REAL Science Odyssey- Astronomy Level 2


REAL Science Odyssey Astronomy Level 2 is a secular, middle and high school astronomy curriculum for homeschool. Students spend this semester-long course exploring the cosmos, from the Big Bang, to the formation of our solar system, then finally returning to Earth to gain a deeper understanding of how our planet fits into it all.

REAL Science Odyssey- Astronomy Level 2

Pages: 324

Grade level: 6th – 10th grade

Course type: textbook/workbook

Author: Blair H. Lee, M.S.


What is Astronomy Level 2?

REAL Science Odyssey Astronomy Level 2, which includes this text and a Teacher Guide, is a secular, middle and high school astronomy curriculum for homeschool. Students spend this semester-long course exploring the cosmos, from the Big Bang, to the formation of our solar system, then finally returning to Earth to gain a deeper understanding of how our planet fits into it all. Math, a basic tool for all scientists, is integrated throughout. Students will gain an understanding of the central role math plays in helping us understand concepts like gravity, mass, and planetary motion.

Astronomy Level 2 challenges students to conduct independent research, think critically, and make connections between concepts on the page and the real world. Each lesson builds on the last, introducing new vocabulary and concepts in a logical progression. Every week, your child will:

READ – The text for Astronomy Level 2 presents information to the student via engaging readings; color images, diagrams and charts; and the occasional poem or mnemonic. All lessons are informed by valid, scientific research and theory, not supernatural explanations or manufactured debates about accepted science.

EXPLORE – Each lesson is followed by at least one hands-on lab. Students apply the scientific method, collect and interpret data, and build models. They use a balloon to model the expansion of the universe, calculate the gravitational force between objects, and use GPS for a geocaching excursion!

ABSORB— Students take on their own, independent research with the Famous Science Series (FSS). Each FSS project introduces a scientist or discovery related to the lesson. From Galileo’s discovery of Jupiter’s moons, to Edwin Hubble’s expanding universe, to the Mars Curiosity rover, students engage with the history, personalities, and technology that shaped our understanding of the universe.

LEARN—Show What You Know quizzes and three unit assessments help you determine what your student has mastered, and what they still need to review. You can use these as formal, written assessments, or as the basis for conversations that help you gauge your student’s understanding of key concepts.

If you want to continue your study of astronomy for a full year, you can also purchase The Stargazer’s Notebook, which guides you in exploring the night sky with observation instructions, calendars, sky maps, and additional labs.


Who can use Astronomy Level 2?

RSO Astronomy Level 2 is designed for homeschool middle and high school students, or roughly grades 6-10. The lessons are written at a level appropriate for independent readers in these grades. Of course, we always encourage discussion, whatever the age! Labs require more guidance and supervision from the parent or teacher.

That covers things from the student side, but maybe it’s been a while since you studied astronomy. Maybe you never did. Not to worry! RSO Astronomy Level 2 was developed with non-science parents and teachers in mind. The Teacher Guide provides a review of important concepts, relevant math for each lesson, and the answer keys.

If you are using the curriculum with more than one student, you may wish to purchase an ebook copy of the Student Pages. This product contains only the consumable pages for the course.


Course Structure

RSO Astronomy Level 2 homeschool science curriculum consists of three products:

  • The textbook/workbook (this product), containing 12 progressive, narrative lessons designed for your middle or high schooler to read independently. The text containing labs, Famous Science Series independent research projects, Show What You Know Quizzes, and unit assessments.
  • The Teacher Guide, containing lesson plans, materials lists, scheduling suggestions and more.

Each lesson follows the same general format:

  • A reading in the textbook that introduces key concepts and vocabulary in context.
  • Hands-on labs, research projects, and quizzes found in the Workbook.
  • Three Unit assessments are included in the Teacher Guide as well, which you may treat as tests, or simply use for review.

Astronomy Level 2 allows flexibility within this format. You can choose how many times per week to teach astronomy. You can allow notes with the exams or not, or simply use them to review. No two homeschools are alike, and we make it easy for you to adapt the course to your needs.


Science Skills Covered

REAL Science Odyssey- Astronomy Level 2 starts with the basics, and covers progressively more complex concepts as you move through the course. Every unit reinforces aspects of the scientific method and critical thinking. Each lesson explores a big idea or question in depth through reading, experiments, and conversation.
Universe and Cosmology

Universe and Cosmology

  • What is astronomy?
  • The Big Bang and the expanding universe
  • Stars: Formation, composition, nuclear fusion
  • Types of Stars and spectroscopy
Our Solar System

Our Solar System

  • Solar system formation: the nebular model
  • Planetary motion
  • Physical laws and processes: conservation of momentum, heat transfer
  • Characteristics and formation of rocky vs. gaseous planets
  • Sun, planets, moons, and other objects in our solar system
Planet Earth

Planet Earth

  • Mapping our planet
  • Earth’s formation – Layers and atmosphere
  • Geological processes
  • Rotation, orbit, and tilt


No homeschool science curriculum would be complete without hands-on experiments! Your student will apply the scientific method and experience how the concepts from each lesson play out in real life. They will build models, make observations, and think critically about how to interpret results.  In the labs, your student will:

  • Construct a simple spectroscope using simple household supplies, and split light into its separate wavelengths.
  • Build and launch a simple model rocket to learn about Newton’s laws, testing the effects of gravity, launch angle, initial velocity and drag on the distance their rocket travels.
  • Learn about modern GPS mapping technology by going on a geocaching treasure hunt.


Planning and Scheduling

RSO Astronomy Level 2 is is designed to be completed in 12-16 weeks, or about one semester. The Teacher Guide contains week-by-week scheduling guidance so you don’t have to plan the entire course on your own! There are two, three, and five-day per week scheduling options, so however often you teach, you’ll know exactly what you need to cover to stay on track.


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 (

Uncommon Supplies Needed for Course Labs:

48-in beach ball
Polyethylene foam ½ inch pipe insulation
Big rubber band, size 64
Binoculars– I would avoid the $10 ones, but you don’t have to spend $100.
Star-finding app or a planisphere for your latitude

Please see the Teacher Guide Try Before You Buy file for a complete list of the lab supplies needed to complete this course.