Your experiences of and feelings about museums?

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alliecatse
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Your experiences of and feelings about museums?

Postby alliecatse » Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:24 pm

Hello,

I am a former homeschooler (now in college). I am interning at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, and I am doing some research on how museums (especially science museums) are serving homeschoolers. I started out trying to find research that has already been done, but there is really not much out there. I would love to get some feedback from current (or past) homeschoolers about their museum experiences, especially the programming they have participated in that was specifically geared towards homeschoolers. I would also love to know what you feel you would most like to get out of your museum experiences.

Thanks!

p.s. This is very informal research at the moment. We just want to get as much information as possible that will help our programs serve the local home schooling population.

Kate42
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Postby Kate42 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:55 am

I am a homeschool mom who takes us to museums as often as possible. Before I was a mother, I was a museum educator myself.

Overall, I love museums, but have no use for museum programming specifically targeted at children. Since I teach my kids, I know what and how I want to teach at the museum. Programs for kids are usually so dumbed down and patronizing, though some printed family guides to use use on our own have been wonderful. We want to have fun as a family at our own pace and interest level: that's what is wonderful about a museum in the first place.

Sometimes when our family is on a tour the guide will talk to the kids only, and in a prodding, quizzing way. UGH- hate that. We are not a school group who got dragged here and need our interest piqued. Homeschool families have come on their own initiative, probably with lots of background knowledge, maybe with a specific agenda for their visit, and probably the desire to have fun as a family. And the kids are not used to that quizzing by strangers, so it is off-putting.

Basically, my plea as a homeschooler to museums would be: give us a smorgasbord of exhibits, demonstrations, etc. and leave us to it. But if you offer school discounts, please offer one to us, even if we are there on the weekend when Dad can come.

cindyg
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Postby cindyg » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:38 pm

We love museums! We have a great local homeschool group and we take monthly fieldtrips. I think that our favorite places to go overall, is the museums. They are a lot of fun, the kids learn and get to be interactive with so many things especially at science museums.

We always plan ahead and try to have a class for the entire homeschool group on whatever that particular museum offers.

I am in West Texas and we have a Petroleum Museum that also has a bunch of exotic animals. They offer a class for groups to teach about those animals and the kids get to touch them and things like that.

I think that is one of the things that make museums so awesome, is getting that extra bit of learning that you would not have otherwise experienced . . .at least not in that way.
Cindy Grayson
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cindyg
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Postby cindyg » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:43 pm

Kate42 wrote:Sometimes when our family is on a tour the guide will talk to the kids only, and in a prodding, quizzing way. UGH- hate that. We are not a school group who got dragged here and need our interest piqued. Homeschool families have come on their own initiative, probably with lots of background knowledge, maybe with a specific agenda for their visit, and probably the desire to have fun as a family. And the kids are not used to that quizzing by strangers, so it is off-putting.

Basically, my plea as a homeschooler to museums would be: give us a smorgasbord of exhibits, demonstrations, etc. and leave us to it. But if you offer school discounts, please offer one to us, even if we are there on the weekend when Dad can come.


We always choose self guided tours if possible so you don't have to deal the with the prodding questions and things. That way we take our time and learn as we go on our own.

In my area, every single place that I have ever called will give us group discount rates. We usually have to have a certain amount of people and things like that to get that rate but we don't have a problem meeting that criteria usually.

I do agree with the weekend thing because we don't get that around her either, it usually has to be during business / school hours.
Cindy Grayson

Mom to: John age 11 and Candice age 19

Save Money on Your Entire Families Medical Costs

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Theodore
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Postby Theodore » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:33 pm

Art museums bore me, primarily because so much of the art is meaningless abstract junk. I like art more in the style of Raphael or Mochelangelo. But science museums are fun. Our local one has a giant animatronic dinosaur that moves around a bit and roars, and long, sound carrying tubes, and air pumps that can float a ping pong ball in midair, and probably a million other things I don't remember or that have been added in the decades since I went as a child. We also have the World Aquarium, which has all sorts of bugs and snakes and reptiles and fish. Really enjoyed the tour, up until the point where I fell over and got a concussion - but that's a story for another time. We also have the St. Louis Zoo, which as one might expect, has lots of animals, plus trains that run around the outside of the zoo. I still go there to ride the trains, and will take my nieces and nephews when they're old enough. Can't say as I've ever participated in a tour specifically for homeschoolers, though. I would personally pass on tours, for the most part, and go more free-form, though I make an exception in the case of tours where you get to handle things you normally aren't allowed to (like animals).

Commando
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Postby Commando » Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:54 am

We homeschool, and are part of a homeschool co-op. One of our frequent educational activities is to go on field trips - some of which include museums. Some of our field trips in the past have been to other types of places (a coffee roasting company, a farm, a water treatment facility, etc) and the kids get a pretty good idea of how different aspects of society operate "behind the scenes" that way.

But museums provide a great deal of exposure to history and art of course. We've gone to the Chalmette Battlefield (when learning about the Battle of New Orleans), to the New Orleans Museum of Art, and even to the "UCM Museum" which has a lot of very fun and unusual folk art.

Teedee00
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Postby Teedee00 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:45 am

Thanks for theses field trip ideas. I too live in New Orleans and I'd like to try new field trips this year. Thanks


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