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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.

Homeschool Classes

for Ages 5–9

Enjoy a new class each month for homeschool children ages 5–9. Each class focuses on a particular zoo topic and includes hands-on activities at the Colonial Life Discovery Center.

Scheduled Programs

Outback Odyssey

  • Monday, September 28 @ 10:30am–12:00pm / 1:30–3:00pm

The land down under is a place of wonder, home to unique habitats and biomes. Students will journey through gum forests and into the outback as they visit marsupials, large lizards, and colorful birds.

Savanna Safari

  • Monday, October 12 @ 10:30am–12:00pm / 1:30–3:00pm
  • Monday, October 26 @ 10:30am–12:00pm / 1:30–3:00pm

Africa is known for its expansive savanna and the large mammals that call it home. Come discover why this impressive biome is the perfect home for rhinos, giraffes, baboons, pythons, and more at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.

Temperate Trek

  • Monday, November 9 @ 10:30am–12:00pm / 1:30–3:00pm
  • Monday, November 23 @ 10:30am–12:00pm / 1:30–3:00pm

Temperate Forests are here in our own backyard, but how much do we really know about the animals and plants that share our spaces? Join the hike as we walk through our local forest to discover the treasures hidden within.

Sailing the Southern Seas

  • Monday, February 8 @ 10:30am–12:00pm / 1:30–3:00pm
  • Monday, February 22 @ 10:30am–12:00pm / 1:30–3:00pm

While all oceans share spectacular wildlife, the Southern Ocean holds its own mysteries below its brilliant blue waters. Students will voyage through the seas to discover what characteristics set it apart from all other places on the planet.

Touring the Taigas

  • Monday, March 8 @ 10:30am–12:00pm / 1:30–3:00pm
  • Monday, March 22 @ 10:30am–12:00pm / 1:30–3:00pm

Asia’s vast taiga (boreal forest) is the largest land biome on earth extending into Europe. Join the excursion as we travel through towering evergreens in search of tigers, brown bears, Eurasian eagle owls, otters, and more.

Rainforest Romp

  • Monday, April 12 @ 10:30am–12:00pm / 1:30–3:00pm
  • Monday, April 26 @ 10:30am–12:00pm / 1:30–3:00pm

Madagascar or the “red island” is known for leaping lemurs, red soils, and strange rock formations; however, its hidden gem is its lowland rainforests with stunning orchids and colorful chameleons. Join the expedition as we explore this amazing ecosystem.

Program Details

  • Birthdate Ranges :

    Ages 5–6 (Birthdate: 10/1/2013 – 9/30/2015)

    Ages 7–9 (Birthdate: 10/1/2010 – 9/30/2013)

  • Cost :

    $10 per participating student. Note: If you are not a Riverbanks member, a general admission ticket will also be required.

  • Capacity :

    Homeschool classes are a student drop-off program with a maximum of 15 students.

  • Program Length :

    Programs take place twice 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. PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.

Homeschool Family Workshops

Join us in Waterfall Junction to enjoy this program designed especially for Riverbanks’ Homeschool families. Families will cooperatively learn and participate in activities that explore our natural world.

Scheduled Programs

Worm Composting

  • Monday, September 21 @ 10:30–11:30am

Worms can help turn your kitchen scraps into nutrient rich gifts for your garden! Families will create a small compost bin to take home while learning how to compost effectively in both worm bins and traditional composting bins.

Pumpkin Planters

  • Monday, October 5 @ 10:30–11:30am

Pumpkins can make a perfect planter to grow more pumpkins! We will learn all about plant life cycles, seed germination and decomposition as we turn miniature pumpkins into planters.

Capillary Action

  • Monday, November 16 @ 10:30–11:30am

Stems are amazing mini highways that transport food and water throughout plants. We will get a closer look at how capillary action works, and everyone will create a model of a stem to take home.

Program Details

  • Cost :

    $20 per family (up to 6 people max per family). Note: If you are not a Riverbanks member, a general admission ticket will also be required.

  • Location :

    The Waterfall Junction Learning Center in the 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.

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.