Friday, January 27, 2017

What We Love About Homeschooling - Field Trips

Who wants to be constrained by four walls? Doesn't that beautiful sunshine and cool breeze call to you? It calls to us. This is why we enjoy as many field trips as we can each year. Field trips are an opportunity to learn hands-on skills in fun, exciting, new ways that will stay with us. We're excited to share some of our favorite local field trip destinations with you. Field trips are one of the things we love about homeschooling.

Our Favorite Places to Go Learn:
1. Oakes Museum of Natural History - Messiah College: Grantham, PA
2. Cumberland Country Historical Society - Carlisle, PA
3. Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra - Harrisburg, PA
4. Dreamwrights Youth and Family Theater - York, PA
5. Richard Nixon Park - York County, PA
6. Revolution Baseball - York, PA
7. Dutch Apple Theater - Lancaster, PA
8. Indian Steps Museum - Airville, PA
9. Gettysburg National Military Park - Gettysburg, PA

We love hands-on learning as this is one of my son's learning styles: kinesthetic learning. Our favorite place to hang-out and learn is Oakes Museum at Messiah College in Grantham, PA. The staff are knowledgeable and make learning fun. They are also amazing with special needs children. My son enjoys participating in two of their program offerings. First, he attends homeschool classes on a wide variety of subjects on chemistry, life science, physical science, earth science, and biology. We have also participated in several hands-on lab classes for biology. They provide the equipment and specimens at a reasonable price and I get to relax. My son also participates in the Curator's Club, which is a fun, educational program to get children and teens excited about science.

Creek Study of the Yellow Breeches Creek
Curator Club 2 - Oakes Museum of Natural History - Messiah College - Grantham, PA

Studying the Tall Mother Ostrich and Her Tiny Baby and Egg
Homeschool Class - Oakes Museum of Natural History - Messiah College - Grantham, PA

Cumberland County Historical Society in Carlisle, PA is rich in our nation's history which lead educator Matthew March weaves into tales that keep young children and teenagers alike rapt with attention. We especially enjoy their reasonably priced homeschool series that mixes lectures, which are more like stories passed down from one generation to the next, and unique, original artifacts from history for more hands-on education.

Museum at Cumberland County Historical Society - Carlisle, PA

One of our favorite places to enjoy music is the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra in Harrisburg, PA. This talented group of musicians, under the gifted direction of Maestro Stuart Malina, hold the most entertaining and informative concert series for young people. Maestro Malina is effervescent with his love of music becoming contagious to all of those in attendance. Children leave the concert having a greater understanding of and appreciation for the orchestra: music, instruments, sounds, tempos, dynamics, tones, moods, and beats.

Maestro Stuart Malina - Conducting the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra - Harrisburg, PA

Dreamwrights Youth and Family Theatre in York, PA is a family friendly theatre where plays and musicals magically come to life. Not only do I like the family atmosphere, which includes the two casts sharing a meal together every Sunday between shows, but I appreciate the way they consider the needs of the local community by offering sensory friendly shows for those with a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum and a touch tour and audio-described performance for those who are blind or visually impaired. Not only does Dreamwrights offer great shows but they also provide classes to help children and teens learn the craft of performance arts. My son participated in their Create-A-Play Class on a scholarship from the county. Not only did the staff do an amazing job at helping a special needs child adjust but also he learned so much in a week's time including social skills.

The Wizard of Oz Production at Dreamrights Family and Youth Theatre - York, PA
My Son and Dreamwrights Founder and Teacher, Ms. Diane Crews, after the Performance of Create-A-Play

Richard Nixon Park is a county run recreational park in York County, PA where we reside. Through the county and state park systems in our area, we have access to numerous free and inexpensive educational programs throughout the entire year. The most recent class we attended was on Birds of Prey. We learned many things about these beautiful creatures that tied in to our Biology/Animal Science Course.

A Beautiful Peregrine Falcon
Birds of Prey Program at Richard Nixon Park - York, PA

Adorable tiny Screech Owl
Birds of Prey Program at Richard Nixon Park - York, PA

Take me out to the ballgame. Take me out with the crowd. What better way to spend a sunny afternoon than to take your son to a baseball game and cheer on the local team. Go, York Revolution. We learn rules of the game and sportsmanship as we cheer our team on to victory. When the home team scores a homerun, we wait to hear the cannon fire as Cannonball Charlie, a Revolutionary character, sets it off.

My Son Waiting Patiently for the Game to Start.
Revolution Baseball Game - York, PA

My son with Revolution Mascot: The Crazy, Zany Downtown
York Revolution Baseball Game - York, PA

And, Its a Hit! Going, Going, Gone! Homerun!
York Revolution Baseball Game - York, PA

One of our other favorite places to be entertained and to have fun learning is the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater in Lancaster, PA. They have kid-friendly foods: pizza, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets for the children's performances, which is important when you have picky eaters. After your meal is finished, you get to enjoy a musical. The children's productions are always colorful and upbeat. After the performance, the cast answers questions and signs autographs.

Cast from James and the Giant Peach
Dutch Apple Dinner Theater - Lancaster, PA

Captain Braided Beard from Jingle Arrgh the Way
Dutch Apple Theater - Lancaster, PA

This summer, we found a new, fun, educational place to visit: Indian Steps Museum. We attended their Powwow and were able to learn more about the Native Americans who resided in our area of Pennsylvania. Those present  performed traditional dances and wore authentic Native American clothing. The skills they've learned have been passed down from one generation to the next to preserve their heritage.

Youngest Native American Dancer at the Powwow.
Indian Steps Museum - Airville, PA

Real Tipi for Visitors to Explore the Native American Way of Living
Indian Steps Museum - Airville, PA

Native American Medicine Man - Round Dance during Powwow
Indian Steps Museum - Airville, PA

We are graced with not only the beautiful scenery but also the historical significance of the Gettysburg National Military Park where Union and Confederate soldiers fought in the bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

Virginia Monument Overlooking Pickett's Charge
Gettysburg National Military Park - Gettysburg, PA

My Son with Dear Friends who Serve as Re-enactors Gettysburg, PA
Mrs. Keitt, General Isaac Trimble Confederate Army, My Son, Our Friend, Colonel Laurence Keitt Confederate Army

We hope you enjoyed taking this virtual tour of our favorite, local field trip destinations. This post is part of a Blog Round-Up with The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. You can gain further inspiration for Field Trips and read what others like best about homeschooling at the Homeschool Review Crew.

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