Secondhand Shop Hop


Gulf Coast ladies, did you survive Black Friday and Cyber Monday but still have a few more names to check off your Christmas list? Searching for a unique gift with a vintage touch? Prefer to shop local?

Secondhand Shop Hop Fall 2017

Original photo courtesy of Gerhard Bögner, Pixabay

Join NGCHE moms on Saturday, December 16 for our Eastern Shore Secondhand Shop Hop. We will visit several of central Baldwin County Alabama’s best secondhand markets and have a fun time together while we browse.

Planned stops along our “hop” include

We will break for lunch about halfway through our day.

For a specific itinerary, email To RSVP, include your name, phone, and number in your party. Reservations are requested by noon on Wed., Dec. 13th for those who would like to eat lunch with our group.

You don’t have to be a homeschooler to tag along. Friends and family are welcome, too. Down South, that covers just about everybody. So grab a shopping buddy and join us!

Here’s the link to our event on facebook.

© 2017 Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators

Field Trip: Airbus Americas – Mobile, Alabama

Airbus Field Trip

Original photos courtesy of Pixabay

NGCHE students will tour the Airbus Americas Final Assembly Line in Mobile, Alabama, on Thursday, December 14th. Airbus manufactures the A-300 series commercial jetliner at its Mobile facility. Airbus was recently awarded an order for 430 new jets by the investment company Indigo Partners. Some of those jets will be manufactured locally. Northern Gulf Coast homeschool students are invited to join our group for an up-close look at Alabama’s aircraft industry.


Date: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Time: Arrival time is 9:45 AM. Tour from 10-11 AM. Please arrive on time as latecomers cannot be accommodated.

Location: 320 Airbus Way, Mobile, Alabama

Cost: None

Ages: 10-18 only; No children under the age of 10 are permitted on tour

Parents/Chaperones: One per family; MUST READ INFORMATION BELOW

Registration Deadline: Thursday, December 7th, 12:00 PM

Before Signing UpRead Policies and Procedures

RSVP: By email at 1. Full name and age of your students. 2. Name and phone number of the parent. 3. Indicate whether chaperone or dropping students off. No chaperone can be added to the list until proper documents have been received. See below.

Walk-ups: not accepted

Parents/Chaperones: Airbus normally offers student tours to groups consisting of approximately thirty students accompanied by three or four adult chaperones. Airbus and NGCHE would like to accommodate as many students as possible. To that end, NGCHE requests no more than one adult per family on the tour.

For security purposes, all adults attending the tour MUST be vetted ahead of time. Documents required for vetting are copies of a) a current passport, or b) a valid driver’s license AND birth certificate. These documents must be submitted to NGCHE by the registration deadline. They are not required for students. Further instructions will be given to those who RSVP as chaperones.

If you are unable to attend as a chaperone, you may send your students with another vetted adult or arrange to drop them off with an NGCHE volunteer. Our volunteers are homeschool parents with years of experience working with students of all ages. We have been vetted by state and national organizations; taught Sunday School and co-op classes; worked in the private sector in engineering, education, law, etc; actively participate in local civic groups; and have served in the military. Your children will be in very capable hands. We look forward to our time together.

Follow our event on facebook

© 2017 – Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators

Honoring our Veterans

Veterans Day Celebration 2017 collage with logo

William F. Green State Veterans Home celebration; Bayside Belles of Daphne

NGCHE paid a visit to the William F. Green State Veterans Home in Bay Minette, Alabama, today for their public Veterans Day ceremony. What an honor to celebrate those brave men and women! We arrived with approximately 160 handmade cards to pass out to the residents. The Bayside Belles of Daphne helped us out.

We enjoyed the ceremonies and were impressed with the program and the many guests. But today’s highlight did not come out of the pomp and circumstance. It was one of those personal experiences gained from spending time with another person, from engaging in his world for a few moments.

After the program ended, we made the rounds through the facility. We stopped in the dining hall to shake the hand of a WWII veteran who had flown on the third Honor Flight out of Mobile, Alabama, to Washington, DC. As we thanked him for his service, he began to cry and squeeze my hand tighter.

A couple of us had been on a trip to DC just a few years ago. We told of visiting some of the same memorials and landmarks as he had done and what that meant to us. I thought of how much we owed him for his service, and all those who came before and after. “Thank You” just doesn’t seem to be enough, but it’s a start.

We met and thanked many veterans today from all branches of service. But the appreciation in the eyes of the Honor Flight vet stuck with us. A man who deserved all the thanks in the world, who had seen more horrors than most, had the most thankful heart of all.

© 2017 – Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators

Whitelists and Why You Should Use One

Whitelist our domain

Original photo by Dan Gold, Pixabay

You’ve done all your research on a particular topic of interest. Might be homeschooling, gardening, a social issue important to you, or underwater basket weaving. You’ve found just the right Facebook pages, blogs, and websites to follow, confident you’ll stay well informed and in the loop.

Everywhere you look you are encouraged to sign up for email notifications. Owners of Facebook pages mention something you don’t quite understand about ever-changing algorithms and followers not seeing their latest posts. Web articles contain convenient little “Sign up” buttons. So you give email notifications a try… and spend the next week digging those emails out of your spam folder. So much for being a subscriber!

