Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



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$62.39 million raised; 78% of $80 million goal

Homeschool Classes

Homeschool classes at the National Zoo are a unique addition to your child's science curriculum. Experiments, hands-on artifact explorations, interactive discussions with Zoo professionals, and, of course, the Zoo's animal collection will engage students in a class experience they will never forget.

Homeschool classes are offered as five, multi-week series during the academic year. Each year has a new overarching theme and each series investigates a new topic within this theme. Class series focus primarily on concepts from life science, ecology, and environmental science, but also build mathematics, language arts, and critical thinking skills.

Parents will receive a summary of each class and a "home challenge" activity will extend the student's learning beyond the end of class. Additional materials to support homeschooling requirements can be requested.

2015-2016: Amazing Adaptations

Each multi-week series will explore a different major category of animal adaptation. Students will develop a rich picture of physical and behavioral adaptations in the animal world and the various interconnections between them. Students may sign up for individual series or for all five series.

Classes for 6-12 year olds meet Thursday mornings from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Classes for 5-8 year olds meet Monday mornings from 10:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., in partnership with the City Kids Homeschool Cooperative.

Feb 22-Mar 24: Eat or be Eaten

In the animal world, someone always wants to have you for dinner! We'll investigate the incredible variety of adaptations driven by an animal's place in the food chain. Defensive mechanisms, evasive tactics, predatory behaviors, feeding strategies: it’s all on the menu in this series!

  • Ages 5-8: Mondays 10:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. (Available through City Kids Homeschool Cooperative)
  • Ages 6-12: Thursdays 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • $150/series (FONZ Members); $187.50/series (non-members)

Register now!

April 18-June 2: Zoo-cial Structures

One of a kind, part of a pack, queen of a colony? Animal social structures reveal much more than just who's responsible for finding dinner. We'll explore how a species' social strategy intersects with its biology and its ecosystem niche, from flamboyances of flamingos to solitary pandas. (Note: this is a six- class series.)

  • Ages 5-8: Mondays 10:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
  • Ages 6-12: Thursdays 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • $180/series (FONZ Members); $225/series (non-members)

Register now!

Homeschool Class Policies

Cancellation Policy: All cancellation requests received by the FONZ Education office at least two weeks prior to the start of the program will receive a 75% refund. No refunds or changes will be made with less than two-weeks notice.

Transfer Policy: All transfer requests received at least two weeks prior to the start of the program will be charged a 10-percent administrative fee.

Age Policy: All children must meet the minimum age for the class by the date of the first class session in order to participate. Registered children who do not meet the age requirements for the class may be asked to leave and no refund will be provided.

Minimum Class Size: FONZ reserves the right to cancel a program no less than two days before the class begins if registration is under five participants. In this event, you will be notified by phone or e-mail and offered credit for another program, a full refund, or the option to donate your program fee to FONZ.