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Louisiana Homeschool Free Resources


Louisiana homeschool laws, field trips, support groups and free resources


Welcome to the fourth and final post in our series about homeschooling in Louisiana! You can find the other posts here:

    1. Louisiana Homeschool Laws
    2. Homeschool Field Trips in Louisiana
    3. Louisiana Homeschool Support Groups and Co-ops
    4. Louisiana Homeschool Free Resources– You’re here!


Bayou Cajun Homeschoolers Question and Answer Night

Free Resources:

Notable Homeschool Activists and Entrepreneurs from Louisiana

Eric and Joyce Burges

J_E2009The National Black Home Educators (NBHE) is a resource network founded by Eric and Joyce Burges in July 2000. This association will encourage, support and offer fellowship to families who are exploring benefits of home education. Eric and his wife, Joyce, have homeschooled for nearly l4 years.

Eric graduated 2 sons, Eric, Jr. and Lawrence and a daughter, Candace from their school, The Most Excellent Academy. He was the president of CHEF of Louisiana, a homeschool organization in Louisiana, for three years. He now serves as Immediate Past-President with the board of directors. Eric is also an artist, speaker, songwriter and singer, as well as a licensed minister.

Joyce is a gifted singer, homeschool mother/teacher of five, advisor and lecturer. She is the mother of five children ranging from the ages of 27-8 years old. She is continuing to home educate their two daughters Candra and Victoria. She has spoken to many women locally and nationally. She present topics such as – A Home School Tour, The Art of the Gentlewoman, Recapturing the Flair of Femininity, etc. She is a frequent speaker to young girls homes (ages 13-18) where she encourages them on the principles of healing past hurts, finding your identity in your image, valuing your integrity, and maintaining a great love for yourself through serving others.

The National Black Home Educators, a premier networking organization founded by the Burgeses, was created to serve the community by providing assistance with information about getting started homeschool, networking/connecting veteran families with new families, recommending resources such as books, music, films, speaking information, curriculum, etc. NBHE’s mission endeavors to empower parents to educate their children for excellence.

The Burges family was featured in several periodicals such as Newsweek Magazine (Oct. 98) and the Boston Globe (Aug. 22, 2000). The family also appeared in The Crisis Magazine, a NAACP national publication as well as Africana Internet Publication (Jan. 2001) and other local and national magazines and newspaper. Recently, Joyce and her son, Eric, Jr. were guest on BET Tonight, national broadcast hosted by Queen Latifah on August 15, 200l. They were also featured in Essence Magazine (Sept. 2002), Jet Magazine (Sept. 2003).

Tiany Davis

photoTiany was recently named one of the Top 100 Blogueras (Latina Bloggers) by LATISM.  Tiany founded The Homeschool Lounge, a community with over 20,000 members, in 2008. Her latest online adventure is the ever growing BatonRougeMoms.com. She is a social good advocate and has been blessed with opportunities to serve and increase awareness about global maternal health issues and child malnutrition. In 2012, Tiany worked  as a community leader for the ABC News campaign Million Moms Challenge and as a Mom Blogger for Save the Children. During her time with Million Moms Challenge, Tiany was able to travel to Guatemala with Save the children to meet and work with Save the Children’s frontline health workers. Tiany’s most important role to date is that of wife to Troy Davis, a professional Jazz drummer from Baton Rouge, and homeschooling Mama to her four boys, ages 12, 10, 8 and 6.

Louisiana Homeschool Bloggers

Adriane from Simply and Truly

Mystiqua from The Mommy Lifestlyle

Chene from Prototype Mama

Krista from The Mommy Calling

Samori from Kamali Academy

Mindful Homeschooler


Louisiana Homeschool Support Groups and Co-ops

Louisiana homeschool laws, field trips, support groups and free resources

Louisiana homeschool laws, field trips, support groups and free resources


Welcome to the third post in a series of four about homeschooling in Louisiana! You can find the other posts here:

  1. Louisiana Homeschool Laws
  2. Homeschool Field Trips in Louisiana
  3. Louisiana Homeschool Support Groups and Co-ops– You’re here!
  4. Louisiana Homeschool Free Resources

The following is a list of homeschool support groups and co-ops that are available in our area. We cannot vouch for each group. The list is for informational purposes only. If you find any inaccurate information or would like to be added to the list please contact me here: Contact Amy.

Ascension Parish Homeschoolers
Serving Ascension Parish and surrounding parishes
Contact: Brittany Dooley or Joy Thibodeaux
Phone: (225) 413-5704
Email: aphomeschool@gmail.com

This group was created so that homeschool moms around our area have a local venue to ask questions, and socialize with other homeschooling moms. I have noticed that several moms out there are looking for local families to meet up with for play dates, field trips, etc. I personally, Will not be coordinating meet ups or trips, but YOU may feel free to do so on this page if that is what you are looking for. This will be a closed group and I would really like to keep it for “Homeschool Families Only” So please feel free to tell your homeschooling friends about our local group. Before adding new people I will be asking others to vouch for them (dads are welcome too as long as vouched for) due to the fact that we don’t need Joe or Josie Blow showing up on a playdate that you may have posted about. I hope this page helps some of you who have been looking for a local group and new friendships are made. I am a Christian, Homeschooling Mom of three Amazing Blessings – enjoying life, and my Homeschooling Journey looking forward to hearing about yours!  Thanks! -Brittany Dooley


Agnus Dei Catholic Home School Association
Geographic Area Serving: Metro New Orleans area including Kenner, Metairie, St. Bernard, the Westbank, and the River Parishes
Contact: Kim DeVillier
Email: agnusdeihomeschool@yahoo.com

ADCHSA offers many group activities designed to not only enhance your children’s academic studies, but to nourish their faith and Catholic identity as well. Our families enjoy First Friday Masses, Little Flowers Girls’ Club, Blue Knights Club for Boys, P.E. classes, and many opportunities for field trips. At the end of each year, we honor our children’s accomplishments at the Commencement Mass & Awards Ceremony.


Baton Rouge Homeschool Association
Covers parishes of: East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Ascension, Tangipahoa, Livingston, East & West Feliciana, and Iberville
Contact: Roblyn Honeysucker
Email: brhassociation-owner@yahoogroups.com

We are a secular and inclusive homeschool support group serving the Baton Rouge, LA area and surrounding parishes. We have weekly park days, weekly fieldtrips, monthly co-op classes, and monthly Moms’ Night Out activities. Membership is free.


Baton Rouge Homeschool Athletic Association
Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes
Contact: Jerald Hardy
Phone: (225) 247-2407
Email: brhaa.eagles@gmail.com

A sports group comprised exclusively of home school families, and led by home school parents. Home school families are inspired by the timeless words of Isaiah 40:31, “…they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” 

The team is comprised of young people who value the opportunity to play sports with a spirit of excellence, and enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded student athletes who share traditional core values. We have a football team, cheer leading squad, baseball, softball and possibly basketball this year. We are members of the ACEL (Association of Christian Educators of Louisiana).


Baton Rouge Homeschoolers
Baton Rouge, LA
Email: managanm@hotmail.com

All homeschoolers are welcome to join this group, regardless of curriculum or religious affiliation. This group aims to provide a forum in which homeschoolers can schedule meetups to support and encourage one another, as well as share valuable information pertinent to homeschooling. We’d love to meet you and hear your ideas for outings and activities!



Bayou Cajun Homeschoolers

Contact: Amy Shelby
Email: amy@bayouhomeschoolers.com

Thank you for your interest in our group!  We currently consist of homeschoolers from East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, West Baton Rouge and Iberville parishes.   Bayou Cajun Homeschoolers exist to provide educational and fun field trips/activities for our children.  We usually have one monthly field trip for the entire family, an occasional evening event for moms (usually twice a year), and quarterly field trips for older children which are to places that have age limits or restrictions.


Berean Homeschool Co-Op
Covers the following areas: East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Ascension, Tangipahoa, Livingston, East & West Feliciana, and Iberville
Contact: Michelle Griswold
Email: admin.berean@inbox.com

The Berean Homeschool Co-op is a 501(c)3 organization serving the Greater Baton Rouge area.  Our families work together using a co-operative approach to offer a wide variety of academic and enrichment classes during the school year to our homeschooled children.  We have been in operation since 2004.

Our name comes from Acts 17:11 where the Christians in Berea were said to be of noble character because “they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day….” In the same way, we as homeschoolers strive to give our children a life-long love of learning through high quality studies. Utilizing the gifts and talents of other families in the homeschool community is one good way to help accomplish this.

In addition to our co-op classes, we plan field trips and special events throughout the year.


Bravo Homeschool Group
Covers the following areas: Caddo, Bossier, Webster, etc.
Contact: Sharron Foster
Phone: (318) 949-6398
Email: bravohomeschoolgroup@gmail.com

We are a board-driven group that desires to provide an educational and unique co-op for the families involved. In addition, we provide a mom’s support group that involves Mom’s Nights Out, and monthly events for all ages. We are open for all homeschoolers through high school.


