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 for each class in the series.   

These are not drop-off programs; all classes are mandatory parent inclusive (no fee for parent).  


Student Assignments:

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.

Student Projects

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

    • Coastal Dunes

    • Tidepool, Intertidal Zone, and Marine Protected Areas

    • Ocean Habitats

    • Riparian

    • Oak Woodland

    • Coastal Sage Scrub & Chaparral

    • Mountains

  • 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)


12 Students

Ages 8-12

Fridays - Spanish Bilingual- 1 class per month (Short Program)


12 Students

Ages 6-12

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.

Fall Schedule:

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)

September 13 

October 18

November 15

December 13 (project progress due)


Spring Schedule:

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)

February 14

March 20

April 17

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.

Payment Options

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




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 

(10% Discount)





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.

501(C)3 nonprofit.


All Rights Reserved.

EIN # 82-2478090

15333 Culver Drive, Suite 340-763, Irvine, CA 92604

  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon

 OC Habitats does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.  OC Habitats has no religious or political affiliations.  All photos provided with permission of photographers: ©RossGriswold.2018, ©S. Chartier-Grable.2018, @BillHalladay.2018, and @DannyRivas.2018. All Rights Reserved.