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Everest Academy is a ministry of Everest Family Church in Hayden. We offer freedom along with quality resources, information, activities and support to those homeschooling in Alabama. We believe that the parent has the best interests of their children at heart. We believe that the parent is the first and only teacher that a child needs. In keeping with this philosophy, we wish to be a very hands-off cover school and allow the parent to lead and guide their children in the direction and at the pace they feel is best suited to their children. We ask only for what the law requires while offering support along with quality resources to aid families in their efforts.

Huntsville Prom

Home-school students plan prom for this Saturday
 By Pat Ammons, The Huntsville Times 
homeschool.jpgRaine Coddington, left, Jamie Yow and Kristen Lindelow work on the carriage prop that will mark the entrance to the Huntsville Homeschool Prom 2011, scheduled to take place Saturday. (The Huntsville Times/Dave Dieter)
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Katie Kratsch has picked out her prom dress, a poofy white gown that's "a little like a wedding dress," said the high school sophomore. She'll get her hair and nails done, too, like every girl who looks forward to dressing up like a princess for a night.
As a home-schooled student, the prom wasn't something Katie thought she was going to experience.
"I thought, 'Oh man, that's an important high school thing I'm going to have to miss,'" Katie said.
Fortunately for Katie, a local coalition of home-school organizations is putting on Huntsville Homeschool Prom 2011. The second annual event for area home-schooled students is this Saturday at Grace United Methodist Church in Monrovia. Unlike many high school proms that are for juniors and seniors, the home-school prom is open to students in grades nine through 12.
"It's a very traditional old-fashioned prom in the gym," said Kristen Lindelow, a parent who helped start the home-school prom last year so her two daughters could experience a key high school event.
"I think the biggest thing was the excitement about it, shopping for dresses with my friends, talking about it," Lindelow said, thinking about her high school prom. "I remember that more than the actual prom."
In Alabama, students are home-schooled through so-called covers that are affiliated with churches. Some of those covers offer classes to students enrolled through their programs, but home-schoolers don't often socialize outside their own covers.
"It can be an isolated learning experience," Lindelow said.
Last year, Lindelow contacted other families who were interested in holding a prom through Yahoo groups on which home-schooling families organize field trips. She quickly had several parents and teens interested in serving on a prom committee. This year, six covers are represented on the committee.
The seniors on that committee chose the theme "A Night Under the Stars," for last year's prom, which 104 teens attended.
"We had students coming from as far as away as Mobile, Tennessee, Scottsboro, Albertville," Lindelow said. "A couple of moms came in crying, hugging us, saying 'I was afraid my daughter wouldn't have her prom.'"
Lindelow said the prom is a secular event and is well-chaperoned. Teens who attend must provide emergency contact information and sign in when they get there and sign out when they leave. If they leave the prom, they cannot return, Lindelow said.
The prom committee also has to approve the music. "Our DJ was home-schooled and he plays the cleaned-up versions of songs," Lindelow said. "Right up front, we tell the kids they are not going to be doing any of that nasty dancing."
While the prom is for home-schooled students, they are allowed to bring a guest who is not a home-schooler. A couple's ticket could also be for two friends.
"Because we're starting in ninth grade, we didn't want to make people feel they had to have a date," Lindelow said.
Alexia White has been on the planning committee both years. She was "a little nervous at first" about the idea of a dance last year, "but I got excited when I heard about the prom part of it," she said. As a senior, she helped pick this year's theme: "Happily Ever After."
In keeping with the fairy-tale concept, the prom committee members have been constructing a carriage prom-goers will step through at the entrance to the prom.
"They'll walk through the carriage, walk through the castle walls and into the ballroom," said Jaime Yow, one of the adults on the committee.
When Alexia enters the prom, she'll be wearing a dress of her own design. She hopes to go to fashion school after high school.
Before being on the prom committee last year, Alexia and Tiffani Avery knew each other "a little," but after helping organize the prom, they became good friends, even going out for the traditional dinner-before-the-prom last year.
"It's about being able to bond with your friends in a clean environment," Alexia said.
They've been working together again this year and talking about their dresses, just like high school kids everywhere.
"Oh yeah," Tiffani said, "it's going to be awesome."
Huntsville Homeschool Prom 2011 is Saturday from 8 p.m. to midnight at Grace United Methodist Church, 2113 Old Monrovia Road. All home-schooled students in grades 9-12, regardless of cover school, are invited. The cost is $40 per student or $70 per couple. A couple's ticket may be for two friends, and guests do not have to be home-schooled. Profits will go to planning next year's prom.
The event includes formal prom pictures, a senior promenade, the crowning of a Prom King and Queen. Hot and cold hors d'oeuvres and punch and water will be available.
The attire is formal, semi-formal and special occasion dresses for girls and tuxes, suits or dress pants with shirt, tie and jacket for boys.
Tickets are available by emailing HsvPromTix@gmail.com or via www.huntsvilleprom.info, which also has a link to the Huntsville Homeschool Prom 2011 Facebook page. Wednesday is the deadline to buy tickets.