CenLa Christian Home School Association (CCHSA)
City: Alexandria, Pineville, and surrounding Central Louisiana areas
Contact: Jon & Shantel Haag
Email: president@cchsa.net

Cenla Christian Home School Association is a volunteer support organization for Christian families in the Alexandria, Pineville, and surrounding Central Louisiana areas who educate their children at home. Participation in CCHSA provides opportunities for families to connect with other homeschooling families for mutual help and encouragement.


Christian Family Educators
Northwest Louisiana; Shreveport / Bossier City
Contact: Michael & Paula Bottoms
Phone: (318) 925-2500

CFE is a Christian home school support group with approximately 150 member families. We organize field trips, spelling bee, graduation, and many other fellowship opportunities. In addition to fellowship opportunities for our children, we offer fellowship opportunities for moms and dads, too.


Christian Home Educators Fellowship of Baton Rouge
P.O. Box 77675, Baton Rouge, LA 77275
Phone: (225) 755-0670
Email: president@chefbr.org

A volunteer support organization for Christian families in the Greater Baton Rouge Area who educate their children at home. CHEF, through its members, offers a variety of educational / social activities, classes and clubs, as well as a competitive sports program. 

Our Mission: To be the premier home schooling support network serving Christian families in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas. 

Our Vision: By establishing a network for communication, activities, training and resources, we seek to support and encourage Christian home schooling families in their efforts to provide spiritual, academic and physical education based on faith in Jesus Christ, thereby enabling students to become the Christian leaders of tomorrow.


Christian Home Educators Fellowship (CHEF) of Louisiana 
138 Jackson Lane, Gilbert, LA 71336
Contact: Roger Smith
Phone: (888) 876-2433
Email: president@chefofla.org

Christian Home Educators Fellowship purposes to protect and promote homeschooling in the state of Louisiana. We provide support to leaders of local support groups through resources and networking. Also, we work closely with the legislature and Board of Education to protect the freedom to home educate. Membership with our organization is through one of our local member groups that seeks to meet the needs of their particular homeschool community.


Christian Home Educators Fellowship (CHEF) of Lafayette
P.O. Box 1373, Scott, La. 70583
Contact: Don & Monica Gauthreaux or Derek & Kim Dake
Email: preschef@bellsouth.net, or, kim_dake@yahoo.com

CHEF of Lafayette is dedicated to the support of true, parent-directed, home education in Lafayette and surrounding areas. We are a member group of CHEF of Louisiana.


Christian Home Educators Fellowship of Greater New Orleans
City: Greater New Orleans
Email: info@gnochristianhomeschooling.org

CHEF of GNO (Christian Home Educators Fellowship of Greater New Orleans) is a homeschooling group organized exclusively for the purpose of providing service and support to Christian home education families in the Greater New Orleans area.


Classical Conversations of Ascension
City: Gonzales
Email: Use Contact Form on Site

We are a local Christian classical home education community committed to knowing God and making Him known. We provide structure, accountability, friendship and support to like-minded families on their home education journey.


Creative Arts For Family Education (CAFFE)

782 Winfield Rd., Princeton, LA 71067
Contact: Rachel Grete
Email: rachelgrete1@gmail.com

CAFFE is a parent-run organization serving homeschoolers in need of support from other homeschooling families. We support our members with a co-op, yearbook, mom’s night out, family ministries and field trips. There are also fellowship opportunities for elementary, middle school and teen groups. In addition, the teen group has a yearly spring formal and a ceremony for graduating teens.


Divine Mercy Home Educators
Based in the Shreveport / Bossier City, LA area.
Email: dmhe-owner@yahoogroups.com

A group of Roman Catholic Homeschooling families located in the Shreveport, LA area. The purpose of the group is to provide support, information, group activities and prayer for its members.


Grace Home Educators Fellowship- West Bank
City: Algiers Orleans Parish
Email: gracehomeeducators@yahoo.com

Grace Home Educators Fellowship INC. is a group of families on the Westbank and greater New Orleans area with the goals of providing educational and social support from a Christian perspective for our school-age children. Spiritual enrichment and support is an added benefit for participating family members.


Harmony Homeschool Association
City: Jefferson, Orleans, and Plaquemines parishes
Email: harmonyhomeschool-owner@yahoogroups.com

The goal of our group is to provide a positive atmosphere for our children to learn, share and grow. Most of the families live in the North Snohomish County area. We do weekly and/or monthly outings and events. If you share the same desires for your family, we welcome you here!


Holy Family Home Educators (LA)
City: Lafayette
Contact: Kirk & Jessica Guilbeau
Phone: 337-886-1437
Email: kirkg1@gmail.com

Holy Family Home Educators (HFHE) is a local homeschool group in the South Louisiana area (centralized in Lafayette, LA). HFHE’s primary purpose is to share information and offer encouragement, both spiritually and academically, to families committed to Roman Catholic home education. The guiding principle of all our functions and activities lies in our faithfulness to the teachings, Traditions and Doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church and Her Magesterium, including the Holy Father in Rome, who, as successor to St. Peter, is the universal teacher in matters of faith and morals.


Houma Homeschoolers
Serving Houma, LA and the surrounding areas
Contact: Rhonda Lusco
Email: rhondalusco@yahoo.com

The goal of the group is to provide a POSITIVE socialization environment for homeschooled children, as well as offer support and encouragement to their parents. Social events include choir, bowling league, 4-H Club, Ballroom Dance Lessons, Spanish Club, Art Classes, Lego Club, and more. There are no membership fees.


Kamali Academy
Serving: New Orleans Area
Contact: Samori Kamali
Email: Samori.Camara@gmail.com

The Kamali Academy uses an Afrikan-centered, project-based curriculum, which places the development of an Afrikan consciousness at its center. This curriculum has been developed to maximize the effectiveness of the transgenerational transmission of our ancestral traditions, morals, and worldview in a family environment. Kamali not only inspires and trains its students to solve specific issues that plague our community, it also develops leaders who can adapt to whatever problem might be thrust upon our Afrikan nation—no matter what continent, no matter what conditions, no matter what form of warfare, no matter what enemy.

To address these aims, Kamali’s educational program will tread beyond the mere accumulation of knowledge and focus considerable attention on the development of the student’s character and ability to lead in an Afrikan way.


KEY Homeschool Association Inc.
City: Harvey
Email: keyhomeschoolassociation@yahoo.com
Phone: 504-368-4936

KEY Homeschool is a support group. You teach your own children. KEY can help you find information and curriculum that will suit your family’s homeschool needs. KEY offers other programs and activities throughout the school year.


LIFE Homeschool Support Group
533 Natural Gas Rd, Logansport, LA 71049
Contact: Vicky Winchester
Phone: (318) 679-5333
Email: hschooltools@aol.com

A support group of homeschool families in the western Louisiana area, serving west Louisiana and east Texas. Our purpose is to work together for the education and spiritual growth of our children.


Lighthouse Homeschool Coop
Community Bible Church on Jefferson Highway
We cover LA (East Baton Rouge)
Phone: (225) 270-1174
Email: bcducote@eatel.net


Mt. Everest Homeschool Co-op
Grace Baptist Church, 620 Richland Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
Areas covered: Baton Rouge Area
Email: mteverestweb@gmail.com

The Mount Everest Home School Co-op is a group of families in the Greater Baton Rouge area pooling our resources to offer classes one or two days a week during the school year to our homeschooled children. Our name comes from the highest mountain in the world, which attracts many well-experienced mountaineers as well as novice climbers to reach its peak.

Our goal and mission statement is to uphold and respect the rich values that each human being (novice or well-experienced) possesses, as well as to strive for excellence in education. Our name reminds us of our desire in climbing for complete success in life: emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.


NOLA Homeschoolers
City: New Orleans
Email: connect@nolahomeschoolers.com
Phone: (504)251-5534

Welcome to the NOLA Homeschoolers web site, an inclusive community and comprehensive resource directory for current or prospective homeschoolers in the Greater New Orleans area. This web site was created in response to the needs expressed by local homeschooling families. As such, we encourage you to invite others to join and hope that you feel free to share information you have that may be beneficial to others. Many groups exist in the area, but no one place is offering a “file cabinet / bulletin board” for everything. NOLA Homeschoolers aims to do just that and with your help, we can!


NOLA Learning Odyssey
City: Greater New Orleans area, including New Orleans, Algiers, Gretna, Marerro, Terrytown, and Belle Chas
Email: rowan555@gmail.com
Phone: 392-7587

Welcome to the home page of NOLA Learning Odyssey! We are an inclusive homeschool group for families in the Greater New Orleans area. All homeschooling families, as well as families who are considering homeschooling their children, are welcome to attend our weekly meetings, field trips, and park days. There are no dues, no contracts, and no other requirements – we hope you’ll join us!


