REAL Science Odyssey- Astronomy Level 1 is a semester-long, secular homeschool science curriculum for elementary grades. Students learn key concepts in astronomy through an incremental series of lessons and hands-on exploration. Pair with Earth & Environment Level 1 for a full year curriculum.
REAL Science Odyssey- Astronomy Level 1is a comprehensive, secular homeschool science curriculum. Students take a journey through the solar system with delightful space dust-bunny pals Bunny and Dusty. Along the way, they learn about more abstract concepts, such as the big bang, gravity, and the physical properties of light. Age-appropriate math and labs are woven into the course, providing students with many opportunities to apply the scientific method and reinforce their knowledge. The course guides elementary-age learners as they Read, Explore, Absorb, and Learn astronomy:
Read– Fun, engaging readings introduce big ideas and details for the chapter. The text is designed to be read aloud to students, fostering questions and discussion.
Explore– Carefully crafted, hands-on experiments demonstrate the workings of our solar system within the framework of physical science.
Absorb– REAL Science engages visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic learners, to help every student understand and retain key concepts.
Learn– with Astronomy Level 1, you don’t just learn about what’s out there in space, you investigate concepts and make observations for yourself!
It’s also important to understand what REAL Science Odyssey is not. This curriculum is NOT:
A random selection of labs. It’s a fully developed, incremental homeschool science curriculum.
Lightweight. Children will learn REAL astronomy, both observational and conceptual. They will find planets and constellations in the night sky, but also learn about the physics of the universe and how real scientists study it.
Dry or boring. Night-sky observations, hands-on experiments, puzzles, and poems keep kids engaged and curious.
Influenced by religion. All REAL Science Odyssey courses are secular and based on valid, empirical science.
Who can use Astronomy Level 1?
We recommend Astronomy Level 1 for children in grades 1-4. Labs, readings, and assignments can be adapted easily to students of different ages. Read aloud and transcribe written answers for younger students, and give older students more independence.
Elementary-age students are naturally curious about plants, animals, and the natural world. The RSO elementary life science curriculum leverages this curiosity. It gets children into the natural world to explore the diversity of life with all five senses. It starts with their own body, and broadens into a systematic study of the animal and plant kingdoms. The curriculum deepens their understanding of living systems through fun songs, observation, and experiments.
What’s more, you don’t need to have a science background to use this homeschool science curriculum! All materials are written with the life science novice in mind, so you don’t need to do a lot of extra research in advance of the lessons.
You can also use Astronomy Level 1 as part of a co-op or with multiple students. If you’re using the curriculum with more than one student, you can purchase extra copies of the consumable student pages separately.
If you need a homeschool science curriculum for a different grade or a different subject, check out the REAL Science Odyssey homepage!
Science Topics Covered
Astronomy Level 1 starts with the basics, and each unit builds on the last. Every unit reinforces aspects of the scientific method and critical thinking. Each unit explores a big idea or question in depth through reading, experiments, and conversation.
What Is Astronomy?
Using light to learn about the universe
The origin and age of the universe
Properties of stars
Other inhabitants of our universe: planets, asteroids, comets, etc.
Sun, planets, moons, and other objects in our space neighborhood
Gravity’s role in holding the solar system together
In-depth exploration of each planet in our solar system
Space travel, both crewed and uncrewed
Asteroid belt, Kuiper belt, and Oort cloud
Earth in Space
The Goldilocks zone
Rotation, orbit, and tilt
Science Skills Covered
In addition to being a complete, homeschool astronomy curriculum, REAL Science Odyssey will guide your student in learning essential skills that will serve them throughout their education and life, such as:
Applying the Scientific method
Presenting scientific data
Reading and interpreting informational texts
No homeschool science curriculum would be complete without hands-on experiments. Your kids will use their hands, senses, and sometimes their whole bodies to experiment, observe, and model space science concepts. With Astronomy Level 1, your child will:
Create a model timeline of the life of the universe giving them a sense of the timescale astronomers work with
Explore the properties of waves using a simple rubber band instrument
Build an accurate model of the Voyager space probe using household materials
Head outside to stargaze, journaling which constellations and celestial objects they see. Hot cocoa optional, but recommended
. . . and much more! Each experiment includes detailed supply lists, step-by-step instructions, and, when needed, safety precautions.
Lab sheets guide your student through implementing the scientific method. Your student will gain experience:
Formulating hypotheses based on knowledge gained from the reading
Recording observations and results
Drawing conclusions based on those results
Reinforcing their knowledge by answering questions about the experiment.
Planning and Scheduling
Research shows that science is best learned in deep investigations of a single subject, rather than short hops from one field to another. RSO curricula align with this methodology. Astronomy Level 1 is designed to take about 18 weeks to complete. It includes:
18 weeks of material, assuming you teach science twice a week. [Combine Astronomy Level 1 with Earth & Environment Level 1 for a full year or more of science!]
Suggested weekly schedule for the entire course
Supply list break down for each week
Instructor pages that guide you in implementing each lesson and lab
Student pages are available if using the curriculum with more than one student
Important Copyright Information: If you choose the eBook version of this course, you are purchasing a license to use the PDF for your own children. You may make copies for your own children, but you may not share (email, download, print and distribute, resell, etc.) this eBook or any portion of this eBook to others.
Licensing is available for group, school, and co-op use. Please contact Pandia Press for details on group licensing (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Most supplies are normal household items that you can find either in your home or at the grocery, craft, or big-box store. You’ll also need a 3-ring binder for lab and notebook pages.
Uncommon Supplies Needed for Course Labs:
Science Thermometer– The liquid in good science thermometer goes down on its own, unlike the liquid in a medical thermometer, which must be shaken down. Some kitchen thermometers will work, but most do not go low enough. You will need a thermometer that will go down to 30° F or 0° C.