Childhood Memories and Homeschool Field Trips

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HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Lana Hope’s blog Wide Open Ground. It was originally published under the title “Homeschooled: Where I Went, Or Not” on July 20, 2013.

My sister and I are both in our hometown shortly for a family wedding, so we decided we wanted to explore the area around us that we never saw as kids. Today we went to a wild life refugee and a state park and took a friend along.

My friend likes to tell stories of his childhood, and his childhood, as a son of a wealthy lawyer, stands in contrast to ours. While he flew on airplanes, we drove to homeschool conferences. While he went to arcade places in the mall, we played in creeks. While he celebrated Halloween in full costomes, we sewed cowboy and Indian costumes during the year and stayed locked up on Halloween. We grew up in the same community, and by comparing notes, you would never know it.

We started comparing notes today while literally chilling in a lake we had never seen before, remarking how our mother has issues with just relaxing. She has a problem with it. Everyone has to do chores, constantly. Everytime someone walks past mom, they are given a chore. Constructive play is okay, but just relaxing is not okay. So we never went to lakes, or hanged out at the coffee shops, or went places (other than places to eat or church). And when I think of hot summer days like today, I think of four kids lined up in a row picking and passing the corn to mom with sweat pouring down us; I certainly do not think of cooling down in lakes.

My friend kept asking what we did as kids.

Did you go to the movies?” “No, in matter of fact, I never went to a movie until I was 14,” my sister said. “I was 16. Mom said if we went to a movie, it would be a bad influence because someone walking out of the theater would not know what movie we had seen.”

Did you go to the mall?” “Yea we went to Dillards before.” “Only when our grandmother was in town. I never shopped there.”  “I mean to hang out at the mall. Did you hang out there?” my friend asked. “No, we never hanged out at the mall, and definitely never went places without our parents.”

Where did you go with your parents on weekends?” “We went nowhere.” (other than church)

Where did you go during the week?” “Nowhere, really.”

Did you go on vacation?” “Not much.”

“Where did you go on vacation?” “Homeschool conferences, well, and Little Rock and Memphis to see our friends.”

Did you ever go to the lake as kids?” “Only twice to [X] state park, and that was only for camping, so I only went to the lake two times.”

“Oh, homeschool conferences must have been fun,” my friend said, responding.  “No, they were not fun. It was just better than home.”

“Come on, you must have gone somewhere,” my friend kept asking questions.

At some point we realized that although we had never visited the lakes, and never went to the malls or the theaters, we had seen a part of our area my friend had not seen such as:

Sewage plant

Waste field/trash dump

Tower of the airport/air traffic control center

TV news station

Coal mine

McDonalds kitchen

Kitchens in two pizza places

Weather plant


And of course, we went to the library.

So you know you are a homeschool student when you’ve stood on top of the largest trash heap in town, walked inside the McDonald’s freezer, visited the sewage plant, and won the reading contest at the library, but never went to a movie theater or played a video game.

Looking back, it’s all pretty funny to me.

What kind of field trips did you go on?

5 thoughts on “Childhood Memories and Homeschool Field Trips

  1. DoaHF July 29, 2013 / 1:41 pm

    We climbed a Volcano, ate mussels at the end of our Oceanography class, and when our family visited the US in 1997, our whole family and extended family made a trip to many famous monuments/places/sites (Mt. Rushmore, Badlands, Rainbow Bridge, Grand Canyon, St. Louis, Fisherman’s Warf…. etc).


  2. Me July 30, 2013 / 7:26 pm

    We went to a potato chip factory and a fire station.


  3. heidi0523 July 2, 2014 / 3:43 pm

    This is fascinating! I am looking forward to the responses!!! I hope to make our family resemble DoaHF, more than Lana’s. Sorry Lana!


  4. Susan Quietly April 29, 2015 / 4:44 pm

    Sewage treatment plant, juvenile hall (complete with scared straight talks), inside the closed stacks at an archeology museum.


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