Inside SFS

Headspace: Summer Field Trips

Looking for some day trips this summer that will keep learning alive while providing a change of scenery? Check out this list of curriculum-related field trips provided by our SFS faculty for all ages around the Bay Area!

I became a parent and administrator about 11 years into my career as an educator. It was at that point that I stopped greeting parents/guardians in August with - “How was your summer? What kind of fun things did you do? Did you rest up?” I stopped asking those questions because now I knew that summer isn’t relaxing for most parents at all!

With that in mind, we pulled together this list of summer activities for all ages to partake in when and if time and resources permit. Hopefully, this gives your family a peek into the grade(s) ahead. Thank you to Communications and Marketing Manager Melissa Holman-Kursky and our teaching staff for generously pulling these ideas together!

Rising Preschool and Kindergarten: As we live in an urban area, take the time to enjoy some nature (McLaren Park, a lesser-walked part of Golden Gate Park, a trail near the city, a beach in Pacifica), and walk at a child’s pace. It isn’t about completing the hike as much as experiencing what is around them. Look at the colors, peek under stones, notice a bug or a flower. Use your senses to observe what smells or sounds different. Spend the time together without a big purpose other than to enjoy one another and what is around them. Write about your travels in a small stapled booklet. If a child cannot manage “best guess writing” yet, a parent/guardian can do dictation and the child can draw. These books can be shared with the teachers upon returning to school (if children want).

Rising 1st Grade: Already heading to the Randall Museum or the San Francisco Zoo? At the Randall, you can set the stage for studying ants by checking out another social insect - the bees in their transparent beehive! At the Zoo, make sure to find the harvester ants and the indoor-outdoor beehive in the Insect Zoo, and if you stop by on the weekend, there are often Insects in Action presentations where zookeepers share up-close looks at insects and other arthropods.

Rising 2nd Grade: Old ships are a great way to learn about different types of simple machines. (Skeptical? Rudders are generally levers, the ship’s wheel is a wheel-and-axle connected to the rudder with a pulley, and there are more pulleys throughout the rigging.) The SF Maritime Museum is the perfect place to climb onboard late-1800s vessels and explore!

Rising 3rd Grade: The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge just south of Fremont, across the Dumbarton Bridge, offers great hikes and theme days that connect to the 3rd Grade Bay Ecosystems and Ohlone Indian units. For a closer look at life in the Bay, the Marine Science Institute in Redwood City offers year-round weekend family programs.

Rising 4th Grade: Visit one of the 21 missions on California’s Historic Mission Trail, built between 1769-1823! The closest one is Misión San Francisco de Asís, also known as Mission Dolores in San Francisco, but Mission San Raphael in San Rafael, Mission San Jose in Fremont, and Mission San Francisco de Solano in Sonoma are also quite close.

Rising 5th Grade: Take the ferry to Angel Island State Park, a great bridge between California history studies in 4th Grade and learning about refugees in 5th Grade - the U.S. Immigration Station and Quarantine Station are fascinating and sobering to visit, and the island itself is a beautiful place to hike and picnic.

Rising 6th Grade: Prepare to study the Ancient World with a trip to the amazing Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, which has the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in North America! You can even join the mummies for a Night in the Afterlife sleepover…if you dare…

Rising 7th Grade: The Tech Interactive in San Jose is actually a great trip for any age and for so many different academic subjects - current exhibits include making microbes in a Bio-Design studio, working on Internet safety as a cyber detective, or using augmented reality to travel inside the human body in Body Worlds Decoded.

Rising 8th Grade: Develop an ear for Elizabethan dialect with free Shakespeare performances in a variety of parks at the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, or head to the East Bay to Cal Shakes’s bucolic outdoor amphitheater. (And, if you have a budding thespian in your household, both of these have programs for younger students as well!)

Posted June 04, 2019