A member of GaryNorth.com posted this on a forum. It makes a lot of sense.
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Homeschool field trips Most of our “vacations” are trips to museums. Museums provide opportunities to expose kids to ideas and items that one can reference and hang knowledge on. Chicago is our favorite destination.
We pulled off the best trip yet last week. 6 days, including weekend. We stayed at the Homewood Suites in downtown Chicago. It has a wonderful location, just a block from the Redline Subway stop and easy to get to and from the airport without cab or car. The hotel provided a quiet (rare in our experience) place to sleep, with a kitchen for a family of 5. During the week, breakfast and supper were provided in the price of the hotel. Very reasonable. Lunch was invariably at the Field Museum, which we find has the best food on the museum campuses.
Using CTA tracker app to track the buses, we rarely waited more than 5 minutes for a bus to or from the Museums. It was easy to get to the Museum Campus by bus or Subway+Bus. The Museum of Science and Industry is reached easily by Bus+Electric Train (Metra). This also took us within easy walking distance of the Oriental Institute. It was my first visit there.
The Oriental Institute was a gem. I have been to the Israel Museum and the Egyptian Museum. The quality of the artifacts in Chicago are amazing for the Midwest. One exhibit on metals reminded me of a discussion I had with Dr. North on this forum some years ago. Meteoric iron use, and subsequent mining were discussed. Assyrian iron was lower quality than their bronze by every measure, but it was cheaper and so employed by the military. Several artifacts of biblical interest including the cylinder claiming Assyrian victory in Israel (we know they made a mess of Lachish, but the biblical story is that the angel of death turned them back at Jerusalem.) Also, a statue indicating tribute paid by one of the 1Kings’ kings. The Egyptian, Persian and other sections were equally impressive.
I love the threads that connect stories in museums. For example, one can see the iron meteorites at the Adler Planetarium, the layered iron oxides laid down by the first cyanobacteria producing oxygen at the Field Museum, and discuss them both at the Oriental Institute. Or you can see modern living lung fish at the Shedd Aquarium and visit the cladogram on fish at the Field, showing which groups became extinct, and which group became us. You can see the Sloan Digital Sky survey in its absolute best presentation at the Adler, talk about our place in the universe after the exoplanet show at the Adler, and talk about the importance of those first cyanobacteria and their oxygen production which prevented our oceans from being boiled away at the Field. Great stories, all, and so many more that I haven’t time to tell here.
For homeschooling families in the Midwest, please consider a week in Chicago at the museums. Buying memberships to the museums lets you come and go at leisure when the little ones are tired.
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If you take along a smart phone, you can narrate your walk-through. Use a low-cost lapel microphone. You can use a $25 cord to turn your smartphone’s headphone jack into an audio jack. Find out how here.
Edit the videos with Sony Movie Studio. It’s cheap.
Then post the videos on your free family YouTube channel. If you don’t have one yet, find out how to set one up here.
Then embed the videos, page by page, on your family WordPress.com blog site.