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Homeschool Programs

Families with homeschooled children ages 2–13 can participate in hands-on learning experiences during Riverbanks’ Homeschool Monday programs throughout the school year. Animal enthusiasts, budding gardeners, and knee-high naturalists can find a variety of experiences to catch their interest.

Zoo Program Offerings

for Ages 5–12

Enjoy a new class each month for homeschool children ages 5–12. Each class focuses on a particular zoo topic and includes hands-on activities at the Colonial Life Discovery Center.

Scheduled Programs

Disappearing Dinos

  • Monday, September 16 @ 10:00–11:15am
  • Monday, September 23 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm
  • Monday, September 30 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm

Explore the prehistoric creatures that once roamed the earth and the environmental changes that pushed them towards extinction.

Take to the Skies

  • Monday, October 14 @ 10:00–11:15am
  • Monday, October 21 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm
  • Monday, October 28 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm

Embark on an avian adventure exploring the adaptations that allow birds to take flight.

Coastal Carolina

  • Monday, November 11 @ 10:00–11:15am
  • Monday, November 18 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm
  • Monday, November 25 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm

Dive deeper to understand marine environments and explore how the decisions we make every day affect watery habitats.

Conservation Superheroes

  • Monday, December 2 @ 10:00–11:15am
  • Monday, December 9 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm
  • Monday, December 16 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm

Discover the inspiring people and programs that tirelessly work to conserve wild places and species.

Found in Nature

  • Monday, January 13 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm
  • Monday, January 27 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm

Investigate where the natural resources we use in our day-to-day lives originate and the ways we manage their use.

Going Green

  • Monday, February 10 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm
  • Monday, February 24 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm

Apply your conservation knowledge to adopt new green practices and discover sustainable technologies.

Back from the Brink

  • Monday, March 9 @ 10:00–11:15am
  • Monday, March 16 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm
  • Monday, March 23 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm

Explore the species locally and globally that have successfully begun to recover after previously facing extinction.

Powerful Pollinators

  • Monday, April 6 @ 10:00–11:15am
  • Monday, April 20 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm
  • Monday, April 27 @ 10:00–11:15am / 1:00–2:15pm

Learn the important role of bees, butterflies, bugs and birds in the health of our planet and construct a pollinator hotel to welcome them to your yard this spring.

Program Details

  • Birthdate Ranges :

    Ages 5–6 = 10/1/12 – 9/30/14

    Ages 7–9 = 10/1/09 – 9/30/12

    Ages 10–12 = 10/1/07 – 9/30/09

  • Cost :

    $8 per participating student. Note: If you are not a Riverbanks member, a general admission ticket will also be required.

  • Capacity :

    Age group capacities vary from 15 to 20 maximum students.

  • Availability :

    Programs take place 2 or 3 times a month, September through April, and run 75–90 minutes.

  • Location :

    Colonial Life Discovery Center (at the Zoo).

  • Registration :

    Register online at least 10 days in advance of the class. Please note that Zoo admission is separate from your Homeschool registration. Please meet the instructors at the Waterfall Junction Learning Center 10 minutes prior to the class time. PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.

Garden Program Offerings

for Ages 7–13

Enjoy a new class each month for homeschool children ages 7–13. Each class focuses on a particular garden or nature topic and includes hands-on activities at the Riverbanks Botanical Garden.

Scheduled Programs

Plant Dissection

  • Monday, September 16 @ 1:30–2:45pm
  • Monday, September 23 @ 1:30–2:45pm

Participants will discover what is happening inside of a plant as we take apart a flower, create a model of a plant and investigate how plants grow, function and reproduce. (straw flower, flower dissection)

The Dirt on Soil

  • Monday, October 14 @ 1:30–2:45pm
  • Monday, October 21 @ 1:30–2:45pm

Understanding what your plants get from the ground is half the battle to becoming a good gardener. We will dig deep into the secret life of soil and how we can compost to turn our trash into great soil for plants. (compost, soil layers and textures, watering techniques)

Practical Gardening

  • Monday, November 11 @ 1:30–2:45pm
  • Monday, November 18 @ 1:30–2:45pm

Most homeowners don’t have a huge space for growing vegetables, so this class will teach children how to grow a few plants in small spaces, containers and other creative ways. We will also get hands-on experience handling transplants and getting plants from the greenhouse to the ground. (containers, soil bag gardening, square foot gardening)

Plant Needs

  • Monday, December 2 @ 1:30–2:45pm
  • Monday, December 9 @ 1:30–2:45pm

If a plant’s needs are met, you can make it grow anywhere, anytime! We will talk about tricky ways to make a plant grow when you want it as we make plant people and force bulbs to bloom out of season.

