What can children learn from objects in museums?
from http://www.si.edu/visit/groups.htm Smithsonian Museum
By carefully looking at the objects they’re seeing in the exhibits, children’s minds become engaged, and the objects become learning tools. Careful observation acts as a springboard for new thoughts and ideas, stimulating the use of critical thinking skills. Some of these skills include:
Learning from objects is easiest when families know their children’s learning styles. Research shows that most children learn best through one of three ways: hearing (auditory), seeing (visual), or touching/reenacting (tactile/kinesthetic), and some by a combination of all of these.
Generally, children who are:
- Comparing and contrasting — recognizing similarities and differences in objects
- Identifying and classifying — recognizing and grouping things that belong together
- Describing — giving verbal or written descriptions of the objects viewed
- Predicting — guessing what might happen
- Summarizing — presenting information that has been gathered in a shortened or condensed form
- Your Child’s Learning Style
- Auditory learners like to be read to, understand more by hearing explanations of things, and are better at following verbal, rather than written, instructions
- Visual learners often like to read on their own, love books with lots of pictures, like information that is presented on a graph or chart, and like to draw diagrams and pictures
- Tactile-kinesthetic learners like to touch objects and feel textures, enjoy arts and crafts, and like to be in skits or plays, often pretending to be the person they’re studying
Questions, Questions, and More Questions
Museum curators consider a variety of learning styles when designing exhibits. Docents or tour guides explain and interpret the exhibits for visitors, all exhibits have written descriptions that tell a story about the objects, and many museums have exhibits that are interactive. Tour guides are also available for individuals with visual and hearing impairments.
Is it real? How does it work? What is it made of? Children are naturally curious and ask lots of questions. Families can have a good conversation with their children by listening carefully to their questions about the objects and asking them to complete statements such as:
- A good name for this is.
- What does this remind you of?
- What do you think will happen if.
- What if?
- What words would you use to describe this object?
- How are these two objects the same? Different?
- How does it make you feel?
Field Trip Guideline for Homeschool Parents
Posted by Ann Zeise on February 22, 2010
Remember: First impressions last long! For some field trips, your group will represent the public’s first exposure to homeschooling / charter schools. Let’s make it a good one!!
- Only sign up for a field trip if you are committed to going! Arrangements are made according to planned attendance. If an emergency does arise, please notify the coordinator as soon as possible.
- If you are not going on a particular field trip, complete the Field Trip Permission Slip and give it to the adult with whom you are entrusting your child.
- There will be a few field trips where preschool children or under a certain age may not be allowed to attend. There also may be instances where strollers are not permitted. Please respect these requests. If small children get disruptive, please take them outside.
- Field trip attire should be in good taste, e.g. children should not wear ripped jeans, short shorts or dresses, tank tops etc, as these are formal outings. Certain field trips may require students to dress up, such as concerts.
- Prepare for the field trip. Do some research on the web so you know what you are getting into. Help your child understand a bit about the background of the activity. If your child isn’t ready for the fragility of the place or the rigorous activity, remember that the place will still be there another year when your child is more mature and able to enjoy it.
- Set expectations for appropriate manners ahead of time. Just make sure your child has memorized one or two expectations. Too many, and all get forgotten. For example: Raise your hand if you have a question and wait to be called on. After your question is answered, say, “Thank you.” Then sit quietly while others get their questions answered.
- Please be at the designated meeting place as close to on time as possible.
- Please wait until the entire group has arrived before going into the place of business. This will be less disturbing for the sponsors.
- As a parent, you must always know where your children are and what they are doing. Throughout the field trip your children need to be either with you or the person you have designated. Both kids and parents should be respectful, kind and courteous to the tour guides and to each other.
- Pick up after yourself. Place everything where it needs to be. Place all trash in a trash receptacle.
- Count heads and items. Are you leaving with everyone and everything you came in with?
- Send thank-you cards to those who allowed you to tour their facility or who presented the activity.