Monday is Museums & Monuments Day at the River Houses: spend a few homeschool minutes exploring a notable cultural or historical site somewhere in the world and broaden your homeschool horizons. You don’t have to be exhaustive: just look up its location your atlas (riverhouses.org/books), learn a new name or a new date, and your little lesson is done. Over the course of the year, almost without realizing it, you and your students will absorb a wealth of new cultural, historical, and geographical information.
This week’s state-of-the-week is Michigan — the historic automobile manufacturing capital of America — so we’re going to pay a virtual visit to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan. Here’s the Ford Museum’s own website, with visitor information, online exhibitions, and more:
The Ford Museum is part of a much larger indoor and outdoor museum complex, known simply as “The Henry Ford,” that includes Greenfield Village (an extensive outdoor living history museum) and the Ford Rouge Factory (a working automobile factory). The Ford Museum itself includes a vast array of exhibits on technology and manufacturing, agriculture, historic inventions, American history, and of course, automobiles.
In the years since it opened in 1933, the Ford Museum has acquired many important items that illustrate America’s history of innovation, including Thomas Edison’s laboratory, the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop where their first “flying machine” was designed, and more. It’s one of the largest and most-visited museum complexes in the United States. Spend a few homeschool minutes exploring the Henry Ford Museum online with your students this week, and maybe planning an in-person visit for the future.
What museum or historical monument have you visited with your homeschool students lately?
❡ Explore more: Your River Houses history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books) has a feature on the “Shrinking World” that has come about through increasing ease of travel (pages 486–487), and it includes a box on Henry Ford and his role in the mass production of automobiles in the early twentieth century — it’s just the thing to get a wonderful homeschool conversation started.