Northshore Home Educators Association

Mandeville, Covington, Slidell, Hammond, and all surrounding areas
Email: chairman@northshorehea.org

Mission Statement: The mission of the Northshore HEA is to provide information, support, and services to Christian-home-educating families and to teach Christian leadership and character to our children through participation in physical education, social activities, and academic endeavors to the glory of Jesus Christ.


Openminded Homeschoolers
Geographic Area Serving: Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana
Contact: Lucrecia Mouser
Phone: 318-346-9326
Email: mortal2112@yahoo.com

Openminded Homeschoolers is an all inclusive secular homeschool support group based in Avoyelles Parish Louisiana. We offer park days for homeschool families to gather together. All ages are welcome. We also plan fun and educational outings.


Roman Catholic Homeschool Association of Louisiana (RCHAL)

P.O. Box 663, Covington, LA 70434
Contact: Beth and John Montelepre
Phone: (985) 796-1274
Email: rchalinfo@rchal.org

We, the members of the Roman Catholic Homeschool Association of Louisiana (RCHAL), in response to our vocation as parents, commit ourselves to helping those who are interested in or involved in home education. It is our mission to support the growth of a Catholic Home School community by providing service and support in the form of information, guidance, and activities. We are dedicated to observing and promoting the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and strive to live our Faith daily. 

RCHAL provide many activities to enhance homeschooling. We organize and host field trips, bowling, P.E., a Curriculum Fair and Home School Conference, Moms’ Mornings, Graduation, Game Nights, Project Fairs, Talent Shows, Family Picnics and First Friday Rosary, Stations of the Cross, etc.


Slidell Christian Home Educators Fellowship (SCHEF)
Slidell, LA 70460
Phone: (985) 643-5023


Southwest Louisiana Christian Home Educators Fellowship
Based in Lake Charles, LA 70605
Contact: Don and Katherine Martin
Email: swlachef@yahoo.com


St. Tammany Parish Homeschoolers
Covington, Mandeville, Slidell, Louisiana
Contact: Dianne
Phone: (985) 649-4131
Email: STP_Homeschoolers-owner@yahoogroups.com

We are an inclusive (all are welcome), secular (not connected to any religion) group dedicated to creating an environment in which parents and children from ALL walks of life will find a warm and welcoming community.


The Portier Institute of Higher Learning
1563 Cherry St., Slidell, LA 70460
Phone: (985) 640-3127

Tri-Parish CHEF
River Parishes communities
Contact: Rexann Roussel
Phone: (225) 869-8103

We are a Christian home school group with a focus on supporting the mom in her homemaking and home teaching through monthly Mom’s Meetings, workshops, special speakers and more. We have an award winning 4-H club and other gathers for children. $10 dues


Westbank Homeschool Organization (WHO), Inc.

P. O. Box 569, Marrero, LA 70073
Contact: Sylvia Effler
Phone: (504) 348-9866
Email: whoedu@cox.net

A support group based in the New Orleans area, sharing years of homeschool experience.

Homeschool Field Trips in Louisiana


Louisiana homeschool laws, field trips, support groups and free resources


Welcome to the second post in a series of four about homeschooling in Louisiana! You can find the other posts here:

  1. Louisiana Homeschool Laws
  2. Homeschool Field Trips in Louisiana You’re here!
  3. Louisiana Homeschool Support Groups and Co-ops
  4. Louisiana Homeschool Free Resources

General Information

At New Orleans
Learn about the history of this Louisiana city. Find attractions and fun things to do with children.

Baton Rouge Moms
Schedule of events for the Baton Rouge area.

Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism
Together, the agencies of CRT offer a wide variety of resources, from parks, to museums to main street communities. To see the availabilities throughout our state, please choose from the list provided and make a point to visit them all.

S’port Kids Calendar
A free calendar of Events of Interest for Homeschool Families in and around Shreveport, Louisiana.

Aquariums, Ocean and Swamp Life


Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
We want to continue to offer new adventures for our guests. As we work together to rebuild our city, we need places that offer us an opportunity to play together. Canal Street at the River, #1 Canal Street, New Orleans.

Barataria Preserve
The Barataria Preserve outside Marrero offers a taste of Louisiana’s wild wetlands. The preserve’s 23,000 acres include bayous, swamps, marshes, forests, alligators, nutrias, and over 200 species of birds (learn more about preserve wildlife here). Boardwalk and dirt trails wind through the preserve; check out the trail map, enjoy a self-guided tour, or explore with a cell phone tour. Waterways can be explored by canoe or kayak; hikers and paddlers can check out the preserve map here. Exhibits at the preserve visitor center highlight how the Mississippi River built Louisiana’s wetlands, the national importance of the area, and the relation between the land and its people.

Bayou Terrebone Waterlife Museum
The Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum preserves and promotes the area’s long, colorful and historically important connection with the seafood and water transportation industries, as well as other wetlands and water based hunting, gathering and mining occupations. The Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum ranks as one of the area’s most unique venues for private receptions, meetings and celebrations of every variety. The museum and its exhibits, charming back porch overlooking the bayou and serene bayou-side park offer unlimited options for those interested in a first-rate facility.

Cajun Country Swamp Tours
The tour area, Cypress Island/Lake Martin Swamp, is famous for its impressive scenic beauty and wildlife. Alligators, egrets, herons, bayous, ancient cypress trees covered with Spanish moss and more of what you envision a Louisiana swamp to be are waiting for you on Cajun Country Swamp Tours.  The swamp tour is conducted aboard open swamp people boats (crawfish skiffs) that are designed to get us into the heart of swamp.

Cajun Pride Swamp Tours
Cajun Pride Swamp Tours is a privately owned wildlife refuge just 25 miles from New Orleans.  We invite you to join us for a unique and educational journey back to the early days of Louisiana bayou and swamp explorations by offering authentic Louisiana swamp eco-tours, plantation tours, city tours and combination tours.

Champagne’s Cajun Swamp Tours
Our tours depart from the only Handicap Accessible dock for swamp boats on Lake Martin & transport you on a ecotourism adventure deep in the heart of the swamp. Where you will experience the real soul of a Louisiana swamp & bayou.  Our Breaux Bridge Lake Martin store is a short drive from Lafayette, LA and less than an hours drive from Baton Rouge, LA. We have air conditioning & the only bathrooms at Lake Martin.  Tours in French are also available. Tour departure times vary so please email or call for a reservation.  We are a top rated Louisiana tourist attraction for family vacations. This tour is one of the best things to do in Lafayette, LA.

Global Wildlife Center
Enjoy a one and a half hour guided Safari Wagon tour over 900 acres of beautiful Louisiana countryside complete with 12 ponds and a lake. During the tour you’ll come face to face with bison, giraffe, zebra, camels, eland, and much more! The animals roam free – It’s Africa, in Louisiana!

Honey Island Swamp
Honey Island Swamp is unique because it’s one of the least-altered river swamps in the country. It’s pretty much in its original condition, almost a pristine wilderness. Take a personalized narrated nature tour into the 250-square-mile Honey Island Swamp. Nearly 70,000 acres of it is a permanently-protected wildlife area–the Nature Conservancy’s First Louisiana Nature Preserve. People from all over the world now explore this wildlife sanctuary with him.

Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours
Located only twenty-five minutes from New Orleans in the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Jean Lafitte Swamp and Airboat Tours explore Louisiana’s back country along its meandering bayous abundant with wildlife and exotic plant life. Trained navigators escort you into the murky waters of Louisiana swamps where you will come face to face with the beauty and beasts of nature.

Louisiana Tour Company
This is Swamp & Airboat Tours near New Orleans. Our tours operate from the dock of Crown Point, located just a 35 minute drive from the French Quarter of New Orleans. As a bird flies, just 12 miles from the Quarter, yet we are a world apart. We are situated on the banks of Bayou Barataria, in the heart of the most dynamic ecosystem of North America. The Treasure Isle Swamps that surrounds our boat dock, is part of the “Barataria Estuary”. The word, Barataria, means “the good Land”. We are quite isolated, where there is but one road in and the same road out and are adjacent to the Largest Urban Park in the United States, “The Jean Lafitte National Park & Preserve”. The wetlands of the Barataria swamps are so rich in seafood and wildlife, that when Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, he was only interested in New Orleans and it’s Swamps. Thomas Jefferson considered Barataria, the crown jewel of the purchase.

Children’s Museums

Alexandria Kid’s TREE House Museum
T.R.E.E. House is a unique educational and cultural resource that represents the community’s interest and investment in engaging and educating our children. The museum provides playful learning experiences and environments where children (1-12 years), families, schools and community groups discover and explore their world through hands-on exhibits and interactive programs. The mission statement summarizes the Museum’s commitment to the education of young children: planting the seeds of learning.

