Homeschool Programs

Homeschoolers in the Raleigh area are invited to participate in a variety of field trip activities from private tours and custom programming to grade-level classes, garden-wide events, and more!

I Spy! Tours (PreK–Grade 8)

Homeschool students have the opportunity to take a field trip to the gardens through our interactive I Spy! Tour program. Perfect for a family or group of up to ten participants, each tour includes a guided walk through the Arboretum while exploring a topic of interest along the way. Tours are purposely kept small to help maintain social-distancing while allowing students and families to explore the garden, make observations, have fun, and learn something new together. 

Advance booking is required since tours are offered on a limited schedule.  Registration fee is paid by the tour organizer when booking the tour through our online e-store.

For more information, current tour topics, or to book a tour, visit the I Spy! Tour information page.

Lunch & Lit in the Garden

Who doesn't love a great story? Students bring lunch and listen to a classic read-aloud while relaxing under the shade of our trees! Each week, the group explores a different part of the Arboretum and completes a nature activity inspired by the day's reading. It's a little literature, a bit of nature study, some artistic endeavors plus science, geography, and more!

All About Trees!

Grades 1-2
Wednesdays, September 21 and 28, 2022
12:00 pm–1:30 pm

Join us to learn about awesome trees and the surprising ways they relate to our lives. Then get ready to explore the garden! This two-week session will include hands-on garden activities—a bit of nature study, crafting, even time to dig and do a bit of planting!


Tell Me, Tree: All About Trees for Kids by Gail Gibbons
Be Thankful for Trees by Harriet Ziefert

Register Here

Growing in the Garden

Grades 3-4
Wednesdays, October 5–26, 2022
12:00 pm–1:30 pm

Let's explore what to do with great ideas and pesky problems while growing perseverance at the same time! Each week during lunch we will read a book by award-winning author Kobi Yamada. Then we'll discover the creativity, problem-solving and perseverance exhibited by famous botanists such as George Washington Carver, Charles Henry Turner, and even Dr. J.C. Raulston! Together, we will work together on garden-inspired projects as a way to practice what we've learned.

Books by Kobi Yamada:

What Do You Do With an Idea?
What Do You Do With a Problem?
What Do You Do With a Chance?

Register Here

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Grades 5-8
Thursdays, September 15 through November 3, 2022
12:00 pm–2:00 pm

Come sit, relax and listen to a timely tale told by a tree named Red Oak, who's "two hundred and sixteen rings old!" This touching story explores the meaning of community while deftly focusing on the birds and animals who find shelter in the Red Oak year-round. Each week we will explore the garden and complete fun activities together–a little literary analysis, a bit of nature study, some artistic endeavors, science and more!

Register Here

Custom Programming

If you have a large group, class, co-op, or are looking for a program related to a specific science topic or curriculum, please contact Joy Burns, school program coordinator, to discuss possible programming options to meet the needs of your students.