The Best Field Trips in Alabama

 

The state of Alabama has much to offer. Beautiful landscapes, gorgeous beaches, and many attractions. If you homeschooling in Alabama you are in luck! Alabama also has many wonderful places to visit with your family for field trips!

Here are some of the BEST field trips in Alabama!

Birmingham Zoo

Located in Birmingham, this zoo houses 700 animals and sits on over 100 acres. They also offer Homeschool classes for kids in grades 1st-12th.  

Birmingham Museum of Art

Located in Birmingham, this museum offers activities for children are free!
Imagination Place Children’s Museum at the Center for Cultural Arts

Located in Gadsden, this museum is one of a kind! Shaped like a triangle with an enormous cylinder, kids will be excited to experience the many educational opportunities Imagination Place offers!
The U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Located in Huntsville, The U.S. Space and Rocket Center boasts of having the greatest collection of rockets and space memorabilia anywhere!
Biophilia Nature Center

Located in Elberta, this Nature Center is open year round. It includes over 100 species of interesting labeled plants. Children will also learn about butterfly gardening, wetland values and much more!

Children’s Museum of the Shoals

Located in Florence, The Children’s Museum of the Shoals, Inc. offers hands-on exhibits and programs geared specifically to the developmental stages and needs of children. Their goal is to further education and encourage children to imagine, make choices and create.

Alabama River Museum

Located in Florence, this museum allows visitors to travel back in time to an early 1800s camp on the river. There they will visit with Indians, frontiersmen, traders and travelers.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Located in Gulf Shores, this zoo is just blocks from the beach! It is home to more than 290 animals.   There’s also a petting zoo, reptile house, aviary and daily animal shows in the summer.

Huntsville Botanical Garden

Located in Huntsville, the Garden provides a variety of opportunities for individuals and groups to expand their knowledge of plants and nature. The Nature Center/Butterfly House is open May through September.

Alabama Nature Center

Located in Millbrook, he Alabama Nature Center provides fun and exciting field trip opportunities for homeschool students. Staff will choose and plan activities in regards to special topics requested by the person planning the event.

Rosa Parks Library and Museum

Located in Montgomery, this museum is the only one in the nation dedicated to the civil rights icon.

Montgomery Zoo

Located in Montgomery, this zoo offers over 500 animals from five different continents, all housed in natural, barrier-free habitats.

A. Gayle Planetarium

Located in Montgomery this planetarium is one of the largest Planetariums between Atlanta and New Orleans. Educational shows are given daily.

Pioneer Museum of Alabama

Located in Troy, this is a living classroom! Students will be able to experience life in a log cabin. Activities include cooking at the wood stove and fireplace, churning butter, fetching water, sweeping the yards with handmade straw brooms, feeding the chickens and gathering eggs. Museum tour includes a spinning and weaving demonstration that goes from making thread from raw cotton all the way to the loom.

These are just some of the BEST field trips in Alabama. So, take the time to explore our great state by experiencing one of these amazing field trips!

 

Homeschooling in Alabama: What You Need to Know as a Parent

Alabama is one of the best states in the United States if you’re interested in homeschooling your children. The laws regarding homeschooling in Alabama are now some of the most lenient in the country and allow you to home school your child without much governmental intervention. You can do so through three different homeschooling programs in Alabama, the first using a state certified tutor and the second through a “church school”. Through the church school program (these are also known as cover schools), your home can qualify as a church school and all you have to do is work with existing church home school groups in Alabama. However, another MAJOR option has opened up as the state has introduced a new bill this year that recognizes home schooling.

New Bill Introduced

A new Bill introduced this year clarifies this law and holds that private schools can be started by any legal entity (i.e any parent). Before this law was passed you needed to be state certified and teach public school courses to be able to enroll your child in a home school. The other options were to create a church school or hire a private tutor that is certified by the state. The law also holds that these private schools are exempt from regulation by the government, including the state education department. The main requirement is that you must ensure your child meets mandatory attendance requirements that you must track. Thus you can easily educate your child at home.   This law was passed on April 2nd, 2014, and will be in effect on July 1st, 2014.

The most critical factor of the new law change is the official recognition of “home school” by the State of Alabama. Also, the law specifically states that the state has no interest in regulating “home schools”. These changes in the new homeschool law make it clear that homeschooling should be a much EASIER compliance process for all types of homeschoolers in Alabama.

If you are worried that home schooling your child in Alabama may lead to problems getting into college, you need not worry. The latest bill ensures that two or four year state colleges cannot deny a student purely on the basis of having attended a home school or any other nonpublic school. Additionally private and church school students will no longer have to take a GED test to apply for a college.

Homeschooling Programs in Alabama

As a parent, your top priority is ensuring your child gets the best upbringing and education possible. That’s why you are homeschooling them. It’s therefore important to choose the right homeschooling program. If you are going to join a church school, be sure to research what benefits these programs offer. Some of them offer curriculum material, guidance, monthly field trips, and all kinds of other benefits. These benefits can help your child massively, and be a great help in home schooling them properly. Some of these church schools don’t require you to be an active member of their church or to even give a devotional statement. Joining a church school and home schooling your child under their structure may be an excellent choice if you want to join a community of people home schooling their children. This is also an excellent choice as it can allow your child to make new friends very easily.

Online Homeschooling in Alabama

There are also various online support groups for home schoolers in Alabama. You can join anything from a free forum for other parents home schooling children, to enrolling in complete online home schooling programs which take care of all the material for you.   If you are a busy parent an online homeschooling program may be the best program for your family. Some programs are highly advanced and include interactive exercises and tests for the child to take part in. Online Homeschooling in Alabama is an option you should consider as an exciting and interesting teaching method. Online home school groups are definitely worth looking into!

Alabama Cover Schools

A cover school refers to a church program that allows you to home school legally. The term “cover school” is simply another word for a church school which we’ve already covered before. Due to the new bill it appears there is no longer a need to join a church or Alabama cover schools after July 1st, 2014. Since the Alabama Department of Education has chosen not to regulate “home schools”, there should now be a movement towards just filing a intent to homeschool and file any annual compulsory attendance certification. We will work diligently to make sure you are up to date on the latest information and process. At the Alabama Homeschool Expo, we will discuss the new law changes and what the steps are now to homeschool in Alabama.

Don’t be Afraid to Take the Leap into Home Schooling in Alabama

If you 100 percent feel that home schooling is the right choice for your child or children, then jump right into it! Don’t let other people hold you back (and yes there will be naysayers). There’s no denying that the public school system has a huge number of flaws, and a home schooling arrangement is far better for many children.   If you feel your child could benefit from home schooling in Alabama it would be unfair to force your child into a system he doesn’t belong in.

Sources-

http://www.hslda.org/laws/analysis/Alabama.pdf

http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/al/201404080.asp

http://northalabamahomeeducators.freeservers.com/schools.html