What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Astronomy Stuff

In our homeschool, this years science focus is Astronomy.  Science is an amazing subject and so fun to teach, but I saw that, having no curriculum to guide me, it was consistently being shoved aside last year.  I love science and saw the tragedy in that so this year I broke down and got some Apologia. 

Apologia is a CHRISTIAN science program so, while I do explain what athiests and evolutionary worldview scientists believe and why (so that the children can defend creationism when the time comes and know what they are up against) I am not consistently RETEACHING creationism from a science text with a foundation of evolution.  Having a book to keep me on track has proven invaluable for us.  And Apologia isn't just a text.  It has experiments, projects and many hands-on learning experiences with each new chapter.

I've been searching out supplemental resources on this lovely internet of ours and thought I would share a few links, for those of you interested.

The best site I have found so far on Astronomy for children.  It has rotating 3D images (real images) of each planet and incredible information on the solar system, deep space and each planet (or dwarf planet, argh.)  It has short video clips of different topics like solar wind and stars.  If you go to any of the links I share, go to this one!

Real (and gorgeous!) images from the Hubble Telescope (Interesting Factoid:  My Opa, among other things, helped to create one of the lens for the Hubble!).

This too, is a pretty great resource online.  It has videos, projects, factoids, photos, lessons, games and experiments and not JUST for Astronomy!  It covers quite a selection of topics.

A few free printables (both activity and coloring pages).

And more free printables.

And MORE printables. (Only a few are free but if you have a few bucks to spend, this site has really GREAT printables and handy information pages on each individual planet to fill out.  At the very least, check them out and see if they are worth recreating.)

This little ditty had the planets memorized by the children in about 30 seconds.  I do admit that there is a (or several) little voice(s) that sneaks in "PLUTO!" at the end.  (Yes, we know about the dwarf planet but we kinda like Pluto anyway.)  Be ye forewarned, however, once it gets in your head, it stays.  For a LOOONG time.

And last but not least, you simply MUST watch this. Right now. Do it! :-)

Know of a great Astronomy resource? I'd LOVE to hear it!


Anonymous said...

So cool about your opa. As for astrology resources, I would suggest the NASA website, http://www.nasa.gov/

You are an awesome teacher.

Lana Hobbs said...

as a former student, i LOVE apologia! i wish i had done it all along :) i did junior high biology, maybe earth science? chemistry, and i think anatomy/physiology with apologia. It made science fun :) i will definitely do apologia when my kids are older (my oldest is turning 3 next week)
... what do you do for math? My mom didn't homeschool us until i was in junior high, and we did Saxon, and i always hated it. no one i know likes math and almost everyone i know does/did saxon.... i would love to find math that doesn't seem like so much drudgery, for my boys if it is at all possible...

Leah T. said...

This is our third year using Apologia. We love it! We're doing Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day. :D I think I'm learning more now than I did during my own school years or maybe I'm just understanding more, or caring more, or retaining more. ;)

Lana, I know you didn't ask me but... homeschool moms love to "talk shop". LOL I was homeschooled starting in Jr. High, too, and we also used Saxon. I didn't mind it but I love Math. My sister and brother did not care for Math or Saxon. I'm not sure if one caused dislike for the other or not. My school age children are in 5th, 3rd, and 1st grades. We are using Singapore Math, also for the third year, and really like it. At about 6th-7th grade we will transition to something like Teaching Textbooks (if I can find it used for a reasonable price). You could request the Rainbow Resource catalog and start browsing through it now (it is HUGE) to see what the different options are (there are many!). Being a (second generation) homeschooler is so fun! I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as Rebecca and I do. :)

...they call me mommy... said...

If you ever want to borrow my Swimming Creatures book you can...we could swap when you are done with this one??! We only read ours and did a few projects but we really loved them! I should lay mine around more...I bet Annie would gobble it up! So neat, Rebecca! Loving all your learning posts! I have a bazillion photos etc, but every time I go to blog, I draw a blank. It's weird. Anyway...

Jen said...

Lana, we just started Math this year and both my son and daughter love it! we use math-U-See. My son is 5 and is doing the Primer and my daugter is only 3 and just watches with my son. They have a video that the kids watch, they both watch it but only my son does the workbook pages:) My son asks to do math everyday, even on the weekends. It may be because he is still young, but he is having so much fun learning!!!

Now I have a question for you homeschooling Mamas... When would you start using apologia? Right now we are in Kindergarden and studing bugs, but when should I start having something more concrete?

Jamie Allen said...

i absolutely LOVE louie! i've listened to a few of his messages and he's just so good. thank you for sharing that great video!

Lana Hobbs said...

