How Virtual Field Trips Help Children With Learning Differences
My eleven year old son was asked by his occupational therapist last week, to draw a picture of his least favorite thing.
“It’s crowds,” he said. “I hate them. I can’t think anymore when there’s a lot of people. It makes me really anxious.”
As he drew several stick people, all with evil eyes and crazy hair, I started to think about the times he has been in crowded areas, and the effects on him.
“He completely shuts down,” I thought to myself. And the more I considered his response, the more I realized that crowds are almost always a part of our regular homeschool field trips.
Both of my sons struggle with traditional field trips.
The lighting at the museum.
The echo at the science center.
The smells at the zoo.
The babies crying in the back of the theater at the play.
The crush of children at the discovery zone.
The sound of the filters at the aquarium.
All have created pain and anxiety for my children at one time or another.
We have found some work-arounds . We never go on busy days. We call ahead to find out the slowest hours. We plan on leaving as soon as we need too, even if it is only a half an hour after we arrive.
But still, what is intended to be a fun and engaging way to learn, can be complicated and down right counterproductive for my boys.
Please know, although I was compensated for this post, the opinions I express are 100% my own. I only share products that work well for my family, in the hopes they may also help yours.
When I learned about FieldTripZoom’s virtual field trips, I was excited to try this option for our family.
The Benefits of Virtual Field Trips
- No Travel Time To And From The Site – and therefore no overstimulated meltdowns all the way home.
- Control Over The Volume/Option for Headphones – perfect for the child who loves to learn, but struggles with noise sensitivity.
- Easy To Take A Break If Needed – no more walking around the fountain outside the science center for an hour while one of my guys calms down.
All of these are wonderful benefits for children with learning differences.
But FieldTripZoom provides so much more!
A Wide Range Of Field Trip Options
- American History
- Marine Science
- Performing Arts
- Puppetry Art
- Social and Emotional
- Social Studies
- Technology topics
My boys have participated in field trips about Food Rations during World Wars Week, Comanche Code Talkers as part of Native American Month, and they are excited about next week’s trips to the Alaskan Sea Life Center and Shark Week!
Easy and Engaging Live Streams
Joining a live field trip was easier than I expected – and I love that we can watch from any of our computers, smart phones or iPads.
In addition, because it is live, the instructors are interactive and fun. My children loved knowing that they were watching along with other kids from all over the country. They also enjoyed participating in various polls throughout the presentation, seeing other students’ questions and comments in the chat box, and most importantly, having direct access to so many experts.
For our entire family to enjoy this program, it costs less than one visit to our local history museum. We have access to 250 different presentations for the entire year, for less than one set of hand stamps at the discovery center.
This is a wonderful, easy and affordable way for my children explore the world in ways that make sense for their unique needs.
I am excited to share that FieldTripZoom is graciously offering a 10% discount code – 01334. This is just for Not The Former Things readers, now through December 31, 2016.
A perfect, last-minute, homeschool family Christmas gift!
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.