Category Archives: fieldtrip

Atlanta Staycation

atlanta stay

**This post is just my opinions about what our family has done. I was not given anything in exchange for this post.**

I know a StayCation is actually supposed to be when you stay HOME and vacation around. However… because I grew up in Atlanta and we stayed for FREE at my parents’ house, I considered what we did last week to, in fact, be a staycation.

Normally when we come to Atlanta, we have an agenda… birthday parties with cousins, holidays, VBS, etc. and we don’t really have time to get out and explore other than the local parks.

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We decided to pick some attractions in Atlanta to visit. We tried to keep it fairly cheap. All in all, we were able to StayCation in Atlanta and visit three different attractions for less than $300.

Our family is VERY active. The kids cannot sit still for very long and do not have long attention spans (they are 9, 7, 4, and 2). We looked for outdoors, family friendly and stroller friendly activities. Being able to bring in outside food and drinks were also a must.

First, we went to Zoo Atlanta. When we did live in Atlanta, we had a membership to the zoo. It has definitely been one of our favorite places to visit. The kids really enjoyed feeding the parakeets and seeing the pandas! The only downside was that it was SUPER crowded. I expected spring break traffic, but I did not expect the school field trips we ran into. When we left, I counted at least 30 buses in the parking lot. It was a zoo (pun intended) with all those kids running around! The Altanta Zoo can get pricey, but because we have a membership to our local zoo, we were able to get in for half price.

Next Up was the Chatahoochee Nature Center. This little gem is just down the road from where we used to live, but somehow we never actually made it over to check it out. The cost is reasonable. Our family of six got in for under $40. The Nature Center offers an indoor aquarium that focuses on how rivers work and how we can have a positive or negative impact on them. We explored the nature trails. We were able to take our stroller on the trails. It was a nice little hike. Other highlights were the predatory bird aviary, the bald eagle aviary, the butterfly garden, the beaver and the river boardwalk. This was a great place to get outside and run around. Plan to bring a picnic and stay for a while!

Our final big trip for the family was Stone Mountain. We opted to go all out and get the adventure pass plus meal deal. This got us all into all the attractions as well as a meal and unlimited refills on all the drinks. We had a blast riding the sky cab to the top of Stone Mountain and exploring. The kids took off running as soon as we got to the top. We then headed over to the attractions. Our adventure pass gave us access to mini golf, the sky hike ropes course, the great barn indoor play area, the geyser splash pad, train ride and more.

I think our favorite part of the day was the Sky Hike area. The big kids and super dad braved the high ropes course. Their harnesses were strapped on and they headed out on the above ground obstacle course. While they were playing above ground, the littles and I headed to the low ropes course. Little Sis, who is four, rocked the course and conquered the zip line with no fear! Big Brother also got to rock climb.

What does your family like to do to get away, or staycation?

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Freebie Friday- Apple Orchard Field Trip Printable Pack

Can you tell I’m excited about making printable packs?!?

We have an apple orchard close to our home that we enjoy going to. I put together this little pack so we could make our most recent trip have some educational overtones (not that just going to an apple orchard isn’t educational enough).

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Included in the pack:

Apple Orchard Scavenger Hunt

Apple Taste Test

How Many Seeds

My Trip to the Apple Orchard Writing

**Be sure to click the link BELOW the image for the printable version

Apple Orchard Field Trip

Click to Download Printable Version ————> Apple Orchard Activity Pack

Happy Friday!!!

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FieldTrip- Fort Frederica

We were so blessed to have a family vacation on Saint Simons Island in Georgia a couple of weeks ago. With the new baby this year and the time already taken off from school, I had decided that we would take school with us to the beach. I didn’t bring everything. I left the math and language arts behind. We brought our Apologia Ocean science book with us and planned on doing some fieldtrips and hands on exploration while on the island.

We’ve been to Fort Frederica in the past… but Big Brother was only a couple of years old the last time we went. This time was great because we’ve been studying American history all year and this Fort gives a great picture of life in early America… when the British were still in charge.

Another blessing… it happened to be National Park Week… so… we got into the fort for FREE!!!

Fort Frederica is actually what is left of a small town that was built near and around the fort. The park is great for the kids… LOTS of open spaces for running and opportunities to follow the old city streets and learn about life in that time. Stations were set up down the main street with information and artifacts. They told the story of General Oglethorpe and those who lived in the towns.

We were surprised at how small the houses were in that time. The perimeter of the house was no bigger than our living room (and that’s not very big).  This picture shows the foundation of two houses that shared a common wall.

And then there was what was left of the fort itself. We saw cannons and learned about the strategies used to  defend the town and people living there.

