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: Farm & Forage to Table, Forest Explorers, STEM – Nature Style and Biomimicry: Nature Got There First! 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 Brochure for full descriptions.

Farm & Forage to Table

This program offers young gardeners and chefs the opportunity to engage in the process of harvesting, preparing, sharing, and celebrating local foods. From seasonal foraging of edible plants on Irvine’s property to local farms’ fall bounty, children will practice knife skills, food preparation, sustainability, and recipe taste testing. This class offers a mix of wild investigations and playing with food for delicious results. Specific interdisciplinary skills include food science and historical food preparation, as well as a farm field trip.

Ages: 5-8 years old (Monday OR Tuesday), 9-13 years old (Thursday)
Times: 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Dates: See below

Fall 2017
Mondays, Sept. 11 – Dec. 11 (no class on 11/20)
Tuesdays, Sept. 12 – Dec. 12 (no class on 11/21)
Thursday, Sept. 14- Dec. 14 (no class on 11/23)

Spring 2018
Mondays, Feb. 26 – June 4 (no class on 3/26 or 5/28)
Tuesdays, Feb. 27 – May 29 (no class on 3/27)
Thursdays, March 1- May 31 (no class on 3/29)

Prices: $375 / session for Members, $455 / session for Non-members

 

Forest Explorers

Each season brings color and wonder to Irvine’s beautiful property. Children will use observations in nature to learn the lessons of plants, animals, and ecosystems. Child led exploration of our woods, wetlands, streams, meadows, and ponds provide limitless opportunities to build magical relationships with the land and with friends. This program runs exclusively outdoors.

Ages: 5-8 years old
Times: 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Fall 2017 Forest Explorers: Under the Autumn Canopy
Wednesdays, Sept. 13 – Dec. 13 (no class on 11/22)

Spring 2018  Forest Explorers: The Woodlands Awakening
Wednesdays, Feb. 28 – May 30 (no class on 3/28)

Prices: $375 / session for Members, $455 / session for Non-members

STEM – Nature Style

STEM integration engages students’ inquiry, critical thinking, collaboration, and investigation skills across the content areas of: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. At Irvine we also add an A for Art because beauty and creativity surround us. What better place to do all of this then the great outdoors? Our natural setting allows children unlimited opportunities to explore and build using a variety of tools and natural materials. Let’s build a ramp, bridge, shelter, or launching device. Let’s explore log rolling or the wonders of pulleys. The possibilities are endless!

Ages: 5-8 years old

Times: 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Fall 2017
Thursdays, Sept. 14 – Dec. 14 (no class on 11/23)

Spring 2018
Thursdays, Mar. 1 – May 31 (no class on 3/29)

Prices: $375 / session for Members, $455 / session for Non-members

 

Biomimicry: Nature Got There First!

This class provides a unique opportunity for older learners to explore plant and animal adaptations found in our local Piedmont region of Maryland. Students gain insight and inspiration from what they observe, draw, photograph and journal. Our ecosystems, flora and fauna may inspire young explorers to design new innovations, much like engineers in the field. Bring your hiking boots, creativity, and best brainstorming ideas for weekly adventures.

Ages: 9-13 years old (Tuesdays)

Times: 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Fall 2017
Tuesdays, Sept. 12 – Dec. 12 (no class on 11/21)

Spring 2018
Tuesdays, Feb. 27 – May 29 (no class on 3/27)

Prices: $375 / session for Members, $455 / session for Non-members

This program runs exclusively outdoors and incorporates multiple areas of learning including science, mathematics, social studies, art, music, health and physical development.

AGE REQUIREMENTS
Students must be age 5 by Sept. 1 turning 6 during the program year (not otherwise eligible for The Nature Preschool). Age requirements are strictly enforced to ensure developmentally appropriate activities and high quality experience for students.

REGISTRATION
For questions or assistance enrolling your child, contact Beth Savitz at 443-738-9215. Registration begins on July 10, 2017.

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.