The Children’s Museum
Ongoing art activities and special programs. 327 Broad St., Lake Charles.

Children’s Museum of Acadiana
The Children’s Museum of Acadiana (CMA) is a hands-on participatory museum serving children and their families, schools, and community organizations by providing interactive exhibits, special services, performances, and workshops.

Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center
The Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center is the premier children’s museum on the Northshore. It is the perfect place for families with toddlers and children up to age twelve to learn and explore together in a safe and fun hands-on environment. The open and interactive area is filled with unique, entertaining and educational areas to explore.

Louisiana Children’s Museum
Since opening its doors in 1986, the Louisiana Children’s Museum has been one of the city’s premier attractions for children. We welcome 147,000 visitors per year, engaging children, families, caregivers, and school groups in memorable interactive experiences designed to make learning fun.
The Museum’s 30,000 square feet of exhibit space and programs offer children a diverse set of activities that promote learning across many disciplines – from reading and math skills to architectural ideas and the nuances of grocery shopping – through interactive play. Whether they are learning what bones they use to ride a bike, alongside Mr. Bones or loading up a cargo ship in the Little Port of New Orleans exhibit, children take an active role in their own learning.

Industry & Technology

Conrad Rice Mill
America’s oldest working rice mill. øne of the leading tourist attractions in this area of the Bayou Teche. 307 Ann Street in New Iberia. (800) 551-3245.

TABASCO® Pepper Sauce Factory
Everybody at PepperFest is just waitin’ to show you a good time. So relax, have a little taste of what we’re talkin’ about, and hang out with folks who are into two things: TABASCO® and havin’ a good time. Avery Island. (337) 365-8173.

History Museums and Adventures


Acadian Cultural Center
The Acadian Cultural Center in Lafayette tells stories of the origins, migration, settlement, and contemporary culture of the Acadians (Cajuns) and other area groups. Ranger programs, films, exhibits, and events share a variety of local traditions including music, story-telling, dance, and food, and explore the mysteries of the Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana’s wildest place. Portable media players with guided tours of the museum in French, Spanish, and English can be borrowed at the visitor center information desk. Kids can explore the center and earn a badge with the Junior Ranger program.

Acadian Village
LARC’s Acadian Village is Lafayette’s oldest authentic vision of life in 19th century southwest Louisiana, a showcase of authentic homes alongside a winding bayou which depict the unique Acadian architecture of the time. The homes were restored onsite and outfitted with period antiques.

Adam Ponthieu Grocery Store and Big Bend Post Office Museum
The Country Store Museum, representing a time capsule of Americana and old Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, reflects the time period between 1900 and 1950 and is open to the public. Contents of museum feature many donated artifacts which include hardware, tools, kitchenware and utensils, medicine, grocery items, cold drinks, sewing materials and notions. Memorabilia pertaining to the Big Bend Post Office has survived and old ledgers used from the Ponthieu and Lemoine Times document business and transactions.

Angola State Prison Museum
Louisiana citizens also have the unique opportunity to actually “visit” Angola’s past by stopping by the Angola Museum.  The museum, which was established in 1998 by Warden Cain, is dedicated to preserving Angola’s history.  The museum has become an official tourist site in the parish and serves as a resource for information on the state’s correctional system.

American Italian Cultural Center
The American Italian Museum is located within the American Italian Cultural Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. The museum tells the history of American Italians in the Southeast and their contributions to all areas of our daily lives through photographs, articles, family histories, and memorabilia by themes such as Societies and Festivals, Music, the Immigrant, Geneology, Personalities, and much more.

Arna Bontemps African American Museum
The Arna Bontemps African American Museum and Cultural Arts Center was founded in 1988 by the Arna Bontemps Foundation, Incorporated, a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. The organization was formed through the Division of Community Affairs, Office of the Mayor, City of Alexandria, Louisiana. The Museum is the restored childhood home of Arna Bontemps – poet, author, anthologist, and librarian – who was considered the leading authority of the Harlem Renaissance. The period – sometimes referred to as the “New Negro” movement – is when young Black writers went to Harlem to share the Black experience through their writing.

Backstreet Cultural Museum
The Backstreet Cultural Museum officially opened its doors in 1999. However, its origins can be traced back three decades to when Sylvester Francis paraded with the Gentlemen of Leisure Social Aid & Pleasure Club.  A man photographing the parade wanted Francis to pay $35.00 for his own photograph. To avoid such costs in the future, Francis bought both a Super 8 mm camera and a still camera and began documenting Carnival celebrations,second-line parades, and jazz funerals throughout the area.

Chalmette Battlefield
The bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans is January 8, 2015. The commemoration of the battle began in late September 2013 with the rededication of Chalmette Monument. Events, programs, and exhibits are planned throughout the months leading up to the bicentennial by Jean Lafitte and its partners, and special events will happen in the New Orleans area during the week beginning January 4.

French Quarter in New Orleans
Shortly after the French founded New Orleans in 1718, engineers drew up a formal city plan for Nouvelle Orleans—the area that we now call the French Quarter. The city quickly expanded beyond those original boundaries to become an important American port. People arrived from all over the world, joining the early inhabitants of the area to create a distinct culture rich in food, music, and tradition. Jean Lafitte’s French Quarter Visitor Center shares the history and traditions of the city and the lower Mississippi River delta through visitor center exhibits and a film.

Herbert S. Ford Memorial Museum
The Ford Museum’s collection reflects the life and culture of North Louisiana, Claiborne Parish in particular, from Pre-Columbian times to the present day. With exhibits ranging from Native American culture, Pioneer life, African-American history, and daily life in Claiborne Parish to the agriculture, lumber, and oil industries, the Ford Museum is a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning about North Louisiana’s past and present.

Iberville Museum
The Iberville Museum is located in the former Iberville Parish Courthouse (circa 1848). It also served as Plaquemine City Hall from 1906 to 1985. Today, the Museum houses artifacts of life in Iberville Parish from the early 1900s and features a Mardi Gras Room, complete with costumes of kings and queens of past carnival balls. It also has an extensive display from World War II and the Korean War. The Museum offers varied programs and activities throughout the year.

This museum includes artifacts from my family. My grandfather, the highly decorated Master Gunnery Sergeant William Curtis Grant, served one tour in Korea and two tours in Vietnam. My grandmother loaned much of his Marine Corps. memorabilia to the museum a year after his death in 2002.

Louisiana Political Museum
When some people think of Louisiana, they think of New Orleans and its Mardi Gras, or of Cajuns and their food, while others think of Louisiana’s famous politicians.  And when they think of Louisiana politicians, what comes to mind? Well, Winnfield of course! And if that’s not what comes to mind, it certainly should be. You see, Winnfield is considered the birthplace of politics in Louisiana and is the home of the Louisiana Political Museum & Hall of Fame. It’s also the birthplace of three Louisiana Governors – Huey P. Long, Earl K. Long, and O.K. Allen.

Louisiana State Museum
Founded in 1906 with a mission to collect, preserve, interpret and present the state’s rich history and diverse cultures, the Museum’s collection now totals more than 450,000 artifacts and works of art. These provide an authentic experience of Louisiana to visitors from around the world while enhancing the quality of life for residents. Our “collection” includes a complex of seven historic French Quarter buildings that have become icons of New Orleans – especially the Cabildo and Presbytère on Jackson Square – and a statewide system of regional and special focus history museums in Baton Rouge, Thibodaux, Patterson and Natchitoches.

National World War II Museum
The National WWII Museum’s exhibits cover the epic and global scale of the war that changed the world, in a voice that is intimate and personal. Exhibits not only highlight the role of world leaders, but also the everyday men and women who found the strength and courage to accomplish the extraordinary. Currently housed in three buildings, each arranged around central themes of the war, Museum exhibits offer visitors an opportunity to experience the war through the eyes of the men and women who lived it. Interactives, oral histories and personal vignettes add a meaningful perspective.

New Orleans African-American Museum
Faubourg Tremé is one of the oldest and certainly largest pre-Civil war communities of free people of color (les gens de couleur libres). The Museum’s Tremé Walking Tour provides visitors with a unique opportunity to explore the area’s rich and vibrant colonial and post-colonial history with one of our licensed tour guides. Tour highlights include St. Augustine Church, with its “tomb of the unknown slave”; a delightful row of Creole cottages that evinces the area’s diverse architectural history, and a discussion of 19th and 20th-century Tremé-based artists and musicians. Congo Square is a significant component of the tour, showcasing the Square’s various incarnations as an auctioning site during the period of enslavement; a recreational gathering space for enslaved Africans, free people of color and others, and an open-air marketplace. The Tremé Walking Tour covers a distance of approximately one mile.

