Nature Classes - Homeschool Program
OC Habitats (OCH) provides environmentally driven educational programs for students ages 8 to 12 years. Our program is designed to have students experience nature directly by visiting a variety of local habitats within Orange County and giving an in-depth and hands-on lesson. Student participation is of the utmost importance to fully engage each student. “A growing body of research links our mental, physical, and spiritual health directly to our association with nature” (Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods) and OCH programs develop curriculum with free play and unstructured exploration as an integral part of our habitat programs. The student to teacher ratio is 12:1. Our programs are themed by local Orange County habitats and we fully explore all aspects of the habitat from its history, the plant and animal species, human impacts, and conservation.
OCH Homeschool programs are offered in classes by semester (Fall and Spring). Enrollment is for full semester with the same students for the entire semester. This gives our program continuity of topics covered as well as continuity in building a stronger and more meaningful experience. Each class will connect to the next or another within the series and, therefore, is important that students are in attendance each week.
These are not drop-off programs; all classes are mandatory parent inclusive (no fee for parent).
Before each lesson, students will be given an assignment in preparation for the upcoming exploration. This assignment will be sent via email to you and/or your student directly. Although these assignments are not graded, we do ask that every student attempt to complete the assignment so that the instructors can give feedback to each student and help them connect to the concepts. Your child can contact us anytime they have questions.
During the first class we review the whole semester and outline the project proponent of our program. Each student that participates in both semesters in one school-calendar year will be required to complete a project and will be able to build on this project as we proceed through the classes each semester. The project will help your student connect all the pieces of their OCH learning experience as well as help them to see the "bigger" picture in the world and nature.
Required Materials and Parking Fees:
All students will need to have a notebook, pen, and pencils for our program. Each student will be asked to use their notebook at each class so they need to have it on the first day and bring it to all classes thereafter. We meet at a variety of locations throughout the county and some may not provide free parking and charge a parking fee. OCH does their best to find alternatives but in some cases it isn't possible and parking fees may be required to enter a field trip location. These fees will be included in the emails sent from OCH with each class assignment.
Areas of Study:
Habitat Exploration and Ecosystem Overview
Estuaries and Wetlands
Tidepool, Intertidal Zone, and Marine Protected Areas
Coastal Sage Scrub & Chaparral
Species Identification (plant and animal)
Animal Tracking and Animal Awareness
Native v. Non-native species
Edible and Poisonous Plants
Species Anatomy and Adaptations
Navigation Skills and Outdoor Adventure Tools
Nature Journaling/Field Notes
Cultural History and Native Americans
Citizen Science Opportunities
Class Days and Times
Thursdays- 2 classes per month (Long Program)
Fridays - Spanish Bilingual- 1 class per month (Short Program)
Wait list and Additional Classes: If one class fills and at least 5 students are able to attend another date, we will open another section on another day of the week. If we are unable to provide this, we will place you on a wait list and notify you of our next available opening.
Thursdays, 9am - 12pm (Long Program)
September 12 and 26
October 10 and 24
November 7 and 21
December 5 and 19 (project progress due)
Fridays: 10am-11:30am (Short Program)
December 13 (project progress due)
Thursday, 9am - 12pm (Long Program)
February 13 and 27
March 12 and 26
April 9 and 30
May 7 and 21 (Project Presentations on last day of class)
Fridays: 10am-11:30am (Short Program)
May 15 (Project Presentations on last day of class, class will be 1 hour longer, 9:30-12pm)
Classes happen RAIN or SHINE. Weather can allow an opportunity for a different type of exploration.
We accept checks, PayPal, or charter school funds. No cash payments accepted. Please use buttons below for direct PayPal payment or Charter Fund Payment. Checks should be made payable to OC Habitats and mailed to 15333 Culver Drive, Suite 340-763, Irvine, CA 92604. Any additional fees could include parking and/or entry fees to program specific locations, these fees are not included in the semester price but are separate and in addition to our student class fees. OCH is currently in the process of applying for vendor approval with local Charter Schools. Once approved, use the "Charter Funds" Button in sidebar. If you have any questions about our fee schedule, please contact OC Habitats at 949.697.8651 or OCHabitats@gmail.com.
2-class/month program (3 hours)- Long Program
1-class/month program (1.5 hours)- Short Program
*all participants must commit to full semester and either pay-in-full or pay by month.
Price per class*
Paid in Full
Pay by Month (Total/Monthly Installment)
Enrollment for all OCH programs are for the full semester, no drop-ins or partial enrollment. We require payment for full semester (in full or month-by-month), even if student cannot attend all classes. Your payment secures your child’s spot in class. A 10% discount is allotted for payment-in-full.
OCH runs all programs rain or shine but in the event a class is canceled for any reason, participants can choose to attend a rescheduled class, receive a credit toward a future program, or a full refund for canceled class.
OCH does not provide makeup classes for absences and has a no refund policy except in extreme cases, such as serious illness or family emergency. If student misses due to these reasons, they will be given class credit for missed classes.
OC Habitats (OCH) accepts checks, Paypal, or charter school funds.