Leah T. and Jen, thanks so much! We just do a few worksheets here and there (especially for letters) and play games and for math we talk through stuff like 'two shoes' 'four scoops of flour' 'half a tablespoon of salt'. just fun real life stuff!
but while i have been looking forward to doing 'real school' in most subjects, math is so widely hated it intimidates me. something kids WANT to do sounds good to me :D it is a super idea to get a rainbow catalogue, my oldest is only three (well, in one week he'll be three) but golly i feel like time is creeping up on me!

Bobbi Anderson said...

How fun about your oupa! and i LOV LOVE LOVE that louie giglio piece on the planets, i have google searched in the past and found more out about the planets harmonies! Awesome!

Bobbi Anderson said...

How fun about your oupa! and i LOV LOVE LOVE that louie giglio piece on the planets, i have google searched in the past and found more out about the planets harmonies! Awesome!

Leah T. said...

Jen, the Apologia elementary series is designed for grades K-6, but, honestly, my younger children sit in and listen, too. LOL I love that (and many other things) about homeschooling, the younger children learning (at their level) right along with their older siblings.

Lana, what you're doing sounds perfect for the ages of your children! When children have the opportunity to work and play alongside their mom and dad they pick up on so many important life skills and good habits. My thoughts are that children are only young once and that formal schooling should not be required until they are a bit older, say 6-8 years old. Blessings to you on this amazing and wonderful journey! :)

Laura said...

We used this curriculum last year and also loved it. We found some music by Gustav Holst that was inspired by the planets and would listen to it wile doing bookwork. I have nothing but great things to say about Apologia! Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

I looked all year (from January thru beginning of Summer) and could not find a science that I felt good about. After praying...a lot...I felt prompted to "create" my own curriculum. I "created" Science, the Creation. Each month is "1 day", with 8 lessons per month (2 per week). I finished writing them just in time for school to start. We finished day 1 and are well into day 2. I have got to say...I. LOVE. IT!!! It is so amazing when Heavenly Father guides our minds as we try to teach His little ones!!! So far, we have studied (Day 1)Light and Dark, History of light, Prisms, color spectrum, Tools of light, the eye, predicting shadow, etc (Day 2) The Firmament, atmosphere, Gravity, Air, Today we will study the Earths parts (Inner Core, outer core, mantle, and crust). My children (I have 6 but am concentrating on 2) are 8 and 4, and it is so amazing to me how much they understand! I looked at the Apologia, but my finances are such that I needed to not...maybe someday. I wanted you to know that I love reading your blog, and apply many of your ideas/thoughts to what I do. :) ~ Cherie

Rebecca said...

Anon~ DUH. I never THOUGHT of NASA! Thanks!

Lana~ We use Saxon, but like others, I am not in LOVE with it. I enjoy it for the relationship it teaches things-but it is quite bland, pretty expensive and in my opinion, too much work for one lesson anyway. I end up using half of the book and figuring I will use the excess for another child. (A good thought, but we'll see if it happens.) I do like it now that Corynn has reached 5/4. It has become more self-taught, with the lesson before the practice. Less busy work, more independent work. If I were to do it again (and in the future) I think I may stick to something more reasonably priced for the younger years.

What you are doing seems PERFECTLY adequate (and FAR cheaper and more fun!). I agree entirely with what Leah wrote you. Good for you!

Leah ~I just got that catalog this year and had NO idea of its' size. That thing is a BRICK! I should have used it to repair our foundation! hehehe

Amy~ you are sweet. And I know what you feel about blogging. Thank goodness I get real live letters from you- or I would go through withdrawl! ;-)

Jen~ This is the first year we have done concrete, bonafide science. Up until this point, we would do sciencey things when the fancy tickled. We explore(d) a lot outside, we spent a lot of time learning about our immediate environment. I would say 6-8 is about the time when kids can handle more abstract, mature content for science. I know that in The Well Trained Mind, S.W.B mentioned not worrying about science until 4th grade if you don't want to...but to get the foundational skills down. But science is fun and all around us, so it is hard to avoid! At this stage, do what you are doing, and just follow the lead of your children and look for teachable moments. IF they wonder about clouds- teach them! You'd be AMAZED at how much they learn just out of curiosity!

Bobbi~ I know, I got stuck in a Loui time warp on Google the other day! hehehe
Laura~ thank you for the link!

Cherie~ wow. I am dumbfounded! That is INCREDIBLE! Good for you! (I bet you could get that think e-bookized and make money on it.) You are awesome!

Anonymous said...

at my elementary school, we have a subscription to 'brainpop' and incorporate many of its videos into lessons, especially science -- it may be expensive, I don't know --