2011/12 Homeschool Field Trip Bucket List

Homeschool Field Trip Bucket List | @SweetPhenomena | #Homeschool

There are always so many places I’d like to take Babydoll for field trips throughout the year, but I never write them down and inevitably forget them…

I figured I’d make a list of field trips we’d like to go on for the year in the hopes that it’ll help me remember them.  While these are relevant to our area, they might give you ideas of things to look for in your own area!

Also, you can Google your state or area and “field trips” or “homeschool field trips” for things in your area.  You can also check out this list at Hip Homeschool Moms.

Anniston Museum of Natural History

Berman Museum of World History

Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

Southern Museum of Flight


McWane Science Center

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Meyer Planetarium

Blue Bell

The Southern Environmental Center

Ave Maria Grotto

Dauphin Island Sea Lab


Alabama Mining Museum

The George Washington Carver Museum

Children’s Museum of the Shoals

The Rosenbaum House

Pope’s Tavern Museum

Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts

Gadsden Museum of Art

Magnolia Grove

Buck’s Pocket State Park

US Space and Rocket Center

Earlyworks Museums


Huntsville Museum of Art

Burritt on the Mountain

Huntsville Botanical Garden


Gulf Coast Exploreum

Mobile Museum of Art

Bragg-Mitchell Mansion

Center for Archaeological Studies

Conde-Charlotte Museum House

American Village

Rosa Parks Museum

Old Alabama Town

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

Bellingrath Gardens and Home

Pioneer Museum of Alabama

Children’s Hands-On Museum of Alabama

Mercedes-Benz Visitor’s Center

Moundville Archaeological Park

The Old Tavern

Birmingham Zoo

Athens Storytelling Festival

Bill’s Honey Farm

Jerry Brown Pottery

The Historic Weeden House Museum

Harrison Brothers Hardware

Aldridge Gardens

The Peanut Depot

Wild Natives Safari

Railroad Park

Sweet Critique: Easy Canvas Prints

Easy Canvas Prints

I don’t really talk about it much, but you can probably tell from the pictures I post that I still need to decorate my walls in our house.  We’ve been here for about a year and a half and I just haven’t taken the time to figure out what I want and where I want it.

Well, and then there’s the fact that I didn’t want to put holes in my pretty new walls {yes, now I know about the little sticky tab thingies…}.  And, as with many home things, I just kinda got used to the look and never worked to change it.

Family pictures are displayed on my entertainment center, but not on the walls.  And that’s how it’ll stay for now.

Why am I telling you this?  Well, because that was the thought process I went through when Easy Canvas Prints approached me about trying out one of their canvas prints.

I wondered if I would hang it on the wall or place it on my desk or…

To be honest, I have yet to hang it, because I just can’t make peace with that yet.  But, it has been the star on our mantel since I got it {the mantel’s a whole ‘nother story, there’s a massive space because of the high ceilings and I have nothing to put there…}.

The ordering process is super easy.  Just pick a size and go!

Easy Canvas Prints

You’re then taken to this nifty screen, which takes you through all the steps of designing your canvas:

Design Screen

You get real-time updates of what your canvas will look like, and the process is fast.  They ship it, it gets to you fast, and then you’ve got a canvas to enjoy, like mine:


Don’t you love it?  That’s Babydoll when she was about eight or nine months old.  And no, we were not driving somewhere with her in a regular seat.  She was just hanging out with daddy.  I’d like to point out the fact that this was a photograph, scanned into a computer, that was then printed on the canvas.  Awesome right?

Customer service is great and fast.  I’ve been very happy with the experience and would highly recommend Easy Canvas Prints.

Want one?  Of course you do!

Well the nice people at Easy Canvas Prints have set up a great special on their Facebook page.  Just “like” them and you’ll get 50% off your next order and free shipping!

True Confessions:  I was provided with a free 8×10 canvas print in exchange for an honest review.  I liked them, and that’s the honest truth.

Sweet Plans: Homeschool Planning – BONUS!!!


I just couldn’t leave the series alone yet!  The series thus far has focused specifically on homeschool lesson planning, and sure, that’s important to us.

But that’s not the sum of our lives.  Just because we’re not what people traditionally think of when they think back-to-school,  doesn’t mean we don’t have to deal with similar organization challenges.

We also have sports practices, scout meetings, doctor’s appointments, family activities, and a host of other things going on.

In the last series post, Final Touches, I touched on how I loosely integrate these things into our schedule.  They’re added in after the uber important stuff is.

That’s all well and good.  That works.  But there was always so much more I wanted to do with that information:

  • Share it with family – The three of us are the only ones in AL and I don’t have time {anymore} to put together emails detailing pictures from field trips, outings, etc.
  • Keep a log of things – Yes, I’ve got the pictures.  No, I’m not a scrapbooker.  Yes, I’m a tech geek.  No, I won’t sit there and digi-scrapbook.  All equals dilemma.
  • Have the ability to create quick reference sheets – This is specific to Babydoll and the pets.  On the rare occasion Babydoll’s not with me, or the several times a year the pets must be boarded, I want to know I’ve covered everything to ensure their well-being.

And I wanted to be able to do these things without reinventing the wheel {you know, having to sit at a computer for a day or two and enter in every last detail and contact information stuff from our entire lives} and from a variety of locations {my phone, my laptop, away from home, at home, etc.}.