Hydroponics

  • Monday, January 13 @ 1:30–2:45pm
  • Monday, January 27 @ 1:30–2:45pm

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil. We will create mini-hydroponics containers for the kids to grow their own lettuce while discussing the importance of knowing what nutrients a plant needs to thrive and the benefits of growing a plant without soil.

Propagation

  • Monday, February 10 @ 1:30–2:45pm
  • Monday, February 24 @ 1:30–2:45pm

Plants naturally reproduce to keep on growing. We will experiment with different ways of growing new plants from seed, roots, leaves and stems. (mini-greenhouse, gallon greenhouse)

Harvesting

  • Monday, March 16 @ 1:30–2:45pm
  • Monday, March 23 @ 1:30–2:45pm

Growing your own veggies is only good if you know how to properly harvest, use and store them! We will harvest different vegetables and herbs and make a tasty treat fresh from the garden.

Beneficial Insects

  • Monday, April 20 @ 1:30–2:45pm
  • Monday, April 27 @ 1:30–2:45pm

Insects go hand-in-hand with gardening. Learning which bugs are our friends and which to watch out for leads to a healthier environment for the plants in your garden.

Medicinal Plants

  • Monday, May 4 @ 1:30–2:45pm
  • Monday, May 18 @ 1:30–2:45pm

Many traditional medicines are rooted in herbs that are commonly grown in gardens. We will explore the healing world of herbs and how different parts of plants can be used in a variety of ways to form salves, syrups and teas.

Program Details

  • Birthdate Ranges :

    Ages 7–9 = 10/1/09 – 9/30/12

    Ages 10–13 = 10/1/06 – 9/30/09

  • Cost :

    $8 per participating student. Note: If you are not a Riverbanks member, a general admission ticket will also be required.

  • Capacity :

    Age group capacities vary from 15 to 20 maximum students.

  • Availability :

    Programs take place 2 times a month, September through May, and run 75–90 minutes.

  • Location :

    The Waterfall Junction Learning Center at Riverbanks Botanical Garden.

  • Registration :

    Register online at least 10 days in advance of the class. Please note that Zoo admission is separate from your Homeschool registration. Please meet the instructors at the Waterfall Junction Learning Center 10 minutes prior to the class time. PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.

Little Learners

for Ages 2–5 with an adult

Enjoy a new class each month for homeschool children ages 2–5 with an adult. Each class focuses on a particular zoo topic and includes hands-on activities at the Farm Classroom.

Scheduled Programs

Digging for Dinos

  • Monday, September 16 @ 10:15–11:00am
  • Monday, September 23 @ 10:15–11:00am

Do you dig dinosaurs? Discover some fascinating facts about these beasts of long ago and meet some of our living animal ambassadors with dinosaur-like traits.

Birds of Prey

  • Monday, October 14 @ 10:15–11:00am
  • Monday, October 21 @ 10:15–11:00am

Did you know that birds can be fierce flying hunters? Explore the lives of hawks, owls, eagles, falcons and vultures to learn what makes them special.

Sea Turtles

  • Monday, November 11 @ 10:15–11:00am
  • Monday, November 18 @ 10:15–11:00am

Dive into the mysterious lives of sea turtles! Learn how these ocean dwelling creatures spend their lives in their marine environment.

Wildlife in Winter

  • Monday, December 2 @ 10:15–11:00am
  • Monday, December 9 @ 10:15–11:00am

What do frogs do in winter? Where do the hummingbirds and dragonflies go? Explore the different ways animals cope when the temperature drops.

Program Details

  • Cost :

    $8 per participating student. Note: If you are not a Riverbanks member, a general admission ticket will also be required.

  • Capacity :

    Age group capacities vary from 15 to 20 maximum students.

  • Availability :

    Programs take place 2 times a month, September through December, and run 45 minutes.

  • Location :

    Farm Classroom (at the Zoo).

  • Registration :

    Register online at least 10 days in advance of the class. Please note that Zoo admission is separate from your Homeschool registration. Please meet the instructors at the Waterfall Junction Learning Center 10 minutes prior to the class time. PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation or date change requests must be received ten days in advance of the event. Requests must be submitted in writing at education@riverbanks.org. Riverbanks Zoo and Garden will retain a $2 processing fee for cancellations and charge a $2 processing fee for date changes.

In the rare event that Riverbanks Zoo and Garden must cancel the scheduled event, all deposits or money received will be reimbursed or an option to reschedule will be provided. Notification of cancellation will be provided at least ten days prior to the scheduled event (unless weather-related). Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is not liable for any other expenses that the guest may have incurred in the preparation and execution of the event.

Refunds will not be provided for individuals who do not show up for the event.

Questions about Homeschool Programs?

Please call 803.602.0803 or email us.