Learners can register for any or all of  our classes and activities, whether on campus or with our community partners. Attendance for registered classes is never compulsory and if life gets busy and a member family can only make it for lunch, they have the freedom to do so.

While on campus learners have the option of using the Imagination Room and Lounge, when available, at any time.* For example, these are places they can go if they feel overstimulated and want a break from activity, if they feel like sitting out class that day, or if they simply feel inspired to create!  

This program will appeal to those looking for: 

  • More time with peers.
  • More opportunities for self directed learning.

  • More enrichment opportunities.

  • More choices.

  • Parents who trust the process of non-compulsory learning, or those who wish to discover more about it.

* Learners are not allowed on campus without their parent or an assigned Parent on Duty (POD). 

CHOICES ENRICHMENT PROGRAM

 
 

PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES

Click on any of the words in the table below to learn more about it, or scroll down to browse our offerings.

THURSDAY - LEARNING WITH THE EXPERTS

 

Sibley Nature Center

1:30-3:00

Cats & Dogs

Facilitator: Jeremy Clothier

Group One, Target age: 5 - 10

# of participants: Sold out

Facilitator: Sarah Clothier

Group Two, Target age: 11 through Teens

# of participants:  Limited Availability

Dates: March 29, April 12, May 10

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Cost: $12 for 3 classes

Location: Sibley Nature Center

We will see how our wild cats and dogs are adapted to survive in West Texas, as well as how these wild animals became the pets we love today. For the final class, we will have a head to head show down between cats and dogs to settle which is best once and for all.

Museum of the Southwest

1:30-3:00

Art & Writing

Facilitator: Melissa Rowland

Target Age: Multi - 5 through Teens

(Special activity for siblings under 5 available)

# of participants: Limited Availability

Date: April 5

1:30 pm -3:00 pm

Cost: $2

Location: Museum of the Southwest

Use works of art to enhance observational skills, vocabulary, word choice, and imagination.  Students will creatively use poetry and narrative writing to respond to works of art in the gallery spaces and will use the creation of art to visualize and analyze text. 

Astronomy

Target Age: Multi - 5 through Teens

(Special activity for siblings under 5 available)

# of participants: Limited Availability

Date: May 3 & 17

1:30 pm -3:00 pm

Cost: $4

Location: Blakemore Planetarium

Class details to be advised for this short series of two classes​.

Art & Music

Facilitator: Melissa Rowland

Target Age: Multi - 5 through Teens

(Special activity for siblings under 5 available)

# of participants:  Limited Availability

Date: May 24

1:30 pm -3:00 pm

Cost: $2

Location: Museum of the Southwest

Students will interact with works of art in the gallery spaces within the Museum and will creatively explore the connections between visual art and music, using a variety of materials.

WEDNESDAY-OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

 

Gardening Classes

10:45-12:00

Youth Garden Discovery & Fun

Facilitator: Sarah Clothier

Target age: Multi - 5 through Teens

(Younger siblings may be present but parents must take full responsibility for their care and entertainment)

# of participants: 20

Cost: $0

Location: Sibley Nature Center Family Garden

In this class we will be learning a variety of skills and concepts through garden work. Students will be engaged in the day to day care and maintenance of a garden including weeding, planting, transplanting, and harvesting. Students will be encouraged to practice observational and critical thinking skills through problem solving and spontaneous discovery. This term we will be continuing to maintain the garden and, as the seasons change, we will be learning about crop rotations and seasonal planting. We will also continue to explore the plants and animals of our garden habitat and, of course, enjoy our harvests.

 

Butterfly Garden Design Team

Facilitator: Sarah Clothier

Target age: 11 through Teens

(Somewhat flexible in the case of passionate students)

# of participants: 12

Cost: $0

Location: Sibley Nature Center Family Garden

This class is intended to be an independent study class. Students will work individually and in small groups to create a design for the new butterfly garden including hardscapes (paths, benches, trellises), playscapes (spaces for kids to play on), and planting (what plants we should choose and where they go). Classes will alternate between speaker presentations on subjects such as landscaping basics, designing playscapes, and planting for pollinators, and research days where students will gather more information and sketch out rough drafts of their ideas. The final design will be decided on by the whole class, and will then be built into the garden by skilled contractors. Students must be able to work independently with little supervision and be able to work with others as a team. Students are encouraged to pursue their curiosity and unleash their creativity.

 

Nature Classes

1:00-2:00

Nature Photography and Journaling

Facilitator: Molly Frieri

Target age: 10+

# of participants: 15

Cost: $0

Location: Sibley Nature Center

In this class we will observe nature through photography. We will learn how to take awesome nature photos with our phones and document our photography via Instagram where we will journal about the pictures we take.

Project WILD

Facilitator: Janeen Guynn

Target age: 5+

# of participants: 40

Cost: $ 2

Room: Sibley Nature Center

This program, inspired by Project WILD, focuses on developing an appreciation of nature and increasing ecological understanding. Activities will include games, scavenger hunts, observations, and discussions. From pretending to be prey in the big thicket, to examining the effects of inter-connectivity, this class will cover a wide variety of ecological topics.

a variety of materials.

