Rock Family Night Kids looking at Insects

Get the most updated information about our February 4, 2015, event!

Join us for a special day when we invite homeschool students (ages 4-17) and their families to the Academy at a discounted rate to engage in science through presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on programs.

Docent shows the rainforest

Registration Questions

How do I register for a Homeschool Day event?
Registration for Homeschool Day generally opens 3-5 weeks before the event.  Tickets can be bought online and specific program registration is taken over the phone.  Specific instructions for each event will be available 1-2 months before each Homeschool Day. 

When is payment due for the Homeschool Day event?
Whether you are registering online or over the phone, payment must be made with a credit card upon registration, before the day of the event.

When and how do I receive my tickets after I have registered?
After you register, you will receive a confirmation letter with attached print-at-home tickets to the email address provided during registration. Be sure to double check that you provide a valid address and check your spam folders.

I have a group of homeschool families that I would like to organize to come to Homeschool Day. Can I make a group reservation?
We love when groups of families can learn together, but we take reservations on a family-by-family basis. If you are organizing a group, simply have them each reserve their tickets on their own.

Do we need reservations for the public Planetarium shows or drop-in programs?
Planetarium passes are available upon arrival at the Academy on a first-come first-served basis, as seating is limited. Visit the cart at the Planetarium entrance to pick up show passes. Drop-in programs are open to all Homeschool Day attendees. Simply stop by at the time of the program

Homeschool Day reserved program

Reserved Programs

My child is interested in a reserved program, but he/she is outside the listed age range for the program. Can I sign him/her up for that program?
We design each program with specific ages in mind, so we ask that you please follow the suggested age ranges listed when registering your children.

What are the expectations for adult participation?
We highly recommend an adult attend with children ages 4-7, and parents are always welcome in any reserved program. If you choose to register for a program with your children, we expect you to be an active participant. You’ll get to use all of the materials, too! If you do not purchase a seat in a program, you may check your child in for a program and return when it ends, instead of participating.

When and where do we meet for our program?
For all reserved programs, line up on the Level 3 balcony just beyond the Naturalist Center, and don’t forget to bring your ticket as proof of registration. Please arrive 10 minutes early for check-in.

Can you accommodate children with special needs?
The nature of these programs complements a variety of learning styles and abilities. We encourage you to indicate any special needs, whether physical or academic, upon registration. Don’t hesitate to indicate how best to accommodate the student(s).

All the programs available are already full. What should I do to give my child a unique learning experience?
Reserved programs often fill up in the first week of registration, but there are still many ways at the Academy to have a meaningful time learning about science.  Drop-in programs and activites are available throughout the day and the public planetarium show is perfect for ages 6 and older.

For questions related to the specific content of these programs, email us at homeschool@calacademy.org

Ocean Science Public Program

Day of the event

When and how do I receive my tickets after I have registered?
After you register, you will receive a confirmation letter with attached print-at-home tickets to the email address provided during registration. Bring all these printouts on Homeschool Day to gain admittance to the museum and any Reserved Programs. If you do not receive the confirmation email within 24 hours of registering, call 877.227.3311 for assistance. 

We bought tickets, but are now unable to attend. What do I do to cancel my reservation?
Please call the Contact Center at 877.227.3311 to let us know you won’t be coming. We regret that refunds are not available for this event, and we hope to see you next time!

What if we want to bring more people than originally stated on our reservation?
If you arrive with more people in your group than indicated by your reservation, you will be asked to pay the full admission price for these individuals at the door. You can make changes to your reservation anytime before the event by calling 877.227.3311 from 8 am to 5 pm any day of the week.

What time should we arrive at the museum?
Families can arrive at their convenience; drop-in programs are scheduled throughout the day! However, if you have scheduled a Reserved Program, please check in 15 minutes prior to your program.

Is parking available at the Academy?
The Music Concourse Parking Facility is a public lot that often fills to capacity early in the day, and tickets cannot be validated by the Academy. However, free street parking is available in Golden Gate Park. Note that many spaces are limited to 3-4 hours. An adult can certainly leave the building to move the family car -- just remember to receive a re-entry hand stamp from a Guest Experience staff member before exiting the building. Map and Directions >>

What should we do for lunch?
You may carry your own bag lunch or purchase food from the Academy Café. No food or drink is allowed on the exhibit floor, but tables are provided in the West Garden and the East Garden. Dining at the Academy >>

What other services might be helpful to know about?
Wheel-chairs are available at the Coat Check for those in need. For lost children or first aid, please go to the Security Office located near the Swamp or flag down the closest security guard in the exhibits. Restrooms are available on all levels next to the staircase/elevator leading to the Living Roof, as well as in the basement-level Aquarium. A spacious family restroom is located on the main floor near the Swamp.

Are there Mobile Apps to help enhance our experience?
Head over to our Mobile Apps page where you can download one of our Academy mobile apps.

Pointing to a Frog

Ideas for Learning at the Academy

Here is a list of ideas that can help your homeschool child get more from their visit to the Academy.

Ask a Docent or a Naturalist
Have your child come up with questions about a given topic at the Academy. Find a docent in a bright orange coat or head up to the Naturalist Center (open between 11 am and 5 pm) to find out the answers!

Create a Narrative
Create stories related to animals, specimens, or topics in the exhibit. Your child should gather information in the exhibit as a foundation for the stories, then put his/her creative writing skills to work.

Make a sketch
Ask your child to sketch objects, animals, or scenes in the exhibit. Sketching helps to focus a child’s attention on detail and creates a meaningful record of what he/she has seen.

Fact-Finding and Note-Taking
Choose topics or animals about which your child can collect information. You can select topics yourself, or have your child choose topics of interest. Your child can collect information from the exhibits and by asking docents or staff .

Go on an Academy-made Scavenger Hunt
We highly encourage homeschool families to check out our lesson plan database full of activities fit for the museum and the home.

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Homeschool Central

Homeschool Central

Get information about Academy resources and opportunities that might be of most interest to those learning science at home, or those using the Academy as their science classroom.