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Join us once a month for a 2 hour interactive lesson or throughout the year for longer specialized Family Field Trips and Student Workshops!

The choice is yours! We offer one monthly Homeschool Program on the third Thursday and third Friday of every month whichever is most convenient for you!  Programs start September 15, 2016 and continue until May 19, 2017.  Each monthly lesson includes classroom instruction, outdoor activities, scientific experiments and exploration, and even homework.  We use hands-on methods to reinforce students’ abilities in not only science, but also math, language arts, and social studies.

The ages of our students range from 5 to 13+. During the programs students of all ages are taught together and we emphasize multi-age learning and peer assistantship.  Students experiencing a lesson for the first time learn the basics of the topic, and students with some previous experience build upon their knowledge and solidify their understanding through more in-depth exposure to the topic.

Programs for both younger students (Hatchlings: ages 5-8) and older students (Fledglings: ages 9-13+) occur from 10:00am – 12:00pm. 

All of our homeschool lessons will occur rain or shine, hot or cold!  Please have children dress for the weather, be prepared to go outside rain, snow or shine and wear clothes that can get wet and/or muddy!

2016-2017 Monthly Curriculum

Theme: Plant Connections

Thursday, September 15 or Friday, September 16
Topic: Pollinators and Their Native Host Plants
Location: The Wetlands Institute
What’s your favorite thing to eat? Pizza? Bananas? Pollinators have their favorite foods, too! Join us as we flitter and flutter around the garden in search of yummy plants for butterflies, birds, and bats.

Thursday, October 20 or Friday, October 21
Topic: Here to There & Everywhere – Plant Migrations
Location: The Wetlands Institute
We know that birds, whales, butterflies, and other animals migrate, but plants??? Migrating!!?? Let’s investigate this further! Bring your scien-teriffic senses to test this out.

Thursday, November 17 or Friday, November 18
Topic: People & Plants: Made for Each Other
Location: The Wetlands Institute
Plants help us in many ways: food, clothing, shelter, medicine, just to name a few. And we return the favor, too! Our relationship with plants has a long history. Let us count the ways!

Theme: The Nature of Art

Thursday, December 15 or Friday, December 16
Topic: Becoming a Naturalist
Location: The Wetlands Institute
Following in the footsteps of early naturalists like Carson, Potter, Muir and Thoreau we will be making wildlife discoveries and sharing them with others. We’ll be exploring the area, collecting specimens, even starting our own mini-museum! – All while having fun in the wonders of the natural world.

DATE CHANGE: Thursday, January 12 or Friday, January 13
Topic: Wildlife Observation, Hand in Hand with Science and Art
Location: The Wetlands Institute
Sketching and drawing what you see is different from drawing from our imaginations. It encourages us to look at wildlife in different ways whether we are looking at overall shape, small details, or interesting behaviors. This kind of art provides important tools for communication and understanding, and encourages first steps in written documentation. We will be introducing the Junior Duck Stamp Homeschool Education Guide, suitable for children ages 5- 18, which will be a free handout to each family.

Thursday, February 16 or Friday, February 17
Topic: Whispers from the Wetlands: Art, Poetry, & Prose
Location: The Wetlands Institute
Through movement, light, darkness, growth, change, and decay, what stories does the land have to tell? We will use natural materials and the environment where they are found to tell our own stories and allow the land to speak for itself.

Theme: Projects for Exploring Coastal Wildlife

Thursday, March 16 or Friday, March 17
Topic: A Simple Salt Water Aquarium of your very own!
Location: The Wetlands Institute
Yes! Salt water aquariums can be simple and they are excellent tools for learning about coastal critters. And best of all most of the equipment are things you probably have in your house right now! Ask for a list of what you’ll need when you sign up for this exciting class.

Thursday, April 20 or Friday, April 21
Topic: Catch of the Day- Life in the Shallows
Location: The Wetlands Institute
Nets and buckets are only the beginning. We will be making a variety of “scientific equipment” for catching and collecting the life down under. Ask for a list of what you’ll need when you sign up for this exciting class.

Thursday, May 18 or Friday, May 19
Topic: Plankton and Other Lifestyles of the Wet and Tidal
Location: The Wetlands Institute
There is an ocean of life in a drop of water and we’ll be making a special net to catch it, a microscope to watch it, and a planktonic model of our own creation. Ask for a list of what you’ll need when you sign up for this exciting class.

2016-2017 Specialty Family Field Trips and Student Workshops

Theme: Plant Connections

Saturday, September 24
1:30 PM to 3:30 PM
The Monarchs are migrating!! Yay! Join us in being part of this epic movement. We’ll start at Cape May Point State Park and meet at the pavilion next to the Hawk Watching platform, in the far left corner of the parking lot. While there we’ll listen to the experts tell us what they know about these awesome butterflies and how we can help them.

Then we’ll go to the Circle Gardens, just a short distance away, and tag some Monarchs on our own, setting them free with a hearty Adios as they make their way to Mexico for the winter.

Fee: $5.00 per family

Theme: The Nature of Art

Saturday, March 18
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Calling all forest architects! Pull up your sleeves and jump into the “S.T.R.E.A.M.” of creating “real estate” for Gnomes, Fairies, Elves, and other Woodland Folk. We’ll build these lush and scenic accommodations at the Maurice River Bluffs Preserve. Meet us in the parking lot: 1200 Silver Run Road, Millville, NJ. Bring lunch and enjoy the whole day! 

Fee: $5.00 per family (includes materials)

Theme: Projects of Exploring Coastal Wildlife

Friday, April 28
11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Join us for this fun day of underwater scientific exploration at the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve. Tour the lab, talk with the scientists, build an ROV, and find out what’s up down under. Great for children 5 and up. Bring a lunch.

Fee: $5.00 per person. Register by April 21, 2017. Space is limited.

For more information or to register, please email Sue Slotterback at

Monthly Lesson Price:  Each lesson costs $8.50 per student.

Please Note:  To make the most out of the experience and to minimize distractions for registered children, we ask that siblings under 5 be cared for separately from the rest of the class.  As appropriate, we will provide games, activities, separate space, toys, etc. for smaller children.  However, it is the accompanying adult’s responsibility to monitor their behavior during the program.

Traveling from a further distance? Consider planning “A Day at The Wetlands Institute” – pack snacks or a picnic lunch and use the morning and/or afternoon times after the homeschool lesson has been conducted with your child(ren) to explore the exhibits and the outdoor trails. The marsh is an every changing ecosystem and the newly completed elevated walkway and dock provide countless opportunities for self-exploration and learning!

Registration Procedure:  Please call (609) 368-1211 to schedule at least one week in advance.  Your child is not committed to attend every month’s lesson.  Although each lesson tends to build on its predecessors, you can pick and choose the lessons best suited to your child.  Please email Sue Slotterback, Environmental Educator at with any questions.

Interested in a Special Homeschool Program for your group?  We can accommodate homeschool groups of a minimum of 8 students per program. Please call for a special time and date for your group.

Looking for more than a 2 hour experience?
We now offer full immersion overnight programs for your homeschool group.
Complete program description:  Overnight Program