 

TUESDAY - CHOICES ENRICHMENT PROGRAM

Concurrent Classes Session I

10:00-10:50

Little Learner's Lab

Facilitator: Brenna Kidd

Target age: 2-5

# of participants: Sold out

Cost: $5

Room: C1

This class is all about hands-on experimentation and learning.  From excavating a dinosaur (or three) to fishing or even building a block tower, each class time will have a variety of stations available for learner-led fun. Please be aware that some of our stations will have small parts and pieces. If your little learner still likes to explore items with their mouth, please let us know so we can plan accordingly.

Money 101

Facilitator: Janeen Guynn

Target age: 5-8

# of participants: Sold out

Cost: $4

Room: Auditorium

In this class we will set up a classroom economy where kids can earn money through various means, including interviewing for and holding jobs. They will track their money in a register and have spending, saving, and donating opportunities. Each day we will learn about money. We will practice counting in increments and "visit" a garage sale, grocery store, and restaurant where we will play at counting money and making change. * Parent participation with loaned supplies will be GREATLY appreciated. *

Geography Through the Arts

Facilitator: Heddy Herron

Target age: 8-10

# of participants: Limited Availability

Cost: $5

Room: C2

Students will learn about geography through the culture and art of people around the world. Each week your child will explore a different continent through the arts. A few exciting projects include: Egyptian Carved Orthostat, Hmong Story Cloths, and European Stained Glass. We will close out the session with a World Art Exhibition to show off their new found knowledge from the artistic journey they took around the world.

Harry Potter STEM

Facilitator: DeeDee Putzel

Target age: 8-10

# of participants: Sold out

Cost: $2

Room: C5/6

Welcome to Hogwarts! We will be transported to the world of Harry Potter with STEM lessons from Potions, Arithmancy, Quidditch, Astronomy, Summoning, Transfiguration, and more! 

Psychology

Facilitator: Dee Dee Caputo

Target age: 11+

# of participants: Limited Availability

Cost: $2

Room: C7

In this course, learners will examine the scientific study of human behavior.  We will gain insight into the history of psychology starting with Ancient Greece through current theories used today. We will learn about data collection and discuss ways to conduct research. Through group discussions, we will examine how the media, parenting style, friends and the environment help shape our views.  Learners will leave this class with a deeper understanding of the complex world around them as well as an awareness of their own self.

Foundations in Personal Finance

Facilitator: Molly Frieri

Target age: 11-15

# of participants: Limited Availability

Cost: $17

Room: C3

Do you love money? Do you wonder what to do with money once you have it? This class will give you a good foundation of how money works so that you can spend, save and give without ever going into debt. Cash is king! We will be using Dave Ramsey’s curriculum for this course. Learners will have their own workbook to use and keep after the course. Note that while this curriculum uses some Biblical references the class will remain secular in nature.

Self-Directed Exploration

Facilitator: None, self-directed

Target age: 5 through Teens

# of participants: Limited Availability

Cost: $3

Room: C4

This is a period for self-directed exploration. You may access the Imagination Room during this hour, where Miss Lisa will have a new art/craft idea to work on each week or you may use any of our supplies to work on your own projects. The Outdoor Playground is available which includes play-structure, basketball court, sidewalk chalk, or bring your own skates or skateboard.

Concurrent Classes Session II

11:10-12:00

Tiny Time

Facilitator: Amy FisherStephanie Edgecomb

Target age: 3-5

# of participants: Sold out

Cost: $3

Room: C1

Come learn about shapes! We will be reading books, singing songs, and doing a craft each class. We we learn all about shapes and where we can find them in our world.

Ewww, Bodies!

Facilitator: Brenna Kidd

Target age: 5-8

# of participants: Sold out

Cost: $5

Room: C3

Join us as we venture inside. Inside our bodies, that is! The focus of this class is a weekly experiment involving a different portion of our anatomy. We'll discover how our hearts function, dive into digestion, and even talk about everyone's favorite nemesis, germs.

LEGO Building Club

Facilitator: DeeDee Putzel

Target age: 5-10

# of participants: Sold out

Cost: $7

Room: C5/6

Use your imagination and critical thinking skills to create with legos! Each class will include building challenges, plus a chance to free-build and use public speaking skills to demonstrate your creations. For the younger kids, help and instructions will be provided. The older kids will have to use their brains a little more :) 

United States Geography Road Trip

Facilitator: Jenny Smith & Janeen Guynn

Target age: 7-10

# of participants: Limited Availability

Cost: $7

Room: C2

We are going to embark on an awesome road trip around the American Southwest. We will make stops along the way to explore famous sites and cool things. At each spot we will have a project to help us better experience our "visit." Join us as we visit Albuquerque, the Redwoods, and Seattle, among other exciting places. I hope you are ready for some US FUN!

American History

Facilitator: Kristin Atkinson

Target age: 8-12

# of participants: Limited Availability

Cost: $7

Room: C

Students in this class will begin working on compiling a timeline binder that we will encourage them to add to at home as well.  While mostly focusing on Colonial America up to the Revolution, we will learn through several different methods, including many hands on activities such as building a cipher similar to the ones used to pass secrets in the Revolutionary war, and learning how the colonists predicted weather by making our own  barometer and weather vane.