Harvard University

Harvard University Announcement - No tuition and no student loans

Harvard University announced over the weekend that from now on undergraduate students from low-income families will pay no tuition. In making the announcement, Harvard's president Lawrence H. Summers said, "When only ten percent of the students in elite higher education come from families in the lower half of the income distribution, we are not doing enough. We are not doing enough in bringing elite higher education to the lower half of the income distribution. " 

If you know of a family earning less than $60,000 a year with an honor student graduating from high school soon, Harvard University wants to pay the tuition. The prestigious university recently announced that from now on undergraduate students from low-income families can go to Harvard for free... no tuition and no student loans! 

To find out more about Harvard offering free tuition for families making less than $60,000 a year, visit Harvard's financial aid website at: http://www.fao. fas.harvard. edu/ or call the school's financial aid office at (617) 495-1581.

Join us on the Alabama Homeschooling Facebook Page!!!

Join the Great Sunflower Project!

Why join the Great Sunflower Project?

The food you grow in your home garden and that are grown in gardens around the world help people make ends meet in a healthy, sustainable way. Many plants can't set fruit until they have been visited by a bee.

We know that some bees have had severe declines which may be affecting food production. No one has ever measured how much pollination is happening over a region, much less a continent so, we don't know anything about how these declines in bees influence gardens.

Our project is going to use data collected by people like you to produce the first real map of the state of the bees. The only way to do this is to get as many people as possible collecting information from as many places as possible. You can help. Join us! Plant a sunflower! Tell a friend!

We've made it easy. Plant a seed or two, spend 15 minutes watching your flowers twice a month and send or input your data. Plant, Watch, Type. That's it. And, who doesn't like sunflowers.....

FREE Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic

Free* RFB&D® At-Home Membership
Sign Up Today For A Free* Individual At-Home Membership.

Your child can now have unlimited access to their books at home.  Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic® provides access to the content your child needs to achieve academic and personal success.  RFB&D helps thousands of individuals with visual and learning disabilities overcome reading obstacles.

“Leslie only knew how to read a word at a time. Now, she has embraced words ... and books!” 
— Lisa, Leslie’s Mom

Free* Member Benefits Include: 
•   New RFB&D ReadHear TM  FREE* Software by gh, LLC
•   Unlimited access to the nation’s largest audiobook library of more than 64,000 downloadable textbooks and literature titles
•   Your child can work on assignments independently, conduct research and explore our extensive literature selection for summer fun and leisure reading
•   Easy-to-use online catalog and 24/7 support 

Learn more at www.rfbd.org or call Member Services at 800-221-4792.

Huntsville Area: Physical Education

Physical Education

Rocket City Dance Club – Ballroom dance classes nightly.  Group and individual lessons.  Beginner classes nightly – $5.  Youth class on Tuesdays – $5.  My teenagers love the youth class.  http://www.rcdcdance.com/index.php

