When a friend found out that the reason we took so many trips is due to the fact that we home school our sons, she gave a sheepish grin laced with skepticism. I knew that look, so I immediately followed up with; “Do you know of someone who home schools their children?”
Of course, I already knew the answer. She admitted that she did, but the family does not include much “school” in their “home”.
I realized the motivation behind the skeptic thought so keenly aware on her face. We talked about the different styles of home school, and key success factors: one of them being Exploratory Learning Trips.
Taking trips just to claim an activity is not enough to develop a well-rounded scholar. I
ntentional learning built into frequent journeys and voyages makes the difference between “College Ready” Home School and just “school at home”.
There are too many dynamics to cover regarding Exploratory Trips and how they should be effectively conducted, but here is the short list of benefits and strategies.
What is an Exploratory Trip?
Exploratory Learning Trips are “Real World” experiences that require physical engagement, academic thought, and social interaction. They are just as the name implies- it is meant to “explore” the theory behind what is
discovered in books and second hand resources. The closer a scholar moves to first-hand experience, the faster their development.
How Can Academic Benchmarks be Strategically Included?
There are several ways to creatively include all the required benchmarks. During Brooks and Masters Academy Amtrak train ride to Philadelphia (Spring 2019), students were introduced and/or mastered over 120 benchmarks in core subjects. This requires a great deal of planning and flexibility (as some opportunities may not be realized until on-site).
What are the Main Benefits of an Exploratory Learning Trip?
For the College Bound scholar, the benefits include;
- Increased ACT/SAT test score performance
- Independent learning development and skills for academic longevity
- Competitive access to more college scholarships
- Enhanced adaptability to “Real World” challenges
- Being positioned to recognize opportunities
- Evidence of having a well-rounded curriculum that exceeds the rigor of traditional programs
For more information about Exploratory Learning for home school scholars, feel free to contact the Brooks Academy.