Homeschool Programs


Quick Links:
Themes & Details
September Classes
October Classes
Sign Up Now!




Community Homeschool Investigators

of the River Park (CHIRP) Program


Program Summary

Our engaging Community Homeschool Investigators of the River Park (CHIRP) Program, provides an interactive, outdoor environmental education experience. This is a drop-off program. We utilize our river, famous Heritage Rose Garden, Historic Orchard, and exhilarating park as tools to teach exciting educational themes. Our students build a community with one another by maintaining our classroom garden, and working together with experiments, observations, and other hands-on activities.


Lessons take place outdoors, but will be moved indoors in the case of inclement weather. Our lessons structurally encourage students to form their own connection with nature, while reinforcing environmental objectives and concepts.


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


Program Themes & Details


2018 – 2019 Class Themes

September: Get to Know Guadalupe

October: How About Habitats?

November: Sustainability Stewards

December: Just About Geology

January: Birds, Birds, & More Birds!

February: Get up & Garden!

March: Time for Trees

April: Guadalupe’s Place on Earth

May: Horray for Herpetology!




Program Details



Classes are held on Mondays (ages 5 – 8)


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 $18 per student per class for Friends of GRPC ($50/year donation) or $25 per student per class for non-members.

Other Important Information

This is a drop-off program. The same lesson is taught each day of the week; lessons change on a weekly basis.



Welcome Ocean Grove, Connecting Waters, Summit, and Valiant families! GRPC is a registered vendor. If you’re interested in using these 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 October’s

“How About Habitats?” Classes!


October Classes


Habitat Highlight
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, October 1

Class Description:

What is a habitat, anyway? In celebration of world habitat day, our class will work together to find the answer and apply knowledge through hands-on exploration! What are the components needed for a habitat? Can you observe these components around you? What do we need to create a habitat that attracts more wildlife? Does this compare to household pets?

Topics We Will Cover:

World Habitat Day, habitat components, adaptations, biodiversity

Squirrel Sanctuaties
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, October 8

Class Description:

Time for some application. Now that we have a good idea of what habitats are, can we apply this knowledge to squirrels, specifically? We see them all the time in the park, and now we will learn about their homes up close.
We will also work together to discover how squirrels affect their own habitats, a well as neighboring habitats.

Topics We Will Cover:

Mammology, biology, animal behavior, burrows, wildlife surveying

How Habitats Help
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, October 15

Class Description:

How does the river help salmon survive? How about the rocks within the river? This week, CHIRP students will work together to create model gravel beds (redds) to see the challenges of an egg surviving in a ripping river. Working with classmates, students will see what exactly a salmon needs from its surrounding habitat to survive and spawn.

Topics We Will Cover:

Salmon spawning, redds, salmon runs

California as a Habitat
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, October 22

Class Description:

California is a hotspot for biodiversity and habitats. This week, we will be taking an intricate look at California species and the habitat in which they exist. We will also meet one of GRPC’s animal ambassadors who will tell us their story through adaptations and behavior. How has living in California changed the way this particular species lives and survives?

Topics We Will Cover:

California native species, invasive species, adaptations, live animal observation

Historic Habitats
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, October 29

Class Description:

Have you heard about Lupe the woolly mammoth? Did you know that Lupe used to call the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens “home?” Take a walk through time with GRPC staff to learn about the prehistoric animals (and plants) that existed here. How has life changed since they roamed the park? Let’s explore and find out!

Topics We Will Cover:

History, prehistoric animals, prehistoric and modern plantlife, biology

September Classes


Our Information Station
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, September 10

Class Description:

Welcome! GRPC is excited to kick off the Fall/Winter season of our new CHIRP homeschool program with an in-depth look at our very own backyard classroom. This will be the hub for our program, and our students will have their own opportunity to contribute to its beauty, growth, and care. We will get to know our classmates, discuss strategies for our outdoor garden space, and create our personal field journals we will use throughout the year.

Topics We Will Cover:

Gardening basics, introduction to field journaling

The Guadalupe Grove
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, September 17

Class Description:

This week, our CHIRP students will be introduced to our historic orchard. We will learn the fundamentals of orchards, a brief history of our area, and why we have an orchard at all. While in the orchard, we will be observing our bee hive from afar, as well as taking a look at our “insect motel,” all while hypothesizing the importance of having arthropods in such a fruitful area.

Topics We Will Cover:

Orchards, San Jose history, arthropods and other pollinators

Roaming at the Rose Garden
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, September 24

Class Description:

Our Heritage Rose Garden has the largest collection of varieties of roses in the United States of America. This week, we will be working together to learn about the life that depends on this sweet-smelling space. We will take a walk, observe a wide range of animals, as well as participate in guided discussions and observations to help us learn more about it.

Topics We Will Cover:

Roses, mapping/grids, pollination, ecosystems, observation skills

Homeschool Program 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 Community Homeschool Investigators of the River Park (CHIRP) 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 Community Homeschool Investigators of the River Park (CHIRP) 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.

Please provide the following additional information.

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.

<< Dec 2017 >>
26 27 28 29 30 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 1 2 3 4 5 6

Featured Events