Old Governor’s Mansion
This is the second Governor’s Mansion to occupy the site. The first Governor’s Mansion, a large frame house built for Baton Rouge businessman Nathan King Knox, served as the official residence of Louisiana Governors from 1887 until 1929, when it was razed and the present Old Governor’s Mansion was built. The building cost almost $150,000 to complete, and, at a cost of $22,000 (a princely sum for the time), the Mansion was furnished with the finest damask and velvet drapes, crystal chandeliers, hand-printed French wallpaper, and other fine appointments.

Old State Capital
Louisiana’s Old State Capitol is a museum of political history governed by the Louisiana Secretary of State and accredited by the American Association of Museums. Since 1994, the former statehouse has served the people of Louisiana as a historical, cultural, civic and educational institution whose primary purpose is to collect, preserve and present, as an educational resource, documents, objects of art and artifacts that reflect the state’s politics, history, art and culture. The museum’s multimedia history exhibits engage visitors in an interactive exploration of the events and people that contributed to Louisiana’s story, while the award winning “We the People…” civic awareness exhibit helps audiences internalize the process of campaigns, elections and the day to day aspects of democracy. The museum also serves as a venue for press conferences, traveling exhibits, special programs and an annual lecture series.

Plaquemine Locks Historic Site

As a distributary of the Mississippi River and a route to the heartland of Louisiana through the Atchafalaya Basin, Bayou Plaquemine was used as a navigable artery centuries before the age of European exploration. From the early 1700s, Bayou Plaquemine served as a commercial transport route, promoting settlement and economic prosperity in southwest and northern Louisiana via the Atchafalaya, Red and other rivers. The Plaquemine Lock was designed by Colonel George W. Goethals (1858-1928), the assistant to the chief engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Goethals later gained distinction as chairman and chief engineer of the Isthmian Canal Commission for the design and construction of the Panama Canal.

Port Hudson State Historic Site

When New Orleans fell to Federal troops in late April 1862, Confederate control of the Mississippi was in jeopardy. The Confederate army had already fortified the river bluffs at Vicksburg, Mississippi, but it needed another series of river batteries below the mouth of the Red River. The Red River was the primary route for the shipment of supplies from Texas to the heartland of the Confederacy. The bluffs near the small town of Port Hudson represented a perfect site for the river batteries. These bluffs were the first high ground upstream from Baton Rouge and overlooked a severe bend in the river. This bend presented an additional obstacle for Union warships.

Prairie Acadian Cultural Center
Waltz on in to the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center in Eunice to discover the life of Louisiana’s prairie Cajuns through ranger programs, exhibits, artifacts, and films.

River Road African American Museum
The River Road African American Museum, located in the historic district of Donaldsonville, Louisiana is the premier facilitiy in the South to focus on the history and heritage of
African Americans along the Mississippi River. With over 300 years of history, the legacy and importance of Africans in America to the growth of the South, the United States and the world is evident through the collection and exhibits of rare artifacts found at the museum.

Rural Life Museum
“Knowing the Past Betters the Future” at one of the top outdoor museums in the world. Choose your own adventure at the Rural Life Museum! With the 19th century Plantation area, the Folk Architecture section, The Exhibit Barn, 32 historic buildings and thousands of artifacts representing the rural way of life, there’s so much to see! 

USS Kidd Memorial and Museum
It has been said by every generation that you learn by doing. Hands-on education is the key-word in today’s university classrooms where the teachers of tomorrow are being trained. And in teaching a course on World War II history and the United States’ island-hopping campaign across the Pacific, or the Battle of the Atlantic where the threat of German U-boats loomed constantly, what better way to apply a hands-on approach than to take a field trip to the USS KIDD, a vessel which actually participated in those events? Let your students see where a Japanese kamikaze pilot crashed his plane into the ship, the conditions that their grandfathers lived in, and the dangers a U-boat posed to a ship with a hull only three-eighths of an inch think.

Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center
The lives of the Acadians (Cajuns) and others whose travels brought them to Louisiana’s bayous are featured at the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center in Thibodaux. Explore recreation, clothing, home furnishings, religion, cuisine, and fishing through exhibits, artifacts, videos, and films. A 200-seat theater is used for productions by the Thibodaux Playhouse, Inc., and other programs.

W. H. Tupper Genral Store Museum
W. H. Tupper operated his General Merchandise Store beginning in 1910 in a rural community just north of Jennings, Louisiana. When he closed the doors in 1949, the complete inventory remained on the shelves, undisturbed, until 1971 when it was carefully packed and warehoused. There it remained until his grandson Joe Tupper, Jr., donated the store’s contents for the creation of the W. H. Tupper General Merchandise Museum.

Museums of Science and Natural History


Alexandria Zoological Park
The Zoo offers a number of educational opportunities including Zoo School, Summer Safari Camps, Field Trips, and a number of other programs. Located at 3016 Masonic Drive or US Highway 165 Business, approximately 1 mile from the south traffic circle and two blocks from the Alexandria Mall.

Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, located in the U.S. Custom House on Canal Street, encourages you to use all five senses as you explore North America’s largest museum devoted to insects and their relatives. You’ll discover why insects are the building blocks of all life on our planet and along the way, you’ll be shrunk to bug size; wander through a mysterious Louisiana swamp; join the active audience of an awards show for bugs, by bugs; and be captivated by thousands of butterflies in an Asian garden. Voted “A top museum for you and your kids” by CNN.com, 2009.

Audubon Nature Institute
Visitor Programs offer special presentations, animal encounters and tons of diverse interactive activities under the guidance of Audubon educators and trained volunteers. New Orleans, LA 70178, (504) 861-2537.

Audubon State Historic Site
This lush natural setting, with a variety of birds singing throughout the 100-acre forest, still inspires visitors. In these peaceful environs, it is easy to imagine the artist filling his sketch pad with notes and drawings for his famous series of bird illustrations. Audubon came upriver from New Orleans to do more than paint pictures. He had been hired to teach drawing to Miss Eliza Pirrie, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Pirrie, owners of Oakley. His teacher-artist arrangement was short-lived due to a misunderstanding with Mrs. Pirrie. Only four months after his arrival, Audubon returned to New Orleans. Although there is no record of his success in teaching Miss Pirrie to draw, in his personal endeavors he completed or began 32 bird paintings while at Oakley.

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo
More than 1,800 animals await you in the beautifully landscaped Zoo. 3601 Thomas Road, Baton Rouge. (225) 775-3877.

Louisiana Arts and Science Center
From art exhibitions and workshops to hands-on science exhibits and treasures from ancient Egypt, LASM has something to inspire everyone. 100 South River Road,, P.O. Box 3373, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, (504) 344-9478

LSU Museum of Science and Natural History
The LSU Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1936 and the current public exhibit area was opened on March 27, 1955 in Foster Hall. The Museum’s founder and first Director, Dr. George H. Lowery, Jr., was a professor of zoology at LSU. The Museum of Natural Science is a research museum, meaning it educates the public through exhibits and programs, houses a premier research staff committed to learning more about our natural world, and maintains collections that support this work. Research at the Museum centers on the following disciplines: mammalogy (mammals), ornithology (birds), ichthyology (fishes), herpetology (reptiles and amphibians), paleontology (fossils), archaeology and anthropology (early human culture), genetic resources (DNA), and science education.

Sci-Port Discovery Center
A 92,000 square-foot science and entertainment center in Shreveport-Bossier, featuring over 290 science, math and space exhibits, daily changing programs, an IMAX Dome Theatre, open-access, interactive, laser SPACE DOME Planetarium, gift shop and café. Sci-Port is located on the downtown Shreveport Riverfront. 528 Commerce Street, 820 Clyde Fant Parkway, Shreveport, LA 71101, (318) 424-3466

Zoo of Acadiana
Nestled on forty five acres of rolling landscape with a very natural setting and environment. Visitors are glad to see that our animals seem happy and content in their habitats and are not pacing and agitated. Located on Highway 90, South of Broussard, 116 Lakeview Drive, Broussard, LA 70518, (337) 837-4325.



Laura Plantation
An historic sugar plantation built in 1805, where the Guided Tour transports you into Louisiana’s Creole culture. Midway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, on the Great River Road (HWY 18). (888) 799-7690.

Longue Vue House and Gardens
Working with local educators, Longue Vue has developed field trip experiences in the Lucy C. Roussel Discovery Garden that offer a multidisciplinary, cross-curricular approach to including elements of social studies, language arts, mathematics, and the visual arts into a science-based course of study. Art and history-focused tours of the historic house are also available.

Magnolia Mound Plantation
Through educational programs, workshops, lectures, festivals, and other special events, Magnolia Mound’s mission is to illustrate and interpret the lifestyle of the French Creoles who formed the fascinating culture which still influences and pervades life in southern Louisiana. 6201 Florida Boulevard, Baton Rouge, (225) 272-9200.

