Homeschool Programs


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April Classes
March Classes
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Outdoor Environmental

Science Program (OESP)


Program Summary

Our engaging homeschool Outdoor Environmental Science Program (OESP), provides an interactive, outdoor environmental education experience. We utilize our river, famous Heritage Rose Garden, Historic Orchard, and exhilarating park as tools to teach exciting educational themes.


Students will explore the natural world through a variety of topics covering everything from the smallest pollinator to the tallest trees. Our lessons structurally encourage students to form their own connection with nature, while reinforcing environmental objectives and concepts.


The OESP  is proud to be an activity-based, question-driven program with the newest Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as a model.


Program Themes & Details


2016-2017 Themes

September: Curious Chemistry (3 weeks)

October: Spooky Critters (4 weeks)
November: World Water (3 weeks)
December: Keystone Species (3 weeks)
January: Physics of Play (4 weeks)
February: Gardening (4 weeks)
March: Birds of a Feather (4 weeks)
April: Life Cycles (4 weeks)
May: Maker May (4 weeks)



Program Details



Classes are held on Mondays, Thursdays, & Fridays.


1:30 – 3:00 PM


Guadalupe River Park & Gardens Visitor and Education Center, 438 Coleman Ave., San Jose, CA 95110


Designed for children ages 5-12.


Class dues are $15 per student per class for Friends of GRPC ($50/year donation) or $20 per student per class for non-members.

Other Important Information

The same lesson is taught each day of the week; lessons change on a weekly basis.



Welcome Ocean Grove families! GRPC is a registered vendor for Ocean Grove Charter School. If you’re interested in using Ocean Grove funds, please email us with the attendee names and class dates and request a purchase order from your ES. You do not need to complete the sign up form below.


Registration is now open for

April “Life Cycles” Classes!



Monday students whose class is cancelled due to a holiday can choose to attend a Thursday or Friday class to complete the series. Please email with your student’s name and date substitution choice. 

April Classes


Follow the Fish
Dates Offered:

Monday, April 3

Thursday, April 6

Friday, April 7

Class Description:

Fish have a remarkable life journey, starting out as an egg and eventually ending as a spawning adult. Come explore this dangerous journey to adulthood at the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens. Put yourself in the mind of a fish and experience each interactive step in their life cycle. Learn how fish protect their young in our Redbed Experiment, and practice guarding eggs from predators in the first stage: Egg Catastrophe! Travel through the next five stages of a fish’s life in our Life Cycle Obstacle Course. Explore our river and examine parts of the river that could house fish at different stages of their life.

Topics We Will Cover:

Life Cycles, Biology, Ichthyology, Anatomy

Scales and Shells
Dates Offered:

Monday, April 10

Thursday, April 13

Friday, April 14

Class Description:

Reptiles have a more basic life cycle from egg to hatchling to juvenile and finally adult. At the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens, we will examine three different types of reptiles and their life cycles. Analyze the alligator lizard’s life cycle and go on a walk around the park in search of other lizards. Learn about how reptiles are born and create your own reptile egg. Examine a sea turtle’s life cycle and play a game to experience the struggle of baby sea turtles walking towards the ocean. Meet a land turtle and learn about the differences between a land turtle and a sea turtle.

Topics We Will Cover:

Anatomy, Biology, Life Cycles, Herpetology

Frog Life
Dates Offered:

Monday, April 17

Thursday, April 20

Friday, April 21

Class Description:

The life cycle amphibians go through is called “metamorphosis,” starting with an egg and ending as an adult. Travel through the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens to discover the different life cycles of frogs and toads. Go on a scavenger hunt to find the different stages in the life cycle of a frog. Find the subtle, but significant changes between a frog and a toad and discover their different life styles. Create your own frog life cycle booklet and take care of our own tadpole until it is ready to be released.

