Homeschooling in the Wild: Offerings of the Greenville Zoo

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Have a homeschooler and need a little time outside, away from all the books and computers? Pick a day and make an educational adventure out of a trip to the Greenville Zoo. They have lots of special events to help your family learn and enjoy the zoo like story time or with the zoo keepers for questions. They even offer special classes just for homeschoolers. KAG Contributor and local mom Maria Bassett is sharing some of the educational opportunities you’ll find at the Greenville Zoo. 

Be sure to check out our Homeschool Guide for tons of idea, resources and more!

Sure a trip to the zoo is fun any day, and it can be an educational adventure. Sometimes, though, my kids run from exhibit to exhibit and we never really take the time to read the signs, observe and learn. That’s frustrating, and doesn’t feel very educational. Sometimes we bring along some animal classification work (if you’d like some freebie worksheets checkout this homeschool giveaways site for some options.)  But sometimes, it’s really just more fun to listen to the great folks at the zoo, than it is to listen to mom!  That’s why I am so thankful for the many educational gems that the Greenville Zoo offers.  They have so many educational programs, and many of them are completely free with admission.

Greenville Zoo homeschool programs

Homeschool programs at the Greenville Zoo

Homeschool class

The zoo offers a homeschool class once per month for K5- 8th grade students. The classes are broken down into smaller age groups and are on a variety of topics.  My two oldest boys love these classes! They get some hands on time with various animals and critters. (After the class that featured a number of invertebrates, I heard a lot about how they got to touch the hissing cockroach.  Yuck!) And they really learn lots of neat facts. Each class costs $10 for members and $15 for non-members. The dates vary each month and the class requires registration you can complete online. You can find the registration and dates here.

Tell Me About it Tuesdays

Free! (with admission) At 10:30 am and 12:30 pm on Tuesdays you will find zoo staff at specific exhibits talking about and answering your questions about the animals they highlight.  Tell Me About it Tuesdays is a great opportunity for homeschool students to get answers straight from the source.

Learning Safari Thursdays

Free! (with admission)  Want to see some zoo creatures up close?  Check out the Learning Safari Thursdays in front of the Buck Mickel Education Building on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 3:30 pm. These are fun, hands on exhibits. What a great chance for homeschoolers to learn from zoo staff, without the added cost!

Wild for Reading Wednesdays

Free! (with admission) The younger homeschool kiddos might enjoy reading a book with a zoo staff member and a live animal friend at Wild for Reading Wednesdays every Wednesday at 2:30 pm.  You’ll find this event near the farm yard exhibit.

Note: All three of the above free programs meet September through May.

Family Workshops

Looking for an activity the whole family can enjoy together? The zoo offers Family Workshops on a variety of topics through the year. You need to register in advance for these programs!

Conservation Lectures

Families with older children might enjoy the zoo’s free conservation lecture series. The zoo has partnered with Furman to bring educational lectures about conservation efforts for specific animals. Lectures take place at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate or a Greenville Library and are scheduled in the evening. These lectures are totally free!

Plan your own trip to the Greenville Zoo

150 Cleveland Park Drive, Greenville

Adults $9.75; kids 3 – 15 $6.50; under 3 free. Members: free

What is your favorite program for your homeschooler? Tell us in the comments!

About the Author
Maria Bassett is a former school orchestra teacher, turned homeschool mom. She and her husband homeschool their 3 sons and 1 daughter, who range from 4th grade through 9th grade. Believing children learn best when they are engaged and having fun, this family loves to take their homeschool on the road, around Greenville and beyond.

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