When looking at astronomy curriculum, homeschool families have a wide variety to choose from. Whether you prefer a textbook approach to studying a subject or enjoy the freedom of unschooling there are astronomy resources just for you.
What Is Involved in the Study of Astronomy?
Put simply, astronomy is the study of the universe and everything in it. Generally at the laymen's level this study would include all of the following:
- Distances in space
- The beginning of the universe
- Environments and materials in space
It is also important to study the men and women who have contributed to astronomy throughout history. Some of these are:
- Johannes Kepler
- Isaac Newton
- Edmund Halley
- Stephan Hawking
- Albert Einstein
The study of astronomy is most often included as a unit within a conventional science textbook. It can be difficult to find curriculum that is astronomy specific especially in the lower grades. For this reason many homeschool teachers choose to make their own unit studies.
Elementary Level Astronomy
It is not difficult to teach astronomy at the elementary level. With their natural curiosity children love learning about the things they see in the night sky. Curriculum for this age should include biographies and plenty of hands on activities with things like telescopes and constellation charts.
Stratton House Astronomy Adventure
Stratton House has developed kits to allow your child to experience astronomy first hand.
- To help him get an idea of the size of the solar system he will pace off a scale model. How many paces from Earth to Jupiter?
- How much fun would he have creating artificial gravity or experiencing the way gravity would feel on other planets?
There are sixteen very hands on lessons in this kit. You can try this sample lesson to see how you like it. You can also find the kit at Homeschool Science.
Apologia has an excellent reputation among homeschool families. Exploring Creation with Astronomy is an excellent curriculum to use with your elementary aged students. Apologia is easy to understand for both the student and the busy homeschool mom and has plenty of hands on activities to keep the kids interested.
Creation Astronomy made Cathy Duffy's top 100 list of curriculum picks. This curriculum is from a Biblical worldview and includes a study guide for kindergarten through twelfth grade with plenty of ideas and activities. This is a great curriculum for those that teach several grades at one time or prefer the unit study approach to teaching.
Astronomy Curriculum, Homeschool through High School
At the high school level the study of astronomy should become more in depth. Utilize documentaries, computer programs, and books to create a complete astronomy course. Following are some interesting examples of astronomy curriculum, homeschool families may find helpful.
Starry Night High School
Starry Night High School is an inclusive astronomy curriculum developed for the high school student specifically in the United States and Canada. It uses simulations and interactive computer programs to help your student grasp the concepts involved in all aspects of astronomy.
Hands on Universe
Hands on Universe is an internet resource more than a text based curriculum. It allows students to investigate the universe using the Internet, Hands on Universe members from around the world can request observations from an automated telescope. The images are then downloaded from a large image archive, and can be analyzed with the imaging processing software.
More Astronomy Curriculum Resources
Through a variety of astronomy curriculum homeschool students can study astronomy as deeply as they like. Give your students plenty of opportunities for hands on experiences and activities and you will foster a lifelong love of learning.