One of the best times we’ve ever had in our homeschool was when we did an in-depth study of space and all it contains. Outer space, my friends–all that yummy good stuff beyond our atmosphere.
I learned more by teaching my boys astronomy than I ever learned in any school I attended. Today that is my favorite thing about homeschool. That ability to really dive (or… fly?) deep into a subject and learn everything we can. No limits.
Kind of like space itself.
We still take every chance we can to learn more about the multiverse, and we have some favorite tools that can help you and your littles learn, too.
Explore space on the interweb
By far, my favorite discovery when we studied astronomy was Earthsky.org. I‘ve subscribed to this awesome site’s newsletter for years and I still open up their emails almost daily. So. Many. Cool. Things. And not just for all things space, but for geology, too.
We know when to watch for eclipses, meteor showers, comets, and the like thanks to EarthSky’s newsletter. And since we’re kinda space nuts, that’s not a bad thing.
Another great site is, of course, NASA‘s. From our little ol’ solar system to black holes to the Hubble telescope, they have everything. Even apps and e-books you can download. Plus a whole slew of educational resources and a kids’ club! Yeah yeah.
If you were expecting more websites, sorry. Those two have all the things, so you don’t need anymore.
Explore space with books
Probably our very favorite book about space is DK’s Space: A Visual Encyclopedia. With stunning photos from NASA, this book covers just about everything from what space is to colliding galaxies to the space shuttle and probe to the International Space System. There’s a chapter on our solar system that is full of tons of details about each planet. But Earth gets a chapter all to itself. I mean it, your littles will be in awe of these pictures.
Our favorite book for looking at the stars is The Nature Company Guide’s Skywatching. This one also has stunning photographs and covers astronomers through the ages, types of stars, and observing techniques before it walks you through how to look at the stars and then provides awesome star charts with descriptions of each of the constellations.
Another great stargazing book is The Ultimate Guide to the Sky. It’s and A to Z encyclopedia of the constellations with a cardboard star finder in the back that you can put together and use as a chart while you’re outside gazing.
We also love a Prentice Hall book, Science Explorer: Astronomy for its in-depth look at the solar system and beyond. This one is a text book I picked up at a rummage sale and I’m so glad I did. Because it’s a text, it provides questions for review at the end of each section and chapter, as well as experiments your littles can do to understand astronomy better. It’s a great supplement to the more complicated books.
Kids Discover has a pretty amazing magazine called Solar System that we used along with all our books. I really appreciate how the information in these magazines is divided up into chunks so the boys could flip through it or we could access extra info on a topic we were learning about from another resource. Also, these magazines often end up in my Quiet Time Basket.
The best part about these books is that you can get most of them used on Amazon for like a penny. Win!
I’m telling you, with a couple of these books and the websites I mentioned, you could study astronomy for more than a year. And totally have your mind blown.
What to Read Wednesday
The most popular post from last week was:
And now for the link up!
Our hosts will still share a themed selection of our favorite books each week.
If you’d like to join us as a co-host for What to Read Wednesday, please contact Anne.
This list has our book themes, but you don’t have to stick to that to link up–any family-friendly posts are welcome. So, come on! Join in the fun!
If you’d like to link back to What to Read Wednesday, here is a pretty button for you!