Salle D'Armes Bosco Fencing Center in Toney (just north of Huntsville) - fencing classes, private lessons, open fencing, classes for homeschoolers  http://www.sallebosco.com/
Wilcoxon Municipal Ice Complex – This resource has already been mentioned, but I wanted to add that it is a great double-rink facility and homeschoolers can often have the ice nearly to themselves during school hours.  Group figure skating lessons and ice hockey classes are available.  If your child really gets into it and decides to compete in figure skating (like two of mine did) you can also schedule the private coaching during school hours and have plenty of room to skate!  Do not be discouraged by “weak ankles.” As the coaches told us, “There is no such thing as ‘weak ankles’ – only bad skates.”  When my kids moved up from the rental skates to their own skates for beginner competition (about $100), I bought myself a pair too and they made a big difference!  My children then gave me skating lessons during open skate sessions – what better way to learn than by teaching!  http://www.iceskate.org/
Custom Archery Center – indoor facility on the South Parkway.  Archery programs for children and adults.  http://www.customarcherycenter.com/
Caving:  The Huntsville Grotto of the National Speleological Society – offers at least two trips monthly for members.  Non-members can make arrangements to join a caving trip. http://www.caves.org/grotto/huntsville/
3H Stables (next to Alabama A&M campus) – horse riding lessons, trail rides, day camps.  http://www.3hstables.com/
Hampton Cove Equestrian Center – horse riding lessons (group or private), trail rides, educational programs for homeschoolers.  http://www.hamptoncoveequestrian.com/Aboutus.html
Huntsville City Pools - includes the Jim Williams Aquatic Center next to the main library (the water is kept at 90 degrees) and the Brahan Spring Natatorium (with a roll-back roof)  – public swim times, swimming lessons.  http://www.hsvcity.com/recreation/aquatic.php
YMCA – several locations in Madison County: Southeast Huntsville, downtown Huntsville, and Madison.  Swimming, aerobics, weights, karate, T-ball, http://www.ymcahuntsville.org/

Huntsville Area Music/Theatre/Art

Our community offers SO much that can be valuable to homeschoolers including classes, teams, workshops, etc.  All resources listed here are available to all homeschoolers regardless of cover school.  Some resources are open to the public by a public facility and some are homeschooling opportunities available to the entire homeschooling community.  All resources were valid when listed, but sometimes the venue does not come back and tell us when they change details, so if you find information that is no longer valid, please let us know at everestacademy1@gmail.com .  Please also contact us with any resource you feel should be shared here.


Sign up for Chuck Puckett’s “Theatre Happenings” and “Music and Dance Happenings” email newsletters:  http://www.puckettpublishing.com/theatre_events/theatre_events.htm

Sign up for the UAH Music Concerts Email List:  http://www.uah.edu/music/concerts-email-list  A variety of performances at UAH and area churches.

Huntsville Museum of Art – beautiful museum, classes including homeschool classes www.hsvmuseum.org

Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment – artists’ studios, Flying Monkey Arts Center, puppetry, music performances, classes, free weekly artists market – all in the historic mill building.  http://www.lowemill.net/

Southerland’s Station – cool toy and art supply store, also offers painting and drawing classes. http://www.southerlandstation.com

Free Concerts in the Park at Big Spring Park – Monday evenings June to Labor Day.  http://artshuntsville.org/

Free Concerts in the Courtyard at Bridge Street Town Centre – Tuesday evenings, mid-May through July.  http://www.bridgestreethuntsville.com/

Free Thursday Evening Summer Concert Series at the Main Huntsville Public Library  http://hpl.lib.al.us/

Theater Huntsville – performances at the VC Playhouse, and annual “Shakespeare on the Mountain” performances at Burritt on the Mountain in June.  www.theatrehsv.org

Renaissance Theater at Lincoln Center – performances in their own small, beautiful theater upstairs in a former mill commissary building.  There is also a stage downstairs.  http://www.renaissancetheatre.net/

Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center – a 300-seat theater in yet another historic mill building (the company store), many types of performances, classes.  http://www.merrimackhall.com/

Ars Nova School of the Arts – music classes, performances at their facility and the VBC Playhouse.  http://www.arsnovahsv.com/

Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater and Fantasy Academy – wide variety of classes (acting, music, sewing, play writing, theater makeup), opportunities for kids to audition for shows (homeschoolers have appeared in the shows), performances at the VBC Playhouse.  http://www.letthemagicbegin.org/

