Homeschool Programs

We offer outdoor nature and science experiences to homeschool groups and individuals. Bring your student or a whole group to the Preserve for a field trip where we can explore, have a picnic, and more! You can even schedule a semester-length recurring education program.

Blue Heron's Homeschool Field Education Center Discovery Series

We value outdoor exploration and learning experiences that emerge from immersing ourselves in the natural world. We have built four Field Education Centers that nurture environmental education- one for each distinct habitat found in the Preserve: Riparian, Woodland, Wetland, and Meadow.

Homeschool groups can enjoy learning in one, or all four, of our Field Education Centers with a Blue Heron naturalist educator.

Our educators can help your group choose an appropriate theme for your series and how long the series will last. We offer the option to book a single Field Education Center Discovery program before you commit to a whole series!

Program details and pricing:

Pricing depends on the length of your program and group size.

A 2-hour Field Education Center Discovery Program: $125.00 for up to 10 children ages 4-13 years with 1 Blue Heron educator.

A 2-hour program Field Education Center Discovery Program: $210.00 for up to 20 children ages 4-13 years with 2 Blue Heron educators.

Please contact Amy Zvonar, Education Director, (amyz@bhnp.org or 404.946.6394, ext. 1) if your group wishes to participate in a 3-hour, or longer, program. 

Frequency Options:

Single Program: Your group will spend their 2-hours at the Field Education Center of their choice. The focus of the program will be on learning about the habitat through outdoor play and exploration. Your Blue Heron educator/s will document the experience through photographs, writing down questions and statements from program participants, and facilitating activities like drawing and sketching, building and constructing, or data-collecting that will demonstrate what children are learning. 

Monthly Program: Your group will meet once a month for a minimum of 3 months, or up to 9 months. The monthly program is available September - May, and groups may schedule the program on any day of the week Monday through Friday. Some weekend availability is possible.  Groups may choose to explore one Field Education Center and its surrounding habitat in depth, or visit several Field Education Centers and compare and contrast the areas they explore. 

Weekly Program: Your group may visit us once a week for a minimum of 3 weeks and up to a maximum of 28 weeks. The weekly program is available September - May, and groups may schedule the program on any day of the week Monday through Friday. Discounted pricing is available to groups who come more than 6 consecutive weeks. Learning opportunities will emerge from your groups immersion in the habitats at our various Field Education Centers. Your Blue Heron educator/s will document each week's experience and plan for new learning opportunities or extensions of current explorations based on the questions, statements, and actions of the participants. 

Examples of Series Themes: 

The individual needs and interests of your homeschool group will be influential in creating a series that immerses children in exploration and discovery of the natural world. These examples are intended to help you think about the possibilities for your group, but programs are not limited to these themes.

Nature Journaling: Discover the art of nature journaling as we explore our Field Education Center(s). Children will make their own nature journal by practicing writing about and drawing observations of the natural world. 

Becoming a Naturalist: Children will discover plants, animals, soils, rocks, fungi and more as they play and explore at our Field Education Center(s). They will build connections to all the natural elements of the world, including their own individual functions. Children's knowledge and ability to tell one plant or one bird from another comes from exploring the outdoors. 

Booking and other details:

You must contact Amy Zvonar, Education Director, to book a Field Education Center Discovery Series: amyz@bhnp.org or 404.946.6394, ext. 1.

The series is open to children ages 4 years - 13 years. Parents/Guardians and older/younger siblings may stay with the group without paying a fee, but we ask that adults be responsible for their non-participating children. Parents/Guardians may also drop-off their child.

Programs will run rain or shine. In the case of extreme weather, groups may use our indoor classroom or choose to schedule a rain date. 

Programs must be paid for 2 weeks in advance. Program fees are non-refundable, but can be applied towards a future program. If Blue Heron cancels the program for any reason, a full refund will be issued.

At Home Outdoors: Eco-Adventures for Homeschoolers Series

WITH The BLUE HERON NATURE PRESERVE, THE ATLANTA AUDUBON SOCIETY, AND THE AMPHIBIAN FOUNDATION

Be a part of our outdoor, nature and ecology-based homeschool program for ages 5-12! Each month, we investigate a different topic related to urban ecology and utilize the woods, meadows and waterways of Blue Heron as a living lab. 

Our inquiry-based programs are facilitated by environmental education professionals representing three incredible non-profits, and the majority of our time is spent outside, so be ready to explore!

Scheduling Details:
September 2018 through May from 10 am to 12 pm.
2nd Friday of every month
$15/child or $50 for Fall Semester (4 sessions, September-December)

Registration is required at least 24 hours prior to the program. Drop-Ins will be charged $18.00 at the door. Parents/Guardians may drop off their participating children ages 5-12 or remain for the program. Parents/Guardians and siblings age 4 and under are free. Children ages 4 and under must be accompanied by an adult guardian at all times.   

Program Dates & Details:

September 14th, 2018: "Hummingbirds: Magic in the Skies"

with the Atlanta Audubon Society

Join us to kick-off the new school year with a birding program from Atlanta Audubon Society!

Program Description:
How does a bird that weighs only as much as a penny make a nonstop flight across an ocean?! Believe it or not, many Ruby-throated Hummingbirds cross the Gulf of Mexico twice a year as they migrate between their nesting grounds and winter homes, and they have many other amazing abilities as well!

Join us for an up-close look at Atlanta Audubon’s ambassador hummingbird, Shep, and discover the remarkable adaptations that make hummingbirds so unique. We’ll also learn about the dangers these birds face as they undertake their migrations and participate in our own "migration
challenge." 

October 12th, 2018: "Lizards, lizards, lizards!!"

with the Amphibian Foundation

Program Description:

There are many kinds of lizards in our world! We are going to take an in-depth look at different lizards and their behaviors. What do they eat? How do they spend their time? Where do they come from? Join us to find out!

November 9th, 2018: "Whooo's Who: Owls of Georgia"

with the Atlanta Audubon Society

Program Description:
Owls are fascinating. Predatory, mainly nocturnal birds with specialized adaptations for hunting, owls are found in almost all types of habitats and play a key role in their ecological communities.

In this program, students will learn about Georgia’s native owl species, exploring their unique adaptations and their importance in the food web. We’ll even dissect an owl pellet to see what was on the menu! Students are always excited to take home the small bones they find!

December 14th, 2018: "Incredible Trees"

with the Blue Heron Nature Preserve

Program Description:
It may be cold in December, but trees are still doing incredible things! We'll discover the world of trees at Blue Heron through activities like tree climbing, log balancing, and even stick fort building!

Our hands-on exploration will encourage us to think like a tree, and discover the many important contributions trees make to our world throughout the year. Our program will culminate in a creative art workshop- where we will make decorations for our very own "Eco-Adventures" tree on the trails at Blue Heron!

Our newly decorated tree will be included in Blue Heron's Festival of Native Trees celebration, and be on view for hundreds of visitors to see why we think trees are incredible!