Nottoway Plantation
In the mid-19th century, a wealthy Louisiana sugar planter instructed his architect to build him the grandest home on the Mississippi River.  And he did. Spectacular Nottoway Plantation was completed in 1859, and today this stunningly restored antebellum mansion, the largest in the South, welcomes visitors daily from all over the world.

Oak Alley Plantation
Located on the Mississippi River between the historic Louisiana cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Oak Alley Plantation has been called the “Grande Dame of the Great River Road”. 1-800-44ALLEY.

Rosedown Plantation
Rosedown Plantation is located in the West Feliciana Parish community of St. Francisville along one of the most historic corridors in South Louisiana. The historic presence of the River created deep soil deposits to form uplands that became, in the days of the cotton boom, extremely productive and valuable. In addition to the natural flats, creeks draining to the River created some expanses of rugged, heavily treed terrain that became profitable as timberland.

Parks and Recreation

Louisiana Homeschoolers Laws, Field Trips, Support Groups and Free Resources

Louisiana homeschool laws, field trips, support groups and free resources

Louisiana homeschool laws, field trips, support groups and free resources


Welcome to the first post in a series of four about homeschooling in Louisiana! You can find the other posts here:

  1. Louisiana Homeschool Laws– You’re here!
  2. Homeschool Field Trips in Louisiana
  3. Louisiana Homeschool Support Groups and Co-ops
  4. Louisiana Homeschool Free Resources

According to the state of Louisiana, more than 18,000 LA families opt to teach their children at home. Children in Louisiana are not required to begin school until age 7. If you live in the great state of Louisiana and you’ve decided to homeschool your child(ren) there are a few things that would be beneficial for you to know. I’m going to break this down into sections so you can scan and look back as necessary. If you have any questions please ask in the comments.

What are the laws concerning homeschooling in Louisiana?

In Louisiana you have two options for homeschooling your child(ren).

1st Option Registered Nonpublic Schools (those not seeking the state’s approval)

Actual downloadable pdf of Louisiana Registered Non Public Schools (homeschool) Guidelines from the Louisiana Department of Education’s website.

This option means you are not seeking the state’s approval. Registered schools must register each year in order to be in compliance with Louisiana’s compulsory attendance law (180 days per school year). Other than that you will enjoy a great bit of freedom by choosing this option. Your teaching methods, educational materials (or lack thereof), child’s level of learning, and record keeping is all solely at your own discretion. This makes Registered Nonpublic Schools the most popular option for homeschooling in Louisiana. You are simply required to send one letter of intent to homeschool per year. The letter must include: the school year, name of your school, contact information, and number of students enrolled and proof of immunization. House Bill 178 of the 2008 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature now requires evidence of current immunization against meningococcal disease as a condition for students eleven years old entering any grade.

  • Students who are eleven years old must be immunized against meningococcal disease.
  • Exemptions include: parent/guardian waivers for religious or personal reasons, or a written statement from a physician stating contraindicated medical reasons, including shortage of supply of vaccine.

Families and schools have two options on how to submit their registration:

  1. A new, simple, user-friendly online registration system; or,
  2. Submitting an official signed letter to the Louisiana Department of Education.

Registered Nonpublic Schools
Office of Portfolio
P.O. Box 94064
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9064

Please note that students enrolled in a Registered Nonpublic School (Not Seeking State Approval):

  • are not considered enrolled in a BESE-Approved Home Study Program or BESE-Approved Nonpublic School;
  • are not eligible for Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) scholarships; and,
  • are not required to take state testing. However, testing is available upon request through the local school system for only the 4th and 8th grade LEAP. Contact the school system in January for applicable testing dates and fees.

Due to the inability to qualify for TOPS Scholarships most parents transition their students to a BESE Approved Home Study Program around the equivalent of grade 8.

2nd Option  BESE Approved Home Study Program

Actual downloadable pdf of Louisiana Home Study (homeschool) Guidelines from the Louisiana Department of Education’s website.

A BESE-Approved Home Study program provides Louisiana families the opportunity to independently educate their child.

  • Parents who enroll their child in a home study program are solely responsible for deciding the curriculum and providing instruction.
  • Louisiana does not provide funding for home study programs.
  • Students in a home study program are not required to take state assessments.
  • Students in home study programs can participate in interscholastic athletic activities at a public or at a state-approved nonpublic high school that is also a member of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. Participation at a non-public school is at the sole discretion of the governing authority of such school [refer to R.S. 236.3]. Restrictions apply.
  • Diplomas awarded through an approved home study program are recognized by all post-secondary educational institutions.
  • A child who participates in a BESE-Approved Home Study program is considered: a) in attendance at a day school; and b) compliant with state compulsory attendance laws (180 days per school year).
  • To be eligible to participate in a home study program, a child must be: a) eligible by Louisiana law to attend a Louisiana elementary or secondary school (minimum must turn  5 years old by September 30th or Louisiana age of requirement to attend school is 7 years of age) ; and b) 18 years of age or younger.

Students enrolled in BESE-Approved Home Study Program for both 11th and 12th grade are TOPS eligible if they meet the TOPS requirements.

Curriculum Guidelines Under BESE Approved Home Study Program

  • Parents have complete control over selecting the curriculum to use to educate their child.
  • Parents must use a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level.
  • A parent or tutor may be permitted to provide the instruction; there are no teaching certification requirements.
  • Parents have the option to utilize textbooks from the local school system if extra copies are available.

Grade Level Guidelines Under BESE Approved Home Study Program

  • Parents determine the grade level at which they plan to teach their child during the upcoming year.
  • The LA Department of Education does not make assumptions or judgments about the grade level provided by the parent.
  • Retroactive changes to a student’s grade level are not allowed.

Application Guidelines Under BESE Approved Home Study Program

  • Parents must submit an initial application to the LA Department of Education to receive BESE Approval. Birth certificate and *proof of immunization must be submitted with initial application.
  • Once initially approved, parents must submit a renewal application within 12 months.
  • The  LA Department of Education has designed a simple, user-friendly online application system to help parents easily submit this application. Using the online system allows the  LA Department of Education to send you automatic e-mails confirming both: a) when you submit the application; and, b) when the  LA Department of Education approves the application.
  • Parents without internet access may still submit a paper application to:

ATTN: BESE-Approved Home Study Program
Louisiana Department of Education
P.O. Box 94064
Baton Rouge, LA 70804

*House Bill 178 of the 2008 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature now requires evidence of current immunization against meningococcal disease as a condition for students eleven years old entering any grade.

  • Students who are eleven years old must be immunized against meningococcal disease.
  • Exemptions include: parent/guardian waivers for religious or personal reasons, or a written statement from a physician stating contraindicated medical reasons, including shortage of supply of vaccine.

To comply with state attendance laws, parents who want to educate their children in a home study program must apply and be approved annually by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Renewal applications must submit documentation that provides satisfactory evidence that the home study program offered a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level. Parents have three different options of the type of evidence they can provide. Parents only have to provide documentation for one of these options when they submit their renewal application.

Option ONE: The Curriculum Packet

Families may submit a packet of materials which demonstrates that the home study program offered a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level. This packet of materials may include such documents as:

  1. A complete, but simple, outline of the subjects taught during the previous year;
  2. A complete, but simple, list of books and materials that were used;
  3. A statement from a 3rd party (e.g. relative, friend) observing the student’s progress;
  4. Copies of a small sampling of the student’s work from the previous year. Please send only 1-2 pages per core subject area taught (i.e. Math, English, Social Studies, Science); and,
  5. A report card and/or copies of standardized tests.

Parents are asked to only submit copies of these documents. Mailed documents may not be returned.

Option TWO: Standardized Test Scores

Families may submit verification that the child has taken a standardized examination and scored at or above the grade level or the child has progressed at a rate equal to one grade level for each year in home study program. Standardized exams may include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

  1. iLEAP English Language Arts and Math tests or grades 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9;
  2. Louisiana LEAP for grades 4 and 8;
  3. End of Course Exams for grades 9-12;
  4. ACT;
  5. The California Achievement Test (CAT);
  6. Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS); or
  7. SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)

Option THREE: Certified Teacher Statement

A statement from a teacher certified to teach at the child’s grade level that the teacher has examined the program being offered and that, in their professional opinion, the child is being taught in accordance with a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level, in the case of children with mental or physical disabilities, at least equal to that offered by public schools to children with similar disabilities.  Any such teacher evaluation provided for in this Subsection shall be subject to review and approval of the State Board of Education.

Other Resources:

HSLDA Summary of Louisiana Homeschooling Laws

Louisiana Home Education Research Institute

What is He calling you to? How about community?

A lot of you have asked what I’ve been up to lately. I hardly know where to begin.

A few months ago Ryan and I decided he should take a leap of faith and leave his *great* job to do what God called him to do. So he did. It’s been an adjustment but there is such peace in knowing you are where God wants you.

