Category Archives: Space/Sky/Moon/Stars/Planets

Earth and Space

I love hands on learning! It makes learning fun. It breaths life into an otherwise hum drum, and possibly boring concept or subject matter.   My kids enjoy the process of “doing” much more than just “thinking about doing”.  It makes sense doesn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things in this life to learn about that are not boring.  But to have hands on opportunities while learning about them just changes the learning game altogether.  Kids “get it” or understand it much better and remember it better too.

Bright Ideas Press has a fun hands on science curriculum for homeschoolers called Christian Kids Explore.

From the Bright Ideas Press website:

“This user-friendly, unabashedly Christian science curriculum includes teaching lessons, gorgeous coloring pages, hands-on time, review sheets, and an awesome supplemental book list! You can choose from Chemistry, Creation Science, Earth and Space, and Physics. Award winning, college professors-vetted, and parent approved!”

So lets give it a look, shall we?


I was sent the Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space to review.  It is a large book and contains 360 pages.  It has six units divided into 24 lessons.  Each unit has lessons with reading, hands on activities, coloring pages, and vocabulary.  Each unit also has a historical timeline and a “wrap up” where the kids do additional activities and make a folder-book to “Show What You Know” .  There are also further reading suggestions and resources. 

This book was written by a very busy homeschool mother of three kids. Her name is Stephanie Redmond. In addition to being a homeschooling mom, she is a wife, Bible study teacher, author, and a military team leader. She has been married to her husband Andy for the past 29 years. Andy is an Air Force Officer. Stephanie says her main goal is to glorify God in all she does, and teaching her children from a Christian Worldview is a big part of that goal.

 It would be very easy to turn these lessons into a unit study. We added some of the material from Unit 6  into our Space Exploration Unit Study we have been working on in our homeschool.

Subject lessons your student will learn about in this book include:

Earth’s Creation
Facts About Earth and its Structure

Plate Tectonics

Introduction to Water
Glaciers and Icebergs

Introduction to Layers of Air
Atmospheric Pressure
Air Composition

Weather and Seasons
Cloud Formation
Thunderstorms and Tornadoes

Beyond Earth

Makeup of the Universe
Earth’s Moon
Eight other Planets

For each lesson, it is suggested to:
     read the lesson
     fill out a daily reading sheet
     make flash cards with the vocabulary words, lesson facts, and scriptures
    define vocabulary in science notebook
    hands on activities and experiments
    read the suggested additional reading to enhance the learning
    go on related field trips
    keep all written materials and photographs in a science notebook

For each unit, it is also suggested to:
    complete timelines
    color the coloring pages
    complete the unit wrap up review and quiz
    make a folder-book

This book retails for $34.95  There is also a pdf copy of the reproducibles for purchase too for $12.95 (and currently on sale for $7.95), or you can just make photocopies from the book.

Though the suggested age range for this book is for grades 3-6, it is adaptable for younger and older students.  I used this book with all of my kids ages 11, 9, 7, 4, 3, (but not the baby).
We worked on several lessons in the Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space.  We are currently working on Beyond Earth Unit 6.


We made some fun Galaxy Capacino to enjoy as we read through the lessons and completed the coloring pages in Unit 6 about Space.  It is basically home made hot chocolate, and while the mixture was swirling, we slowly dropped some instant coffee granules on top.  It made this beautiful swirl pattern and looks like a galaxy in outer space.  Read here to see how we make our homemade HOT CHOCOLATE.

While working through this unit, we also played in our Space Exploration Sensory Bin we made to go along with our Space ExplorationUnit Study we are doing as a family.

This is a great science curriculum resource for homeschoolers.  It is easy to implement and is clearly written.   It is written from a Christian perspective and includes scriptures and discussions about what it says in the bible. 

I am looking forward to doing a lot more activities and experiments with this curriculum.  We will be making a 3D model of the earth, reviewing plate tectonics with boiled eggs, making a speleothem, making an edible sedimentary rock, make a ground water aquifer, charting the moon phases for a month each night, and so much more. 

Titles available in the 
Christian Kids Explore science curriculum series include:

Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space  (Grades 3-6)

Christian Kids Explore Physics   (Grades 4-8) 

Christian Kids Explore Chemistry ( Grades 4-8)

Christian Kids Explore Biology  (Grades 3-6)

Be sure to check out the FREE SAMPLES listed on the links with each of the above curriculums.  There are several free lessons and activities you can do with your kids for each book.  It is a great opportunity to try the products free before you buy.

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Bright Ideas Press Is Very Supportive Of The Needs Of Homeschool Families.

From the 
Bright Ideas Press website“Bright Ideas Press publishes curriculum that moms love. We promise to publish Christian-oriented curriculum that will fit into your hectic life, curriculum that is both affordable and easy-to-use with children of different ages at the same time. The team at Bright Ideas Press prays that our products and resources will not only simplify your life but also inspire, encourage, and enable you to effectively educate your children”.

