Just because you homeschool doesn't mean you can't take a field trip

As homeschooling families know, learning happens all the time, not just in a classroom or at the dining room table.

Interactive experiences at museums, zoos and nature centers allow children to learn in a hands-on way that you'll have trouble replicating at home.

Parents, this spring turn the world into your child's classroom by taking advantage of these homeschooling field trips in the Atlanta area.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History Homeschool Field Trip. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Any date. The student rate is $7 for museum admission, $11 for museum and IMAX. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road N.E., Atlanta. www.fernbankmuseum.org.

Homeschoolers can spend a day at Fernbank at a discounted rate by planning a field trip.

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Explore some of Fernbank's permanent exhibits, like "NatureQuest," "A Walk Through Time in Georgia" and "The Giants of the Mesozoic," and experience special exhibits, including, "Wild Music," and "Creatures of Light: Nature's Bioluminescence."

Advanced reservations are required and can be made by calling 404-929-6320.

The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History Homeschool Day. 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 15 and May 10. $5 per person. Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, 2829 Cherokee St., Kennesaw. www.southernmuseum.org.

Teach your kiddos about the past in an interactive way by taking them to one of the homeschool days at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History.

In March, bring your homeschoolers to "Glover Machine Works: The Inside Track," where they can learn about building locomotives in the early 1900s with hands-on activities.

In May, join the museum for an exciting mystery adventure with "The Mystery on the Crescent Railroad." Each program has a 25 student maximum, so make sure to register early.

Michael C. Carlos Museum Homeschool Day. Noon to 3 p.m. March 18. $15 for members, $20 for non-members. Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, 571 South Kilgo Circle, Atlanta. www.carlos.emory.edu.

Allow your students to experience ancient Egypt like never before with the interactive homeschool program at the Carlos Museum.

The day begins at noon with a mummy wrapping workshop, followed by a tour of the Egyptian Galleries and a paint-your-own canopic jar activity. Your children will learn more about Ancient Egypt than you ever thought possible and will get a chance to see real mummies and artifacts.

High Museum of Art Homeschool Day. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 18, April 15 and May 20. Free for museum members, $6 for homeschool students, $8.50 for adults. High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. www.high.org.

Don't just read about great works of art — let your children see them firsthand at the High Museum of Art's Homeschool Day.

In March, homeschoolers can view works of art by Brazilian photographer Vik Muniz.

In April students can experience history through art by coming to the "I See History" homeschool day.

In May, kids can experience the celebrated art from children's author and illustrator Eric Carle.

Each homeschool day includes a scavenger hunt, a hands-on workshop and a children's book reading based on the topic of the day.

Atlanta History Center Homeschool Day. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. April 7 and May 6. $8.50 per person. Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Atlanta. www.atlantahistorycenter.com.

Does your homeschooler love the Wild West or stories about living on the prairie in the 19th century? In April, the Atlanta History Center will host Go West, an interactive homeschool day that will teach kids all about the journey of Lewis and Clarke, the adventures of Davey Crockett, the Gold Rush, the Oregon Trail and the lives of famous settlers like Laura Ingalls Wilder.

In May, students can learn about Georgia history, including information about the first inhabitants in the area, the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement.

Chattahoochee Nature Center Homeschool Program. 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. April 11 and May 9. Free for members, $6 for non-member children, $10 for non-member adults. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. www.chattnaturecenter.org.

Join the naturalist-led homeschool program at the Chattahoochee Nature Center to learn about science, nature and the local ecology with hands-on activities, animal encounters, crafts and projects.

Make sure to visit the Discovery Center after class and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy under the trees.

Zoo Atlanta HomeSchool Academy. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. April 13. $16.95 for zoo members, $20.95 for non-members. Zoo Atlanta, 800 Cherokee Ave. S.E., Atlanta. www.zooatlanta.org.

Homeschoolers get a chance to learn in-depth information about animals from a real zookeeper while seeing the animals upclose at Zoo Atlanta's HomeSchool Academy.

Children will separate into age-based groups and take part in hands-on activities based on the animals at the zoo. After attending the HomeSchool Academy, spend the rest of the day exploring the Zoo Atlanta grounds.

The Georgia Renaissance Festival Student Day. 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 28. $9.50 per student, $11 per adult. 6905 Virlyn B. Smith Road, Fairburn. www.garenfest.com.

Travel back through time to learn about the Middle Ages like never before at the Georgia Renaissance Festival Student Day this April.

At this annual living history event, students can walk through a realistic medieval village, talk to historical figures and townsfolk dressed in authentic medieval garb and watch educational entertainment, like a jousting tournament and glass blowing demonstration.

If your family really wants to get into the spirit of the day, feel free to come to the festival dressed as a princess or a knight.

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