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. Classes for the Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 Catalog are:

PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN AGE 5 – 8:

Creative Arts and Storytelling in the Wild
This exciting class offers children creative invitations to explore the scientific inquiry process through literature and the arts. Poetry, Native American stories, folk tales, clay work, journaling, dramatic play and music will guide us each day. Child-led investigations encourage deep curiosity as we explore the rich diversity of plant and wildlife habitats at Irvine.
Ages: 5-8 years old
Times: 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Fall 2018 Dates:
Tuesdays, Sept. 11 – Dec. 11 (no class on 11/20)
Spring 2019 Dates:
Tuesdays, Feb. 26 – May 28 (no class on 4/16)
Prices$375 / session for Members; $455 / session for Non-members

Science in a Trail Bag
Exploration of our woods, wetlands, streams, meadows, and ponds provide children limitless opportunities to investigate hidden nature gems. The tools we pack or find in our special class trail bag will help fuel our creativity with hand-on/minds-on investigations!
Ages: 5-8 years old
Times: 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Fall 2018 Dates:
Wednesdays, Sept. 12 – Dec. 12 (no class on 11/21)
Spring 2019 Dates:
Wednesdays, Feb. 27- May 29 (no class on 4/17 ) 
Prices$375 / session for Members; $455 / session for Non-members

The Art and Science of the Land
We will discover the fascinating secrets of Irvine by exploring and replicating eco-artists like Holt, Smithson and Goldsworthy, among others. The children will blend ephemeral art, STEM and natural materials, with environmental forces such as wind, water and sunlight! Sketching, sculpture, and photography will teach us the science behind each location, and enhance our connection to the land.   An optional field trip to the Baltimore Visionary Arts Museum will be offered.
Ages: 5-8 years old
Times: 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Fall 2018 Dates: 
Thursdays, Sept.13  – Dec. 13  (no class on 11/22) 
Spring 2019 Dates:
Thursdays, Feb. 28 – May 30  –  (no class on 4/18)
Prices$375 / session for Members; $455 / session for Non-members

 

PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN AGE 9 – 14:

Living Off of the Land (Fall 2018) 
This class provides a unique opportunity for older learners to explore Irvine’s 210 acres, once inhabited by Native American and colonial settlers. The original property as well as the new Bauer Preserve will become the landscape for learning life sustaining skills in this unique adventure class. Creativity, teamwork and problem solving skills will guide children as they explore the ecosystems, flora and fauna specific to our Piedmont region. Opportunities for building shelters, identifying and sampling edibles and surviving the elements will abound.
Ages: 9-14 years old
Times: 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Fall 2018 Dates:
Tuesdays, Sept. 11 – Dec. 11 (no class on 11/20)
Prices$375 / session for Members; $455 / session for Non-members

Living Wetlands: Nurseries of Life (Spring 2019)
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 many waterways and wetlands. Students will develop a deeper understanding of the importance of these unique habitats and the necessity of protecting them.
Ages: 9-14 years old
Times: 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Spring 2019 Dates:
Tuesdays, Feb. 26 – May 28 (no class on 4/16 ) 
Prices$375 / session for Members; $455 / session for Non-members

 

WINTER 2019 SEMESTER FOR CHILDREN AGE 5 – 11:

Winter Session: Winter Patterns in Nature
Hiking throughout Irvine’s woods, meadows and waterways in the wintertime, we will see the natural world differently! Without color and blooms, we will explore the fascinating new patterns of nature. Content areas may include winter mammals and birds, hibernation and adaptation, geometric patterns, tracking, ice sculpture and ice painting, and water play in winter.
Ages: 5-11
Times: 1:00-4:00
Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays
January 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, 31; February 5, 7
Prices: $240 / session for Members; $280 / session for Non-members