Acting Up! Academy of Dramatic Arts – in Huntsville (on Whitesburg Dr.) – classes, and productions in which everyone can have a speaking part.  http://actingup.intuitwebsites.com/index.html

Whole Backstage Theater in Guntersville – performances in their own theater in a neat old stone school building, opportunities for kids to audition (homeschoolers have appeared in the shows). http://www.wholebackstage.com/

Independent Musical Productions – this community theater group uses the Lee Lyric Theater located at Lee High School for their performances.  http://www.imphuntsville.org/

Madison Children’s theater – classes, performances at their own theater and at the VBC Playhouse. http://www.madisontheatre.com/Default.htm

Madison Theater Guild – community theater group performs on both stages of the Bartell Theatre just off the square, in Madison, and has offices in a 1939 Firehouse at 2410 Monroe Street. http://madisontheatreguild.org/

The Princess Theater Center for the Performing Arts in Decatur – hosts a variety of events and is home to many local performing arts groups.  They also offer tours of the historic facility. http://www.princesstheatre.org/

Huntsville Community Chorus (and Community Children’s Chorus) – musical plays performed at the VBC Playhouse and music performances at a variety of locations  www.thechorus.org

Huntsville Symphony Orchestra – classical series and “pops” series performances at the VBC Concert Hall.  Instruction through the symphony school.  Selected final rehearsals on Saturday mornings are open to the public for $5.00 – this is great for younger kids – casual atmosphere, no assigned seating, and much shorter than a regular performance.  http://www.hso.org/

Huntsville Youth Orchestra – Music instruction, concerts at area churches.  http://www.huntsvilleyouthorchestra.org/

Sidewalk Summer Arts Stroll at the courthouse square in Huntsville - third Thursday of the month June-Sept. 4:30-8:30 pm.  http://www.sidewalkartsstroll.com/

Alabama Youth Ballet School and Ballet Theater – classes, performances at the VBC Concert Hall include the annual production of the Nutcracker.   http://www.alabamayouthballet.org/

Broadway Theater League – Professional Broadway shows at the VBC Concert Hall. http://broadwaytheatreleague.org/

Calhoun Theatre (Calhoun Community College) – productions at the Black Box Theater on the Decatur campus.  http://www.calhoun.cc.al.us/Theatre/index.html

Parsons Guild House Art Gallery – on top floor of Railroad Station Antiques.  Classes offered for homeschoolers at the Hobby Lobby on Carl T. Jones  http://www.parsonsartgallery.com/

Huntsville Art League Gallery and Studio – gallery and classes.  http://www.huntsvilleartleague.org/

LaFoot Art Gallery – classes for ages 8 and up in SE Huntsville.  http://www.lafooteartgallery.com/

Bravo School of Fine Arts – music education (Voice, Percussion, Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass) – a ministry of Southside Baptist Church in Huntsville.  http://www.bravosfa.com

UAH Art Galleries – http://www.uah.edu/colleges/liberal/art/gallery/gallery.html

Alabama A&M University Art Gallery – http://www.sas.aamu.edu/

Calhoun Community College Art Gallery – http://www.calhoun.edu/FineArts/Art/index.html

Athens State University Student Union Gallery – http://www.athens.edu/visitors/index.php

Carnegie Visual Arts Center in Decatur – art museum in a historic Carnegie Library building, art classes.  http://carnegiearts.org/

Fitness Arts Center in Madison – specializes in Irish Step Dance.  They also have Zumba classes.  http://www.fitnessartscenter.com/

Huntsville Area Science

Our community offers SO much that can be valuable to homeschoolers including classes, teams, workshops, etc.  All resources listed here are available to all homeschoolers regardless of cover school.  Some resources are open to the public by a public facility and some are homeschooling opportunities available to the entire homeschooling community.  All resources were valid when listed, but sometimes the venue does not come back and tell us when they change details, so if you find information that is no longer valid, please let us know at everestacademy1@gmail.com .  Please also contact us with any resource you feel should be shared here.


