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As well as the suggestions here for seasonal field trips in and around New York City and recommended road & field trips, check out the Newsletter. And there is always the option of armchair travel. Send us your favorite day trip to share with other families.

What's Free or Cheap in NYC includes over a thousand links to places and activities.

At the request of homeschooling parents, I have created short lists of summer camps and field trip resources. There are also specific opportunities for homeschool travel and student exchange and travel info. If you have any recommendations or comments to add, please email me.

Check out our listing of events of interest to homeschoolers and tips for traveling with kids.

Page Index

Summer Camps: Homeschool Travel.
Student Exchange and Travel Info.
Field Trip Resources
See also Language Camps

Seasonal Field Trips Armchair Travel

Recommended Road & Field Trips

Here are recommendations for road trips, with links to resources for before, during, and after the trip that will help make each one a fun and educational experience.

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Summer Camps

Camps for Homeschoolers * Day Camps New * Family Camps * Camps that Appeal to Homeschoolers * Special Ed Camps

Read Laurie's article: Create Your Own Summercamp in NYC

Camps for Homeschoolers

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Family Camps

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Day Camps New

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Camps that Appeal to Homeschoolers updated

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Special Ed Camps

See our page on Special Ed Resources.

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Homeschool Travel

"What do they know of England, who only England know?"
Rudyard Kipling
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
Mark Twain

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Student Exchange and Travel Info

Studying a foreign language and culture while living in your own language and culture is never as complete an experience as an extended period of travel and immersion in another land. If you want to acquire fluency and true understanding, you must live there. There are many people who believe this kind of understanding is what will change the world. Here are opportunities where teens can live for three months to a year with host families in another country and attend high school there. It also expands your knowledge and awareness when you host a foreign student in your own home.

See also our pages on Penpals and E-Pals and Family Volunteering and Teen Internships.

For college students and adults:


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Field Trip Resourcess

See also Social Studies: Field Trip Ideas.

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Armchair Travel

NYC is full of great things to do, but sometimes we pine to get away and can't. Or sometimes the heat, or cold, or wet, just keeps us indoors. Time for some armchair travel.

Dreaming of faraway places is a natural inclination, and good for the soul. Besides, it’s a great way to satisfy that geography and social studies requirement, and it's easy to add in reading, writing, and math too. Try clipping articles and ads from the newspaper's travel section and making a scrapbook, with personal comments, of favorite destinations or imagined travels. If you like, plan that future dream vacation now. Have your kids write letters of inquiry to the Chamber of Commerce in their destination state of choice, or to tourist bureaus of a specific state or country, and to AAA if you are members, and watch the kids receive tons of mail full of free maps and guidebooks.

An entire curriculum can be based on an imaginary trip, complete with itinerary, budget, monetary exchange rate, maps, and fictional travel diary, of either a real or imagined place. My son did this at age 12, creating a made-up place and a traveling companion who was his horse! He devised a complex currency exchange with an imaginary currency, and a travel itinerary that included a proposed budget and a fictional map. He then wrote a travel diary that listed everything he spent, and everything he bought or ate. I especially liked those dinners of oats he shared with his horse. The itinerary and diary mentioned several amazing tourist attractions (all from my son's imagination). Writing it, and reading it, was as much fun as travel could ever be.

Here's a page of Virtual Field Trips for Kids.

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Tips for Traveling with Kids

My husband and I spent a month or two on the road every year, with our growing kids in tow, traveling to Indian Reservations as part of our work. I developed many ways of keeping the kids comfortable, healthy, and occupied. I kept magazines and informative pictures, "bits" of learning, in the pocket of my door, ready to pull out in moments of boredom. On hand for the stereo, we had funny music, sing-along tunes, and music to dance to. We called it seat-dancing, gesticulating wildly while in our seat belts, which was lots of fun! But my best technique was to put choices into the hands of my children.

To prepare our car for travel, I tied inexpensive shoe bags to the back of the drivers' and front passenger's seats. In the four rows of small storage cubbies, I would store crayons, playing cards, boxes of juice or soy milk, modeling clay, road maps, small books, rolled-up drawing paper, and any small toy. I purchased trays for each child. The best were bed-trays, with folding legs to support the tray above a child's lap (or car seat), and a lip around the edge to prevent crayons from rolling off. Some of them had storage areas on the side (for books or magazines). Trays were easily folded and stored away when they weren't being used to make clay sculptures, draw pictures, build with legos, or eat lunch. I found trays in a variety of materials (from metal to wicker), from cheap to pricey. I preferred ones that were lightweight and easy to wipe clean.

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Getting enough exercise is always a challenge on a road trip, so we took advantage of every opportunity. Besides seat-dancing, the kids did jumping jacks or ran relay races whenever we stopped at a gas station to fuel up. They chased each other down hotel corridors in the early morning or late evening. When our kids were little enough to still be crawling, we even got down on all fours to chase them ourselves. In the hotel room we might put on the radio and dance instead of watching TV. We ate in the car as often as possible, using our stops to take a walk or do some stretches instead of sitting down to eat in a restaurant. If we did choose to stop for a meal, we tried to make it a picnic, at a local park or beach or by a lake., where the kids could run around and play. Sometimes taking a ten minute detour would get us to a beautiful spot instead of putting us at a roadside rest area. Then the frisbee or ball would come out and all too soon it would be time to get back into the car and put some miles on.

Each child was invited to trace our journey on their own map. Every state has welcome centers with free maps and guide books. They were given highlighter markers to keep track of our route or color in favorite places. They had scrapbooks where they could glue maps, or portions of maps, along with torn pages of guidebooks. Of course they added their own words and pictures, which is what turned those scrapbooks into diaries of our journeys, and books filled with precious family memories. An afternoon or evening rest at a hotel was an opportunity to work on scrapbooks, write poems and songs, arrange wildflowers we had picked by the road in an empty can or bottle with drawings taped on it for more decoration, and time to read up on the areas we were journeying through.

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Every road trip is an opportunity to record your own geography, scrapbook your vacation, and diary your thoughts. Save paper souvenirs like admission ticket stubs, museum maps, hotel stationery, cafe menus, road maps, and the like, to illustrate your scrapbook. Include pressed flowers that you pick by the roadside and press flat in a travel guide (or whatever other books you keep in your car). Add drawings and photographs of the people you meet and the places you visit. Write down how you feel about them. Trace your route on a map in brightly colored markers or highlighters. Compute how many miles you have traveled and how long it took. Write a song about where you have been or about where you are going. Travel is a natural course in social studies and geography. In these ways you can add writing, reading, math, art, and music. Discussions of climate, terrain, and geological formations which have changed over time (canyon walls, mountains, bodies of water) add science to the experience.

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