Environmental Science Series on O‘ahu

O‘ahu Homeschool Environmental Science Series

2131 Makiki Heights Drive, HNL | Ph: 808.955.0100 x126 | E: homeschool@hawaiinaturecenter.og

Hawai‘i Nature Center offers a multi-week science series with each class building upon the prior lesson. Created for homeschool students, ages 6 to 11, the weekly 6-hour sessions on Wednesdays are live, in-person and teacher-led. It includes on-campus learning as well as field trips. Incorporating State of Hawai‘i Next Generation Science Standards, this curriculum explores a broad range of topics led by environmental educators. Topics include: climate change, the ahupua‘a ecosystem, native species, nature cycles, watersheds, aquatic life, coastal habitats, wetlands, sustainability and more. View our week-by-week course overview. Courses are offered in semester-long or weekly packages.

  • Kids at Waimanalo Beach Park
  • Kids at EDventure Days
  • Kids at EDventure Days
  • Kids at EDventure Days

Fall 2022 O‘ahu Homeschool Science Series (for ages 6-11) | Open Enrollment in July!

Weekly on Wednesdays Only (August 31 – December 7, 2022 | No program on October 5th due to Nature Adventure Camp.  All classes are 8:30 am to 2:30 pm on Wednesdays with drop off as early as 8:15 am.
Register for the Full Semester & Save: $1,375 (purchase all 16 weekly classes)
Register for the Weekly Program: $105 (purchase by the class)

If the session is sold out, contact homeschool@HawaiiNatureCenter.org to be wait-listed for the week(s) desired. Include the number of children you wish to enroll and best contact number.

Registration for Fall 2022 Semester will open in July!


Homeschool Semester Themes – Spring 2022

Januray 12th - Habitats
Whether it’s a grove of trees, a mountain cave, or the ocean floor, habitats provide living things (including people!) with all they need to survive. In Makiki Valley, we’ll discover the different plants and animals that live in forest, meadow, and freshwater habitats. Students will even make their own terrariums (mini habitats) to take home – a reminder of how the living and non-living things within a habitat work together to stay in balance.
January 19th - Importance of Gardens
Children will be able to tend the gardens around the nature center, sowing seeds, sifting compost and harvesting food. As the group works together, they will learn the importance of supporting local organic farms and how to start a garden of their own!
January 26th - Adaptations
We will explore up close different physical adaptations: feathers, exoskeletons, and gills of animals, and spores, flowers, and leaf shapes of plants. And we can’t forget behavioral adaptations! These include migration patterns and songs of animals as well as flowering and fruiting seasons of plants.
February 2nd - Insects
As amateur entomologists (insect scientists), we’ll venture to the meadow, forest, and stream in search of these six-legged friends and their arthropod relatives. While hiking through Makiki Valley, we’ll learn about some amazing adaptations of insects native to the Hawaiian Islands and ways to protect them.
February 9th - Birds
Hawai‘i is teeming with native bird species like the Nene (Hawaiian Goose), I‘iwi (Scarlett Honey Creeper), Manu-o-Kū (Ferry Tern) and the Layson Albatross. This week we will be able to look up close with native endangered taxidermy birds and then take our binoculars into the forest to discover the forest birds of Maikiki.
February 16th - Mammals
We will learn the major characteristics of mammals and the two native land mammals on Hawai‘i today the `Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua (Hawaiian monk seal) and the ʻōpeʻapeʻa (Hawaiian hoary bat). There are more than 4,000 different kinds of mammals in the world and hopefully we can find living ones on O‘ahu and take a closer look!
February 23rd - Geology
Today we are going to Rock-Out and take an in-depth look at how rocks, lava and nonliving elements make up our islands of Hawai‘i. We will learn about volcanos, earthquakes, mountains and the oceans as we get a better understanding of Earth’s physical geology.
March 2nd - Volcanology
What is the world is a Volcanologist?! On this date we will become amateur volcanologist as we study and understand the formation and the eruptive activities of volcanoes. By making a model we will have a better understanding of the hot spot theory and the life and death of an island.
March 9th - Natural Phenomena
Students will study how natural phenomena are due to laws and processes that govern our natural world and how the human beings have little or nothing to do with it. Learners will acquire knowledge about natural phenomena such as geological and biological and look at how extinctions and migrations might fall into these categories.
March 30th - Patterns in Nature
This week students will search for visible regularizers of form found in the natural world and ask questions of, “why and how.” As we take our investigative minds in to Makiki Valley to find natural patterns that include symmetries, trees, spirals, cracks and stripes. At the end of the day students will create their own tessellations to make their own forms of mathematical art.
April 6th - Life Cycles
All plants and animals go through different life cycles as they are born, grow and change over time. Students will focus on animals in Makiki Valley to help develop models to describe different organisms’ life cycles.
April 13th - Invasive Species
Invasive species are plants and animals that are not indigenous or native to a particular area. Students will learn how invasive species can cause great environmental harm to Hawai‘i and how to find solutions in preventing their spread.
April 20th - Migrations
We’ll look at the distances these migrants travel, understand why they undertake these voyages, and even consider their navigation secrets! We will focus on some of our favorite Hawaiian migratory species, including those that travel long distances (the kōlea and humpback whale), and those that migrate here in the islands (like the ‘o‘opu).
April 27th - Layers of the Forest
Students will learn about the unique characteristics of each layer of the forest. As we venture into the Makiki mesic forest, students will learn the importance of the four major layers of the forest and what types of plants and animals call it home.
May 4th - Renewable Energy
We’ll learn how “clean” energy from sustainable sources like wind, solar, water, and biomass generate electricity with little or no pollution. We’ll explore different ecosystems to understand the science behind non-renewable versus renewable energy and discover why clean energy is critical for our health and the environment.
May 11th - Ahupua‘a
In Makiki Valley, part of the Waikīkī Ahupua‘a, we’ll encounter native and introduced plants utilized by Hawaiians, a restored loʻi (taro patch), and many ancient rock terraces once used for growing food. Through practicing laulima (teamwork), aloha (respect, compassion), and mālama ‘āina (caring for the land) each day, we’ll discover how these important values that guided sustainable living in the past can also positively shape our present and future.

