Showed my child new and inventive ways to explore and play in nature. Developed appreciation for all the details to be found in the flora and fauna right here where we live. Helped child feel confident getting hands dirty, picking up bugs, exploring. Broadened child’s ideas of what to do outdoors. Great foundational, hands-on science instruction that will stick with kids all their lives. OUTSTANDING!!!!!!

They love learning about nature and being in nature much more than if they hadn’t been in the program! It has made them more inquisitive about the world around them!

Really sparked my daughters interest in the topics covered. Made her want to learn more and take the extra step in her assignments. She now views herself as “someone who is really into learning about the environment”.

My children have been attending Homeschool Ed-venture classes for many years now and have loved every minute of them! Each of my children are unique with varying interests and personalities…I couldn’t be more pleased with each instructor’s ability to reach each of my children and keep them engaged. Riveredge has become an essential part of our homeschooling life!

Loved the Coyote level!!!!! Challenging for the students and allowed them to really sink their teeth into their learning and their projects.

We have people comment all of the time at how wise our kids are with issues pertaining to nature, the environment, plants and treating it all with respect. While this is something our family values, your classes really help bring it all together.

our family loves the outdoors and really finds winter to be a treat. It is great to have a class that encourages outside time in the winter. It helps children to find the beauty and fun of one of the best seasons we have. It helps when you have classes, themes and suggested reading that helps us remember how special winter is.

Riveredge classed are by far my daughter’s favorite part of our homeschool curriculum.

Join us in our 379-acre outdoor classroom as we explore and learn about the natural world, ask questions, and make connections.

What is Homeschool Ed-ventures?

Homeschool Ed-ventures is a science education program designed for 4K-12th grade homeschooled students who enjoy hands-on learning and outdoor adventure. Taught in the “Riveredge style,” each small class of students engages in cooperative, inquiry-based learning, guided by professionally trained educators.

Outdoor Exploration and Sense of Place

The core content of our program takes place outdoors; our students delight in exploring the many habitats at Riveredge throughout the seasons. The children also develop a strong sense of their place in the natural world and a sense of belonging at Riveredge.

Continued Learning and Relationship Building (Children)

As children grow up in our program, they progress through play-based nature explorations to scientific inquiry and in-depth field studies. We offer five mixed-age classes, each with unique curriculum designed for their developmental level: Dragonflies (grades 4K-5K, student must be able to use the bathroom independently), Monarchs (grades 1-2), Hawks (grades 3-4), Sturgeon (grades 5-7), and Coyotes (grades 8-12). The mixed-age classes offer opportunities for students to take leadership roles, receive mentoring and develop strong learning partnerships.

Continued Learning and Relationship Building (Families): Class Websites

Following registration confirmation and prior to the start of each session, our Educators send a welcome letter to each of their classes, including the link to each class’ website.

In order to enhance communication between our dedicated educators and homeschool families, we have developed secure class websites (using Google Sites) that feature general information about the program, including Parent Curriculum Guides. Following each class, Educators update the websites with new photographs, class highlights, and information for your child(ren) to assist in guiding their learning journey at home. We hope these interactive sites allow for a richer understanding of your child(ren)’s experiences at Riveredge, and provide greater independence for your child(ren).

Following Spring Session, Riveredge hosts an End of Year Celebration Picnic, including a slideshow of pictures and optional activities for families to experience together on site.

For a detailed look into the program, please view the following document: 

Homeschool Ed-ventures Informational Presentation

Current Parent & Student Information

Use the direct link provided to you in your confirmation letter to access class material.

New Forestry Management Curriculum Available

With gratitude to the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board, Riveredge is happy to provide our forestry management curriculum as a resource for other environmental educators, parents, and institutions.

This 5 week curriculum engages middle and high school homeschool students (6-12th grade) in inquiry based education programming that examines forest health and land management through the lens of a professional forester and/or land manager. This curriculum uses the most current technology/tools in forestry management to engage, inform, and teach students about Wisconsin forestry and forestry management concepts.

Riveredge Nature Center Forestry Management Curriculum

Forestry Management Curriculum Appendix Pages

This curriculum was produced, and is available to you, under a 2015-16 grant from the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board.  It is copyrighted by both Riveredge Nature Center and the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board. Please properly acknowledge both parties when utilizing the curriculum for your purposes.  Thank you!

