homeschool students

Homeschool Registration Now Open

Registration for the spring 2014 hands-on science classes for homeschool students in now open. To register your child or children, click here. See the descriptions under Classes for more information about the classes.

Our curriculum guide

The Nature of This Place, an outdoor science K-8 curriculum guide we developed in collaboration with The Yuba Watershed Institute with funding from the Teichert Foundation, is available for sale or free download from Flicker Press. More information.

Support hands-on science education in the Sierra Nevada

Science for Home-School Students

Science is critically important in the education of students. The study of the important issues facing us—such as water resources and quality, environmental preservation and restoration, and climate change—may enable today's students to address some of these issues in the future. However, students who are in homeschool programs have few opportunities to access labs, scientific equipment, and well-trained teachers.

Our Science for Home-school Students program is designed to address this need. Sierra Streams' educators and scientists provide standards-based instruction in the physical and life sciences in our classroom and lab at the Carriage House and in the outdoor "classroom" of Deer Creek. Students are more engaged in this kind of learning than are students in traditional classrooms because everything is hands-on, real, and relevant.


Our standards-based program offers hands-on scientific investigation of the Deer Creek watershed and all of the wildlife that makes its home there. Deer Creek's diverse habitat provides the opportunity for a multi-disciplinary, hands-on science curriculum that includes biology, earth science, and chemistry. All our classes offer unique learning opportunities:

  • Learn from real scientists. Staff scientist teach the curriculum and work directly with students.
  • Work in the laboratory. Students work in the Sierra Streams chemical and biological labs doing microscope work, insect identification, and chemical analysis.
  • Do hands-on monitoring and restoration. Students participate in active water-quality monitoring and restoration projects in the Deer Creek watershed.

Outdoor science education has been shown to be critically important in children's emotional, physical, and intellectual development. It's a great way to counter the lure of electronic devices, video games, and TV. To learn more about the importance of hands-on outdoor science education, read this article by one of our in-house science educators (originally published in the Northern Gold Country Parents' Resource Guide).

Examining macroinvertebrates from the creek.

Working together with SSI's scientists on current monitoring and restoration projects, students enrolled in our homeschool science courses use contemporary scientific research tools and techniques to collect and analyze scientific data outdoors and in our well-eqiuipped laboratory and classroom. Guided by our educators, students question, investigate, explore and discover. If your child loves to spend time outside exploring nature, seeking adventure, and participating in hands-on science experiments, our Homeschool Science Series will be a great fit!

Spring 2014
Plants and Habitat Restoration
Fridays in May
  • Grades 1st–5th
    May 2, May 9, May 16 (3 weeks); 1pm–4pm, $90 (individual classes $40)

In this class students will become citizen scientists, using their observational skills to advance scientific knowledge of seasonal patterns and global changes in climate! The timing of events in plant and animal life cycles is an important indicator of changes occurring in the environment. Students will be part of a national effort to collect localized data on these events and submit them to a large central database. Instruction will take place in the Deer Creek watershed, where students will investigate habitat types, native and invasive plants, species interactions, and the role of geology and soil formation in the watershed. Students will apply their knowledge in real science projects, assisting with restoration days and monitoring birds and mammals.

For more information about the homeschool science education program, email Education Coordinator Kelly Hickman at kelly[at] or call (530) 265-6090 ext. 207.

To register your child (or children) for this class, click here.

spring 2014 flyer

Flier for the Spring 2014 homeschool science class. Click the image for the full-sized version.