by Megan Mora Fuentes
Field trips are becoming greatly anticipated this time of the year. As winter starts to wrap up and we get the first few tantalizing tastes of warmer spring days, outdoor homeschooling starts to look more and more appealing. Have you started looking forward to your spring homeschool lessons and planning for warmer weather already? Yesterday marked the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the first national park in the United States. Commemorate the occasion and embrace the coming spring with a homeschool field trip to your favorite national park–or an adventure at a new one! Check out this Homeschool Living to discover some of the best “classrooms” for your outdoor homeschool and plan your next homeschool field trip!
National Park Field Trip
The history of national parks in the United States starts with Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Explore the history and development of the park over the past 150 years, and check out the painting that started it all. Thomas Moran’s Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone–currently housed in the Smithsonian American Art Museum–and others like it, played a significant role in influencing Congress to establish Yellowstone as the first national park.
While Yellowstone was the first piece of land designated as a national park, it was far from the only one established in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Discover the ten oldest national parks in the US, and use them as beautiful subjects in an adventurous geography and history lesson. If you find yourself planning a cross-country trip, it’s worth adding a homeschool field trip to one of these sites into your plans!
Virginia State Park Field Trip
You don’t need to travel across the country to visit beautiful national parks. Virginia is home to more than 20 national parks, rich in historical significance and natural beauty. Check out these top ten national parks in Virginia. You might find your next homeschool field trip right in your own backyard!
Once you’ve had a chance to explore some national parks–both in person and from home–spend some time learning why they are so important. This article from Advnture.com outlines many of the ecological, economic, and educational benefits of national parks, and why it is important to steward and preserve them.
Field Trip Stewardship
Stewardship can sometimes be a difficult concept to teach, but leading by example is a great way to instill an attitude of responsibility and consideration. Check out these tips from The Hiking Life to learn how to practice the principles of Leave No Trace. You can take full advantage of all of the educational and health benefits of your outdoor homeschool field trip, while also helping to ensure that others will be able to do the same, if you plan ahead and have care and consideration for the environment around you.