Each year, Merry Lea hosts programs for homeschooled students covering a range of natural history and environmental topics. During homeschool programs, students spend a significant portion of time outdoors to take advantage of Merry Lea’s wonderfully diverse landscapes. Students are grouped by age for trail explorations to provide age appropriate instruction.

Additionally, any of our standard field trips are available as a homeschool co-op program as well. Contact us for more information.

Homeschool Programs

  1. Homeschool Series | ages 6 – 8

Merry Lea is hosting our annual series with 6 programs that cover a range of natural history and environmental topics on Merry Lea’s trails. To make it easier for families with students of multiple ages, some but not all, of these program times happen concurrently with each Junior IMN session (see below) being held at Merry Lea.

Scroll down for more details and this school year’s 2022-2023 Homeschool Series program options.

2. Junior and Teen Indiana Master Naturalist | ages 9 – 17

Merry Lea is hosting a monthly 8-session series in collaboration with Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site that brings together natural resource specialists with young people to explore Indiana’s landscapes and wildlife, and promotes volunteer service.

See our Junior and Teen IMN webpage for more details and sessions for the 2021-2022 school year.


2022-2023 Homeschool Series Program Options

Registration is now open for the 2022-23 school year!

Exploring Merry Lea Sustainable Farm

Join us for an exploration of the Merry Lea Sustainable Farm: a unique edible ecosystem where you can taste your way to an understanding of humans, farm and habitat connections. Delve into soil ecosystems, search for pollinators at work and meet our animals living at the farm.

Date: September 15
Location: Farmstead | 2152 S 425 W | Albion, IN 46701

Engineering with Natural Items

Q: What do tall towers, strong walls and catapults have in common?
A: They can all be created with items from nature and each are created through engineering! Join us to learn about the engineering design cycle and then engage your creative (and destructive) side, as we build and then test the strength and resilience of your creations.

Date: October 20
Location: Farmstead | 2152 S 425 W | Albion, IN 46701

Stories Around the Campfire

Engage with all the elements of a great campfire: learn fire building skills, enjoy fun and interactive storytelling, and make some tasty s’mores! Participants will have the chance to collect all the materials for a campfire and start their own fire!

Date: November 17
Location: Learning Center | 2388 S 500 W | Albion, IN 46701

Ice Investigations

Ice isn’t just for cooling our drinks or for skating. Come explore how it affects animals and plants living in northern Indiana as well. We’ll search for creatures coping with the cold outside and make use of ice in many ways including experimenting, playing and building.

Date: January 12
Location: Learning Center | 2388 S 500 W | Albion, IN 46701

Amphibian Discovery

Springtime is moving in and so are our local amphibians! Discover the boisterous frogs and secretive salamanders that call Merry Lea home at this special time of year. Learn what makes amphibians so unique while you explore our trails and ponds to uncover these amazing residents.

Date: April 13
Location: Learning Center | 2388 S 500 W | Albion, IN 46701

Feathered Frenzy

What makes a bird a bird? Examine feathers, talons and beaks up close, see what it’s like to have a beak, and learn to identify birds with binoculars and field guides with interactive avian activities!

Date: May 11
Location: Luckey’s Landing | 2300 S Stone St | Albion, IN 46701

Program Details

Ages & Times

Ages: 6 – 8 years

Times: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

*Note: Students ages 9 – 17 may join our Junior and Teen Indiana Master Naturalist program.
Both our Homeschool and Jr/Teen IMN programs are for students only and are designed as drop-off programs. We do have public events that are available for the entire family to enjoy if desired.


Cost: $5.50/child for each program

Sign-ups: Students can register for one or all of the programs

Registrations opens August 1 for the 2022-23 school year!

Expectations for Participation & Conduct

We expect all students to demonstrate respect for fellow students and teachers at Merry Lea.

Outdoor education involves exposure to some natural hazards like trips and falls, insect bites and stings and irritating plants. Merry Lea educators try to minimize these risks. It is imperative that students listen to directions in order to maintain safety out on the trails and inside the facilities.

Masking is optional indoors and outdoors according to individual choice and health needs. Please be kind and respectful in all settings, and honor everyone’s choices about masking.

Register Now

Click the button above to sign up now using our new registration system! All offerings are aligned to Indiana Academic Standards, and are designed to support your student’s academic and outdoor learning. Please review our Scheduling Policies page with any questions about scheduling a program, cancellation policies, program logistics and registration.