Teen Cohort

Facilitator: Dee Dee Caputo

Target age: 11+  (age not flexible - must be 11 or older)

# of participants: Limited Availability

Cost: $0

Room: Auditorium

For the Spring term, this class will mainly focus on completing the yearbook. New learners are welcome to join this class, as no experience is needed to help with creating our yearbook. Learners will be asked to bring a laptop as the yearbook is created online. If a learner does not have a laptop, he or she will be paired with a partner to make sure everyone can work on a laptop. Also, yearbook pages will be assigned to each learner and the pages can be completed at home. Our Student Council members can also plan their meetings during this class time in order to plan the fun activities for all members to enjoy. It’s not too late to join the Student Council if you are interested!  

Self-Directed Exploration

Facilitator: None, self-directed

Target age: 5 through Teens

# of participants: Limited Availability

Cost: $3

Room: C4

 

This is a period for self-directed exploration. You may access the Imagination Room during this hour, where Miss Lisa will have a new art/craft idea to work on each week or you may use any of our supplies to work on your own projects. The Outdoor Playground is available which includes play-structure, basketball court, sidewalk chalk, or bring your own skates or skateboard.

Afternoon Program

1:00-2:30

For the Love of Reptiles

Facilitator: Nathan Atkinson

Target age: 5-9

# of participants: Sold out

Cost: $2

Room: C6

NOTES: 1.) There will be live animals in this class. 2.) This class will be from 1:00-2:00 and learners will be welcome to join in the Real Recess class for the remaining half hour of the day for no additional cost. Therefore please do not register your learner for Real Recess/CEP if they are also taking this class, as we will assume them to be participating.

This class will be an introduction to reptiles, and learning what kinds of environments they live in. We will learn fun facts about frogs, toads, alligators, lizards, snakes and turtles through a combination of activities including videos, crafts and even a few live animals!

Gavel Club

Facilitator: Janine Deckard

Target age: 10-18

# of participants: Limited Availability

Cost: $0 for returning learners; $10 for new enrollment

Room: C7

Enjoy learning the ins and outs of public speaking and leadership. Previous members will be working on their continued projects and will not be required to pay the class fee! This semester will also include Speech Contests! A chance to win an award you can keep. New members will receive manuals and have a chance to jump in and learn as they tackle club opportunities.

Real Recess/CEP Workshops

Facilitator: None

Target age: Multi - 5 through Teens

# of participants: Limited Availability

Cost: $5

Room: Amphitheater, Outdoor Playground, other as needed

Self directed, unstructured play and exploration in a mixed age environment. Learners play and create together with great joy and enthusiasm. During Real Recess, participants will have access to:

  • Show & Tell - Learners and parents are welcome to bring something to share with the group.

  • Outdoor playground - Covered and fenced with new equipment; basketball court, tag, paddle ball, parachute.

  • Imagination Room - Lots of art and craft supplies for creating.

  • Board games - Games in all age ranges available.

  • Learning toys - Lego, K'NEX, Contraptions, Jix, Gears!, Suspend.

  • Lounge - A space away from all the activity. Work on your own project from home, read one of our books, use your technology without volume or with headphones, play chess, engage in quiet conversation with a new friend. A relaxed no-shoes zone.

CEP Workshops will also be offered during this time. These workshops might include make and takes, on-going or short term classes, youth led classes, show and tell, or community presenters. You can sign up for your choice of workshop when you arrive on campus. ** Some CEP Workshops might have an additional cost for materials.**

 
 
 

FIELD TRIP

San Angelo State Park 

April 28 & 29

Facilitator: Janeen Guynn

Target age: All

# of participants: 30 families AVAILABLE!

Cost: $37/family

Location: San Angelo State Park

*Registration for this event will be on a separate form from other classes. You will receive the registration link about an hour after completing Membership Registration, or the next day if registering after 7:00 pm. We will need registrations asap to confirm the sites!

Join us for a weekend family camping trip at San Angelo State Park. Each family will have a reserved campsite with water and electrical hook-up (appropriate for tents, campers, and RVs) . We'll have scheduled programming, including star gazing, a hike to the dinosaur tracks, group games, and a camp theatre.  There will also be lots of family time for exploration, fishing, or socializing. Cost includes park entrance fees, camping fees, and supplies for activities. Families will need to provide their own camping gear, transportation, and food. *Date might change if this weekend becomes unavailable this week.*

Tentative schedule

Saturday

NOON          Lunch

1:00 PM       Outdoor art

2:00 PM       Family time

4:00 PM       Geocaching or hike

6:00 PM       Dinner

7:30 PM       Camp theater (singing, dancing, skits, etc.)

8:00 PM       Stargazing

Sunday

8:00 AM       Breakfast

9:30 AM       Dinosaur tracks hike and animal study

11:00 AM     Group games

12:00 PM     Lunch

2:00   PM     Checkout

CONTACT US

Open Skies Learning Community

P.O. Box 53724

Midland, TX 79710

 

 

Libby Landry, Director

libby.landry@openskieslearning.com

 

 

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