Be sure to check out the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to read what others have to say about this science curriculum.


Disclaimer:  I was given the book Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space in exchange for writing an honest review.

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Space Exploration Sensory Bin

I have been wanting to do a space unit study with the kids.  I had planned to do this at the start of the school year but I didn’t have a space bin ready, so I waited until I had some items accumulated.  I have several books ready, a telescope, some worksheets to make a lapbook, and have been collecting mini space stuff to make a space exploration sensory bin.

For at least the past six months, the kids have been missing a few toys they thought they had.  He, he, he, he…mom was sneaky!   If they got something space like to play with, and a few weeks would go by and they quit playing with it, and if mom finds it, then it went in the bin.

For storage purposes, I kept everything in a small clear bin that fit on a shelf in my storage room.  But when I was ready to assemble it, I put it into a large black bin to resemble being in outer space.

Yeah! I am finally ready to do our space study and build and use this bin.  Here is what I have been collecting.

The base layer has lots of black and clear beads of different sizes and shapes.  Then I added small dark blue, light blue pompoms and small black, blue, metallic, and other color marbles.  the next size was medium black pompoms, and medium silver white pompoms (these look awesome).    Then I layers in larger marbles that resembled planets.  Also a yellow golf ball that looks like a sun.  Some zoob balls that resemble meteors.  We had some glass beads, glass drop shaped spheres, and glass star shaped rocks too. 

The middle layer has all the planets in our galaxy, a moveable globe of earth, a large yellow golf ball for a sun, wooden stars, black and blue snap cubes that connect to build stuff or have holes that can be laced with string. I added black string and gold string too. Star shaped cookie cutters can be filled, used to trace, laced with string, or play with playdough, etc. There are also lots of glow in the dark stars, comets, and planets.

The top layer has lots of astronauts in white and orange.  A poseable astronaut with a removable helmet and backpack.  Lots of rockets, space ships, satellites, space centers, space capsules, land rovers, a wind up land rover, a lego moon explorer, a transformer space explorer, and another special space explorer that came with the poseable astronaut. 

This bin has so much to see and do.  I love it!  All the kids love it too.

This bin really captures the interest of the older kids too.  The first and third grader are busy playing and the fifth grader is drawing items in the tub!  Yahoo!

One of the activities we explored in the bin was the glow in the dark planets and stars.  The kids had so much fun with a flashlight, dark rooms, and holding glowing planets.

We will be learning lots about space related science stuff in the next few weeks.  I love this bin because it has so many hands on realistic science objects that we can use as props in our study in addition to just having lots of fun playing with them.  Check back soon for some space exploration adventures!

This post will be linked up with
No Time For Flash Cards
Science Sunday
ABC and 123
Kids Coop
Sharing Time
Raising Homemakers

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Celestial Almanack Review

What is a Celestial Almanack? 


That is precisely the question I asked myself when given the opportunity to review the February edition of a homeschool resource called The Classical Astronomy Celestial Almanack. 

Growing up, I had seen the Farmers Almanac, but as an adult I basically steered clear of most of it because of the materials it contains that contradicts the scriptures, especially horoscopes.  It really bothered me to be reading a product that could be useful, but seemed to go against my faith by including various predictions and horoscopes and the like.  

Though I longed to understand the skies, as they did in biblical times, everything that I found that studied the skies seemed odd and seemed to steer people away from God instead of steering them to Him.  So I just put off learning about how to understand the sky.   But the scriptures about reading the signs in the sky continued to nip at my curriosity and I longed to understand. 

and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
Mathew 16:3

This photo is of the sky from our front yard.

Again, this opportunity stirred up a question in me?  What is a Celestial Almanack and how can it strengthen my faith? How can it help me teach my children about God, our creator, and all He has created.   I found the answer on The Classical Astronomy website.  

“An almanack typically includes tables of the Sun’s rising and setting for each day of the year, along with tables of the Moon’s positions, and usually the positions of planets and other noteworthy celestial objects. In this way, an almanac allows its reader to find the time during the day and also at night, which was very important before the invention of mechanical clocks.”

“Nowadays, in our high and mighty era of technology, we rely on gadgets, gizmos and other artifices of Man in the place of God’s celestial order. We look at clocks and calendars to find the time of day and the day of the year. We use GPS units to tell us where we are in the world. And we never as much as glance up from our busy lives to look at the Moon and stars. Our culture has neglected and forgotten the God-given legacy of the sky.”
The Classical Astronomy.



There are so many amazing things I learned as I read through this resource, I would never be able to share it all in one short story here, but a few highlights from the February edition I will share:

February 2 is known in popular culture as Ground Hog day, but it is also The Feast Of the Presentation of the Lord.  It commemorates the dedication of the baby Jesus at the Temple as recorded in the gospel of Luke 2:22-40

Analemma:  The sun doesn’t keep perfect time like an artificial clock, but runs fast at some times other year, and runs slow at other times of the year, because of the earth tilted axis and variations in the earth’s orbital speed. 

