Museums can be one of the best ways to educate your children while the entire family has fun! Museums offer the opportunity to experience history, art, culture, and more in a hands-on, immersive way. This experience helps to make facts jump from pages for kids of all ages.
Homeschool Field Trip – Museums
There are museums devoted to every subject imaginable, from art and natural history to pioneer furniture and mummies. Most museums contain a diverse array of cultural artifacts whether they are indigenous artwork or a display of traditional weaponry. Intercultural exposure is critical for raising tolerant, well-rounded kids. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that we can choose to visit any museums that we want, as often as we want. In fact, Homeschool Field Trips are one of the many reasons kids often state as a bonus of homeschooling .
Why Museums Help Teach Children About Diversity
Museums Can Teach a Different History
Even today, in the 21st century, the vast majority of mainstream history curricula focus only on Western history with other groups of people coming in only in relation to the Western narrative. Through no fault of the child, they will often come away thinking that the history of their own culture is the most important. It then becomes your job to educate your child on other historic events.
Native American history, for example, is very applicable to your child’s life. The country they live in was originally the home of hundreds of Native American tribes, each with their own unique language, history, and culture. Visiting a museum with exhibits for the local tribes can be a great learning experience for your child as they learn about what their home once looked like.
Museums Educate Children on Their Heritage
If your child is part of a minority group but is growing up in the mainstream culture, they are likely missing out on learning about their heritage. Too many second and third generation immigrant children are not learning the history, language, and culture of their roots, resulting in massive language and culture loss. Museums place cultural artifacts on display with dignity and pride, showcasing traditional art, clothing, and history. This sets a wonderful example for your child as they learn that their heritage is something to be proud of, prompting them to want to learn more and embrace endangered traditions.
Museums are also experts at providing multiple methods of learning. As each child learns differently, museums have modernized the way they transmit knowledge. Most museums will provide visual and audio styles of learning as well as hands-on exhibits, workshops, events, and even apps.
Children Can Form Biases Very Early In Life
Though we think young children cannot see minute differences between people, toddler-aged kids are already able to distinguish race and gender. When a child is not exposed to positive intercultural experiences, they rapidly form negative biases, often preferring people of their own race and viewing cultural differences as negative. These opinions become difficult to alter by the time the child turns 6.
If you want your child to be accepting, tolerant, and capable of considering multiple perspectives, you must introduce them to cultural diversity. Since crashing a cultural event as an outsider is frowned upon, the best way to accomplish this is to take your child to museums. They make a fabulous homeschool field trip!
Show your child art from many cultures, teaching them that art has many definitions outside their own culture’s concept of art. Introduce them the historical narratives outside the mainstream one they will learn from the media, teaching them that other histories are equally important. Expose them to how people in other parts of the world have lived in both past and present, teaching them that there are many ways to live and all are deserving of respect. Lead your kids outside what could be a narrow view of the world and help them grow into learned, accepting, successful, and culturally wise adults.