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Homeschool Programs

Bi-monthly Environmental Education and Nature Studies in the Garden

Each program uses the Garden’s 112 acres of developed and natural areas as a teaching classroom, while connecting to STEM and Common Core Standards.

Click on the age group/date to register.


Session 1: Wintering Waterfowl

Wheeler Wildlife Refuge supports the largest concentration of wintering waterfowl in Alabama every year.  This can include up to 60,000 geese and nearly 125,000 ducks.  Students will have an opportunity to get ready for the Festival of the Cranes (January 13-14, 2018) at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center in Decatur by learning more about the various waterfowl that call the refuge home along with the well-known species of cranes.
K-2nd:           January 9                12-1:30pm
3rd-5th:          January 11              12-1:30pm
6th-8th:         January 11              12-1:30pm

Session 2: Animal Superpowers

It’s a bird, it’s a bat, no it’s an octopus! Comic books aren’t the only place you will find superpowers.  There are some intriguing animals that have superpowers of their own like: echolocation, magnetic sense, shapeshifting, absorbing powers, and chemical weapons. Students will discover amazing animals and the powers they use to survive in a variety of different habitats.
K-2nd:           January 23              12-1:30pm
3rd-5th:          January 25              12-1:30pm
6th-8th:         January 25              12-1:30pm


Session 1: Growing, Growing…Gone? Birds and Human Population Growth Part 1
Students will explore the history of human population growth and how it has impacted bird populations and behaviors in the state of Alabama and the United States.  They will look for trends in both and see how they compare.

Session 1 is not required to attend session 2.

K-2nd:            February 6                12-1:30pm
3rd-5th:           February 8                12-1:30pm
6th-8th:          February 8                 12-1:30pm

Session 2: Growing, Growing…Gone? Birds and Human Population Growth Part 2
Students will delve into the mysteries of human population growth and its impact on birds.  They will look at how we have used local natural resources to damage or repair local habitats.  Student will also get the scoop on the Great Backyard Bird Count and how citizen science helps to track changes in bird behaviors.

Session 1 is not required to attend session 2.

K-2nd:             February 13              12-1:30pm
3rd-5th:           February 15               12-1:30pm
6th-8th:           February 15               12-1:30pm


Session 1: Mysteries of the Human Brain

The brain is an elaborate and incredible part of the human body.  Even now they are making new discoveries about how it works.  Students will explore previously discovered information and take a glimpse into how the brain changes when learning.
K-2nd:            March 6              12-1:30pm
3rd-5th          March 8              12-1:30pm
6th-8th:           March 8              12-1:30pm

Session 2: Building Castles

Students will explore STEM concepts while learning about and building castles.  Students will build castles out of a variety of materials and then see what it takes to bring them down. They will explore a variety of math and science concepts with a little history mixed in.
K-2nd:            March 20             12-1:30pm
3rd-5th:           March 22             12-1:30pm
6th-8th:           March 22             12-1:30pm


The Buzz on Bees

There have been many reports on the issues with our bees. Students will look at what scientists are discovering about what is happening to our bees and the implications it may have on the environment.  We will look at what different species of bees do and what we can do the help them thrive!
K-2nd:              April 3             12-1:30pm
3rd-5th:             April 5             12-1:30pm
6th-8th:             April 5             12-1:30pm

Registration & Cancellation:

  • Participants must be pre-registered for all programs. There will be no registration the day of programs due to supply and class size limitations.
  • Registration and payment for classes may be made online or by calling the Education Department.
  • Refunds will be given as a credit to participants who do not attend their scheduled program if the garden is given a 48-hour advance notice.
  • HBG reserves the right to cancel any program if a minimum number of participants are not registered. If this happens, another class option or 100% refund of registration fees will be offered.
  • Contact the Education Department if you have questions:
    Soozi Pline: 256-830-4447 Ext 252
    Misty Hertzig: 256-830-4447 Ext 253

All classes meet in the education classrooms and will include inside and outside experiences.

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