Spring 2023 Session:
Mondays March 13 - June 12 (12 weeks) | $945
May 1 - June 12 (6 weeks) | $465 Space Still Available!
(No Class April 24th & May 29th)
8:45 am - 2:30 pm
Financial support available (Contact us)
A drop-off program for students
Acorns (Younger Ages): 6-8 years old
Walnuts (Older Ages): 9-12 years old
Limit of 12 students in each group
Payment Plan Available in Checkout
or more than a decade, our ECO (Educating Children Outdoors) program has helped thousands of public school students throughout Central Vermont immerse themselves in nature by using the outdoors as an extension of their indoor classroom. Inspired by ECO, our ECO Homeschool program provides a meaningful and fun learning environment in which children are mentored in social and environmental stewardship.
Each Monday, the woods and fields of North Branch Nature Center will be our classroom, where students will learn by doing, using all five senses to engage with the landscape through standards-based lessons led by our talented ECO Education staff. ECO Homeschool Sessions will consist of age appropriate games, songs, stories, and activities that are designed to help students directly engage with the natural world and the organisms that we share this land with.
A Model for Learning
Our goal is to help children and their families to develop a lasting relationship with the natural world and foster a sense of place and stewardship in our local Vermont communities.
Although there are 2 age groups it is important that these different ages have the opportunity to spend time together. These interactions help to develop a sense of community as well as instill leadership skills with the older students as they recognize they serve as examples for the younger students.
There are plenty of opportunities for us all to interact with each other throughout the program at opening and closing community circles for sharing our observations, songs, and stories from the day as well as through group games and shared activities.
Notes From The Forest
Each family will receive ‘Notes From the Forest’, our weekly communication filling you in on all that happened in the previous ECO homeschool session and what’s to come in the next. This includes extensions to our lessons, extra tidbits of knowledge, and fun activities that you may want to explore as a family to deepen your family's connection to our lessons and the natural world.
All of our time will be spent outdoors, only coming inside to access the bathroom or in the event of hazardous weather. We will be following COVID-19 guidelines from the Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Agency of Education. For more specific information, please visit northbranchnaturecenter.org/COVID
ECO Homeschool Handbook
This is a 100% outdoor program. To ensure a positive experience for everyone, proper clothing is essential. If your child is warm and dry, they will be happy and able to fully participate. If you need assistance obtaining proper gear, please reach out to us.
Before registering, please consult our NBNC Youth Programs Parent-Guardian Handbook for more information about policies, what to bring, and other details and expectations (revised 8/2022).
Refunds are subject to a $20 processing fee and will be given according to the following schedule:
- If requested two weeks or more before the first day of programming, you will receive a full refund.
- If requested between one and two weeks before the first day of programming, you will receive a 50% refund.
- If requested one week or less before the first day of programming, we will be unable to issue a refund.
Every year, children are unfortunately turned away from our programs due to lack of space. The more notice we have of a cancellation, the more likely we can offer that space to another interested family.
In the case of extreme weather, we may need to cancel a session. If local area public schools have cancelled for the day, it is a good chance we will too. We will notify you by email and by telephone. In the case of a cancellation, we will schedule a make-up day. If for some reason your child cannot attend a session or the scheduled make-up day, we cannot reimburse you for that missed day.
If the make-up day is cancelled, we will refund a portion of the program fees.
NBNC reserves the right to cancel a program due to COVID-19 safety considerations.
Notifying your School
If your child is enrolled in the public school system we recommend communicating with your child's teacher and the principal about their participation in the ECO Homeschool program and the dates that they will be absent from school.
Registration Below for May 1 - June 12
This program uses the registration platform called Jumbula. If you're new to Jumbula, you'll be asked to create a (free) account during checkout. Once you've logged into your new account, you can continue the checkout process.
Waitlists: If a program is full, you can still join the waitlist. You will not receive a confirmation email for joining the waitlist. Your Jumbula shopping cart will indicate whether you are on the waitlist for a particular program. If a space opens up, you will be notified via email to return to your shopping cart and complete checkout.
Payment Plans Available in Checkout
"Everywhere I turned in nature I could see and feel the mystery
— the wonder of that which could not be accounted for by human reason."
— bell hooks, When the Spirit Moves You
713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
Hours: Center Open Monday-Friday 9-4
Trails Open 24/7