Appreciating the Night SkyTracy Lambert
There is something about a clear winter night that makes it perfect for snuggling under a blanket to view the stars.
I hate to admit it, but before I was married, I never really paid much attention to the stars. Although I thought they were beautiful, I didn’t know a whole lot about astronomy. So it should stand to reason that I didn’t find the night sky very interesting.
After marriage, my husband began to teach me about constellations and visible planets. He pointed out the moon and taught me its changing phases. He has taught me to see the night sky in a completely different way and shared this love with our children.
As a homeschooler, the night sky makes for a fascinating and frugal study. You need nothing more than your eyes and a dark place for viewing. If you wish to go a step further, a telescope or pair of binoculars are great tools to further your learning.
We are fond of drawing what we see when we return inside. The children remember more, and the drawings are a nice reminder of an evening of family time, enjoying one of the most beautiful things the Lord created for us.
The internet is also full of helpful websites on the subject of astronomy.
Online Resources for Viewing the Night Sky
- Space.com is a website that features a sky-watching guide, webcasts from space (with re-plays), space photos (including a photo-of-the-day), and information about telescopes you might want to read if you intend on furthering your space-related studies.
- SkyandTelescope.com is a website that has a, this week at a glance section that is fantastic for telling you what can be seen each week. They also have an equipment guide, video tutorials, a guide for beginners, and a free e-book library.
- ClassicalAstronomy.com is geared more toward Christians and more specifically, homeschoolers. If you sign up for their email list, you can look forward to email reminders about special happenings in the sky you can observe from home. They have an informative telescope section which you may find helpful when purchasing one for your family.
- KidsAstronomy.com is a site geared just for kids! Take one of several free online classes, learn what you might see in the sky tonight, or play games. Your child is bound to learn quite a bit while wandering around this site.
- PlanetsForKids.org is another website that has several features that are geared toward children. This site features printable coloring sheets and lessons about heavenly bodies.
These are just a few of my favorite websites for astronomy studies. How about you? Do you have sites you frequent with your children to learn more about the night sky?