Von Braun Astronomical Society – planetarium shows, speakers, telescopes.  http://www.vbas.org/
Agribition Center – many animal-related events held at this indoor venue.  It is part of Alabama A&M, but it is not located on the campus.  http://www.aamu.edu/saes/agribition_center/home.aspx
North Alabama Section of the American Chemical Society – general interest lectures and seminars open to the public.  http://naacs.sites.acs.org/

Huntsville Space & Rocket Center - http://www.spacecamp.com/

Huntsville Area Museums & Historic Sites

Our community offers SO much that can be valuable to homeschoolers including classes, teams, workshops, etc.  All resources listed here are available to all homeschoolers regardless of cover school.  Some resources are open to the public by a public facility and some are homeschooling opportunities available to the entire homeschooling community.  All resources were valid when listed, but sometimes the venue does not come back and tell us when they change details, so if you find information that is no longer valid, please let us know at everestacademy1@gmail.com .  Please also contact us with any resource you feel should be shared here.

Museums and Historic Sites:

The Veterans' Memorial Museum – lots of tanks!  http://www.memorialmuseum.org/
Von Braun Astronomical Society Planetarium/Observatory – weekly planetarium shows with presentations on a variety of topics, viewing through telescopes afterwards.  http://www.vbas.org/
Maple Hill Cemetery – beautiful anytime and full of history (including the graves of Clement Clay – once suspected in Lincoln’s assassination, several AL governors, and Mary Lincoln’s half-brother).  In October the cemetery comes alive with a variety of characters during the annual Cemetery Stroll.  http://www.huntsvillepilgrimage.org/
Historic Districts (Twickenham, Old Town, and Five Points) – guided walking tours in the summer, pilgrimages (home tours) in May and December.  http://www.huntsvillepilgrimage.org/
Harrison Brothers Hardware Store on the downtown square – http://www.harrisonbrothershardware.com/
The U.S. Space and Rocket Center –  http://www.spacecamp.com/museum/
Cook’s Natural Science Museum in Decatur- Free.  http://www.cookspest.com/education/museum/
Houston Library & House in Athens - public library and a period museum. Free.  http://www.alabama.travel/alabama-attractions/houston_memorial_library_and_museum.html
Old State Bank in Decatur – tour one of the city's few structures to survive the Civil War. The limestone columns still bears scars of the Civil War.  http://www.digitaldecatur.com/play/attractions/oldstatebank.html
Burritt on the Mountain – living history museum.  http://www.burrittonthemountain.com/
The North Alabama Railroad Museum – scheduled roundtrip train rides on the Mercury & Chase Railroad.  The museum is only staffed on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but you can take a free self-guided tour of the outdoor displays any day.  http://www.northalabamarailroadmuseum.com/
The Weeden House Museum – tour the home where artist and poet Maria Howard Weeden was born, lived (thru the Civil War), and died.  The only historic home in downtown Huntsville that is open to the public as a museum.  http://www.weedenhousemuseum.com/
Blue & Gray Museum of North Alabama (in Decatur) – museum of Civil War military equipment, including lots of guns.  
Historic Mooresville (exit 2 off the 565) - This tiny town of 53 residents was incorporated in 1818.  You can visit the 1840 post office (still in use) and drive or walk around to see the many historic buildings (including the 1821 Stagecoach Tavern, the 1839 Brick Church, and the 1854 Church of Christ).  To get a really good look at this town you have to wait for the biennial Walking Tour (in May of odd numbered years) when some of the private buildings are open to the public (admission charged for the event).  http://www.mooresvillealabama.com/tour09.htm
Mischief and Mayhem Walking Tour – Walking Tours in downtown Huntsville led by guides in period costumes, “will leave visitors with a taste of the other side of Huntsville’s history!”  Every Saturday morning, March-May, departing from Constitution Village. http://mischiefandmayhem.biz/
Huntsville Ghost Walk – Walks start at Harrison Brothers Hardware Store on Saturday nights in downtown Huntsville, June-October.  http://mischiefandmayhem.biz/
Downtown Huntsville Trolley Tours – Join a local historian on a narrated trolley tour through Huntsville’s Twickenham Historic District.  Departs from Alabama Constitution Village at 10:30 & 11:30 am Saturdays in June and July. 

This awesome list was sent in by Susan Martin!