An analemma is drawn on the cave wall on the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks, indicating the path of light that shown through a hole in the top of the cave.  This helped him keep track of time.   We love that movie!

The winter sky is the clearest to view stars because there is very little water vapor in the air and the atomsphere becomes more transparent making stars easier to see.

Feb 3rd the moon is at its highest point around 9pm.  This is the same spot the sun rises to on the longest day of summer.  Your moon shadow is just as long as your Sun shadow will be at noon o the summer solstice in June.  An easy experiment with the kids is to measure their moon shadow at 9pm  on Feb. 3rd, with a tape measure, and then measure it again at noon on the summer solstice in June.  The shadows should be the same size.   Wow.  That is amazing!

Feb. 6th is a waxing gibbous moon.  My children and I observed the details of the moon easily with our eyes in the night sky.

My 11 year old son took this photo of the moon from our back yard on Feb 6th.

Feb 7 Full Moon

Feb 14 Last Quarter Moon

Feb 20  Dark Of The Moon

Feb 21 New Moon

Feb 22 Begin Lunar Month

Feb. 26 you can watch the moon pass the closest by Jupiter.  Look 4 degrees south of the moon to see Jupiter.

Feb 29 First Quarter Moon

The Celestial Almanack also describes each star and planet in the sky that is visible to the human eye.  This is where I need a lot of practice to learn each star and its name.  The Celestial Almanack gives several pictures per page showing the exact location of each star and planet.   This is a great help to someone like me with little to no experience understanding what I am seeing in the sky.

I am greatly encouraged this resource will teach my children and myself about the sky, the stars, and planets from a biblical perspective, challenging and growing our faith in God.  God is a scientist as well as an artist, a creator, our savior, our father, and our friend.  Science is not something to be afraid of if we don’t understand it.  It is an opportunity to know our God even more and appreciate all He has made.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,
Genesis 1:14

Classical Astronomy is offering their February edition of the Celestial Almanac for $3 through Currclick.

Be sure to check out other Classical Astronomy products too.  These look wonderful.  All of these products would be great to add to your homeschool science curriculum.

I was given a free copy of the February edition of the Celestial Almanac to review in exchange for my honest opinion.   Check out the other stories on The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew review team if you would like to learn what others had to say about this product.


This post will be linked up with
Science Sunday
Raising Homemakers

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NASA Celebration

Today we attended the NASA Celebration at the Roper Mountain Science Museum in Greenville, South Carolina.

Each month, the Roper Mountain Science Museum has a special focus on the second Saturday of the month.  This time, it was learning about Space Exploration and NASA.

The kids were so excited to talk to the NASA Representative about space suits, space food, and how the astronaut stays healthy when up in space with zero gravity for six months at a time.  If they did not eat well, exercise, and maintain their temperature, they would could die or come back to earth severly debilitated.  They have to maintain very good physical condition to fly space missions in outer space.

The food was dehydrated in small packets and the children thought this was really gross.  The food did not look yummy at all.   The drink pouches were empty except for a small amount of dried flavoring.  They hook up the spout to a water source on the space ship and fill their drink.   The fella from NASA explained that they still needed to eat a balanced diet and the astronauts are allowed to choose their dehydrated food as long as it remains balanced. 

Their dried food packets are velcro onto to a meal tray so they don’t float around.

The children were able to try on a glove and a helmet from an astronaut suit.  The suits the astronauts wear are made of many different layers to protect the astronaut and keep him or her warm.  It is extremely thick.  One thing NASA is doing for the future is to have mechanical human like robots to be the astronauts and make the repairs and explorations needed outside of the space ship, as it is so cold and dangerous for humans. 

Then we went inside the NASA trailer and it was set up with dozens of video screens with information about different aspects of space exploration. 

Some of the areas discussed were:
Materials of Space Suits and Space Vehicles

And a real moon rock.  This rock came from  the moon.  It is one of only 8 specimens in the world on display for the public to view.  The children were able to touch and learn about the rock.

The highlight for us was talking to a NASA Representative inside the trailer.  Right off the bat, we had some things in common.  He was from Bloomington, Indiana. We were from Indiana too. 

He had attended Perdue University in Indiana, and completed a mechanical engineering degree.  He did an internship on campus that was sponsored by NASA.  When he was done with his studies and earned his degree, NASA hired him and moved him to Houston Texas to work for them.    WOW!

We talked with him about so much that I can’t even tell you all of it.  One serious subject was what course of study or specialization NASA was looking for in employees, and he said “all fields of engineering”.  To build, fly, and maintain space craft and work with the dynamics of space exploration, all fields of engineering are necessary to make it possible to do this. 

It was a very productive discussion for this 11 year old, who is ready to fly a space craft into space!  Hope he can wait a few more years yet.

The kids left here today with a bag full of NASA goodies, and a whole new appreciation for space exploration.

There was much more to see and do at the Roper Mountain Science Museum today, and I will write another post with a link HERE as I get the story written. 

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