Homeschool Nature Programs

Our homeschool nature programs are recognized internationally as being at the forefront of the nature connection movement. We utilize core routines of nature awareness and cultural mentoring techniques to connect kids to the land, themselves, and each other. We offer homeschool nature immersion programs for ages 3 to 18. 

 


2018-19 Registration

The following classes are open for new registrations:

Tuesday Nest to Fledge (Woodside)

Tuesday Nest to Fledge (Monterey)

Tuesday Kestrels (Monterey)

Tuesday Newts (Santa Cruz)

Tuesday Kestrels (Santa Cruz)

Wednesday Kestrels (Santa Cruz)

Wednesday Teens (Santa Cruz)

Wednesday Newts (Santa Cruz)

Thursday Newts (Woodside)

Thursday Kestrels (Woodside)

NEW!!  Garden Nature Program (Thursdays in Felton, CA) ages 6-12 (email bvargo@riekes.org for more information on this class).

To register in one of these classes, please email nature@riekes.org.  All other homeschool nature programs are closed to new enrollments. To join the waitlist for your preferred program, click here:  join the wait list


NEST TO FLEDGE

3-5.5 years old, plus parent. 9 am to 1 pm. Huddart Park (Woodside) Tuesdays. UCSC Arboretum (Santa Cruz) Wednesdays. Pebble Beach (Monterey) Tuesdays. For classes held in Santa Cruz, the program includes membership to the UCSC Arboretum. More information


NEWTS

5.5-8 years olds. 9 am to 3 pm.  Huddart Park Thursdays and Fridays.  UCSC Arboretum Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Pebble Beach (Monterey) Tuesdays. For classes held in Santa Cruz, the program includes membership to the UCSC Arboretum.  More Information


KESTRELS

9-12 years old. 9 am to 3 pm. Huddart Park Thursdays, and Fridays. UCSC Arboretum Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Pebble Beach (Monterey) Tuesdays. For classes held in Santa Cruz, the program includes membership to the UCSC Arboretum.  More Information


TEENS

13-18 years old. 9 am to 3 pm. UCSC Arboretum Wednesdays. Huddart Park Fridays. For classes held in Santa Cruz, the program includes membership to the UCSC Arboretum.. More information


Our curriculum focuses on the core routines of nature awareness, which include

Hazard identification
Experiential games
Journaling
Tracking
Sit spots (choosing a spot in nature to visit on a regular basis)
Extended wanders
Plant uses (medicinal, edible, and traditional uses)
Storytelling
Music
Hands-on wild crafting and survival skills
Sensory awareness training
The language of the birds


Each program meets once per week for 4-6 hours from fall through spring, for a total of 30 weeks. Our programs run Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in 3 locations: Huddart Park (Woodside)  and UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, and Pebble Beach (Monterey). Each day begins with a large group circle where students share appreciation, and it ends with the “story of the day.” We break into small groups (ratio of 8-9 students per instructor) for hands-on skills training and explorations of the landscape. Parents are invited for opening and closing circles and each season for “family days.”  Our teen program includes two 5-day expedition camping trips (transportation included), and one 3-day campout. The KESTREL program includes two, 3 day camping trips, once in the fall and once in the spring.  The Nest to Fledge and NEWTS programs include one two-day family campout, usually in mid fall or spring.



Pricing, Questions & Registration Information

Please contact the nature admin team at: nature@riekes.org

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available for all of our programs. We seek to provide educational opportunities regardless of income; please select the option to apply for a scholarship during your program enrollment. In addition to direct scholarships, we offer work-trade opportunities through our Community Service program for some of our departments.