The kids’ favorite thing at the fort were the giant climbing trees. If it can be climbed, my children will climb it.

So, if you have occasion to be in south Georgia and are looking for a way to spend your morning (or afternoon), consider swinging by Fort Frederica!

What is your favorite homeschool fieldtrip?

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Six Flags: Read to Succeed

Attention kids grades K- 6:

Your reading could earn you tickets to SIX FLAGS!!!

This is from the Read to Succeed website:

Read to Succeed is a free educational program sponsored by Six Flags to inspire kids in grades K through 6 to engage in recreational reading.

Students who complete six hours of recreational, non-school-related reading are eligible to earn a free admission ticket to a participating Six Flags theme park.   Teachers who have 10 or more students in their class participate and complete the program are also eligible to earn a free ticket.

Schools must be within a 250-mile radius of a participating Six Flags theme park in order to participate.   http://readtosucceed.discoveryeducation.com/about.cfm

The deadline to submit all student reading hours is March 1, 2012 at 5pm Eastern Standard Time.
**

They have made some changes from the program last year, including changes for homeschool.  You can read about the changes and register your homeschool at http://readtosucceed.discoveryeducation.com/homeschool.cfm

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Money Saving Monday- Free Field Trips

With three young children in our family, staying home can get a little old after a while. I don’t mind being home… the kids have plenty of toys, a great backyard and lots of crayons. They definitely have more than they need to “entertain” themselves. However, some days the walls just seem to be closing in and we just have to get out! Plenty of “free” options are out there for a quick little fieldtrip with little ones… one of our favorites is Pet Smart…

 Pet Smart has TONS of fish, snails, crickets, etc at which to look.

They also have reptiles, birds and hamsters, guinea pigs,etc. 
If you really want it to be an educational experience, here are a few tips:
1. Give your kids a clipboard and have them draw/ write (depending on the age) the animals that they see. 
2. Come up with a list of questions to ask the people who work there about the different animals.
3. For younger kids, have them identify different colors of fish or birds.
4. Have older children add numbers to figure out how much it would cost to buy a fish, a tank, food, and other things involved in owning a fish.

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Free Family Fun (4)

I had a lady at the park ask me once what I do all day at home with the kids. She was a working mom who was considering staying home with her two children, but was afraid she wouldn’t know what to do with them. I think it took me about two, maybe even three years to really get the hang of staying at home with the little monkeys. It can be really overwhelming to think about “entertaining” little people all day long in addition to taking care of the home and balancing various interests and activities.

I told this mom that one thing I definitely do is familiarize myself with the city…find the family friendly parks, get a schedule of story time at the library or bookstore, and check out what other free activities are offered. We are blessed to live about 20 minutes away from a great botanical garden. They offer free admission the first Monday of every month. It is big, outdoors and free. The kids love it because we always see lots of pretty flowers and butterflies around. I love it because it’s free AND… big, open space for the kids to run around and go crazy in. Even though it is crowded with other people taking advantage of the free-ness, it is not overwhelmingly crowded and I do not feel like I have to corral the kids or tell them to be quiet. They are free to explore, observe and imagine.

So many options exist for families to take advantage of … all you have to do is a little digging to find out what they are.

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Fieldtrip- Georgia Sea Turtle Center

I am more and more liking this homeschooling stuff. This week, our family was able to pick up and head to the beach to spend some time with the grandparents. We packed up the school stuff and did our work on the balcony overlooking a gorgeous beach scene.

We were also able to visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center which was so interesting. The center itself was very education friendly. It was full of interactive displays that taught lots and lots of turtle facts. They had people posted throughout the center to answer questions and share about what they do to help sea turtles. The center itself was very kid friendly. Everything was in a big room so the kids could freely explore for themselves.

We headed over to the Sea Turtle center, not really knowing what to expect (sometimes it’s better that way).
This lift the flap fact finder is just one of the many interactive displays.

At this display, the monkey boy learned about the hazards that baby turtles face as they try to get from the nest to the ocean. He had to guide the “turtle” through many obstacles in this fun maze.

After we left the Information part of the center, we headed to the Sea Turtle Hospital. The Sea Turtle Center is all about rescuing and rehabilitating Sea Turtles. They had turtles who had been hit by boats, caught in fishing lines, eaten the wrong kinds of food and gotten too much gas in their bellies (which apparently makes them float without the ability to swim under water).
We didn’t have an agenda when we headed out this morning other than to go see what they had to offer at the Sea Turtle Center. While we were there, I could think of tons of ideas to bring school into the experience- questions to answer, scavenger hunts to find information, all kinds of turtle projects to make from the information we gathered.

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