The Bounty of Homeschool Education at the Dallas Arboretum
Homeschool programs have blossomed this fall at the Dallas Arboretum! We began offering group sessions for homeschool families in order provide them with enrichment opportunities a few years ago, and with our new approach to homeschool teaching we’ve seen enrollment in these programs increase by over 50% this year compared to 2016. Homeschool families joined us every other Monday from September to December and made it was our best season yet.
Homeschool Days Keep Growing
Homeschool sessions in the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden are an amazing opportunity for homeschool families to participate in hands-on science lessons held inside many of the uniquely designed galleries. While the garden is available to visit any time, our educator-led programs provide opportunities for deeper investigations and group learning. We know homeschool families often contain multiple grade levels, so this year we added a second educator and lesson modifications to best accommodate students in grades K through 6. Our goal is to meet as many students as possible wherever they are in their educational experience and inspire them to greater knowledge and appreciation of nature.
Learning by Doing
In the Homeschool Days programs, we covered a broad variety of topics that fit easily into educational curriculum. Not only did families discuss scientific content, but they gained understanding through hands-on explorations and group activities. Students used scientific tools to inspect live invertebrates in the Texas Native Wetlands, discovered mathematical patterns in nature in Kaleidoscope, extracted iron from cereal in Incredible Edible, and so much more. Mondays may not be everyone’s favorite day of the week, but Homeschool Days made them a lot more fun!
After the success of this Fall, we can’t wait to roll out 2018 homeschool programs! In January and February, our Winter Workshops will feature hashtag-worthy programs for families to flex their maker muscles. Participants will build insect hotels, create art with natural plant dye, make plantable seed paper, and construct a mini pallet garden. These programs will feature a longer format so families can follow their inspiration through an in-depth learning experience.
In the Spring, we’ll take Homeschool Days to the Classroom Labs and beautiful Main Garden. In these exciting lessons, students will experiment with the properties of water and soil, investigate a garden crime during a scientific whodunit, explore the environmental importance of food chains, and examine the inner workings of trees and cacti. In addition to providing engaging content and fun activities, the Homeschool Days programs present an excellent opportunity for families to make their own field trip discoveries by spending time in the Arboretum’s 66 acres of gardens.
The Education team at the Dallas Arboretum has so enjoyed getting to know homeschool families in the Dallas/Fort Worth area this Fall, and we’re excited to meet new and familiar faces in 2018!
We invite you to learn more about the upcoming homeschool programs.