The best thing about homeschooling is that everything can be an educational experience. Letting the world be our classroom is my number one goal.
I was convinced to book some flights when we had the opportunity to go to my best friend’s graduation and turn it into a learning experience! We had the full Boston experience–friends, history, and quality time, just the two of us.
Educating through a homeschool field trip is a little different than the typical school trip. We keep prep simple, usually reading a book or watching a movie on the topic to discuss. I always do a verbal quiz before we arrive!
Another beauty of homeschooling: not every test, task, or assignment requires paper and pen or a grade. Checking in to see what Thomas digested from our experiences and lessons helps to guide me better than traditional testing.
After the trip, Thomas will process and apply the information in some manner. Sometimes, that means writing about his experience, but for this trip, we discussed it. The Boston Tea Party is something we learn about every year because we are big Hamilton fans!
When we got to Boston, Thomas and I started with the Boston Tea Party. While we didn’t get to do the full tour, it was fun to see them throw the tea overboard. Visiting the Boston Tea Party site wasn’t as much for learning as it was for Thomas to connect what he’s read, what he’s watched, and what we’ve discussed and have it all click.
We also did a bus tour with an educated tour guide on the history of the area. I love tours! We learned about things most textbooks do not include and being able to see these lessons in real life brings a deeper impact. We got to hear about all the different areas of Boston which are so rich in history, like the different places significant to the Kennedy family and the Great Molasses Flood. It took months for them to clean up almost two million gallons of molasses! Generally, I’m more interested in the tours, and Thomas retains more than I realize.
Thomas has always said he wants to go to Harvard, so we drove to see the campus! While walking around, we met some current Black students. It was a beautiful moment. Being able to walk on the campus and see a student who looks like him was a motivational moment that solidified this is an attainable dream for him.
I haven’t raised Thomas to see color as a barrier because we live such a diverse lifestyle, but that does not mean the world will be as kind. I strive to make sure he sees his future with infinite potential, and part of seeing that is ensuring he sees people like him doing great things, like going to Harvard.
This may have been an educational trip for Thomas, but it was just as helpful for me! In the future, I plan to create an American history curriculum, and Boston helped to lay that foundation and shape my vision for what I want all American children to know.
It’s freedom all the way around—the Freedom Trail, journey to the Constitution, and the road to freedom for African Americans. Stay tuned!
Homeschool field trips are one of my favorite pieces of breaking down traditional education and taking ownership of Thomas’ education. Those trips are just as important as what we learn at home because it helps to remind kids that what once happened was real. I’m looking forward to our next one!