Friday, November 08, 2013

Homeschool Coastal Edutainment

A trip to Alabama and Florida’s Gulf Coast makes an entertaining addition to your home school curriculum, especially in the spring and fall when the beaches are less crowded and the weather is great for exploring abundant educational venues.

I’ve assembled a few options for you to choose from based on the ages of your children and their particular course of study. You just might create a whole new curriculum once you see the amazing ways to entertain while educating the youth in your family. In fact, I’ll bet you will enjoy these attractions as much as the kids do. Take a look at the possibilities for:edutainment at the beach:

Walk on the Wild Side
  • Add an animal encounter or two to your trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in Gulf Shores for an up-close and personal animal experience. Plan your visit around the free animal show for extra information.
  • You definitely will not want to cuddle a reptile at Alligator Alley in Summerdale (north of Foley) but you can hold a small one and gain lots of knowledge during the guided tour, especially at feeding time.
  • The Gulf State Park Nature Center is a living museum of plants and animals native to our Gulf Coast region that can be found in the park’s 6,000+ acres.
  • Even more plants and animals are indigenous to the 7,000-acre Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge, which is a wildlife habitat for more than 350 species of migratory birds, nesting sea turtles and the endangered Alabama beach mouse. Stop by the refuge office during the week to view a video and view wildlife exhibits or check the schedule to take a guided trail hike.

 For the Birds
  • Each spring and fall the Hummer Bird Study Group sets up a station inside Historic Fort Morgan to monitor the condition of migratory birds heading to South America in winter and returning to their first US landfall in spring. Planning your coastal visit to observe this process is an extraordinary experience.
  • The Alabama Coastal Birding Trail, which runs throughout Baldwin and Mobile counties, provides 50 stops that are organized into loops where you can appreciate the observation points and avian education.
 Something Fishy
  • Add an extra layer of learning to your coastal experience when you spend time at the Estuarium at Dauphin Island Sea Lab. This educational facility highlights the four key habitats of coastal Alabama: the Mobile Tensaw River Delta, Mobile Bay, the Barrier Islands and the Northern Gulf of Mexico. For a special treat take the Mobile Bay Ferry ride from Fort Morgan to Dauphin Island for the day.
  • See marine science in action at the Claude Peteet Mariculture Center in Gulf Shores.
 Step Back in Time

  • Celebrating the birthplace of Mardi Gras in Mobile, not New Orleans as most people think, you’ll find the Mobile Carnival Museum.
Planes & Trains
  • An expansive free museum filled to the brim with aircraft is located at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. Be sure to sign up for a free guided tour for the behind-the-scenes, inside scoop about the planes, pilots and military personnel.
  • Most Wednesday’s you can view the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, as they practice for 65 upcoming shows for 2014 at their home at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola.

  • Three train adventures can be found just north of the beaches at the Foley Depot Museum where you’ll see an impressive model train exhibit inside a turn-of-the-century railroad station. Then you can board the Charles J. Ebert, Jr. Memorial Train for a free ride around Heritage Park.
Science Treasure
  • A terrific hands-on science experience makes learning fun at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center in Mobile, where exhibits change frequently and the IMAX theatre add an extra level of entertainment.
Whew, that seems like a lot of action and fun adventures and it is. So now you just need to pack up the kids and head to the beach. But first check our specials and Hot Deals to pick up a bargain on your accommodations at a condo or beach house. Your vacation property comes equipped with a full kitchen, private bedrooms and baths plus a living area and balcony. Chose a gulf-front view overlooking the sugar-white sands and rolling gulf surf or a serene backwater vista.

See you at the beach.


Roma said...

These are wonderful field trip ideas. I especially like the science one. Thanks

Hands On Learning (whole brain teaching) is the best way to teach.

Roma said...

Thanks for the great field trip ideas. I particularly like the science one in the Gulf.

Hands on learning, which science now calls whole brain teaching, is the best way to learn.

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