I’m Kelsey, and I’m a mom who’s certified in secondary social studies education, bilingual education, and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). I’ve worked in brick-and-mortar schools (public and Catholic) in Wisconsin and Texas, but now my family is settled back in my native Chicago.
After quite a lot of consideration, my husband and I decided that homeschooling our son Elliot was the right option for us. Elliot is still little, so this whole experience of homeschooling is something we’re learning about as we go. I try to glean as much wisdom as I can from more experienced homeschooling families, taking bits of knowledge and advice here and there to help piece together what will work for us.
So, you may be asking yourself, “If you’re so new at this homeschooling thing, what qualifies you to write a blog about so-called ‘museumschooling’?” The answer to that is simple. We didn’t like the idea of using a strict curriculum-based educational model – I have quite a lot of experience with rigid curriculum in the classroom, and it isn’t what we wanted. Neither were we terribly comfortable with the most loose forms of unschooling. We knew that whatever we did as homeschoolers would look a bit different from all the labeled methods.
Because I’m a volunteer docent at a world-class museum in Chicago, we were already frequenting the amazing array of museums here in our city. As Elliot and I began really focusing on skills, goals, and content in our day-to-day lives, I realized we were doing something without even realizing it. We were making the museums his classrooms, and basing the rest of our educational activities off of our visits. Hey, I thought. This isn’t a half-bad idea. You could, maybe, make a whole homeschooling system off of this. A kid could have frequent museum visits as the structure and scaffold of their entire education.
And thus the notion of Museumschooling was born. Is it a tried-and-true method? Not yet. Is it perfect? Obviously not, and it probably never will be. So what’s the point of this blog? This is just Elliot and me as we try to carve out our own homeschooling path. What I hope is to record the highs and lows, the successes and failures of museumschooling. I hope to hear others’ input, and I hope that years from now, when we’re far more experienced, we can look back with nostalgia and amusement at all of this.
So, that’s us. We’re the guinea pigs. We’re the museumschoolers.