This is a sponsored post on behalf on SEA LIFE Arizona.
As a homeschooling family, attending Homeschool Week at SEA LIFE Arizona has been a highlight for my boys. Our first time attending was many years ago and through the years and classes we paid for, we have assembled our top 10 tips to help you make the most of homeschool week.
10 Tips to Make the Most of Homeschool Week at SEA LIFE Arizona
Our family’s tips are especially helpful if you have never attended homeschool week and are considering it as a way to enhance your science curriculum. Included are our pictures taken from two different classes we attended.
#1 Proof of homeschooling is required
In order to attend the class, proof you are a homeschooling family is required. Simply provide your documentation when you check in at SEA LIFE. Acceptable forms of proof are listed on their website and often include: letter of intent to homeschool, homeschool co-op card, homeschool curriculum, or the Arizona state affidavit.
#2 Class includes price of admission to the aquarium
This was a huge surprise, as we had no idea the cost of the homeschool class also included admission into the aquarium for the day. If you are a homeschooling family looking to save money on admission and enhance your science curriculum, this is a cost saving way to accomplish both. After your class, stay as long as you would like visiting the aquarium.
#3 Pick a class that fits your schedule
The entire homeschool week has time slots available. Choose one that fits your schedule best to work around meal times and nap times for younger siblings. This ensures everyone is fed and rested for an afternoon of fun. Some classes are designed for certain age groups, such as kindergarten and first grade or middle school and high school.
If your child is interested in a particular animal, check their website for the talks and feeding demonstrations as not all are scheduled on the same day. Since one son is fascinated by sharks, we chose one class on the same day we could also see the shark feeding for the first time.
#4 Purchase tickets in advance
Availability is limited as there are only 25 slots per class. This ensures your child has enough time to complete the materials while receiving support from the instructor. A last minute change in our personal schedule allowed us to attend the homeschool class and purchase tickets the same day. While it is advised to purchase tickets early, don’t discount the option of a last minute trip as sometimes tickets might become available. Tickets must be purchased in advance. You can call or purchase tickets on their website.
#5 Parents attend the class with their child
Seating in the classroom allows the parents to participate in the lesson and help their child as needed. When my boys were younger and were a little unsure about their first dissection experience, having the ability to sit beside them and encourage them through it made the difference in their success.
#6 Some classes include a dissection
Our very first class included the dissection of a squid. My boys had never handled a squid before, let alone a dissection. It was definitely an experience we all remember. While they were hesitant, gloves made all the difference. A few minutes in and they were enjoying writing their name in squid ink. They also dissected a perch, identifying the organs.
#7 Every class is different
If dissection is not on your list of things to do (see #5), then be sure to read the class description before signing up. If you need help determining if the class is appropriate for your child, just give SEA LIFE Arizona a phone call and they will help you with more information. Not every class includes a dissection. From our personal experience, less than half of the classes included it.
#8 Students are paired up
For each lesson, students are paired up with a lab partner and they work together during the class. If there is extra room in the class, the parent has the option to be paired up with their child.
#9 All materials are supplied for you
Included in the cost of the class are all materials your child will need to use during the class. All you have to do is show up a few minutes before the class begins to get checked in and everything will be ready for you.
#10 Have fun
Classes are designed to educate and also inspire young scientists to learn more about the ocean the animals the live in it. The instructors are friendly and truly desire to be in the classroom teaching the children.
The learning does not end when the class is over because there are plenty of signs and screens with more information about the fish withing the aquarium. Be sure to visit the touch pool where children and adults are encouraged to get up close with nature and check the schedule for talks and feeding times.
Enjoy your time at the aquarium making memories while learning at the same time.
If your schedule does not allow you to attend homeschool week, simply get a few of your homeschooling friends together to make a group homeschool visit. You only need 10 students to get a discounted rate but it must be booked in advance in order to qualify.
Homeschool Week at SEA LIFE Arizona is held multiple times throughout the year. Be sure to subscribe to their newsletter for a reminder of future classes so your budding scientist can explore and learn about the ocean.