Museum Educator Resources

September is such a great time to visit local museums, especially on dreary days like today. Gone are summer tourists and vacationers, and school field trips have yet to begin, so we enjoy semi-private museum exhibits. Most museums in major cities have amazing resources for educators, and many of these resources are available to homeschooling parents. Often museums have educator resource centers and libraries that offer curriculum guides and reference materials to enhance one's teaching, and many host professional development workshops in which homeschool parents can participate.

While some museums may openly offer these resources to homeschoolers, often all it takes is a phone call or visit to your local museum to gain access. And many museums post curriculum aids and worksheets online for all to use. For example, New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art offers fabulous online publications for educators which can greatly enhance a homeschooler's curriculum, particularly when combined with frequent museum visits. And Chicago's Museum of Science & Industry website has an entire "online education" section featuring videos, activities and podcasts that can augment any at-home science curriculum. Washington, D.C.'s Smithsonian Institute website also offers lesson plans by subject-matter and by grade-level, and the San Diego Zoo has some great downloadables for kids at all grade levels.

We urban homeschoolers are so fortunate to have a variety of museums just a short walk or subway ride away, and when we take advantage of the additional resources many of these museums offer, we experience just how valuable these museums are to our children's education.