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 K4-12th grade homeschooled students who enjoy hands-on learning and outdoor adventure. Taught in the “Riveredge style,” each class of 10-12 students engages in cooperative, inquiry-based learning, guided by professionally-trained educators. Detailed curriculum information and seasonal family events share the learning experience with the child’s entire family.

Continued Learning and Relationship Building

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 K4-K5, students must be able to use the bathroom independently)
  • Monarchs (grades 1-2)
  • Hawks (grades 3-4)
  • Sturgeon (grades 5-7)
  • Coyotes (grades 8-12)

The mixed-age classes offer opportunities for students to take leadership roles, receive mentoring, and develop strong learning partnerships.

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.

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!

Click HERE to learn more about our homeschool teachers.

2016-2017 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, followed by an optional family celebration.  


Unit 1: A Bug’s Life

September 16th/19th & September 30th/October 3rd

What is life like when you’re only 1/2” tall?  Search for butterflies, grasshoppers, spiders and other arthropods and learn about their adaptations, life cycles, and special roles.

Unit 2: Geology Rocks

October 14th/17th & 28th/31st

Let’s go rock collecting! From pebbles to boulders, rocks dot our landscape and leave clues of Earth’s history. We will also study ancient landforms at Riveredge created by geologic processes.

Quest: Riveredge Ruins: Clues of the Past

November 11th/14th

Imagine: the water you drink today may have been inside a dinosaur millions of years ago! Experiment with watershed and aquifer models, and follow H2O from clouds to rivers to plants and beyond.


Unit 1: Skeleton Sleuths 

January 6th/9th & 20th/23rd

How do wild animals find food in the depths of winter? Examine skulls and bones to find out who eats whom and search the forest and thicket for evidence of browse, predation, and even owl pellets.

Unit 2: Energy Solutions 

February 3rd/6th & 17th/20th

Explore how humans can use renewable resources to power our world. Create your own windmill, capture solar energy, or experiment with biofuels. We will also discuss energy conservation.

Quest: Maple Sugarin’ 

March 3rd/6th

Let’s head to the sugarbush to tap a tree! Follow clues to identify sugar maples and learn about Native American and pioneer traditions surrounding this special time of year.


Unit 1: Energy Flow in a Pond 

April 7th/10th & 21st/24th

Prepare to be amazed as you discover ponds teeming with life in early spring. Collect and observe water beetles, tadpoles, dragonfly larvae and more. Map their interactions to create your own food web.

Unit 2: Garden Explorations

May 5th/8th & 19th/22nd

Dive into the secret lives of seeds and plants as we experiment with organic gardening and permaculture methods. Plant your own project in the Riveredge garden and watch it grow!

Quest: Nutrient Detectives

June 2nd/5th

Put on your detective hats and discover nutrients traveling through animals, plants, waterways, and soil. Learn different methods of composting food and yard waste to keep those nutrients going.

2016-2017 Program Descriptions for Grades 8-12

2016-2017 Theme: Aquatic Ecology and Conservation

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. There will be an optional family celebration following the last class of each season.


Aquatic Ecology and Conservation

September 16th – November 14th

The Coyotes will begin by studying watersheds and their impact on a river. We will meet a water quality professional to learn about the Milwaukee River watershed and the Lake Sturgeon project. Students will learn about water quality analysis, and meet with a fisheries biologist to discuss the impacts of water quality on biotic factors. Students will test water quality and perform a macroinvertebrate study to determine the health of Riveredge Creek. Findings will be presented at the Student Research Symposium on November 12, 2016.


Water Quality in the Winter Months

January 6th – March 6th

The Coyotes will study two major water quality parameters that lend themselves to winter study. First, we will look at the effects of salinity on bodies of water in the Riveredge area. Students will learn about conductivity testing, ions in water, and their negative impacts on the local waterways, wildlife, and their habitat. This data will then be quantified, qualified, and added to a DNR database for future study. The second study will look at acid rain in southeast Wisconsin. Students will learn about pH and how it impacts habitat. We will collect snow in key areas of Riveredge and determine how much of an impact acid rain has on Riveredge’s surrounding habitat. We will meet with professionals to help us understand the research in these areas.


Limnology: Ponds and Wetlands

April 7th – June 5th

The Coyotes will learn about freshwater systems in relative non-flow situations. We will study two ponds to determine water quality and potential impacts to them from several environmental factors. Next, we’ll focus on ephemeral ponds, comparing and contrasting them with ponds previously studied. We will explore Riveredge’s wetlands and travel to the Cedarburg Bog, one of the most unique wetlands in the state, to learn about the important role they play in the environment. We will wrap up the year discussing our ongoing student citizen action project.