We're pretty big on space in this house. Four of us, quite coincidentally, have astronomically themed names (Nova, Alexis, Maia, and Leo). So as a topic theme, space seemed like a pretty good choice.
For a start, we dragged out our collection of space-related books -
(I'm possibly a little optimistic putting Measuring the Universe; The Historic Quest to Quantify Space up there, but you never know)
We made a big brainstorm poster of what we already knew, what we wanted to find out, and how
(gold star if you can spot the error with the "word wall" of planet names..)
And I got a little carried away printing out resources from Teachers Pay Teachers and Homeschool Share -
Then we got to work!
We tackle this sort of stuff usually after lunch, and in a gentle, self-initiated way. I scatter resources around the place, make suggestions of things they might like to do, then wait to see what piques their interest.
Eli decided to draw the major planets, some space tools, and an astronaut. He later added a rocket too.
Lexi has been quite taken with NASA's Eyes on the Solar System simulation, which you can use to explore the solar system, including hunting down various missions like Voyager I & II, and the I.S.S.
Of course there was the ubiquitous polystyrene ball solar system model, most decidedly not to scale -
but we're quite proud of it -
(I couldn't cope with the fat polystyrene ring that came with the kit, so improvised one from clear plastic & paperclips)
Of course we raided the library -
the 13 Planets one is quite good; it includes the most prominent dwarf planets, which is quite rare unfortunately!
And I recently added A Collection of Wonders with Professor Brian Cox * to our DVD stash, so we've started watching Wonders of the Solar System to begin with -
we're doing a little bit more each day, so I'll be back with more links and activities that we've been enjoying!
(* Affiliate link! If you click on that link and then go on to purchase something, we get a small percentage of that sale, which would be really nice!)