

  • Old Threshers 1  Apron Strings & other thingstake a ride in 5-gallon barrels
  • ride on steam-powered carnival rides
  • see our children locked up in jail!
  • see Mom trim a log and cut a 2×4 at the sawmill – for real!
  • walk and walk and walk

And then there was a trip to the zoo. Taking advantage of all kinds of learning opportunities, we. . .

  • At the Zoo  Apron Strings & other thingstalked with the animals, learned their languages
  • ‘swam’ with the sealions
  • were up close and personal with tropical birds
  • observed how to make a straight line (pelicans are much better at this than homeschoolers)
  • searched for animals, A to Z (mom provided a worksheet, the kids filled in the blanks with an animals beginning with each letter of alphabet)
  • walked and walked and walked

And then there was the morning we packed up and took a spontaneous hike through the woods in search of Petroglyphs. There is a spot not too far from us where we have seen rock drawings and we wanted to see if we could find them again. On that day we . . .

  • Nature Hike -- Apron Strings & other things hiked down ravines and gulleys
  • crossed creeks and climbed rocks
  • crawled into caves over boulders
  • crumbled rocks with our bare hands!
  • observed the local flora and fauna
  • saw no petroglyphs. That was disappointing. There was a lot of moss and lichen on the rock and much of the rock in the area is sandstone, which erodes away easily.
  • walked and walked and walked

Over the years I’ve often shared with others that homeschooling is not just ‘doing’ school at home. It is a lifestyle. Learning happens everywhere, wherever we are, all the time. We covered subject areas of science and history and current events and language arts and botany and p.e. (did you notice all the walking?) and more. What unique learning opportunities have you experienced lately?

linking up to some of these wonderful places and at the Field TripΒ  Ideas Around the World Blog Hop at Hip Homeschool Moms.

Fun Field Trip Ideas Around the World

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  1. Sounds like a lot of fun to me πŸ™‚ Our October is looking like that. I told my husband a couple of days ago that I just might have overbooked this month!!

    • It seems we all get months like that. We have slowed down to a nice easy pace, which is also nice. Make the most of these crazy days, you’ll enjoy the quiet days all the more. Have a blessed weekend!

  2. I want you to be my teacher!! What fun! My son goes to public school as you know. But we love to take him to places like these on weekends or school breaks. Book learning is super important but some things cannot be learned through books. And the memories you have made with your children participating in these things will last a lifetime.

    • Thank you Amanda, I’d love to have you for a student! Your are and always will be your son’s most important and influential teacher so keep investing in him! We never stop learning, even during weekends and summer break, but we always have a choice about what we want to learn and taking advantage of our opportunities. Love collecting those memories!

  3. INDEED! Learning does happen everywhere. I love homeschooling my children. You all have done some awesome field trips recently.
    Blessings, Dawn

    • I love our homeschooling lifestyle, too Dawn. We’ve been able to pack an unusual number of ‘fun’ school activities into a short time, so now we are back to a more normal, mundane sort of schedule. But that’s good too! Thanks for stopping by. Have a blessed weekend.

  4. Goodness what wonderful field trips you took! We spent lots of time outdoors in September too. I feel so blessed as a homeschooler to be able to make the most of the good weather before winter.
    I love your collages of all the fabulous multi-sensory learning that happened.

    • Thank you, Lucinda, for visiting and for your sweet comment. This is my favorite time of year, and like you, I’m so thankful we can be out and enjoying it. Our schooling this month was not quite as packed full of exciting stuff, but it’s all good! Have a wonderful week πŸ™‚

  5. Hi,
    I discovered your beautiful blog at Collage Friday.
    Adventure schooling is a great way to learn isn’t it?
    I host a week in review link up as well and would love to invite you to join in. It’s called “This Week…” and you can find it at

    • Hello, Renee πŸ™‚ thank you for stopping and for the invitation. I’ll pop over to see you this week! Adventure schooling – what a wonderful way to put it. Homeschooling IS an adventure, and so is life, and we are learning all the time. Have a blessed day.

  6. Wow! I bet your kids think you are SO COOL! Your “School” looks super fun! I love seeing ideas of how to not be stuck at that darn desk/table all day. Way to go, mom!

    • Hi Heather – you made me laugh, promoting me to Cool Mom status! I’ll remind my kids when the days get mundane πŸ˜‰ I’m all for getting away from the desks. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your nice comment. Have a wonderful week full of fun and learning!

  7. Wow! Can we join your homeschool?! I love learning outside the box your way! Thanks for sharing at Friendship Friday!

  8. Woohoo, that sounds like so much fun!! We love those field trips ideas!! I love that your HS learns outside the box, we do too πŸ™‚ These are great places to visit if we get stationed in MO. Are they all relatively close to you guys?

    • Hi Kay πŸ™‚ thanks for stopping by our MO homeschool for a visit. Yes, St Louis has some amazing ‘outside the box’ activities for learning and fun, the rest of Mo does too, for that matter. I guess I’ll have to be watching your Little Korner to see where you go next, just in case you end up in my neck of the woods.
      When our oldest children were young we moved many times, and so I know what it’s like for you, on the road moving from place to place. What a blessing to be able to educate our children wherever we are.

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