Homeschool Naturalists

NEW for 2020! We have restructured our Homeschool Naturalist Program to maintain our high quality program while keeping your students safe.

The Homeschool Naturalist program is offered as a series of eight different two-hour programs at the Ogden Nature Center for children ages 7-12. These programs will be offered twice monthly, Tuesday through Friday, starting in September and ending in December. Students will sign up for a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, and either the morning or afternoon session. Students from the same households will be placed in the same class with a max of eight students. Registered students also have access to our ONC google classroom where students can access information and activities during the weeks when students are not scheduled to attend in-person classes.

We are following the Utah Board of Education guidelines, therefore all students and instructors are required to wear face coverings (masks) for the duration of each session on the property. 


Registration will begin  August 10th! Pre-registration and payment is required at the time of registration. Space is limited. Please call 801-621-7595 to register for the Homeschool Naturalist program.

Cost and Payment   

The fee for the Ogden Nature Center Homeschool Naturalist program is $200. Ogden Nature Center members receive a 10% discount. 

Student Age   

Students aged 7-12 may register for the program.  

Parents & Siblings 

We will maintain a group size of no more then 10 individuals (including a homeschool teacher) in order to maintain social distancing in our classes. Parents will not be allowed to stay with their homeschooling child during the class but are welcome to reamin on the property. All students will need to check-in and complete a health screening with their parent before class begins. 


Our programs will be held outside and in all types of weather. Please be sure your child is adequately prepared to go outdoors for weather conditions including rain, snow, sun, cold, and heat.

West Nile Virus 

West Nile Virus has been reported in the Ogden Area this year. As your child will be outdoors for a large portion of the visit, we recommend that you protect him/her with insect repellent containing DEET. The chance of contracting the disease or of displaying any symptoms is fairly low, but it's always best to take precautions.  

Program Times  

Choose morning or afternoon session:

10am -noon or 1-3pm.

You will be required to attend this session for the entire series.


Choose a day of the week:

Tuesdays: Sept. 8 & 22 / Oct. 6 & 20 / Nov. 3 & 17 / Dec. 1 & 15 

Wednesdays: Sept. 9 & 23 / Oct. 7 & 21 / Nov. 4 & 18 / Dec. 2 & 16 

Thursdays: Sept. 10 & 24 / Oct. 8 & 22 / Nov. 5 & 19 / Dec. 3 & 17 

Fridays: Sept. 11 & 25 / Oct. 9 & 23 / Nov. 6 & 20 / Dec. 4 & 18 


 Please be punctual, as your child may miss some vital information at the start if they arrive late, and may also cause a distraction for those who are on time. Please remember to pick-up your student at their scheduled pick-up time. Parents will be billed $2 per minute for any students left after 15 minutes of their scheduled pick-up time. Students will not be allowed to return to class without paying any balance due on their account. If you have a need to pick your child up early from class, please make arrangements in advance with our education staff, as our classes take place in various locations on site.

Please park in the large lot and walk down Bird House Trail towards the Education building to drop off and pick up your child for class. Please do not park in the handicap spots next to the education building unless you have a handicap pass. Please do not park along the road, as the road is a fire lane. The Ogden Nature Center has a no idleing policy. Please turn off your vechile when picking up your child. Thank you.

Leave all pets at home. The Ogden Nature Center has a strict no pet policy. If you have a service animal please contact us to make special drop off and pick up arrangments. 

Expected Behavior

Please prepare your child by helping them understand appropriate group-learning behaviors, which include:
* Raising hands before shouting out questions or ideas
* Taking turns and sharing
* Staying with the group
* Being respectful to classmates and teachers.
These are essential for a productive learning experience.


Homeschool Naturalists Schedule Fall 2020  

Theme: Utah is Our Backyard

This year, homeschool naturalists will delve deep into our shared backyard: The beautiful state of Utah! We’ll explore Utah’s flora & fauna, and culminate the year with a “Council of All Beings,” in which each student becomes one of the organisms we studied and speaks to the group from that being’s point of view. Each session will include hands-on activities designed to help students learn to explore and examine the natural world we have at the Ogden Nature Center, which can translate to skills and tools to explore any habitat worldwide. Whenever possible, we will include an environmental issue that Utah’s organisms and landscapes are facing, along with extension activities and online links that students can use to explore more at home.



Session 1: Utah’s Ecosystems -- Where Deserts, Mountains, Forests, and Water Meet

This is an overview of all the habitats Utah has to offer. Students will identify the ecosystems and habitats that exist on ONC property. They also will discuss and receive written information on how the “Council of All Beings” presentations work, so that they can keep that in the backs of their minds as the year progresses. ONC naturalists will work with the kids throughout the year to assemble ideas on how to create and format their presentations (posters, poems, stories, songs, etc.).

Session 2: Utah’s Insects

We’ll explore the world of bugs, taking stock of whatever we find at ONC both on the land, under the surface, and in the water. We’ll discuss what kind of human activity affects insect populations, and how that, in turn, can affect other organisms and whole ecosystems.


Session 1: Utah’s Reptiles

We’ll learn about reptiles that call Utah home, examining the adaptations that allow them to live in their varied habitats. We’ll discuss how human activity has affected the Mojave Desert Tortoise and what people can do to help.

Session2: Utah’s Birds

Migration is happening, and Utah’s Great Salt Lake ecosystem provides rest and food for one-third of all the migratory birds that cross the United States. We’ll explore what makes birds unique, learn to identify and see birds, and meet some of the cool birds that call Utah home.


Session 1: Utah Rocks!

We’ll play a game that helps us learn about some of the geologic events that helped create the geography and geology of the state as we now know it, along with exploring via photos and artifacts the red rocks and sandstone for which Utah is famous.

Session 2: Indigenous to Utah

We’ll learn about the Indigenous people who call Utah home and examine some of the art left by their ancestors long ago -- some of which can be viewed in the Wasatch above Ogden. We’ll talk about the ethics of defacing or stealing these artifacts.


Session 1: Utah’s Ungulates

We’ll learn about the hoofed animals that call Utah home, and hopefully observe some mule deer in the wild at ONC, in addition to examining mounts and parts of Utah ungulates. We’ll talk about managing deer populations, and learn about deer migrations.

Session 2: Council of All Beings

Students will dress as their favorite Utah “being” (including a red rock arch or petroglyph, if that’s what they want to be), and do a short presentation from their being’s point of view. The presentations should help people understand what ecological function that organism or object serves, and some factual information about its existence.