8 Things to Do with Homeschooled Kids on the Space Coast
Add a “funducational” vacation getaway to your homeschool lesson plans
Whether you're an educator or a parent of a student, it's likely you're looking for new ways of teaching or at least creative ideas on how to engage your students. And for those of you who decide to forego traditional education and take on the responsibility yourself, coming up with fun ways to teach your homeschoolers doesn’t have to be difficult.
You can easily incorporate an educational field trip while you “vacation” here on the Space Coast and your students will never know! So as you prep for your next year, check out these entertaining options that will have you easily becoming your homeschoolers’ favorite teacher!
Learning Made Fun with Your Own STEM Tour
Known for providing a world of exploration for all things space flight and research related, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (KSCVC) has many youth programs to help incorporate STEM education into your visit on the Space Coast. Inspire imaginations in this fun, educational, and team-building experience. And there’s so much more KSC provides, so make sure you check out all they have to offer to make the most of your time there.
Make it a multi-day experience for your homeschooler by adding the Astronaut Training Experience to your trip to KSC. Students will train like the next generation of explorers who will travel to Mars. They will feel like an astronaut as they hone their docking skills and experience a spacewalk in a microgravity environment. And that’s not all. Students will also get to manage operations, harvest vegetables in the botany lab, and work through challenges in the harshest, Mars-like environments.
See the waters come alive at night with a truly magical experience. Watch your homeschooler be the conductor of their own light show with every stroke of the paddle as they watch the living creatures join in with them. With several bioluminescent tour options, this is a definite adventure you don’t want your student to miss out on. You may even catch a shooting star while out under the open skies. You’ll want to add this to the beginning of your school year because the best viewing times are between July and September. Incorporate learning about the lunar calendar because you’ll want to make sure that you go on one of the darkest of nights, typically five days after a full moon.
Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures
This isn’t your typical fossil store. The Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures gives your student the opportunity to explore the prehistoric age to King Tut’s tomb and the achievements of the ancient Egyptians. Go on an interactive adventure that transforms you into an archaeologist for the day with fossil digs and has you braving the rapids of the Nile River without you even getting wet. This will be fun way to create a memorable and educational experience for your student.
Exercise Your Mind & Body
What better way to get some outdoor activity than with a trip to the beach? And no trip to the Space Coast is complete without a trip here. Start a game of beach volleyball or have your homeschooler take surf lessons from some of our locals. There are endless opportunities to enjoy our pristine beaches while you exercise. You can even do that while sitting comfortably under an umbrella with your drink of choice (hint hint). Remember, this is all about the student getting the workout.
The Brevard Zoo offers a great opportunity to get outside and walk all while exploring science and conservation with their homeschool program. An interactive encounter will sure bring a fun and inspirational environment to your student’s education as you get outside and move around. And if you want more physical activity coupled with critical thinking and team-building exercises, then you’ll want to add the Treetop Trek to your day at the zoo. Treetop Trek is a self-guided adventure park that takes you on a zip-line tour through the zoo. With adventures available for as young as 4-years-old to expert challenge courses for your older students, this is a great way to expand your student’s education. And if that isn’t enough, the zoo also has a kayak adventure tour where you can paddle alongside the giraffes, zebras, impalas, and more.
Expand Your Horizons with a Bit of History and Art
The Space Coast is home to many museums. Some that you may not be aware of are great places to bring your homeschooler to. One of those places is the Valiant War Bird Museum. This museum is home to all types of vintage aircraft dating back to as early as the pre-WWI era and to the present day. Take a tour around the 10 acres to see its collection of memorabilia and artifacts. You can even make this a spring getaway and time it with their annual Warbird airshow. Take in the sights from the ground and watch history fly right by.
If aircraft aren’t up your student’s alley, but fighting crime and solving mysteries is, then take them to the American Police Hall of Fame. This museum is the nation’s first national law enforcement museum and memorial dedicated to officers killed in the line of duty. Your homeschooler will learn about the history and current trends in American law enforcement with interactive displays, simulators, and roughly 11,000 artifacts. Explore a collection of historic and futuristic police cars or learn about how law enforcement agencies do their forensic investigations and how crime scenes are analyzed.
Exploring art in its many forms is a fun way to expand your student’s perspective and experience culture in a new way and the Space Coast has a rich history full of culture and art. More recently, some of our historic downtown areas have been adding outdoor museums for locals and guests alike to enjoy. One of those spots is the Eau Gallie Arts District (EGAD). EGAD is home to wall mural creations from artists who are known around the world for their work. You’ll get to experience one-of-a-kind designs as you walk the historic streets of Olde Eau Gallie.
Downtown Melbourne also has murals for you to take in and view as well. The area is working towards having around 15-20 murals ranging in size and style, so adding this to your outdoor museum tour at EGAD will make for a well-rounded day for your student.
But if you want a more hands-on experience for your homeschooler, stop at Painting with a Twist for an opportunity to paint your own masterpiece. With locations in two historic areas, Painting with a Twist - Cocoa Village and Painting with a Twist - Downtown Melbourne, this is a great way to couple listening skills with stretching your student’s flair for creativity. Commemorate this outing with your original take-home piece of art.
There are so many ways to be able to incorporate learning with having fun and it doesn’t have to be confined to the classroom. You can teach while on vacation without feeling like you’re even in class. That’s a win-win for both you, as a teacher, and to your student. So as you start thinking about lesson plans, don’t forget to add a “funducational” getaway to the Space Coast!
To help you plan your trip, check out our vacation planner here.
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