Gear Up & Get Ready

  • Eat a hearty breakfast.
  • Wear clothes and closed-toe (hiking or athletic) shoes that can get wet and dirty.
  • Put on mosquito repellent and sunscreen at home.
  • Leave anything expensive, valuable, or fragile at home.

What to Pack Daily

  • Small backpack
  • Water bottle
  • Morning snacks and a big lunch (no refrigeration)
  • Extra change of clothes, raincoat/poncho and water shoes
  • Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • At least two (2) COVID facemasks

REFUND & CANCELLATION POLICY – SEMESTER  If you cancel your enrollment 7 days or more prior to the start of the program, you will receive a refund less a $100 cancellation fee per child AND associated administrative processing fees. If you cancel your enrollment for the entire program within 7 days of program start or up to 6 weeks after the program has started, we will refund 50% of your program fee per child. Administrative processing fees and memberships purchased during enrollment will not be refunded.

There are no refunds after the end of the 6th week of the program. There are no refunds or makeups for individual classes missed.

REFUND & CANCELLATION POLICY – WEEKLY If you cancel your enrollment 7 days or more prior to the start of the weekly session, you will receive a refund less a $25 cancellation fee per child AND associated administrative processing fees. Enrollment is non-refundable if for any reason if you cancel within 7 days of the first day of each weekly session. We will make every effort to reschedule the cancelled week to a later week in the semester. Memberships purchased during enrollment are non-refundable.

THIRD PARTY REGISTRATION POLICY  Hawai’i Nature Center does not accept third party registrations or registrations on behalf of other friends or family–the registering child’s parent or guardian must be the individual to complete and submit all registration information. If we determine that a third party has completed your child’s registration, your registration will be cancelled and we will refund your tuition. A $50 cancellation fee per child per week and administrative processing fees will be charged.

COVID-19 SAFETY  Keeping children, families and our staff safe is our highest priority.  Health and safety measures are in place to keep participants safe. Modifications include smaller group size to accommodate social distancing. We’ve added six feet of social distancing in our seating arrangements. Masks must be worn outside of snack and lunch times. More frequent and easier-to-monitor hand washing is required. Frequent disinfecting of surfaces and high traffic areas are performed. Since our programs are outdoors, we have lots of room to spread out and enjoy the fresh air while exploring nature.


You are donating to : Greennature Foundation

How much would you like to donate?
$10 $20 $30
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note