Exploring New Places

grocery store lessons

There are so many things I adore about homeschooling my three children.  One of the things I like the most is the flexibility we have in our schedule and the relaxed pace we are allowed to keep.  We have time to not only study particular issues or subjects, but also take field trips together to provide for a more hands-on experience.

For example, when we study math or finance, I assign the kids a budget and a list of items we need to purchase at a store.  Once we arrive at the store, this lesson allows them to price compare, learn about sale items or discounts using percentages, and decide if they have the funds to cover the expenses.  I have found that a lesson like this one teaches different focuses of math, and also teaches them a life lesson about budgeting money.  For some people, this is not a lesson that is easily acquired.  I think many adults have had little opportunity to actually apply lessons they learned in school to real life situations.  Perhaps that is the cause of so many individuals who are facing personal debt.  I cherish the chance to teach my kids the lessons that could affect them for many years to come.

Another example of a homeschool field trip occurred once when we were in the grocery store on a quiet weekday morning.  The manager offered to take us on a behind-the-scenes tour.  We were able to explore the storage area, bakery, butcher area, and go behind the dairy closets.  It was really fascinating for all of us.  As old as I am, I have never been in the back areas of the grocery store.  The kids thought it was funny to look at the customers from behind the milk and juice shelves.  It was like we were spying on them.  This is just one example of a serendipity that happened to us when we were out and about on a weekday morning.  So many opportunities during the day arise that the kids would miss if they were sitting in a traditional classroom.

The grocery store incident gave me the idea to ask people in other places if we could get a behind-the-scenes tour.  Consequently, we have been in the stock room of a department store, checked out the police headquarters, and walked around a construction site with a builder. 

We have learned so many new things by being outside of a traditional classroom.  I cherish the time we have and the flexibility in our schedule that allows us time to investigate such seemingly mundane places that are actually quite interesting to inquisitive minds.

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