Homeschool Field Class Overview
Earthroots Homeschool Field Classes meet once or twice a week at various locations throughout Orange County. 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.
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.
Monday Homeschool Field Class begins September 11 and ends on May 20.
Thursday Homeschool Field Class begins September 14 and ends on May 16.
Exact start and end dates may vary depending on which day(s) of the week your child enrolls. Classes fill on a first come first served basis. While most families enroll for the full year to experience the changing seasons and growing friendships, we also offer the option to enroll in either Fall or Spring sessions when space is available. Each session is 16 weeks long, similar to the semesters of the academic year.
As an incentive, we offer a price break for families enrolling in the full year program. See the Registration Information section below for details.
WHO: Children ages 6-14 years old
This is a drop-off optional class. Students attending this program 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, 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.
WHERE: Various wilderness locations and beaches in Orange County, CA.
Monday class meets in Silverado Canyon and Modjeska Canyon, with coastal field trips during the warmer months.
Thursday class meets 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 once 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: Mondays &/or Thursdays | 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
You will have the option to enroll in the Monday class OR the Thursday class. If you would like to register for Monday AND Thursday, please register for both days individually. As a token of our appreciation for your support, if you register for both Monday and Thursday, we will provide you with a $30 gift card to be used in the Earthroots Online Store.
HOW: Click the Register button on this page. 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).
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 $30 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 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.
Private Payment Rate
Monday: September 11, 2023 – May 20, 2024
Thursday: September 14, 2023 – May 16, 2024
$2550 for first child/$2460 per additional sibling
Fall 2023 Session Only
Monday: September 11, 2023 – January 22, 2024
Thursday: September 14, 2023 – January 18, 2024
$1344 for first child/$1296 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.
Spring 2024 Session Only
Monday: January 29 – May 20, 2024
Thursday: January 25 – May 16, 2024
$1344 for first child/$1296 per additional sibling
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org about monthly installment rates.
$88 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@example.com
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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)
- Phone number
Refer to class payment amounts above or simply send in the $250 deposit (per child) if you intend to make monthly payments.
Earthroots is committed to creating nature connection opportunities for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) participants and families in need.
Note: All scholarships have been awarded for the Spring 2024 semester. The scholarship deadline for Fall 2024 classes will be sometime in late spring/early summer. Stay tuned for more details.