Homeschool Programs

Our Homeschool programs—both Hitchcock Homeschool and Homeschool Discovery Days—provide children with science and nature themes designed to encourage thoughtful curiosity. This year-round homeschool program provides innovative curriculum to help children ages 6–12 develop the skills and competencies they need to become environmentally literate.

Registration for Winter and some Spring Children & Family programs opens on Friday, November 30, 2018.
Click HERE to register for a program.
Please note: Membership renewal is no longer a part of program registration. Please renew your membership here.

Financial aid available. Click here to learn more.

Did you know that your EBT card can be used to access membership and programs at the Hitchcock Center? Learn more about the EBT Card to Culture Program.

Non-refundable within a week of the program, all refunds incur a 10% administrative fee.

Homeschool I: Animals That Build

With Katie Koerten
Tuesdays, 10:00am – 2:00pm
March 12 – June 4 (No program April 2, 16, May 7)
Members: $450/Non-members: $560

They don’t use blueprints or fancy tools, but animals can be amazing builders by using natural materials like leaves, sticks and even spit! Whether it’s for nests, homes, camouflage or catching prey, animals have a lot of reasons for their architecture. At this homeschool session we will explore the construction skills of animals and build creations of our own. While we study animals, we will also think about human architecture: we will learn about the features of Hitchcock Center’s “Living Building” and the choices we made to make our building kind to the planet. Hikes, home projects, games and field trips are all part of the fun! Limited to 15 participants per age group.

Homeschool II: Spring into Citizen Science

With Jeff Mazur
Tuesdays, 10:00am-2:00pm
March 12 – June 4 (No program April 2, 16, May 7)
Members: $450/Non-members: $560

Spring is an amazing time of year! As the natural world begins to wake up from winter there are lots of changes happening. As part of Spring into Citizen Science – we will become researchers. Working with scientists on local and national science projects, collecting data that matters! For this homeschool series we will dive into different science projects and asking lots of questions, such as: What do spotted salamanders do in spring? Who are our local migrating fish, and why do they migrate? When do flowers bloom and buds burst? And more! Kids can offer a new way of looking at an issue, so bring your scientific mind, observation skills and unique perspective to our class. Through observation, special guests, field trips, and surveys, we will study the world around us and contribute to science while also having fun, exploring and playing games.

Homeschool Discovery Days

with Katie Koerten or Jeff Mazur
Tuesdays 10am-2pm
September 11, October 2, November 6, December 11

Members: $45 per program/Non-members: $55 per program
Ages 6-12

Do you love science and nature? Do you want to see what the Hitchcock Homeschool program is all about? Sign up for our Discovery Days, our one-time programs about science and nature. In a mixed-age setting, we explore cool topics at the Hitchcock Center, meet science experts, and sometimes go on field trips. Our Discovery Day programs are appropriate for everyone from first time to veteran homeschoolers, and we welcome almost-6 year olds who are interested in joining our class in the spring. This is designed as a drop-off program. Limited to 12 participants per program.

January 15: Animal Tracks and Signs with Jeff Mazur
The winter is a fantastic time to look for who is living in the forest. At this program we will learn how to spot tracks and signs, and venture out into the woods to test our skills. When we come back in we will make track stories about what we found or from our own imagination.

January 29: Snowflakes and Crystals with Jeff Mazur
Have you ever taken the time to notice the beauty of a snowflake? We will learn about “Snowflake” Bentley, who spent his life photographing snowflakes, appreciate how these and other crystals form, and go on a winter adventure!

February 5: EcoQuest with Jeff Mazur
Bring your riddle solving clues and sharp eyes as we go on an adventure. At this program we will go on a outdoor quest to find a treasure hidden in the woods. Then we will hide our own treasures, create treasure maps that lead to them, and see if our friends in class can find what we hid!

March 5: Life of a Tree with Katie Koerten
How much do you know about trees? It’s a great time of year to compare bark, branches and twigs and study the makeup of the forest. Indoors we’ll become a tree and act out what’s happening inside the trunk, and then we’ll venture into the woods to appreciate trees at all stages of their lives.

April 2: Composting with Worms with Jeff Mazur
How do you make your garden grow? With compost, of course! We will get to meet some worms and their composting compatriots both in the classroom and in the wild. We will also make our own mini worm bins to take home!

May 7: Mountains and Valleys with Katie Koerten
Travel to Skinner State Park to explore some of the most fascinating geology in the world on Mount Holyoke! We’ll go back in time as we imagine the geologic events that took place millions of years ago right under our feet, and see the proof in the rocks. This field trip involves a hike that is strenuous at times.

June 11: Life in a Pond with Katie Koerten
Living in the pond isn’t easy, but dragonflies nymphs, whirligig beetles and and giant water bugs have what it takes! At this class we’ll learn about the amazing adaptations that aquatic insects have to survive, then we’ll take the PVTA to Bramble Hill Farm to collect and observe a wonderful diversity of live specimens!

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Hitchcock Center for the Environment