Topics We Will Cover:

Anatomy, Biology, Herpetology, Life cycles

Complete or Incomplete
Dates Offered:

Monday, April 24

Thursday, April 27

Friday, April 28

Class Description:

Insects have either three or four stages in their life cycle, which means they have either an incomplete or complete metamorphosis. Butterflies have a complete metamorphosis, while Dragonflies have an incomplete metamorphosis. Create a mason jar butterfly terrarium and explore the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens for insects with bug catchers. Take care of our own caterpillars until it is ready to be released and examine the milkweed around the park. Learn how to determine which insect has an incomplete or complete metamorphosis.

Topics We Will Cover:

Anatomy, Biology, Life Cycles, Entomology

March Classes


Adapt and Survive
Dates Offered:

Monday, March 20

Thursday, March 23

Friday, March 24

Class Description:

Birds live in many different types of habitats across the United States and one of the indicators of their habitat is their feet. Come take a walk in the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens and discover the different types of habitat birds live in. Make molds of different types of bird’s feet and pair them with the correct birds. Explore the twists and turns of migration in our interactive Birdopoly Game. Follow the path of different birds in their migration on our world map and create a bird mobile. Meet a blind pigeon to observe and sketch how a perching bird’s feet are formed.

Topics We Will Cover:

Anatomy, Biology, Adaptations, Life Cycles

Testing Station
Dates Offered:

Monday, March 27

Thursday, March 30

Friday, March 31

Class Description:

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a wildlife biologist? Step into that world at the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens and explore the tasks wildlife biologists use when researching birds. Practice some wildlife techniques and create your own data collection notebook. Go bird watching around our park and identify certain species of birds with our bird guides. Make a nest from the materials around the park and conduct an experiment to understand the delicacy of bird’s eggs. Meet a feathered friend and practice sketching wildlife.

Topics We Will Cover:

Anatomy, Engineering, Wildlife Biology, Data Collection


Membership Pricing and Opportunities

OESP classes are offered to members at a discounted rate of $15/class and are $20/class for non-members. For more information on membership, visit our membership page. In addition to the class discount you will receive our monthly newsletter, announcements of special events and volunteer opportunities, and discounts at local nurseries. Your membership donation is also 100% tax-deductible and comes with a free annual subscription to Better Homes and Gardens.


But most of all, you will know that you are supporting a valuable community asset that will be enjoyed today and for generations to come.


Please contact us with any questions at 408-298-7657 or e-mail


Homeschool Programs Sign-up Form

Sign Up Today! To add more than one class, fill out the form below for the first class and click “Sign Up.” You will be taken to the cart page, where you can click “Continue Shopping” to come back here and add more classes. You can also sign up for the whole series!

Please indicate the number of students and select the class(es) you’d like them to attend. Response required.
Please write the names and ages of attendees. Response required.
I, the undersigned, do hereby give my full consent for the above-named person(s) to participate in Guadalupe River Park Conservancy’s Outdoor Environmental Science Program for Homeschool Students. I agree to hold harmless the City of San Jose and the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy and the officers, employees, volunteers and agents should any accident occur requiring medical care above-named person(s). I give full consent to the providing of such care by a licensed physician. Further, I hereby grant full permission for any and all foregoing use of photographs, videotape, motion pictures, recordings, and any other records of these events for education and public relation purposes. I have also read and understand the cancellation and refund policy should I need to cancel my registration for any class in the Outdoor Environmental Science Program for Homeschool Students. Response required.
I am aware that this is a drop-off program. Response required.
Which session are you signing up for? Response required.
Questions/Comments — Use the field below to leave any questions or comments you may have.

If this is your child’s first class at GRPC, please provide the following additional information. Otherwise, please scroll to the bottom and select Sign Up.

Emergency Contact Name and Phone Number
Allergies, Medications, or Special Needs
Primary Care Physician Name and Phone Number


Cancellation & Refund Policy

GRPC cancellation policies are based on our investment in staff, course planning, as well as materials and equipment purchases before your course. We cannot recover our expenses if you cancel. Short-notice cancellations often prevent others from attending. Nevertheless, we understand that the needs of families may change during the year.


Program Refunds: All refunds and changes are subject to a $5 processing fee per program. There are no refunds, credits, cancellations, or changes less than two weeks prior to the start of the program. A full refund will be given for any program cancelled by GRPC. No refunds will be issued once a program begins.

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