Stargazing is a wonderful way to spend time with your children – and a great way to turn that time into something educational. Astronomy is more than just gazing at stars – it teaches children about the universe, provides them with what can be a lifelong hobby or even a career later in life.
Astronomy is more than just grabbing a set of binoculars or a telescope and looking into the night’s sky. To get a true appreciation of the wonderment the constellations can bring, spend an evening with your children looking at the sky the way it was meant to be seen – with the naked eye. This allows your child to really get an idea of just how enormous the sky is and the beauty it contains, without the restriction of a telescope lens.
Start by teaching your children to look at and understand the phases of the moon and the bigger, easy-to-see constellations like The Big Dipper and the North Star. You’ll be surprised how excited your children will be when they can recognize a constellation and can point out at to you.
Now, if you aren’t sure about the constellations yourself, this presents a new opportunity for you to learn right along with your children. You can either take a class – sometimes your local library or science museum will offer classes perfect for beginners. There is also plenty of software and websites out there that can turn your computer into a mini planetarium.
Perhaps the biggest attraction to astronomy is that you are only limited by your own imagination. When you and your children have grasped the basics of stargazing, you can literally spend hours discovering all that the universe has to offer.
Daily routines can be a challenge, especially if you have younger children who have a way of losing or misplacing things on a regular basis.
Here are some great tips on how to keep your children, especially young ones, get and stay organized:
1. Have a designated work space for homework, projects, etc. Pick a room or a part of a room that your child can keep all of his or her supplies for homework, arts and crafts, reading. Use bins to keep supplies neat and in one place. Be sure you have enough room, if possible, to keep their books and try using a basket to keep papers that your child may need for school, studying for tests, etc.
2. When you buy school supplies at the beginning of the year, color code each subject – Math is blue, English is green, etc., and use the same color for each subject throughout the year. This will make it easy for you to child to quickly grab what they’re looking for without having to rifle through every folder or notebook.
3. Create a cubby hole at or near your front door to keep your child’s backpack, hats, gloves, scarves, shoes – anything they need to grab quickly if the morning gets away from them. Teach your child to put whatever they need for the next day in the cubby each night before they go to bed.
4. Use a calendar. For your older children you can provide them with a calendar or appointment book. With your younger children, create a weekly or monthly calendar and use bright colors and pictures to help remind them of important days.
5. Lead by example. If you want your children to be organized, keep yourself organized. They are more likely to follow by example. Make to-do lists, turn the television off at the same time every day/evening, pay bills on a regular schedule – anything that requires a routine. Let your children see you follow an organized routine and they will do the same.</p>
We had a Sand Hill Crane visit our school on February 24, 2015!!