A classroom in the desert - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

A classroom in the desert

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Posted: Wednesday, September 8, 2004 10:41 am | Updated: 5:02 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

September 8, 2004

Superior’s Boyce Thompson Arboretum aims to teach home-schooled students about the birds and the bees.

Not THOSE birds and bees — the real ones.

Students who participate in the arboretum’s Homeschool Days have a choice of learning about the flora and fauna of Arizona, deserts of the worlds or plants of the Bible — or all three, said Chris Kline, the arboretum’s director of education.

Kline said he was inclined to create Homeschool Days because most home-schooled groups don’t have the number of students necessary to qualify for group tours.

To accommodate homeschoolers, Kline has set aside Nov. 30, Jan. 12 and March 12 for home-schooled students. Space is limited and parents are encouraged to register early by calling (520) 689-2723 or by visiting the arboretum’s Web site at http://arboretum.ag.arizona.edu.

Admission is $6 for adults, and $3 for children ages 5 to 13.

Kline has more than 10 years of experience as an educator and develops curricula for students of all ages interested in learning more about Arizona’s plants and wildlife.

A testament of his dedication occurred on a recent morning when Kline hurried out to capture a large centipede in a jelly jar. The centipede joined a rattlesnake that resides in Kline’s office in educating students about the critters that live in Arizona’s arid climate.

Officials said the arboretum offers numerous educational opportunities for students in Maricopa and Pinal counties. Charter and public school teachers are encouraged to also contact the arboretum for a schedule of available tours.

Kline agreed, but noted "teachers shouldn’t look at this as a field trip destination, but as a part of an extended classroom," he said.

Find out more

Parents interested in participating in Homeschool Days should contact the arboretum at (520) 689-2723 or visit

http://arboretum.ag.arizona.edu" class= "content-link" target= "623">http://arboretum.ag.arizona.edu.

Students who participate should prepare name badges and bring plenty of water.

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