The school supplies are front and center at Target and Walmart. Teacher emails and phone calls are being made. The calendar says August and no pandemic can stop the 2020-2021 school year from starting, even if it looks different this year. Very different.
If you’re homeschooling (because of COVID or not), virtual schooling, or hybrid schooling, it’s easy to fall into new rhythms and never leave the house. But that’s not good for anyone’s sanity.
Let me challenge you to think outside the walls of your home and find some ways to learn in the great outdoors.
I’m going on year four of homeschooling. Yes, I am still a newbie. But I have found some great places to take my kids to learn that’s away from the workbooks and the computers. Taking an educational field trip is a great way to break up the monotony of the week or to boost moods. (Yours and your kids.)
Here are some of our personal favorite field trips that can easily be done socially distanced.
Clinton Sease Farm
Clinton Sease Farm is in Lexington and is a great place to escape. They offer traditional field trips where they do an educational presentation and also offer some seasonal hands-on fun. But you don’t have to go with a group. Fall is the best time to visit. You can pick a pumpkin, go on a hayride, explore a unique playground or see the autumnal sunflowers.
Sign up for their email list if you want to be kept in the loop on upcoming events. (Clinton Sease Farm charges admission, which varies based on what you want to do while there.)
Some of our favorite gardens to visit are those at Historic Columbia. There’s a swing that makes for the perfect reading spot. There are several types of flowers to sniff and study. And you can bring a picnic blanket and a packed lunch. One of our favorite annual events is Scarecrows in the Garden. Every October, individuals, classrooms, families and organizations create scarecrows and put them on display for you to check out for free.
Your lesson doesn’t have to just be about gardening: there’s a water pump to test out and, of course, Columbia’s heritage to discuss.
Rosewood is home to Owens Field Park, which is right across the street from the Owens Field Airport. Owens Field Park has something for everyone. It has an inclusive playground and bathrooms. If you’re looking to avoid germy surfaces, you can bring your own bike and try out the new pump tracks. (Think of a hilly bike course.) There’s also a 15,000 square foot skate park. Or throw on your tennis shoes and escape the city on a mile long trail hike.