Our homeschool teachers are well trained and passionate about exploring the natural world. Click HERE to learn more about our homeschool teachers!

The Parent Handbook outlines supplies needed for class, communication, and overall expectations for timeliness that will help ensure a great class. Click here for a copy!

2017-2018 Homeschool Ed-Ventures Descriptions for K4 – 7

Each season includes five classes, which are divided into two science units and a learning quest.  Each science unit is covered over two consecutive classes to allow for in-depth study.  The learning quest will take place during the last class of each season.


Unit 1: River Adaptations

September 15th/18th and September 29th/October 2nd

Both plants and animals develop unique adaptations to survive in river habitats. From small creeks to the Milwaukee River, students will explore these watery habitats and their inhabitants.

Unit 2: Soil Makers And Shakers

October 13th/16th and 27th/30th

What is soil and where does it come from? Take a close look at the ingredients of soil and the creatures responsible for making more. You will gain a new respect for what we commonly call ‘dirt’!

Quest: Seeds on The Move

November 10th/13th

Plants have created a wide variety of adaptations to accomplish seed dispersal. Take a look at the many ways seeds are scattered by their parent plant, and the conditions necessary for a new seedling to develop. See how many different seeds you can find on a seed discovery hike.


Unit 1: The Big Freeze 

January 5th/8th and 19th/22nd

How have plants and animals adapted to survive our cold northern winters? Perform experiments to discover how organisms that thrive in the coldest climates stay warm and fed during the coldest time of year.

Unit 2: Snowy Creek

February 2nd/5th and 16th/19th

Discover the ecology of a creek in winter as we explore along Riveredge Creek, venturing to areas only accessible in winter. Look for signs of animals that depend on the creek and their interactions along the snowy waterway.

Quest: Survival Shelter Building

March 2nd/5th

Shelter is one of the basic needs of all living things. Learn the many different ways nature provides this important element of life and try your hand at making a shelter of your own!


Unit 1: Amazing Amphibians

April 6th/9th and 20th/23rd

Frogs, toads and salamanders! These harbingers of spring are an important and delicate part of healthy ecosystems. We’ll explore their unique breeding areas and life cycles and how they can often be the first determinants of environmental changes.

Unit 2: Navigate Your World

May 4th/7th and 18th/21st

We’ll learn to use maps, compasses and other navigating techniques as we explore some of the less traveled areas of Riveredge to see what treasures may be hidden here!

Quest: Celebrate Natural Systems

June 1st/4th

Celebrate the best that Riveredge has to offer this time of year! Our Educators will find examples of what makes this property so rare and precious and take you along to explore and celebrate this beautiful landscape. Learn more about how you can take part in conservation efforts to protect this special place.

2017-2018 Program Descriptions for Grades 8-12

Each season includes five classes that are focused on a science theme to allow for in-depth study. Students will read a book that correlates to each session’s topic and discuss questions about these books in class. Students will keep a journal from a nature spot near home, and discuss observed seasonal changes of this area in class. 


Wisconsin’s Glacial Ecology

September 18th – November 13th

We will travel back in time 10,000 years to when the last glaciers of Wisconsin retreated. Through this journey, we will begin to understand how geology has shaped the land around us. We will use scientific tools to explore the clues that glaciers left behind – kettle, moraine, kame and esker landforms. This data will help us understand how our geologic past gave us our present-day ecosystems. Part of our outdoor discovery will be a field trip to nearby glacial features.


Winter Ecology

January 8th – March 5th

Our Wisconsin winter will provide the ideal backdrop to study the various adaptations that plants and animals use to survive this challenging season. We will explore the winter landscape of Riveredge to study the relationship between animals and their habitats. Part of our outdoor discovery will include animal tracking and identification as well as experiments that demonstrate the impact of winter’s limiting factors. Spring: Orienteering and the Early People of Wisconsin .


Orienteering and the Early People of Wisconsin

April 9th – June 4th

We will begin this unit by learning about the culture and traditions of the Native Americans that historically lived in our part of Wisconsin. Then, we’ll move on to early settlers and discover how they paved the way for exploration through the creation of maps. This will lead us to explore the history of maps and map making and give us a chance to make our own maps. Part of our outdoor discovery will be trying our hand at orienteering and geocaching.