The boys are growing too much. Carsten is almost 17 and driving. Maxon is a freshman in high school and doing well on the football team. Andrew is as fun as ever and Matthias is a busy preschooler. It is a barrel of monkeys exciting to teach him at home. :) And did I mention my house is ALWAYS full of teenagers?

We love the community we live in. God definitely brought us here. I enjoy so much just soaking it all in. I am so thankful for all that He has given us.

My sister and her two kiddos moved in with us about a month ago. That has been a grand adventure. We like having them so close and it sure makes for some fun filled days. Now if only I could curb all of these appetites. Gosh, can they ever eat food!

I’m also just staying busy in His word, attending Bible college, and meeting with friends regularly. I guess I’ve just hardly had time to be online and I am so okay with that. In fact, I am thankful for it.

What have you been up to?

Oh, my friend Sharon recently published this awesome book on hospitality. She has some amazing ideas (and recipes) for bringing friends and family together around DIPS. Easy and fun!

serendipity 3D coverSharon Sloan’s SerenDIPity is a refreshing and unique way to entertain and open your home in hospitality. Sharon’s SerenDIPity invites you to gather friends together in this DIPlightful way to celebrate dips, faith and friendship! In SerenDIPity, Sharon shares the inspiration and practicality for entertaining with whimsical flair. Filled with savory and sweet surprises, SerenDIPity will take you from the ordinary to the exceptional in culinary creativity that is easy to do and fun for your guests! This fun and practical book will help you to:

  1. Open up your home and heart through hospitality.
  2. Creatively prepare and execute your own SerenDIPity party.
  3. Set the stage for fun, friends, and fellowship.
  4. Learn the ins and outs of hosting fun contests and giveaways.
  5. Prepare savory and sweet dips.
  6. Know what to do after the party.
  7. Know what the Bible says about hospitality and fellowship.
What Others are Saying

“My sweet friend Sharon displays hospitality in beautiful ways. Her thoughtful touches, delicious recipes and gracious heart have been amazing gifts to me during the years of our friendship. I can’t wait to read SerenDIPity and learn some of her best kept secrets!”

Lysa TerKeurst (NY Times Bestselling author of Unglued and Made to Crave, and President of Proverbs 31 Ministries)

“As a professional food stylist for over 18 years, I have learned that my presentations must reflect my clients, whether homespun, retro or eclectic. Their personalities must shine through. My dearest friend Sharon’s SerenDIPity hospitality inspiration allows the hostess that same freedom. Regardless of budget, experience or culinary skill, this book assists the hostess in creating a fanciful and fun party of dips for friends and family.”

Lucille Osborn (Professional Food Stylist and Founder of Psalm 34:8 Cooking Ministry)


You can sign up to receive SerenDIPity’s 5 Days of Presentation. You can also download some free printables to go along with the book and meditate on some dollops of scripture. And of course, there are sweet and savory dip recipes!

What Personal Care Products I Use…


Because I make my own DIY cleaning products I am always asked what I use for personal care products.

I make my own deodorant (natural deodorant recipe), my own recipe for toothpaste, sugar scrubs, and lip balm. I buy some other products on Etsy, use a triple milled bar soap for bathing and shampooing, and I also really like products from Jordan Essentials.

Their products are safe and made in the USA. They use ingredients like Shea Butter, Soy, Coconut oil, Beeswax, Dead Sea Salts, Grapeseed oils and more. The 5 main ingredients Jordan Essentials avoids is DEA, Isopropyl Alcohol, Mineral Oil, Parabens, SLS / SLES, and Aluminum and they are dye free!  Did I hear an amen?


My favorites are the products in the face care set. The cleanser works wonders on makeup and isn’t harsh or drying, the toner is refreshing and smells so good, and the moisturizer isn’t greasy and leaves my face feeling soft. I don’t use the eye cream often but I’m sure it works great too.


My friend, Angie Parrett, sent me these products to try and I am smitten with the salt scrub and lotion. I really like the shampoo and conditioner as well and that “messiest hands” products is so perfect for little Matthias, the resident preschooler, who loves to paint, play in mud, get full of glue, and use clay for making letters. It gets off everything and it smells great. I also use it when I craft and it gets all of the gunk off and leaves my hands feeling really soft.

I’m often asked if I use the “no poo” method of shampooing and the answer is a loud no. I’ve tried it  few times and maybe it is because my hair is thick and course but I cannot get the baking soda to do anything for my hair. I’ve tried rinsing with vinegar too and that is just a nightmare. I prefer to use bar soap to shampoo and just buy conditioner. It’s just easiest for me and works the best.

So, what do you use for personal care products?

What Wines to Use with What Dishes: Cooking with Black Box Wine


I cook with wine quite often. It is an easy way to refine a dish and kick it up a notch. The alcohol in the wine doesn’t add any flavor but it does help to release flavor molecules in the ingredients and it is superb at dissolving fats which also aids in enhancing the flavor of foods.

If you cook with wine you always want to make sure that you cook most of the alcohol out. If you don’t it will taste like alcohol and defeat the purpose of using it to enhance flavor. The best way to make sure that you’ve cooked the wine out is to let it reduce by half after adding it. The more it reduces the more delicious it becomes.

You may have heard the saying, “don’t cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink.” This is very true. “Cooking” wines don’t do for your dishes what a sophisticated, mature wine will do. For the most part, we only drink wine on biblical holidays but even though we don’t drink wine often, I know what a good wine tastes like just by smelling it and cooking with it.

Whites or Reds?

I use white wines with poultry, fish, and cream sauces.White tends to be more acidic and gives you a great flavor symphony when used in dishes. Cook for 15-20 minutes.

I prefer red for beef, bison, venison, and heavy vegetable dishes. Keep in mind that adding a red wine to any dish will add color to it. Red is also perfect for tomato based dishes. It deepens flavors and should be cooked for 30-45 minutes after adding to any dish.

Is it safe to cook with alcohol?

While not all of the alcohol will evaporate during the cooking process, the majority of it will and it is completely safe for consumption. One serving will contain significantly less alcohol than a dose of your most used cough syrup. The longer you cook the wine the more the alcohol evaporates.

Want to try it?

Start with something simple. My Cajun Shrimp and Grits is easy and delicious!

how to make cajun shrimp and grits

Pure Hope: Adding Hope and Biblical Truth to the Conversation on Purity

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PureHopeWhen I was growing up I didn’t have a purity ring. I didn’t have anyone to teach me the right way to handle situations. I did what I thought was normal even though instinctively I knew it was wrong. As a result I was pregnant for my late, former spouse before we were married and he was not the only man I’d ever shared myself with. I didn’t know why it was wrong until I gave my life to Christ at the age of 21, just a few weeks after I married my first husband.

It became even more obvious to me when I stepped out into youth ministry and began searching for themes for summer camps and youth conferences. Purity was a  hot topic. Though the scriptural foundation of abstinence and purity was on target the method of the message was lacking.  As I read about and pondered all the ways to illustrate why we should stay sexually pure I became a bit disgusted. The illustrations included having everyone spit into a cup and asking if anyone was willing to drink it. The point being that is what a person who has had multiple sexual partners is equal to: disgusting spit. Really, I could have cared less that this equated me with spit. What I cared about was the message, or lack thereof.

It bothered me immensely because it took the focus off of God and away from the atoning sacrifice of His precious son, Jesus Christ. It put the focus on a night of supposed honeymoon bliss between two sexually pure people. It put the focus on the pride of saying you saved yourself for marriage. It put the focus on self. Self earned accolades. I struggled to find Jesus in this message.

As I grew in my faith I began to see another dark side to the purity issue. The other extreme that says that there is freedom in exploring one’s sexual desires outside of the covenant of marriage and despite what the Bible commands. An extreme where the very essence of who God is, LOVE, is exploited in order to fulfill the lusts of ones flesh. God clearly defines love for us in 1 Corinthians 13 and it has nothing to do with feelings or desires. Both messages failed to point people to Christ but this other extreme was much too permissive about something that Jesus, the Word of God, strictly prohibits:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.  1 Corinthians 6:9-11

For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.  Ephesians 5:5

Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 1 Thessalonians 4:-18

I could go on and on with the scriptures that command that we abstain from sexual immorality (fornication, incest, homosexuality, bestiality, and orgies) but I think those are sufficient. It is a commandment from Leviticus 17-18. This is basic stuff. The problem is that over and over Christians have strayed from the Torah, the commands of God. We rewrite and rework them based on culture, time, preference, psychology, philosophy, desires and emotions. Then we blame God and say, “You made me this way.” Sound like a replay from the garden of Eden? Satan is consistent in his deception.