Security measures employed by email providers can be pretty tough. Spam, spoofing, and phishing are constant concerns. Sometimes our email providers can be a bit too diligent in protecting us from harm.

No matter how often you mark email from a particular sender as “Safe” or “Not Spam,” it never seems to make a difference. Into the “Junk” folder goes their next email. And the one after that. And the one after that. That’s because the “Safe” or “Not Spam” option applies only to that particular piece of mail. What’s a follower to do? Use the whitelist option in your email program or app.

A whitelist is the opposite of a blacklist. While emails from entities on your blacklist or “Blocked Senders” list will never bother you again, emails from those on your whitelist or “Approved Senders” will always go straight to your Inbox. With just a few steps, you can add your favorite organizations to your whitelist so your “Junk” folder doesn’t swallow anything else it shouldn’t.

Benchmark has a great post with links to whitelisting procedures for most email providers and security programs. If yours isn’t featured, try searching the “Help” page of your program or app for directions. If you are a website owner, you can also find tips on the Benchmark site to encourage your readers to whitelist your emails.

Adding your favorite organizations to your whitelist will make the job of managing your emails more efficient. You will no longer have to go over your “Junk” folder with a fine-toothed comb. And, as an added bonus, you won’t miss out on the latest techniques in underwater basket weaving.

© 2017 Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators

Field Trip: Impact Youth Theater Presents Jack Frost

Jack Frost play

Impact Youth Theater presents Jack Frost at the Daphne Civic Center Tuesday, December 5, 2017. School day performance begins at 10 AM, and the community showing follows at 6:30 PM. Admission is free. Donations are welcomed.

NGCHE families and friends who would like to attend the school day performance with our group should RSVP at Doors open at 9:30 AM for seating. We will meet in the lobby of the civic center at that time.

If you cannot attend the morning show, we highly recommend the evening performance for the entire family. Impact does a marvelous job decorating for the community performance. Refreshments will be served at the 6:30 PM show, also by donation, and a silent auction will be held then as well.

Impact Youth Theater is a Christian drama group for homeschool students directed by Mrs. Patti Woods of Daphne, Alabama. The group meets for practices and performances in Baldwin County. Two productions are put on each year — one in fall and the other in spring. Several of our families’ children and youth have been a part of Impact. We highly recommend the program to our friends and neighbors.

If you are a homeschool family within driving distance of the Eastern Shore/Central Baldwin area and would like more information on Impact, email:

To RSVP with the NGCHE group, email: Reservation deadline is Monday, December 4, 2017, by 10 AM.

© 2017 – Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators



Engaging the Community Through Accurate Information

Engaging Through Information

Original photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

One of NGCHE’s primary goals is to foster positive relationships between homeschoolers and our local communities. We encourage homeschool families to reach out and engage with others in meaningful ways. Sharing information is often a wonderful first step in developing long-term relationships not only with individuals but community organizations as well.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across a website featuring a series of articles on homeschool laws. Each article was written by an author who had lived and homeschooled in the state about which she was writing. I’m not sure what made me stop and read the entry on Alabama. Maybe it was a bit of nostalgia.

I thought back almost 15 years ago to the time when I was on the internet eagerly researching homeschooling and how important accurate information was to our family. We knew maybe two homeschoolers back then, but not very well. All that we could tell you about homeschooling at that point would fit on a postage stamp, and a small one at that.

Back to the present day… The aforementioned article pertaining to homeschooling in Alabama was published in late October 2017. It was written by a mom who had left the state in 2013. Tutors and cover schools (aka church schools or “coverings”) were the only legal homeschool options she gave as those were the only available at the time she left the state. The article made no mention of our third choice.

The owner of the website meant well by publishing a series of posts featuring homeschool law in all fifty states. Though done with good intentions, that’s a grand plan. The content had not been vetted for Alabama, and the article gave out incomplete information.

In 2014 the State of Alabama declared that a private school could be established by any legal entity, not just a church. This included parents. Families who wished to homeschool their children could declare their home to be a private school, register with the Board of Education, and begin teaching their children without enrolling in a cover or hiring a tutor. The BOE has since stopped accepting private school registrations from homeschool families. At this time, it appears to be unnecessary to register with the state BOE to homeschool using the “private school” option.

Long-time residents of Alabama have come to associate homeschoolers with coverings. Despite the fact that the law changed over three years ago, many people in the general public still don’t know that coverings have become an option. This includes a significant number of the local professionals with whom I’ve made field trip reservations or group enrollments.

At first I was a tiny bit surprised that word of the change hadn’t spread much outside the homeschool community. But I quickly came to see this lack of knowledge as opportunity to open dialogue about homeschooling. NGCHE volunteers have been delighted to advise directors, education curators, and even a state coordinator on how to adjust sign-ups and enrollment procedures so that those without coverings are not excluded or inconvenienced.

What are the morals of this story?

For those considering homeschooling: Don’t take for granted that every bit of information you find on homeschooling law is current. Always check trusted, reliable sources. HSLDA is our go-to for issues pertaining to the law.

For veteran homeschoolers: Take each opportunity you are given to pass on accurate information to those interested in learning about homeschooling. Reach out to others. Be relational. Be gracious. A knowledgeable, well-behaved family who receives people with kindness and consideration makes the very best ambassadors.

© 2017 – Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators