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Great Vacations for Homeschool Families

Written by Gary North on February 6, 2013

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.

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9 thoughts on “Great Vacations for Homeschool Families

  1. Quite interesting. This is a good idea for any home schooling team. A person needs to be careful, however, about swallowing the "truths" promoted by secular humanist museums. For instance, the reference to the first cyanobacteria creating oxygen and the fish which became us. This is a blatant confession of the theory of evolution which is the premier religion taught today in our State schools. Apparently it is taught in some home schools as well.

    The author of the article has some knowledge of biblical history, but never says that he/she is Christian. From the statements made, it must be assumed that the Genesis account of God creating the universe and human beings doesn't apply here. Either God made man in His image or we evolved from fish. It must be one or the other, but it can't be both.

    If this is the best that we can do for our children, it's no wonder we're in such a mess.

  2. Seymour Kleerly says:

    God created nature which evolves. We are a product of evolution and did not appear out of "thin air".

  3. Tools2Die4 says:

    While I like the idea of homeschool, and I support museums in general, I must ask, why spend money in a city controlled by liberals that do not believe in liberty? I will not knowingly spend a dime in Chicago. Let our cash confirm our commitment to liberty, and spend our money where our liberties, including our guns, are welcome! If all conservatives pulled their money out of the giant and anti-constitutional cities, the cities would implode financially. Without money, they have extremely limited power. Move out, stay out. Spend your $$ in Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, etc. Strenthen liberty loving localities and states. By the way, if you must visit a museum, give the Creation museum a try! There is not a "no-guns-allowed" placard on the door!

  4. Thumbs up to the Creation Museum…and I can't wait until the Ark Encounter is up and running. It's gonna be overrun with people curious about whether the Biblical account could possibly be true…(Just between me and you…IT IS!!!)

  5. Seeless Fuzzy says:

    How do you know nature evolves Seymour? Have you observed it? Is it repeatable? Does it violate established scientific laws? How do you know we didn’t appear out of thin air (or rather thin dust)?

  6. Seymour Kleerly says:

    I know because on this planet 2+2 must always =4. Then, now and the future. Believing in Ancient Mythology is inexcusable in 2013, except for our very senior citizens, or helpless, trusting children.

  7. good thoughts
    Chicago has a gun use problem and you are potentially exposing your family to gun violence
    Take your family to a safe city

  8. awkingsley says:

    "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."

    Mythology turned out to be history. Judeo-Christianity inherited a tidbit of Vedic knowledge in the Creation Story in the Holy Bible. All men had all of the Vedic knowledge at one time, but through the passage of 10s of thousands of years, and with the coming of Jewish Prophets and our own Christian Jesus Christ, we deemed it important to remember only the Holy Bible. That was because Jesus Christ’s spiritual knowledge superseded all prior spiritual knowledge. This has come back to bite us in many ways because of the controversies surrounding the Creation Story and the origin of man, to which Christians usually have inadequate answers. However, the answers were passed down for millions of years as an oral record by Vedic Pundits who memorized the Vedas, passing them father to son. That was their job. Punditry was an occupation, just as we have carpenters and metal workers today. The Vedas predate Hinduism and are our earliest human record. Pundits began writing down the Vedas approximately 10,000 years ago. Hinduism is built on Vedic knowledge, and the Hindus are the current conservators of Vedic knowledge, but not the progenitors. The Vedas are non-chronological historical records. Here are some very interesting URLs stating the facts of a separate creation for modern man and the evolution of an ape-like man, Neanderthal, who died out. http://www.stephen-knapp.com/out_of_africa_theory
    Information in the Vedic Ramayana describes an elephant that lived 2 million years ago and construction of the Land Bridge between India and Sri Lanka 1,700,000 years ago. http://www.oocities.org/trueworldhistory/ramayana
    The world was created in 6 Days means in 6 "God Days", days of "Brahma the Creator", our God. (It should be noted here that the Hindus tend to call all enlightened people or Avatars "gods". Even renunciates who are on a spiritual path but have not yet reached enlightenment are called “godmen”. They use the term "god" very liberally.) http://www.webonautics.com/mythology/brahma2.html
    The founders of our country were very brilliant, knowledgeable, moral people. They did not immerse themselves in only television and the Bible. The Christians of today did not pick up the mantle of Our Founding Fathers, and our country is in a moral and economic mess because our knowledge and education are inadequate.

    Christian scholars also need to study the Vedas to begin to understand the brilliance and sophistication of ancient man. Americans have embraced a dangerous arrogance about our society. Man is no brighter today than he was a million years ago. We were never Neanderthalian; we were always created in God's image. Americans are trying to reinvent the wheel in medicine and other areas that the Chinese, especially, had already covered.

  9. I would like to say that vacations with school prove very beneficial because you have lot of opportunity to make your vacations memorable with your friends.