Field trips

Field trips

We are a home­school­ing fam­ily. I have six chil­dren. Two have grad­u­ated. Those keep­ing up will know that I still have four that I’m teach­ing. A cou­ple of years ago I came up with a bril­liant plan. His­tor­i­cal field trips.

We have done a Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War field trip, trav­el­ing clock­wise from Col­orado, tak­ing us to Philadel­phia, Wash­ing­ton, DC, and Charleston, SC. We lis­tened to some Faith and Free­dom Tour CDs  from Vision Forum on the way across the coun­try to pre­pare us for what we would see. Occa­sion­ally, we would make an unplanned stop to see some­thing spec­tac­u­lar, like the home where Stonewall Jack­son died. It was a high­light of our trip. The actual bed he lan­guished in is still in that tiny white house. With tears in my eyes, I relayed to my chil­dren the story of his death, his faith, and his Hope. And they were there.

Stonewall Jackson home

Stonewall Jack­son Home


Then last year, we made a sim­i­lar trip, this time counter-clockwise from Col­orado to Florida, and up to Boston. On the way up to Boston, we planned to drive by to see the Statue of Lib­erty from across the har­bor. How­ever, when we got there we couldn’t resist the urge to go on the ferry to see it up close. We vis­ited Ellis Island while we were there. Faith decided that she would like to go back to NY for her birth­day. She waf­fles between NY and Paris. And throws in Pom­peii on occa­sion to keep us on our toes. We ended up in the Bronx dur­ing Rush Hour…in my 15 pas­sen­ger van. I called my hus­band and asked him to guess where we were. I was a tad bit overwhelmed.

So, we make great mem­o­ries, learn a ton of his­tory that sticks, and the chil­dren don’t even seem to real­ize that they are learn­ing. It’s just part of the big field trip.

This year, we are head­ing to the West Coast. I want to drive the kids to Cal­i­for­nia, by way of the Grand Canyon. Then we will head up the Pacific Hwy. I need some his­tory ideas! I want to take them to the Hearst Cas­tle, Solvang, San Fran­cisco. Pic­nic on the beach. What else should we do? I am in great need for ideas. We used to live at Edwards AFB, so I will take them out there for sure. I’m beg­ging you for ideas. Where do we go? Even in those spots I men­tioned, what are for sure not to miss sites? Act like I know noth­ing (and you’ll be pretty close to where I’m at) about the places and spill the beans. Where would *you* go?


Photo credit: Bill Selak / / CC BY-ND

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  1. Have you thought about vis­it­ing the Cal­i­for­nia Mis­sions? The mis­sions were founded between 1768 and 1853. I found this web­site: that looks like it has lots of great teacher resources!!

  2. How about the Gold Rush area? We stayed in Colum­bia, Cal­i­for­nia where they have a his­tor­i­cal town…no cars on the main street. You can take a tour through the area where min­ers stayed or stay at their his­tor­i­cal hotel.

    We also enjoyed the aquar­ium in Mon­ter­rey many, many, many years ago.

  3. Great idea! Thanks for shar­ing it. I will go do some research to see if we can do this!

  4. If you go all the way to Seat­tle, the under­ground city of Seat­tle is amaz­ing. The his­tory of San Fran­ciso is really cool too. There are numer­ous books on how the city burned over and over again. If you want to read one before you go, the one Cal­ico Palace (just for you) by Gwen Bris­tow is one that talks about it. Also, the earth­quake of 1906.…

    The Red­wood for­est –

    This is some inter­est­ing ones in Ore­gon.

    Tillam­ook is also a must see and stop along the way!

  5. Trish K. says:

    Tonya, if you go through Ore­gon, I grew up in a lit­tle com­mu­nity of Pis­tol River, between Brook­ings and Gold Beach. Gold Beach has a his­tor­i­cal soci­ety with lots of local his­tory. I’m very biased about the area. If you want more infor­ma­tion, email me.

  6. Miranda says:

    Hi Tonya

    You might like to go to Mon­terey Bay, if you haven’t been before. Not only is the wildlife amaz­ing, but you can also get the his­tory on Stein­beck — great literature.

    In terms of food you could take, since you are tak­ing a cool box, I find a tuna mix I make up really good. It has the omega 3’s and lots of other good stuff in it and will keep you all filled up for a good num­ber of hours. I mix cans of tuna with some may­on­naise, nat­ural yoghurt, spring onions, pine nuts, seeds, curry pow­der, turmeric, cin­na­mon, occa­sion­ally raisins. What I put in dif­fers each time, depend­ing on what is in the cup­board but we all love it. It goes with pretty much any­thing, too. Use plenty of yoghurt to keep it moist as it will dry out a bit over time.

    The gluten free cook­book arrived and I’m hav­ing a great time look­ing through all the recipes.

    Hope you have a great field trip. Take care.

    Miranda xx

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