Field Trips by Jen - a HECOA series for Home Educatorsfield trips by jen

Visiting Local Farms


 

For some, farms might be familiar territory.  The central region of the United States is crowded with farmland and working famers.  For city folk however, farms are a rare sight and we take each one as a special educational opportunity. 

Farms are a wonderful source of information and they touch on a variety of educational subjects to study.  Farms are a perfect destination for a field trip or research project. 

One of the best features of visiting a farm is getting up-close to some farms animals.  Children who attended public school are familiar with what Old MacDonald had on his farm and the sounds his animals would make.  But seeing and hearing in-person brings a greater understanding of the livestock living throughout the world.  Aside from seeing and hearing, at a farm visitors are given the opportunity to interact with the animals and see them interact with each other.  Have you ever seen a litter of piglets suckling at their mother sow?  It’s quite amazing and adorable!  And the process by which farms milk cows nowadays is fascinating.  Here is an informational graphic about milk that could be a helpful resource to supplement a trip to a farm.  (Source: www.coroflot.com/ltriefeldt/information-graphics)

milk cow process chart

Exposure to agriculture is a great way to educate children about various valuable skills.  When touring a farm, it is common to be briefed on the crops that are grown there.  Children are able to gain knowledge of favorable weather for growing food and the difficulty level of maintaining a good crop.  There are several scientific activities/experiments a child can do to explore the effects of climate and soil on crops.  This site has a series of step-by-step experiments to use.

http://www4.ncsu.edu/~jmalonso/Alonso-Stepanova_Outreach.html

This can lead to a deeper understanding of seasonal foods and why certain produce isn’t offered year-round. Some farms offer seasonal picking activities, which can be fun for the whole family to enjoy together. 

Learning about farm produce is also a good opportunity to discuss health and nutrition with your children.  Farms often provide all the basic food groups that make up a healthy balanced diet.  There are so many helpful food pyramids offered online, but here is one example:  

(Source: http://www.healthyhippie.net/food-guide-pyramid-for-children/)

food-guide-pyramid-for-children

For further study, children may examine the many different types of farming: Arable farms vs pastoral farms, industrial farming vs sustainable farming, etc.  Farms are all very different and they each have unique purposes and goals.  It can be interesting to find out why a particular farm operates the way it does. 

So who keeps these farms running?  During your visit to a farm, it is important to keep in mind what happens behind the scenes.  Your tour guide will most likely be a farmer who will know the answers to a lot of your questions.  One of the benefits to visiting a farm is learning about the farming occupation.  It is enriching to be able to study a lifestyle directly and to talk with someone who is living it.  Through interactions like these, we can get a broader perspective of the hard work it takes to be a farmer.   

Children and parents alike are able to gain a sense of gratitude for the produce they see in their neighborhood grocery store.  You may never look at another watermelon the same way again. 

Your field trip to the farm will certainly be a memorable one.


What was your most memorable field trip to a farm?  Tell us about in the comments below!

More for our members on field trips:

At HECOA, we LOVE field trips!  They are a great way to enhance your academic content and they really help kids to get hands-on experiences to extend the learner to much deeper levels.  We have articles as well as recorded webinars on field trips, and we have TWO amazing field trips scheduled at the national level for 2016 - one is to Yellowstone National Park in June 2016, and the other is to Washington D.C. in September!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR 2016 NATIONAL FIELD TRIP TO WASHINGTON D.C. !

Happiest Place on Earth (FREE Printable ABCs Scavenger Hunt)
DID YOU KNOW that the Matterhorn bobsled ride is based on the Matterhorn Peak in the Pennine Alps between Switzerland[...]
Why You Need to Teach Geology and How
The common approach to teaching Geology is to hit it once, probably in 8th Grade. But Geology is the beginning[...]
A Field Trip to Thanksgiving Point
This particular museum is an educational theme park! A fascinating wonderland of academic playgrounds. The entrance fee is pricier than[...]
Yellowstone Prep Curriculum
Yellowstone Field Trip Curriculum~5-week series to prep for your trip~ WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5[...]
Fishing for Facts at the Aquarium
Fishing for Facts at the AquariumBy Jen HolmstromDive into another world at the aquarium! The aquarium is one of the[...]
The Mystery Spot
​The Mystery SpotBy Jen Holmstrom Your mind will be blown away when you hear about this spot in Santa Cruz,[...]
8 Amazing Things to Do at Yellowstone National Park
8 Amazing Things to Do at Yellowstone National ParkBy Jen Holmstrom There are some incredible spots in our natural surroundings. We[...]
Skating Through Life
Skating Through Lifeby Jen HolmstromAround the Holidays we look for seasonal activities. One of the best activities for colder days[...]
You’ve Got Mail!
You've Got Mail! By Jen Holmstrom"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift[...]
Exploring Nature In Your Own Backyard
Exploring Nature In Your Own Backyard by Jen Holmstrom One of the most enriching parts of the world is nature.[...]
The Jelly Belly Factory
The Jelly Belly Factory  by Jen Holmstrom Crushed Pineapple, Blueberry, Island Punch, and Toasted Marshmallow. Do these flavors peak your[...]
Apples & Pumpkins by Jen
Share0 Share +10 Tweet0 Share0 Pin0 ​Apples & Pumpkins by Jen HolmstromHomeschooling allows us to explore and study seasons and[...]
Field Trips – An Essential Component of Homeschooling
This workshop was taught in the 2015 Not Back to School SummitField trips are essential to homeschooling, and yet many[...]
Customize a World Class Education For Your Children
This workshop was taught in the 2015 Not Back to School Summit - REGISTER HERE for FREE live access to our next[...]
Biblical Geology – The Biblical Framework for Interpreting Earth History
Do you wish that you knew more about the Earth so that you could explain the geographical formations to your[...]
Creating a Humanitarian Homeschool
This workshop was taught in the 2015 Not Back to School Summit - REGISTER HERE for FREE live access to our[...]
Using Travel to enhance your childrens understanding of the World
This workshop was taught in the 2015 Not Back to School Summit - REGISTER HERE for FREE live access to our[...]
Towers of Learning
Share0 Share +10 Tweet0 Share0 Pin0 Towers Bring New Meaning to Higher Learning There are few things more breathtaking than[...]
Make a trip to your local farm
Field Trips by Jen - a HECOA series for Home Educators Visiting Local Farms   For some, farms might be[...]
Teaching Geology with Rock Identification
How to Identify those Rocks Your Kids are Bringing Home Presentation by Patrick Nurre Do you have a child who[...]
Snowshoeing for PE
[osd_social_media_sharing] Looking for a fun outdoor physical activity when it's snowy outside that won't break the bank? Skiing and snowboarding[...]
Letterboxing
[osd_social_media_sharing] Much easier than geocaching, letterboxing involves following a set of directions to a location – turn left, turn right,[...]
What Not Back to School Means to Homeschoolers
What does Not Back to School mean to YOU?? We asked our members to send us a photo or a[...]
Scheduling and Planning to Have Fridays Off
Scheduling and Lesson Planning – How to Have Fridays Off –  How do parents find time to attend park days[...]

Leave a Comment: