No, it’s not a post about Star Wars, although, that would be super fun to talk about! My first exposure to Star Wars was my sophomore year of high school and I’ve followed it faithfully ever since. But no, in honor of Moon Day (July 20), I thought I’d take a minute to share with you what curriculum I used to teach my second grader and kindergartener about space.
At the suggestion of several of my friend’s, I decided to give Apologia’s Exploring Creation With Astronomy curriculum a try. I loved it, and so did my kids!
Their more classical approach was perfect for my classical approach to homeschooling. The teacher’s manual had 15 chapters. Each chapter had a corresponding chapter in the student work book. The suggested lesson plan laid out in the student workbook was to take two weeks to cover each chapter. The teacher’s manual went into detail on how each part of space was discovered, and what NASA was doing at the time of the book’s publication to further study that planet or star. The student work book had writing segments for each chapter to work on the vocabulary learned in that chapter, and gave the student a chance to say what they learned in their own words. Both the Teacher’s Manual and the Student Workbook gave optional experiments and diagrams to further the study.
The only thing I found was that the publishing date was about 15 years ago, so some of the information about the furthest planets, as well as astronauts in space, was a bit dated. I supplemented these portions with looking at NASA’s website and their YouTube links. I also used some Usborne Books. (see below) This year, 2018, Apologia released a second edition of the Astronomy study, with updated information on the furthest planets, and astronauts in space. You can find the new editions for the teacher’s manual and student workbooks at Rainbow Resources or Christian Book Distributers.
Because I really love Usborne Books & More, and because they have SO MANY books about space, I purchased a few to supplement our curriculum. These were a few of our favorites.
Beginner Readers: There are a bunch in this series that have information about space/astronomy. Each book has a topic that is presented in easy to read format and great pictures. What I love about these books is how I can read them to my children, or I can give the books to them to read on their own. The pictures are fantastic and the writing is simple, but informative.
My children are still at an age that they like Flap Books. Usborne Books & More has flap books for different ages. The Question and Answer series is perfect for my kids. The books have several flaps per page with information on the book’s topic. The Space one was perfect to give my kids for their own personal study.
For more books like these about astronomy from Usborne Books & More, you can check out THIS LIST.
We also did several projects that were suggested in the Apologia book. A diagram of the Milky Way, a box for viewing the total eclipse, and several different projects to explore the different surfaces of the various planets. It was a great year of study and when it comes time to teach my younger two children about astronomy, I will be using the same books.