Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Museum of Science and Industry

As you know it is the first week of Advent. It seems as soon as this time of year hits, our schedule goes crazy, which makes it hard to homeschool, keep the spirit of Advent and still plan for Christmas. Unfortunately, homeschooling usually ends up with the short end of the stick.

Despite our schedule I still wanted to find some educational things to do to make up for the lack of book work. Earlier in the week we took a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry. Most of my kids had never been there and my husband and I hadn't been there for years. What a great museum! If you live in the area or are planning on visiting Chicago anytime soon, this would be my #1 museum recommendation.

Why did I like it so much? Well, let me first say that there are two types of museum goers. My uncle terms one kind the "Slowski's". You know them. They are the kind that like to go through museums and read every word that is written, even signs like "Employees must wash hands before returning to work" . If it's a sign, they'll stop and read it. This makes it impossible to get through the entire museum. In case you hadn't guessed, my uncle and I do not fall into this category.

Those of you like us like to go through a museum the same way you shop; walking along at a reasonable pace, browsing the displays, stopping when something really catches your attention. This method allows you to learn a little about a lot of things because you can make it through more exhibits this way. The Slowski's only can learn a lot about a little because they never leave the first room!

Anyhow, I liked this museum because there was a lot of cool things to see, but not a lot that we had to stop and read. We went on a few tours and listened to people talk, which is great for auditory learners. My son came home with a boat-load of information on submarines and coal mines. We were all able to push buttons and touch things and really learn a lot. There were even a few things to read, so the Slowski group was happy, too!

About half way through the museum I remembered that I had a camera on my cell phone - see, all that time I spent last week came in handy. The pictures aren't that clear (come on, I'm supposed to hold that little thing still long enough to take a clear picture? with NO flash???) but I thought I'd share some of what we saw.

During December the museum has their Christmas trees from around the world display. This is the center tree:

You can't really see my daughter, but check out the cool German U-505 Submarine. This was a great tour!

They had a great section on transportation. Here is a picture of a big steam engine they have there:

And this is an awesome railroad system they had set up. My son was mesmerized.

If you can, check out this museum in January when they have a whole bunch of free days!

God Bless!