“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”
– John Muir
Autumn is right around the corner and for us that means cool temperatures, warm blankets, hot cocoa, autumn spices, an explosion of colorful fall foliage, harvest celebrations, stargazing, twinkle lights, and all the hygge you can handle. As we prepare to welcome another beautiful season, filled with flannel, earthy tones, and moonlit evenings, we thought we’d share some of what we’ve been up to so far this month.
I’ve been getting some questions about how we do our unit studies. To be honest it can vary a bit. We have our general framework I mentioned in our Montessori Endangered Species Unit Study. However, it can look very different with each unit, depending on what our children are interested in at the time. That determines what resources we use as a result.
One benefit of Montessori homeschooling, or even homeschool in general, is the ability to treat our unit studies as family subjects. For us, that means a multi-age environment with children working on the same subject simultaneously. Multi-age learning environments are the standard in Montessori education and this works well for us. Our oldest two spend most of their time playing together. As a result, splitting them up to focus on different areas doesn’t fit with our normal rhythm and routine. For us, it makes sense to include books, materials, and opportunities appropriate for our 2 year-old son and our 3.5 year-old daughter.
When our youngest gets a bit older, she will participate as well. For now, she seems content listening to the read-alouds, bonding with her siblings, and engaging in her own work while soaking up the atmosphere as her siblings work nearby.
Our children’s persistent interest in the dark has peaked now that the sun is setting at a noticeably earlier time each day. They have a solar system night light/projector in their room that they are very attached to. It’s part of their bedtime routine. As a result, this is an excellent time for us to do a solar system unit study. It is, for the most part, new vocabulary for my son and will serve as a great way to explore more in-depth some topics that would otherwise be a review of last year’s curriculum for our oldest. Be sure to check out our last Montessori Geography: From the Universe to Mother Earth’s Land, Air, and Water for more on our experience last year.
If you’re interested in incorporating unit studies into your Montessori homeschool curriculum and your child is showing interest, this is a great choice for the earlier part of your academic year. Montessori Geography focuses on educating children using a systems-based approach. It begins with large-scale physical geography and slowly narrows its focus to small-scale political geography.
Montessori Solar System Unit Study
Montessori Solar System Unit Study Picture Books & Field Guides
- Planetarium – We have several in this series and they’re great books to open up on the floor and gather around. The illustrations are amazing and my daughter loves looking through this book.
- Older Than the Stars – Covers the connection between humans and the beginning of the universe. Great resource for Montessori Cosmic Education.
- Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations – This book is beautiful and perfect for an animal lover. Pairs well with our Constellation 3-part cards.
- Glow-in-the-Dark Constellations: A Field Guide for Young Stargazers – This is an excellent field guide for a preschooler and covers some introductory topics, such as how and where you’ll see various constellations depending on location and season. It glows in the dark. Can’t beat that. Also pairs well with our 3-part cards.
- Hello World! Solar System – Great first book on the solar system. My son spends a lot of time looking at this board book. It’s very bright and attractive.
- Planets, Moon, and Stars: Take-Along Guide – We have several in this series as well. It’s packed full of useful information, colorful illustrations, and even includes some simple activities.
- You Are Stardust – Another great selection for Montessori Cosmic Education
- Born with a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story – Cosmic Education story told from the perspective of the universe
- Moon: A Peek-Through Picture Book – Great choice for incorporating wildlife and phases of the moon
- Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings: Rhythmic, creative poems about space
Books on Relevant People
- Caroline’s Comets – Caroline Herschel, scientist and astronomer
- Star Stuff – Carl Sagan, scientist, astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist
- My Journey to the Stars – Scott Kelly, engineer, astronaut
- Margaret and the Moon – Margaret Hamilton, computer scientist
Activities and Shelf Work
- Stargazing, use of field guides
- Music – The Solar System Song to the tune of Yankee Doodle and The Family of the Sun to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell
- Object to Picture Matching using Solar System 3-Part Cards and Safari Ltd Solar System
- Constellation 3-Part Cards
- Earth vs Space Sorting
- Planets Pattern Sequencing
- Creating/Using Felt Solar System
- Rotation vs Revolution simulation
- Seasons Mat with Celebration Sun and Land and Water Globe
- Solar System Coloring Pages – various online resources
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Additional Solar System Unit Study Details
This unit study work is self-directed and self-correcting. My 3.5 year-old typically completes all the works, and teaches my 2 year-old at times when he is interested. My 2 year-old is currently focusing a lot of his attention on the solar system board book, the music, and the art materials. Scissors are his jam right now.
All the printables were free and we used mostly resources we already owned. In fact, the Safari Ltd Solar System miniatures and the felt were the only materials we acquired for this unit. However, they will be useful to us in other works throughout the year.
Special thanks to curriculum writers Cathie Mathews, Chris & Pilar, Kyle Sadler, and Nicole Kavanaugh for all the awesome printables we are using in our Montessori Solar System Unit Study.
More Montessori Unit Studies
- Montessori First Great Lesson Materials and Follow-Up for Primary & Elementary
- Sensorial Materials: Montessori Geometric Solids and How We Use Them
- Geology & Paleontology Unit Study
- Montessori Tree Unit Study
- Continent Studies: Antarctica
- Montessori Community Helpers Unit Study
- Montessori Endangered Species Unit Study
Thanks for stopping by!
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