Earth Friends

The Earth Friends home school program is designed to connect children with nature. We promote respect for nature and each other through a nurturing, student-centered environment. Hikes, live animal encounters and open-ended wild nature play are integral to our learning each day.

Four class options invite a tailored approach to home school studies: Native Communities, Forest Explorers, Animals of Irvine and Living Wetlands: Nurseries of Life lay the foundation for science and social studies through engaging nature-based activities. Courses may be taken separately or as a suite. At the culmination of each semester, your child will have documentation for his/her home school portfolio.

Review our Earth Friends Homeschool brochure for full descriptions.

Spring Semester 2017

Native Communities

Mondays or Tuesdays, 1-3:30 p.m.
February 27 or 28 – May 29 or 30 (no class April 10 or 11)
Ages 5-8
$350/semester members, $425/semester non-members

This program introduces children to communities native to the Maryland area, and specifically Irvine. Topics include Native Americans, colonial settlers, native plant communities, native animal communities, ecosystem studies, etc. Outdoor exploration and activities incorporate literacy, social studies, science and creative arts (visual arts, music, dramatic play, etc.).

Forest Explorers

Wednesdays, 1-3:30 p.m.
March 1 – May 31 (no class April 12)
Ages 5-8
$350/semester members, $425/semester non-members

The woodlands whisper their secrets during child-initiated exploration of Irvine’s vast property. Children use tools and resources to discover the hidden wonders of the forest, meadow, stream, pond and wetlands. Interdisciplinary skill development includes science, math, social studies, art, music, health and physical growth. This program runs exclusively outdoors.

Animals of Irvine

Thursdays, 1-3:30 p.m.
March 2 – June 1 (no class April 13)
Ages 5-8
$350/semester members, $425/semester non-members

Biology and science skills abound as children study Maryland’s native animals including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Activities align with the seasonal habits of animals. Exploration, observation, experimentation and documentation of discoveries are all part of our learning processes.

Living Wetlands: Nurseries of Life

Mondays, 1-3:30 p.m.
February 27 – May 29 (no class April 10)
Ages 9-12
$350/semester members, $425/semester non-members

Irvine’s 210 acres transform as winter snow melts, streams begin to flow and the wetlands come to life. Exploration, observation and documentation will guide children as they explore Irvine’s waterways and wetlands. Sights and sounds abound as flora and fauna sprout and grow all around. Students will develop a deeper understanding of the importance of these unique habitats and the importance of protecting them. This program runs exclusively outdoors and incorporates multiple areas of learning including science, mathematics, social studies, art, music, health and physical development.

Students must be age 5 by Sept. 1 turning 6 during the program year (not otherwise eligible for The Nature Preschool). Maximum age is 8 (or 12 for Living Wetlands: Nurseries of Life). Age requirements are strictly enforced to ensure developmentally appropriate activities and high quality experience for students.

For questions or assistance enrolling your child, contact Beth Savitz at 443-738-9215. You will receive an email to confirm your registration along with an emergency form and release form. These must be submitted by September 1 for fall sessions and February 1 for spring sessions. No child may attend without a completed release form and emergency form.

Homeschool Programs

There is no better classroom than the outdoors. Irvine offers 11 different field trips that provide students of all ages meaningful outdoor experiences. In addition to those field trip topics, home school groups can work with Irvine to arrange programs tailored to their science curriculum. Learn more from our field trip programs page.