When teaching kids of varying ages, I have found that sometimes we learn best by going and doing. As a former homeschool student and graduate myself, some of my fondest homeschool memories involve field trips. My parents were very involved in a local support group and we took numerous field trips. While the algebra lesson is soon forgotten, hands-on learning in the great outdoors makes memories that last a lifetime. Whether it is hiking up Stone Mountain, hiking down into Providence Canyon, visiting the Georgia Aquarium or experiencing a Civil War re-enactment at Nash Farms Battlefield, I enjoy taking my kids to visit the local historic places and attractions that I visited as a child. We take learning on the road and take advantage of local events and attractions. If you have kids of varying ages, this is one way that you can teach to all the ages at once. I want to share with you a recent trip we took that turned into an educational field trip by accident. I had planned to go to a local peach packing plant to buy peaches straight from the conveyor belt that were bruised, small or too large for sale as first quality peaches. I found out a few years ago that if you can stand in line at the conveyor belt and purchase these “reject” peaches for $6 per 5-gallon bucket. If you just cook with them or freeze them like I do, they are perfect. I took my mom and kids along for the experience and this is what happened.
First, we learned about sharing and being considerate while standing in line looking for the best “rejected” peaches. The kids thought it was an adventure. They loved watching the employees work and also loved to see how the peaches rolled down the belt.
They got to watch how the peaches are washed, sorted, packaged and sent to market.
My middle child decided that is where he wants to work one day. He loved watching the forklift move the crates around the packing plant.
After gathering four buckets of peaches, we went to the front of the plant and purchased some homemade peach ice cream and watched the workers some more from the porch.
My little forklift driver wannabe!
My eldest read the signs while mom snapped a picture.
Then it was time for some fun with grandma!
Then off to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Here is the Peach Cobbler Recipe that I got while I was there. We tried it out and it was awesome!
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- 1 cup milk
- 3 cups peaches, peeled, sliced and lightly sugared
- 1 tsp vanilla flavoring
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 stick butter
- Peel and slice peaches and sprinkle with sugar while preparing rest of recipe.
- Melt butter in 9x13 casserole dish in oven while it is heating to 350 degrees. Mix remaining sugar and flour in a med. mixing bowl, add milk and flavoring. Pour over the melted butter. Spread peaches evenly over top of batter - do not stir. Bake for 45 minutes or until batter rises through the fruit and top is golden brown. May also use with blueberries.
From learning about having a good work ethic to discussing future occupations there was much learning to be had at the peach packing plant. We learned about what is involved in getting the peaches from the tree to the store, and then we learned how to preserve and serve peaches once we got home. If you look around you I am sure you can find a field trip just waiting to be explored. Try this form of learning with your brood and I am sure you will make some special memories!
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