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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Homeschool Program

20161021_124514.jpgNow in its third year, our Nature Days for Homeschoolers program gives homeschooling families a chance to explore the ponds, fields and forests of the Tiffin Centre property. 

Under the guidance of our environmental educators, homeschoolers of all ages participate in full- or half-day programs. Programs range from pond study to nature photography to winter snowshoeing and games.


2017​-2018 Program​

Thursday, September 21 - Forest Exploration
Explore the forest ecosystem at the Tiffin Centre on a guided hike, then become part of the ecosystem as part of a predator-prey role playing game.
Friday, October 20 - ​Hiking the Bluffs
Back by popular demand! Explore the Niagara Escarpment on a guided hike through the caves, hardwood and coniferous forests, and open meadows of the Nottawasaga Bluffs.
Wednesday, November 15 - Wilderness Survival
Head out into the woods for a day of navigation, shelter building, and foraging at the Tiffin Centre.​
​Thursday, December 7 - Woodland Christmas
Get ready for the holidays with nature-based Christmas activities, including making ornaments from natural materials found at Tiffin.
​Wednesday, January 10 - Winter Survival
Do you know how to stay warm in the winter? Build a snow shelter, learn how to start a fire, and learn other tricks to surviving outdoors in the winter.

​Friday, February 2 - Groundhog Day!
Get outside in the snow at the Tiffin Centre and beat the winter blues with snowshoeing, kicksledding, pond skating and playing with “snow snakes.​” 

Friday, March 2 - Get back to the Sugar Shack
Explore the Tiffin Centre's working sugar bush and learn about indigenous, pioneer and modern-day maple syrup making through stories and  hands-on activities. We'll also study the fascinating world of tree science.

Thursday, April 19 - 
Earth Day Art Day
Become inspired by the natural beauty at the Tiffin Centre. Create water colour landscapes, nature photography and earth works. 

Saturday, May 26 - Spring Tree Plant - FREE
Instead of a formal program, we're encouraging homeschooling families to sign-up for one of our spring tree plants. Join NVCA's stewardship team for a day of planting trees and rehabilitating wildlife habitat. Click on the dates below for more information and to register:
  • May 15, New Low​​ell
  • May 26, Shelburne
    - good choice for all ages; homeschoolers encouraged to attend the Shelburne plant if possible
  • May 28​, Mono​​
  • May 30, Tottenham
Thursday, June 28 - Pond Living ​
Spend the day on Papa Bear Pond!  Learn about the plants, bugs, fish and other animals that make their home in the pond, build a model sailboat, then take to the water and try your hand paddling a canoe.

Program ​Start Times
  • Morning Program: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Lunch Break:  12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
  • Afternoon Program: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Program Fees & Registration Details

  • All children must be accompanied by an​ adult.  All youth participants aged 4 and older, must register for this event.

  • Parents/guardians are not required to register, but must be on-site throughout the program.

  • Online, Advance Registration

    • Online registration closes at the end of 2-days prior to the homeschool event.

    • To register online (CREDIT CARD only), please select the link next to the program (above), and follow the instructions.  

    • Fees: 
      • Full Day of Programming - $17.50
      • Half Day of Programming (morning or afternoon only) - $12.00
  • ​Day-of Registration - First-come, first-served basis

    • To register in person on the day of the event (CREDIT CARD, DEBIT or CASH under $50 bills), please visit the John Hix Conservation Administration Centre located at 8195 8th Line, Essa, before 9:30 am (directions).

    • Note that "drop-in" or "pay-at-the-door" registrations are available first-come/first-served, until the available spaces are filled. If programs are running at a site other than the Tiffin Centre, drop-in registrations are not possible.

    • Fees: 
      • Full Day of Programming - $22.00 
      • Half Day of Programming (morning or afternoon only) - $16.00


What is the refund policy?

Refunds can be issued until the close of registration.  No refunds will be issued after this date.

What is the cancellation policy?

NVCA reserves the right to cancel this program at any time up to 12 noon on the day prior to the event. Those who have registered/paid will receive email notification of the cancellation and a full refund.

The most likely reason for cancellation is low enrolment. Please register in advance to avoid disappointment!

Is there any food for purchase at the Tiffin Centre?

For those eating lunch at the Tiffin Centre, please note that there is no food available here for purchase.  We also ask participants to be mindful of our litterless lunch policy and deposit any food-related garbage or recycling off-site (donations to our compost, however, are always appreciated!).  Water fountains are available to fill up re-useable water bottles.

If your program is running at a different location, please bring your lunch and water bottle with you.

Do I need to accompany my children to this event?

We do require that all children have an adult supervisor on-site and participating in our programs in case of unforeseen incidents (sickness, injury, etc.).  If you would like to assign supervision of your children to another adult who will be participating, that would be fine.  We simply ask that they be registered with the individual who has accepted this responsibility.

Parents/guardians are responsible for lunchtime supervision.

What if it rains or snows?

All of our programs run rain or shine.  Please come prepared for outdoor activity and dress appropriately for the weather.

Can I bring my dog to this event?

While leashed dogs are allowed on NVCA trails, we ask that they do not accompany you during programming times.

My friends will also be attending this event.  Can we request to be placed in the same group/class?

Due to the number of participants and the nature of our programs, we cannot guarantee placement with other registrants.

How can I get more information about NVCA's homeschool program?

If you'd like to be added to our homeschool family contact list, please contact Naomi Saunders at or 705-424-1479 ext. 280.​