I’m a homeschooling mom, which means I love, love, love taking my kids on homeschool field trips. There’s just one little teeny tiny problem: It’s expensive!
I’ve found lots of really great frugal field trip places in Atlanta that we’ve visited often, but other than those, it can be tough to afford really educational outings, especially as my kids get older and learn about more complex topics.
So I was excited to learn about FieldTripZoom – a virtual field trip service that offers streaming homeschool field trips you can watch from your home! Talk about a homeschooler’s dream come true!
Read on to see how we’re using FieldTripZoom to make field trips affordable for our family! Plus, learn how to score a 10 percent discount on an annual membership for you and your kids!
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Why Homeschool Field Trips Can Be So Expensive for Families
I’ve only attended a handful of live homeschool field trips since our last child was born and there’s a good reason for it: MONEY. As I browse available programs in our area, most of the sessions that look really educational are based on a ticket price per child.
That might work if I only had one or two children, but four? Take a modest field trip price of $10 per child, multiply it by four, and now we’re looking at $40 just to get in if there’s no charge for parents.
Unfortunately for us, most of these field trips are held at locations on the side of Atlanta that is exactly opposite where we live. Which means I have to factor in an additional tank of gas and pack a lunch. By the time all is said and done, I’m looking at $80 – for a one to two hour field trip. That’s a bit steep on our budget.
Needless to say, I’ve passed up a lot of homeschool field trips over the years.
How FieldTripZoom Makes Homeschool Field Trips Affordable
How does FieldTripZoom help me save on homeschool field trips?
With FieldTripZoom, I don’t have to shell out a separate ticket price per child and I don’t have to fill up on gas again that week just to drive across the city to an awesome program. I can just sign on to my FieldTripZoom account, join the virtual field trip, and watch with everyone!
For example, these are my four relaxing in the living room and watching a field trip about nutrition. My boys each have toys (which would probably be a no-go in a real-life program) and my preschooler is listening in too!
As the presenter asked questions, the kids got to get up and answer them via chat. They were actually arguing over who could answer each one! When we’ve attended field trips in the past, they’ve been a little hesitant to participate, but at home they were ready and willing!
This was a really great session, because the presenter talked about the importance of nutrition and how it is distorted by the food advertising industry.
This is where I had Tigger sit up and take notes. As a middle schooler, we’ve been really working with her to learn how to think critically about what she sees and hears. This information really reinforced that.
And when we got to the section about exercise, I nearly jumped for joy. (I’ve been trying to coax her into a more active lifestyle for months.)
On FieldTripZoom, you can see the entire program schedule for the academic year and decide which ones you and your kids would like to attend. They’re conveniently listed by grade level, so it’s easy to spot which topics are a good fit for your kids’ age ranges. But be ready to sit down and scroll a while: There are over 300 annual programs to choose from!
The Nutrition program was geared toward several grade levels. But I also wanted to choose a few programs just for Tigger, who’s in sixth grade this year, so I signed up for a few programs for grades 6 and up only.
This one on the Civil War – presented by the University of Virginia – was absolutely excellent. It was a truly informative presentation about how the Civil War got started and why the Confederacy lost.
Talking about American history can be a little dry, especially for active kids like my middle schooler.
But look at her face! She had so much fun participating in the discussion and learning more about this topic! And we never even had to leave the house.
Benefits of Virtual Field Trips for Homeschoolers
As we’ve attended these sessions, I’ve come to value some other benefits of virtual field trips for homeschooling families of all kinds, not just big families on a budget like us.
This virtual field trip was a trip to Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington. We got to follow the host as he walked us through the market, introduced us to local vendors, and talked about the history of the place.
If I had tried to tour a place like this in person, I would have spent most of my time corralling my youngest, telling my oldest to pay attention, and trying to keep my boys from touching things.
Since we were attending virtually with FieldTripZoom, though, I didn’t have to worry about any of that! The kids just laid on the floor and watched. We talked about what we saw and heard and it was as no-stress as can be.
Now, hang on, because I’m about to really blow your mind. 🙂
We’ve even attended one of our homeschool field trips in the van. I had signed up for a FieldTripZoom virtual field trip hosted from the Alaska Sea Life Center, a place we’ll probably never visit in person, and I didn’t want the kids to miss it.
So I downloaded the Zoom app, signed on with my unique session link, and the kids watched as I drove!
It doesn’t get much better than that! And with the traffic we deal with in Atlanta, I will definitely make use of sessions when we’re “road-schooling”.
So the big question is: How much does FieldTripZoom cost? And I’m actually going to tell you the answer: $49.95 a year. That’s it.
For that price, you get access to as many of the virtual field trips as you want for as many kids as you want on as many dates as you want. It’s an incredible deal for homeschooling families, particularly those that have multiple kids.
And now – through December 31, 2016, save TEN PERCENT on an annual FieldTripZoom membership with this promo code: 01336. Here’s a handy image you can refer to when ordering.
Do you have questions about FieldTripZoom that I haven’t answered here? Still not sure if it’s a good fit for you? Let me know and I’ll do my best to fill you in based on our experiences! In fact, we have another field trip scheduled for this Friday, so I’ll have even more to share afterward. 🙂
To learn more about FieldTripZoom and all the programs that will be available for virtual homeschool field trips this year, follow the company on social media!
Shar-ann Simpson says
This is also so great for those of us that have only one very limited income. Thank you for sharing.