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Museum Membership - Education on a Budget

Updated on March 21, 2018
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Education on a Budget

Homeschooling my children for years has taught me many things. One of which is that a museum memberships is a must for my family. There are measurable and immeasurable reasons why it's vital to our home-school curriculum.

Let's start with the measurable reasons. One of our state requirements for our home-school is that we participate in end-of-year standardized tests. Consistently my children have scored grade levels higher than they actually are, in both Science and Social Studies. While these subjects are part of our practice, I know that it's the steady exposure to various museums that have positively influenced these leaps in their education.

Some folks may think "I can't really afford a membership to a museum." What I say to that is "False, false, false - you absolutely can!" Not only will it cost very little, if used properly it can save you money. Some of you may be shaking your heads, so let me give you the inside scoop from my years of tweaking this system. First of all you can join a museum anywhere in the country (perhaps the world). A few minutes of focused time on the internet can tell you what museums have the best prices for annual membership. For as low as $69 a year for a family membership you can have access to museums throughout the world - yes the world!

Here's what you need to look for:

1. A museum that is a member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC Travel Passport) http://www.astc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/ASTCTravelPassport_6pt_Nov2017-Apr2018.pdf

2. Or Association of Zoos & Aquariums https://www.speakcdn.com/assets/2332/reciprocitychart2017.pdf

3. If you find one that is a member of both than you've doubled your winnings! https://wildwnc.org/membership

Museums that are part of these groups offer reciprocity with other museums. Not only can you visit local museums for free, but while traveling you can visit museums that are part of the Science and Technology Centers or part of the Zoo & Aquarium programs. It's always best to call ahead of time to make sure they still participate in the program or what stipulations they may have.

If your family goes to a museum once a month that's an outing that is $5.75 for the family (2 adults and 4 children). Even one meal at most fast food garbage dumps isn't this cheap!

This article began with sharing the measurable facts of higher test scores. Now let me tell you about the part that isn't quantifiable. These are the part that give me the most amazing joy, being able to see my children excited about learning, seeing them introduced to new concepts, ideas and adventures. Perhaps it's during a nature program where one of my children will say "Yes, we saw that at the Dallas Zoo!" or "Remember the Madagascar hissing cockroaches at the Staten Island Children's Museum?" My museum membership card tucked in my wallet and itching for our family's next museum exploration, maybe we'll see you there!

© 2018 Jan Copperpot

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