Yes, I’m a hard girl to please.

Enter AboutOne.

This program does a great job of showing you how to get organized, and how to do it easily.

At first glance I wondered how this could really help me as a homeschool mom.  I’ve got my planner and I’ve got my laptop.  But after a closer look, I realized it’s a digital filing system and more, oh so much more.

This thing is phenomenal!  It allows me to enter the information I want to enter from a variety of locations.  Superb!

But what it does with that information is the really awesome thing.  The stuff AboutOne does shows me how to declutter a certain aspect of my life I really didn’t have the time or desire to declutter.

To make this easy to read and to highlight the really important stuff, here’s a list of things I love about AboutOne:

  • I can enter information bit by bit as I choose.  Once I set up my account, I wasn’t bombarded with the need to key in every last bit of family information.  The program told me what I could do, and made suggestions, but I was actually able to get up and walk away as soon as the account was created to tend to something else.  I came back, and it was there waiting for me.  Next time I need the insert-not-used-very-often-document-name-here, I can find it {after looking through several filing locations}, scan it, and upload it into AboutOne.  It’s now much easier to find.

It’s so fun looking to boot!

They’ve got nifty videos to help you, too.

  • I can create caregiver sheets for the pets and Babydoll.  Babydoll has a pretty bad penicillin and penicillin-derivatives allergy.  I’m still getting used to it {just sprang up in the last year, and I don’t often recall that info}, but once it’s entered into AboutOne, it will always appear on her caregiver sheet.  Special needs, diets, oddities the pets might have, all goes on that sheet.  No more freaking out that I forgot something.
  • I can send out monthly newsletters to our family.  As events {such as field trips}, pictures, and other relevant information is added into the program, it automatically  creates a monthly newsletter for me.
  • All family members with account access can send stuff to the account to be included such as pictures, appointments, events, etc.  That way I can share the burden, I mean, responsibility.
  • I can assign labels to my contacts.  I might have certain contacts that I need for homeschool business, but not for personal party invitation business.  I can assign labels to my contacts so that when I go to pull info to send party invitations, I only pull the people I want to invite.  Which leads to another cool feature…
  • I can send cards and invitations from my AboutOne account.  And we’re not talking ecards.  We’re talking real addressed and stamped cards and invitations.  Sheer awesomeness.
  • Pictures can automatically be converted in online scrapbooks or printed photo books.  Again, just sheer awesomeness.

There are tons of other features; AboutOne is so intuitive and they’re improving it and adding stuff everyday.

Plus, as a former military wife, I love that they provide some really neat stuff for military families.

I really can’t recommend this product enough; I’m smitten.  I want to just sit here for hours playing around with it and setting it up specifically for my family!

And oh my goodness, there’s a sweet giveaway!!!

One winner will receive a $500 AMEX gift card, an upgrade to a free AboutOne subscription, AND a $250 donation to a school of their choice.  Everyone else who enters will receive an email with a code for 25% off a one year subscription!!

Here’s what you’ve got to do to win:

Sign up for an AboutOne free trial {no credit card info required!!} AND fill out this entry form – You MUST sign up for the free trial AND THEN fill out the Google Doc to be entered!!!

One winner will be chosen at random.  This giveaway ends September 9th at 11:59 p.m. ET and is open to U.S. residents age 18 or older.

The 17 day Free Passport gives you 17 full days of usage with no expiration date (requires no credit card information).  Use each of your 17 days whenever you like.  The Yearly Plan gives you a full year of access to AboutOne for the low price of $30 per year.

True Confessions:  I was compensated by Global Influence Network for my participation in this program.  Despite this, I still really love AboutOne and think it’s a great program.

Awesome Linkage – The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew Edition

I’ve got the great privilege of being a part of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew this year!  Things are kicking off right now, so I thought I’d give you guys a look at all the blogs participating.

Click the button to be taken to the linky list of all TOS blogs!

Sweet Plans: Homeschool Planning – Final Touches

This is the final post in the Sweet Plans: Homeschool Planning series.  Click each link for posts one, two, three and four.

Final touches.  What does that mean exactly?

Well, it depends on who you are.  For me, the final touches are checking to make sure everything is planned on the right day {since we school around Vince’s schedule}, making sure I’ve included our extra-curriculars, and making sure I’ve included our field trips.

To me, final touches are the things that aren’t hardcore curricula that need a day-to-day plan.  It’s making room for all the other stuff.

I think the final touches must be infinitely more important if you’ve got more than one child.  That might mean working in sports practices, dance classes, 4H meetings, and co-op.

I’ve learned it’s important to put in those non-negotiables, those things that you must get done.  For us, they’re math, science, grammar, and history.  Those must be on the schedule.  The other subjects are “extra” nice-to-get-done but not detrimental if they don’t.

Once I’ve got these things included on our schedule, the other stuff gets added in and adjusted as necessary.  I’ve found that by doing it like this, the priorities remain in place much better.

Nonetheless, I still suffer from burnout due to over-scheduling.  I’m going to try really hard to avoid that this year by learning to say no.

Here are a couple of articles on avoiding burnout as a homeschooler:

So, be sure to include variety and fun in your homeschool, but not at the expense of your sanity and learning.  Focusing on the final touches now might help you avoid headache later down the road.

Do you have any “final touches” you’d like to share?