In just a few short days the moon will orbit the earth in such a way that it blocks out the sun – also known as an eclipse. Some parts of the US will experience a total eclipse where the sun is blocked out completely. Other parts of the country will experience on a partial eclipse.
Either way, it’s pretty amazing! According to NASA, this is the first time a total solar eclipse will be visible in the continental US in 38 years. So not only is this pretty amazing, this is the first time something like this has occurred in my lifetime.
As homeschoolers, we tend to get pretty excited about events like this. A couple of years back we let the kids stay up late and we watched the lunar eclipse. We were lucky enough to have a great telescope and perfect viewing conditions that night. The whole family stayed up until the wee hours of the morning taking turns not only looking at the eclipse but capturing some challenging images through the telescope.
Now, I never intended to use this photos for blogging, and they are not the greatest images out there from that eclipse. But, at the time we took them we thought they were pretty good. More importantly, they gave the kids something to remember the eclipse by. It was another way to show them how fun and interactive homeschooling could be.
Preparing For Eclipse 2017
Now, we are getting ready for the upcoming solar eclipse. My oldest son loves all things science. This kid can tell you all about the galaxy and solar systems, and why the planets do what they do and why it’s important. He can tell you about the constellations and the moon phases and even helped teach his younger brother last year. Me, well, let’s just say I don’t find it quite as fascinating.
But because he does, I am willing to learn and allow him to learn as well. To encourage him to follow that passion and cultivate that curiosity of his. It’s one of the things I love most about homeschooling.
So we are getting ready. Getting ready to learn about the eclipse and watch it together. Not just because it’s pretty neat and rare, but because it’s a chance to explore learning in a hands-on way that isn’t always possible when it comes to learning about space.
Oh, and did I mention it also happens to fall on our official first day of school this year!?
5 Amazing Online Resources For Eclipse 2017
So now I have this list of resources. Some for older kids and some for younger. Some for homeschoolers and some just for fun. And I thought that I would share this list with you.
See, even if you are not a homeschooling family. Or even if you are not in school yet, the eclipse is a great opportunity for families to learn together. To do something together. To witness something that doesn’t happen every day.
- NASA Homeschool– NASA has some seriously amazing resources online for everyone. This website will keep you busy learning and planning for the upcoming eclipse.
- Homeschool 101 – Homeschool 101 has a free e-book printable has everything you need to learn about the eclipse and prepare for its arrival. (If you follow me on Facebook I have been sharing this for the last few weeks!)
- Kids Eclipse – Kids Eclipse has done all the work for you, including providing a lesson plan. Includes some really neat links to YouTube videos.
- Great American Eclipse – Great American Eclipse offers history, an easy to understand explanation, and maps showing eclipse coverage amounts.
- Living Science – This quick and easy one page rundown gives you everything you need to be ready for the eclipse.
I know I said I was just going to give you 5 amazing resources, but I have to leave you with a word of caution. Viewing the eclipse with just your plain old eyes, or even a pair of sunglasses can be dangerous. NASA and pretty much every other resource out there recommends you either use special glasses or make a viewer at homes. These glasses can be purchased at various locations, including online. But I would recommend waiting much longer if you are planning on purchasing any.
While we are not planning on having an eclipse party or gathering I know a lot of people out there are. So I wanted to include a couple of links to the Gifter Grid. She has a whole list of gift ideas perfect for a party as well as a recipe for a glowing hot solar eclipse cake. Check these out and if you happen to use any of her ideas send me a picture because I would love to see it!
The eclipse should be a pretty extraordinary event, and even though we are not in line for a total eclipse we are excited to learn about it and watch it. I hope you are as well!