Solar Eclipse and Homeschool Astronomy

Using a current event or natural phenomenon to guide your lesson planning is a great way to take advantage of the readily accessible object lesson, observe and interact with the world around you, and demonstrate an active enthusiasm for lifelong learning. Check out these resources before the annular solar eclipse on October 14 for some great ways to incorporate the event into your homeschool astronomy, science, and history studies.

Solar Eclipse Times

Don’t miss the solar eclipse as it makes its way across the western hemisphere on October 14. While our view in Virginia won’t be of the complete annular solar eclipse, we’ll be able to see a partial solar eclipse (between 30% and 40%) throughout the state. You can find the exact times and magnitude of the eclipse for your city here.

Solar Eclipse Viewing

If you intend to view the eclipse, stay safe and only view it through a commercial solar lens or glasses, or through indirect methods like a pinhole projection. You can create your own pinhole projector with simple paper and cardboard for an inexpensive and effective way to view an eclipse.

Let your kids experiment with this solar eclipse object lesson and see if they can come up with an explanation for how a solar eclipse works. This is a great activity for a group of students of varying ages, as even very young children can participate and experiment and older children can guide younger ones through the lesson. In this lesson, you’ll learn the difference between a partial, total, and annular solar eclipse, and how the earth’s position–and your location on the earth–will affect how you see the eclipse.

Solar Eclipse Through History

Throughout history, eclipses have been a subject of fascination and wonder, and they’ve played a significant role in a number of scientific discoveries and historical events. Check out this timeline of notable solar eclipses through history.

Check out this Homeschool Living for more resources and activities to incorporate into your homeschool astronomy studies.

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