Field Science Classes

About FGS Field Classes

Skip to: Recordkeeping & Recommendations | FGS Open Badges | Field Class Guidelines

Forest Grove School offers the homeschool community field trips and classes focused on the natural sciences. We believe in conceptual and experiential learning.

Each academic year, our field courses will follow an arc of learning, from introducing skills/concepts of field science and the scientific method to holding learners accountable for acquiring and analysing new & prior information in order to share it with their classmates. Around this scaffold, topics across the geosciences, biological sciences, chemistry, physics, ecology, and botany will be illuminated in a multi-age setting that allows for introductory exposure to the topics as well as shared learning and in-depth exploration.

In our inaugural field class, the kids ranged in age from 5 to 12yo. The class was an introduction to mycology. Sprinkled with quaternary seismology, dendrology, and materials science. In academic year 2018-2019 , we have a year of single and multi-day trips planned under the general headings of Field Geology and Integrated Field Science (chiefly geosciences plus botany, mycology, ecology). If you’d like to be informed about our future field trips and classes, please contact us for an invitation to the announcements list.
We encourage a multi-age learning environment and only ask that the kids are willing to take guidance on appropriate group behavior and individual safety actions with or without support.

Future Classes

Duration: 1 day
Geology in the Field: Earthquakes, Geomorphology, and Ethnobotany

Duration: 2 days
Geology in the Field: Botany, Paleoecology, Geomorphology

Duration: 0.5 day
Geology in the Field: Biogeomorphology

Duration: 5 days
Integrated Field Science: Yosemite Valley “Granites, Glaciers, and Morels”

Duration: 2 days
Geology in the Field: Botany, Paleoclimatology, Biogeostratigraphy, Seismology

Recordkeeping and Recommendations

We are happy to provide a teacher recommendation or opinion letter if one is needed under the following conditions:

1: Sufficient opportunity to get to know your child through at least three (3) field trips comprising at least five (5) instructional days. The first day of a field trip equals one (1) instructional day, even if the field trip is a 0.5 day field trip. Each day thereafter is also an instructional day up to and including the concluding day of the trip.

This condition allows us to speak honestly and with some authority about our observations and ongoing opinions about your child’s learning based on multiple face to face interactions.

2: Completion of pre- and post-field trip surveys allows us to identify an arc of interest and learning for your child as that develops over time and exposure to class materials. We need 100% completion rates through at least three (3) field trips comprising at least five (5) instructional days.

Along with condition 1, this condition provides both you and reviewers of our letters with assurance that our recommendation or opinion letter has been offered as the result of a systematic and integrous process.

3: You have consented to our confidential record-keeping about your child’s educational experiences on our field trips during the at least three (3) field trips and at least five (5) instructional days selected as the basis for our letter writing.

This condition allows us to have your consent to keep a confidential record of your child’s educational experiences for specific field trips and as they develop over time. This allows us to speak with authority about your child when a letter is requested by you for your records (learning report) or to share with a third party (recommendation or opinion letter).
Please be aware that we consider our notes (records) on your child’s learning with us to be “joint property” and we will make them available to you online (raw notes) or, if the above conditions 1-3 are met and you request, as a summative learning report at the end of the academic year (delivered in July).

FGS Open Badges

We are thrilled to introduce Open Badges to FGS Field School! These badges are records of learning that are anonymous (we don’t share your learner’s name unless you want us to do so), shareable, and you can opt-out of receiving them for your learner at any time. Learn more about the introduction of badges in our post.

Field Class Guidelines

Learners will:

  • Have at least one legally responsible adult accompanying them
  • Be respectful and considerate of other learners, with or without support
  • Follow instructor or accompanying adult safety guidance, with or without support
  • Bring sufficient food and/or snacks to support the intense caloric and nutritional needs of full-spectrum learning (head, heart, hands) [and ideally bring extra to eat during the return home as they integrate their experiences]
  • Bring 8 oz of water or other non-caffeinated beverage for every hour of planned class time, or at least 2 quarts (32 ounces) for each full-day class.

Please contact us if you or your learner(s) require support in any of the above areas. We are community and we are here for you.

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