God created us with the ability to choose: good or bad. For each good decision we are blessed or rewarded. For each bad decision we receive just discipline or punishment. For each repentance we receive unmerited grace. That is the mighty LOVE of Jesus Christ at work. For those like me who did sin, who fell short, and who made the wrong decision – there is HOPE. There is Jesus. And as we seek Him and walk in His ways we are washed white as snow. We become pure not because of ourselves but because of Him. I honor my own body because I honor Him.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:1–2

My body is a living sacrifice.

How powerful is that?

After my first marriage ended I  didn’t feel like used goods. I felt like a “new creation in Christ” (Ephesians 2) just as He describes me to be. I shared myself with no other man until the night I married my forever husband. I chose to glorify the one I will spend eternity with: Jesus Christ. I chose to abstain from sex for no other reason but to honor Him. This has very little to do with me or sex and everything to do with my relationship with my Lord and Savior. I chose to be obedient to His Word and He enabled me. The rewards, though not all were as I expected, were plentiful and more than I could have hoped for.

There is always hope, always a second chance, for those who repent and are obedient to His Word.

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There are so many more women who contributed to this conversation today. I invite you to comment here and then visit the others. You can find links to their blogs here: Pure Hope: Bringing Grace and Truth to the Conversation About Purity

Recipes for Gravy – Make a Roux: Cajun Style, 3 Ways

how to make a roux

One of the most asked questions I get on my blog is about Cajun cooking. People want to know how to make a roux. They want recipes for gravy, Cajun style. I’m sharing how I make my basic roux, traditional black roux, and dry roux.

Black Roux

First, watch this video to see how to make a traditional black roux. I would have made a video but why bother when this is the perfect example of how we do it. Notice that he uses a wood spoon and constantly stirs. Also, pay attention as he describes the smells. These are the signals we look for when cooking a roux.

A black roux is mostly used for gumbos. It is more flavorful but it looses its ability to thicken the darker it gets.

60% Flour (I prefer King Arthur’s)
40% Fat (tallow, ghee, or other animal fat) – the fat must have a high smoke point

Basic Roux

For a basic roux which is used for stews, brown gravies, étouffées, and sauces you need flour (60%) and fat (40%). The difference with the basic roux is that we brown our meat first and use the fat rendered to make the roux. First, you season the meat well. Brown the meat in the pan ( I recommend cast iron, enameled cast iron, or stainless). Once the meat is browned remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon.

cajun cooking secrets

Add a small bit of additional fat if you need to in order to get to that 60/40 ratio. For one pot of stew I typically use 1 1/4 cups flour and 1 cup fat. That makes about 8-10 servings.

how to make a roux

Add the flour and begin to stir and be attentive just like the video shows.

how to make a roux 2

Once your roux is the color you want, add your water, broth, or stock. Beware of the intense heat that will bellow up. Stir to combine then add the meat back in and any other ingredients you want to add to your stew.

cajun roux recipe

Congratulations! You just made a roux!

Dry Roux

It is HOT here in Louisiana. During the summer I don’t want to stand in front of a hot stove stirring a roux so we tend to make lots of dry roux. The best part about a dry roux is that it requires much less fat than a traditional or basic roux.

Ingredients: 3-4 cups of flour

Evenly distribute the flour in the bottom of a cast iron skillet or other dutch oven. Stainless or enameled cast iron work as well. Place the dutch oven in a 400° F oven for an hour to an hour and a half depending on how dark you like your roux. You must stir every 15 minutes so set a timer. Be careful to stir it because you don’t want it to burn. Once it reaches a dark peanut butter color remove it from the oven.

dry roux recipe

To store it: Place in a canning jar or other container in the freezer. It will keep for up to a year.

To use it: Use the same amount of dry roux as a recipe calls for basic roux. If it says 1 cup then you need 1 cup of dry roux mixed with about 1/2 cup water. Or, you can just put the dry roux in the pot with you meat and seasonings.

I Used to Despise Women & Femininity


I am almost ashamed to admit this but… there was a time when I did not want to be a woman. Let me clarify this, I didn’t want to be a man or anything. I still wanted to be a female, I just didn’t want to act like a woman. You see, in the house where I grew up, my feminine role model was a bit out of sorts. Maybe you can relate?

My perception as a teenager was that my mother was a childlike, Rx addicted, bipolar mess. She would spend all of our money, blame it on PMS, then throw a pity party and invite us all. I watched her manipulate us with her emotions so many times and hurt us so deeply that I swore I would never be anything like her. For me, that meant no crying, no vulnerability, no emotional attachment. I especially strayed from relationships with women. It seemed as though all of my best girl friends always betrayed me or reminded me of my mother in some way.

I didn’t let men open doors for me. That showed weakness. I told you I was a bit warped. In fact, I used to have a saying that I would use anytime I caught myself being emotional or feminine, I would say, “Ugh, I’m such a girl”. I despised it. It took years of praying and heartfelt repentance to bring me to a new place. But still, it wasn’t easy.

God answered my prayers though. He put two gentlemen in my life who saw what a mess I was and I honestly believe God used them to retrain me. When we were out and about they refused to let me open a door, pump gas, carry heavy things, and all of that other stuff. One of them, in one of the weakest moments of my life when I did cry said to me, “Don’t hide your face when you cry. It’s OK.” He was right. It was OK. The other reminded me constantly that I was indeed a girl and it was more than okay to act like one.

Had these two friends not been in my life I don’t think I ever would have accepted my husband when I met him. He was too much of a gentleman. He does so much for me, carrying in groceries, opening doors, cleans up, makes me ice cream, carries my books, and so much more and I love it! He makes me feel like a woman! This truly is what God meant for our lives as women. We are the soft, gentle, sometimes emotional ones. I embrace that now. I find joy in feminine things.

And my mom, the woman I resisted for so long, is now mom again. A few years God intervened in our life in a mighty way. She developed some health problems that caused her kidneys to almost completely shut down. We thought we were going to lose her. God healed her body and our hearts. Things haven’t been the same since. My self righteous attitude towards her is gone now. I began to see her as a person and not as a reason and excuse for my behavior. She is a wonderful woman with so much to offer. We still have a ways to go in our relationship but it is improving even daily.


I’m also letting other women in. I’ve embraced friendships and accepted the fact that sometimes, we fail but love doesn’t. If I love my friends and they love me then we will make it. I won’t say it’s easy. My protective stance still wants to jump in and push people away but I have found speaking God’s Word, His truth, over our relationships has helped tremendously. I invest in them and they invest in me.

I’ve come a long way. I’m embracing and striving for femininity more and more every day and my friends and I? We’re running this race together. My life is so fulfilled now that I don’t let my fears hinder me.

Sometimes our pasts do mold and shape us. However, it is up to us as to whether or not we allow God, the Potter, to reshape us. His way is better.

How to Make Deodorant – All Natural Deodorant Recipe

deodorant recipe

deodorant recipe

In my quest to lead a healthier, more natural lifestyle, I knew I had to find a new deodorant. There is too much research to suggest that some of the ingredients in commercial deodorants cause cancer or at least create an atmosphere for cancer to grow and thrive. We won’t get into the claims that it may contribute to alzheimer’s. To me, looking at what evidence does exist and the fact that these diseases are on the rise in countries and during our time when these products are readily available (and hardly ever questioned) is enough proof that we should just use something we know is safe.

That’s smart, right? Besides, I hate paying $5 for deodorant. This costs pennies on the dollar.

This is the most basic deodorant recipe. I find it works very well and you only need a little. I had to get used to applying it differently but after a couple of days it didn’t phase me one bit.

deodorant recipe that works

Basic Deodorant

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder (you can substitute cornstarch but some find that irritating to their skin)
  • 5 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • Essential oils (optional – I used 7 drops of lavender and 4 drops of tea tree)

Mix everything together in a bowl and place in a sterilized, glass container for storage. To use, swipe fingers in mixture and apply to underarms. If you can get past the fact that this isn’t a stick or a spray then you will be in for a treat!

infused coconut oil

If you want something a bit more softening and feminine then I suggest infusing your coconut oil prior to using it in the recipe. It’s super easy and gives the deodorant that added boost. The lavender also helps with irritation from shaving.

To infuse the oil (by the way I infuse so many different things: olive oil, vinegar, you name it!) you will need the following:

  • dried lavender
  • dried chamomile
  • dried calendula
  • coconut oil
  • glass jar

I get my ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs but you can also find them on Amazon or at your local health food stores.

infused coconut oil for homemade deodorant

Gather your ingredients. Using about 2 cups of oil (melted) and a total of 1 cup of dried flowers (I mix them up) put all ingredients in the glass jar. Set out in the sun or on a window ledge for 4-5 days to allow the flowers to permeate the oil. After a few days, strain the oil using a coffee filter or cheese cloth. Use filtered oil to make deodorant. You’ll LOVE it!

I received several questions about how I filter the oil so here is a video to show you. Here are links to the products I use (affiliate) Japanese dripper and coffee pot.



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