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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Study the Night Skies---21 FREE Online Astronomy Resources

21 Free Online Resources for teaching about the planets, stars, and solar system @ Homeschooling Hearts & MindsThis week’s Release the Butterflies freebie is a little different.  I asked my oldest what type of free thing he thought I should offer my readers that would be just the thing for him…and he told me he wanted to learn more about Astronomy.

It seems that a BIG list of FREE Astronomy Resources is in order!  While this list is not comprehensive (the internet is a huge place), there’s plenty here to get you started on a study of the planets, the stars, the solar system, and more.  I think I need to get out the telescope---I know what we are doing this summer.

  1. Cindy Downes has a free literature-based 12 week Astronomy Unit Study for elementary kiddos.
  2. Submit your email address to download a free MatchCard Science Astronomy Unit Study from Learn for Your Life (28 page ebook for elementary grades).
  3. Easy Fun School has a list of 18 activities to use as a basis for an Astronomy Unit.  You can add your own library books.  Elementary to middle school.
  4. Canadian Astronomy Education has a 6th grade unit on Astronomy that’s really designed for the classroom, but it includes web quests and activities that could be modified for home use.
  5. Homeschool View has an online unit study on the solar system.  Text-based, so best for kids who learn by reading.  Middle school and up.
  6. You’ll find a 4-week very hands-on Astronomy discovery unit at this Squidoo page (lots of other great studies here, too). Elementary.
  7. Online Astronomy Academy offers 2 online courses in Astronomy.  Course 1 is aimed at ages 7-11 and Course 2 is aimed at ages 12-18.  Text-based and includes writing assignments.  Probably best for independent students who learn well by reading.
  8. has a 10-week text-based course called Astronomy 101.   Again, best for those who learn best by reading, no videos or fancy graphics.  Middle school to adult.
  9. Education Portal has a list of free online college level Astronomy courses here (courses provided by MIT, NASA, Yale, and others).
  10. Digitalis Education provides free Astronomy lessons for grades K-12.  Lessons are downloadable pdfs.
  11. Here’s a wiki on General Astronomy, suitable for middle to high schoolers (lots of reading).
  12. NeoK12 has videos on telescopes, how they work, and their history.  You’ll find their videos on stars here
  13. Super Teacher Worksheets as a whole page of worksheets, projects, and activities to download on the planets, solar system and stars.  All grades.
  14. Tina Ladner has a great Solar System Unit board on Pinterest.
  15. Water on the Floor has a great classical plan for teaching Astronomy based on The Well-Trained Mind.
  16. Erin Alice has a great Astronomy board on Pinterest.
  17. Challenger has an online game that demonstrates the effects of weightlessness on playing sports.
  18. SkyMaps offers free monthly downloadable sky maps for personal, educational use (up to 300 copies).
  19. Stellarium is a free, open-source planetarium for your computer.
  20. has gallery images and current stories related to the night sky.
  21. The Mag-7 Star Atlas Project is a free set of downloadable star charts.

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Release the Butterflies is about letting go of our preconceived notions and allowing our kids to break out of their cocoons.

All kids

Let's appreciate their uniqueness and embrace who they really are.

All kids need to be seen as individuals, not as a collection of strengths and weaknesses.

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