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  • Writer's pictureElyse Marie

Educational & Adventurous in Charleston, South Carolina


A short drive away from my childhood stomping grounds in Beaufort, South Carolina, is the bustling southern town of Charleston, South Carolina. The smell of the salty air and swampy mornings, look of the marshes, traffic delays from the turning bridges, well, that’s all home to me. I have spent so many years exploring this area that I cannot break this post into ‘days out’ so to speak. So I’ll compile a list of our family favorite areas that we’ve tied in regularly to our curriculum, and I’ll of course attach any resources and photos. While I don’t want to overwhelm you with sorting through FREE curriculum resources, I do want to provide you with enough material for each age group so your stay in Charleston, South Carolina is jam packed with both exciting and educational outings.


The South Carolina Aquarium

For those of you visiting, I always recommend checking out the downtown, shopping, and food. Reviewing all that the area has to experience for you food lovers out there would be an entirely different blog all together as there are really so many options, I wouldn’t know where to start. Now, for the adventuring homeschooler, I know just where to take you.

Attraction wise, the South Carolina Aquarium is truly a gem, an absolute must-visit. The aquarium itself has many great exhibits and knowledgeable employees ready to answer questions. However, the educational resources are, in my opinion, 5 star, organized, and interesting. Their website has pre-planned lesson plans with multiple units of study for each grade, along with gradable assessments, answer keys, and extensions. Now, if you’re out of state and not planning to travel any time soon, the site even has FREE VITUAL LESSONS.

As a representative for AYUSA International foreign exchange student program, the aquarium was one of my absolute ‘field trips’ for getting to know some of the students. As a homeschooler, we’ve visited many, many times and have never found ourselves bored or lacking information to absorb. The price range for the aquarium is $20-$30 per person, plus small fee’s for more hands on experiences.

Tickets

Check out the aquarium or buy tickets here: https://scaquarium.org/

FREE RESOURCES

Check out their FREE educational resources and lesson plans here: http://curriculum.scaquarium.org/?_ga=2.43815461.1212765002.1618417481-189837266.1618417481



Caw Caw Interpretive Center

This day out was one of my most photo worthy in Charleston, South Carolina. With a grand entry fee of $2.00, that’s right, TWO DOLLARS per person, I grabbed a $10 bill, a bag full of snacks, and off we went. The park offers over 6 miles of winding and different trails. Some of my absolute favorites: the beautiful swamp trail boardwalk, followed by the rice fields, and then of course the forest for some needed shade after soaking up the sun through the fields. On the day of our visit, the interpretive center for learning was closed when we were ready to enter. However, I’m sure you’ll love what the center has to offer. Closed or not, the trails are worth the trip. Now, there are many ways to make a hike both memorable and educational. This trip also offers a historical approach. I will attach both historical curriculum materials and Lowcountry ecosystem materials link, but, if you have other ideas, run with them!


FREE RESOURCES






Rice Fields and Historical Lesson Plans South Carolina Specific: https://digital.scetv.org/teachingAmerhistory/lessons/lessonPlans.html


The Civil War and Slavery resources: https://americanhistory.mrdonn.org/plantations.html


South Carolina Department of Archives and History: https://scdah.sc.gov/research-and-genealogy/resources/teachers


Lowcountry Digital Library online exhibits: https://lcdl.library.cofc.edu/content/




Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry

The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, near the South Carolina Aquarium, offers learning through play, STEM classes, Arts and Crafts, and Parenting Resources. My children love the museum, and on a day out in Charleston, it gives me a couple hours to unwind. For more information on their exhibits, hours, classes, or parent articles, check out their website below!

Tickets and more...



Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum

Why visit Patriots Point with your kids? Well, not only is it a really cool place to absorb history, but the exhibits are phenomenal if you ask me. Entry includes:

Touring the USS Yorktown

Touring the USS Laffey

Touring the Vietnam Experience Exhibit - a personal favorite

Touring the Medal of Honor Museum

Touring the Cold War Memorial


Entry ranges $0-$27 per person with additional options as follows:

Guided tours $15

Flight Simulators $7

Scavenger Hunt $3


Now our family has a walking military historian, but if you don’t have one handy, I really recommend the guided tours. Ask them which tour guide is best with children, they’ll be sure to help you out.


FREE RESOURCES

Need lesson plans? Well of course, you know I have some for you. For those FREE materials specific to Patriots Point, follow this link:


For information on the exhibits, follow this link: https://www.patriotspoint.org/explore/


James Island

In my opinion, all of the Charleston County Parks are fantastic. However, James Island offers a little extra fun. The park offers campgrounds, cabins, dog parks, play parks, climbing walls, a water park, miles of walking trails, and even paddle boating. During the winter holidays, the park comes to life with TWO MILLION Christmas lights, offering the most beautiful displays and ‘sand sculptures’ I’ve ever enjoyed. If you’re in town during operating months of this special exhibit, I really thing you should go. But! Don’t just drive through, stop and park the car, walk to the back side of the exhibit and you’ll find rides for the kids and more. Remember, physical training and logging your homeschoolers physical training is just as important as reading! Did you know, you can even have your child complete the Presidential Youth Fitness Program and receive an award? For more information, curriculum materials, and awards, check out this link: https://health.gov/our-work/pcsfn/programs-awards/presidential-youth-fitness-program


For more information on James Island, follow this link: https://www.ccprc.com/68/James-Island-County-Park

For the park’s holiday events, follow this link: https://ccprc.com/1975/Holiday-Festival-of-Lights



Now, Charleston offers many fantastic museums, historical tours, and has absolutely beautiful plantations with educational programs attached to them as well. Don’t forget to check on seasonal programming to see who offers the best activities for you and your homeschooler on your visit. Boone Hall Plantation has quite the fun drive through experience during the Fall to celebrate Halloween. I’ll be sure to cover that in a future post. Have fun adventuring!



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