Homeschool Field Class Overview

Homeschool Field Class student discovering local marine life

Earthroots Field Class is a nature immersion program for children ages 6-14 years old. The Homeschool Field class provides students with opportunities to connect with the natural world in parks and natural spaces in and around Orange County. In these classes, nature is the teacher and the focus is cultivating wonder, curiosity, and life-long nature connection in each child. 

Classes explore topics such as wilderness awareness, ancestral living skills, ecological gardening, cooking, natural building, and crafts, through hands-on, outdoor lessons and activities. Experiences may include: hiking to a natural hot spring to study geology, tide-pooling along the coast, tracking animals, learning about watershed health and the water cycle, rainwater harvesting, native plant identification and uses, growing food organically, and cooking in the sun oven and over the fire. We eat what we grow and learn how our individual actions impact the world around us.

Participants connect with the natural world and discover the rhythms and patterns of the earth’s cycles. There are no “typical days” as the lessons fluctuate to meet the interest of the students present each day along with the spontaneous discoveries at each location. As an example, finding an octopus at the tide pools or animal tracks on the trail often guide the lessons. The rhythms of a day include morning circle, snack, exploration, lunch, journaling, quiet sit, and closing circle.

Class Content

Topics planned for each class are determined by what is happening on the land seasonally in the location where the class is meeting that day. Examples of seasonal patterns that guide the class include elderberries ripening, yucca flowering, bird migrations, and creek flow. 

Throughout the semester and over the course of many years, our participants build community through the shared experience of living in relationship with earth’s rhythms. Deep friendships are made as children are guided to show care and kindness for each other and the earth.

“The method of learning that Earthroots has provided has led our children to develop a deeper personal connection with the world, with their community and with each other.”

– Auntieclare & Jon Rezin, parents of Earthroots Homeschool Field Class students

As participants gain experience, knowledge, and care for our earth, they are able to share their outdoor skills and nature awareness with family and friends. Homeschool class graduates are often empowered to successfully lead their loved ones on hikes and journeys that were inspired by their time with Earthroots. We recommend parents read Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature by Jon Young to get an inside glimpse of Earthroots mentoring philosophies.

Executive Director Jodi harvesting local plants with Homeschool Field Class students

Session Information

Wednesday Homeschool Field Class begins September 11 and ends on May 14.
Thursday Homeschool Field Class begins September 12 and ends on May 15.

As an incentive, we offer a price break for families enrolling in the full year program. See the Registration Information section below for details.

Class Details

WHO: Children ages 6-14 years old

The Wednesday Homeschool Field Class is recommended for ages 6-10, or participants who would do best with increased child-led exploration and shorter hikes.

The Thursday Homeschool Field Class is recommended for ages 8-14, or participants who enjoy longer hikes and are ready to spend more time on focused activities for more in-depth learning.

These are drop-off optional classes. Students attending these programs are required to follow directions, use the restroom independently, stay with the group, and carry their own backpack. Children not yet independent with these skills will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If your child is 6 years old, you have the option of enrolling in the Homeschool Field Class (Wednesday), Forest Kindergarten or both.

Parents who stay with their children during class must model exemplary attentive behavior and full engagement in class activities. Earthroots is a cell phone-free zone. We kindly ask that you refrain from using electronic devices during class time.

We limit each class to a small group of adventurous students for a more intimate connection with the local surroundings, other students & instructors. Classes have a ratio of approximately 7 students to 1 Earthroots Mentor.

Various wilderness locations and beaches in Orange County, CA.

Wednesday and Thursday classes have the same location schedule. Field classes meet at different sites each week to explore Orange County’s diverse natural ecosystems* and landscapes, returning to our home site of Big Oak Canyon approximately 1-2 times per month. Locations range from San Clemente to Huntington Beach, and inland to Silverado Canyon. We encourage carpooling.

*Note: OC Parks, CA State Parks and other locations may have parking fees not included in the cost of class.

WHEN: Wednesday &/or Thursdays | 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Full Year
Wednesday: September 11, 2024 – May 14, 2025 (32 classes)
Thursday: September 12, 2024 – May 15, 2025 (32 classes)

Fall 2024 Session Only
Wednesday: September 11, 2024 – January 15, 2025 (16 classes)
Thursday: September 12, 2024 – January 16, 2025 (16 classes)

Spring 2025 Session Only
Wednesday: January 22 – May 14, 2025 (16 classes)
Thursday: January 23 – May 15, 2025 (16 classes)

You will have the option to enroll in the Wednesday class OR the Thursday class. If you would like to register for Wednesday AND Thursday, please register for both days individually. As a token of our appreciation for your support, if you register for both Wednesday and Thursday, we will provide you with a $30 gift card to be used in the Earthroots Online Store.

HOW: Click the Register Now button on this page (once registration opens). We require a deposit of $250 or full payment to hold your spot. 

Your deposit can either be refunded at the end of the term, rolled over to hold your spot in a future semester, or held on account for additional program or purchase (up to 18 months). 

 If your child is attending a charter school, visit our Charter School page for more information about paying with Charter Funds.  

Sibling Policy

Siblings who are within the age range of class (6-14 years old) must be registered as a regular participant. Siblings outside the age range of class (age 2-5 or older than 14) are called ACORNS. We invite ACORNS to attend with their parents. There is a $35 fee per day for siblings ages 2-5 years old or older than 14. There is no additional charge for children younger than 2 years old. Payment for ACORNS must be received at least one week prior to the date of class.


Registration Information

Registration information and payment must be received by us prior to the first day of class. Your registration is complete only when we have received payment in our office. If space allows, we may accept late registration once the session has begun. Class fees will be pro-rated after the first month of the session and a $50 late fee will apply.

Review our registration and cancellation policies and procedures HERE.

Homeschool Field Class Student showing off his finished project

2024-2025 Pricing

Private Payment Rate

Full Year
Wednesday: September 11, 2024 – May 14, 2025
Thursday: September 12, 2024 – May 15, 2025
$2630 for first child/$2540 per additional sibling

Fall 2023 Session Only
Wednesday: September 11, 2024 – January 15, 2025
Thursday: September 12, 2024 – January 16, 202
5
$1385 for first child/$1335 per additional sibling

Spring 2025 Session Only
Wednesday: January 22 – May 14, 2025
Thursday: January 23 – May 15, 202
5
$1385 for first child/$1335 per additional sibling

Note: Students can enroll mid-year pending space availability. A pro-rated class fee will be calculated after the first month of class.

Please contact us at [email protected] about monthly installment rates.

Drop-In Rate
$90 per child per class
Drop-in classes are available for age-appropriate siblings of children currently enrolled in the class, when space is available. To schedule a drop-in date please contact us for availability [email protected]

Payments

Please note that processing fees will apply to online payments. In order for Earthroots to retain 100% of the price for this class, we kindly request that you check the box on the registration form to make an additional donation to cover the online processing fees (3.2% of the class total). Otherwise, to avoid the fees altogether, we invite you to make an offline payment via Zelle ([email protected]) OR by mailing in a check to:

Earthroots Field School
P.O. Box 504
Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678

Along with the check or in the Zelle comment box, please include the following information:

  • Student(s) Name
  • Parent/Guardian Name
  • Class you’re registering for (Class Name | Semester or Full Year)
  • Email
  • Phone number

Refer to class payment amounts above or simply send in the $250 deposit (per child) if you intend to make monthly payments. 

Scholarships Available

Earthroots is committed to creating nature connection opportunities for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) participants and families in need.