There’s a whole new world waiting to be discovered underneath the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the backbays and lagoons of the Alabama Gulf Coast. With so much life teeming below the surface, the sandy shores of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Dauphin Island offer plenty of opportunities for homeschool students to learn and explore.
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is a fun way to spend the day. After a history lesson at Fort Morgan in Gulf Shores, take a ferry ride to the island to learn about the life cycles of marine animals on the Gulf Coast. Students can even touch and examine sea stars, clams, snails, crabs and more. Sponges, jellyfish, shark and octopus are also on display for examination. Beach walks and an introduction to the maritime forest, as well as a salt marsh excursion are also highlights of a trip to the sea lab. The lessons are hands-on experiences, and many are suitable for kindergarteners through high school. For those who really want to dive into the programs at the sea lab, there are programs designed to be incorporated into overnight trips. Summer college programs are even available.
Once you experience marine life by land, embark on a dolphin and nature cruise to learn about the area’s marine life by water. Some guides offer an informative look into the life of local dolphin pods and the native flora and fauna that call the Gulf Coast home.
The 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center is another stop to add to your homeschool lesson plan. It’s your gateway to Alabama’s largest national natural landmark and the second largest river delta in America. Students can learn about water stewardship, woods and wetlands, as well as the 126 species of fish and 500 species of plants that make up the delta.
Combine a family vacation with a host of learning opportunities. A trip to the beach to study marine life is a great way to keep your homeschoolers excited about learning. Plan your trip during the spring and fall seasons to take advantage of affordable rates at Gulf Shores condos and Orange Beach hotels.