Homeschooling and traveling go hand in hand. In-person experiences cement your children’s studies and bring learning to life. Here are five ways to combine your homeschooling with a Gulf Shores and Orange Beach vacation:
1. Visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Affectionately called “The Little Zoo That Could,” my family adores this zoo for its unique animal encounter experiences. My daughter loves animals and had the opportunity to learn about – and get up close and personal with – a lemur and a baby tiger! Petting a tiger cub and having a lemur jump on her head created amazing memories that solidify other facts she learned about the animals.
2. Spend a Day at the Beach. Why is the sand in Gulf Shores so sugary-fine and white? Explain to your kids that the 32 miles of Alabama’s white-sand beaches are made almost entirely from quartz grains washed down the Appalachian Mountains thousands of years ago. Going to the beach is a great way to tie in some geology and geography studies. And my kids were thrilled to see dolphins, hermit crabs, and other aquatic life during our visit.
3. Step Back in Time at Fort Morgan. Wherever we travel, we always teach our kids about the history of the area. Fort Morgan was the perfect place to dig in to the past of Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Completed in 1834, the fort protected the port of Mobile and its shipping channels, although it was not garrisoned until 1861 when Southern troops seized it during the Civil War. You can enjoy a guided tour, or take a self-guided tour and follow that with some hiking and picnicking. For more history, the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile is a short drive away.
4. Tackle a New Adventure. Learning is not just about textbook studies. It’s about getting your kids out of their comfort zone and boosting their confidence. We had so many opportunities to do that in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach! My daughter experienced her first kayaking trip with Coastal Kayak Excursions, my son ziplined with Hummingbird Zipline, and I got to try flyboarding with FlyboardBAMA!
5. Experience Local Cuisine. Food is a wonderful way to learn about an area. My family has never been fond of fish, but we all discovered a new appreciation for it when we tasted the incredible fresh fish in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. We learned a lot about different kinds of oysters and my kids ate grouper at Ginny Lane Bar & Grill – I never thought I’d see that day come!
Vacation doesn’t have to be a time when your kids’ brains turn to mush. There’s so much to learn on a Gulf Shores and Orange Beach vacation – and your kids will barely realize they are learning!