Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Astronomy

We just started using a new science curriculum that we are loving. It is published by Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. The book we are using is part of their "Young Explorer Series". It is called "Exploring Creation with Astronomy". We are having so much fun, so I thought I would share a little of what is making it so fun. First of all, as you can tell from the title, it is taught from a creation perspective. The book is divided into 14 lessons. Each lesson is designed to take about 2 weeks doing science 2 or 3 days per week. It is designed for ages 6-12. I personally love the immersion approach. Study one topic and learn it well before moving on to the next one. Here's a sample of what we have done so far.

Unit 1 was about the solar system in general. We spent about 2 days reading the lesson. Then we were instructed on how to build a model solar system. We did not use their directions, because I had bought my children a model solar system kit for Christms. It is just a bunch of various sized styrofoam balls with some wires to attach the planets to the sun at the appropriate length. I got it at Michaels, and it was under $10.

Unit 2 is about the sun. We just started today, and had soooo much fun. Halfway through reading the lesson, the book suggested we act out the earth's orbit. Since we don't have much space inside, we put the books down, put on our shoes and ran outside. We went over to the sand volleyball pit in our community. I liked the sand, because I could draw out the earths orbit for someone to follow. One person was the sun, and stood in the middle of the orbit. One person was the earth, and had to walk slowly around the sun while spinning. We skipped the spinning part, because that was just a little too much. Then, one person had to be the moon. This was the difficult job. The moon has to run around the earth while the earth is walking around the sun. I got dizzy just doing that. You see why spinning could get a little much.

I am super excited to see what is still to come in this book. I will try to keep posting the experiments as we do them. I know one of them involves a magnifying glass and some chocolate. I will try to group the posts together so they are easy to find.

2 comments:

Randi said...

sounds fun and fulfilling. I hope to hear more.

Steph Clunn, moderator said...

Hey, we have that solar system too from Michaels! It is currently unopened gathering dust, in the closet. Lol