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Kids: Impressed by a 7 year old

As I was browsing the Cloudy Nights web site I noted the segment about kids and astronomy. I am very much impressed with what is being done to help kids get into astronomy. I would like to share the story of our 7 year old daughter, Rebekah. She is just your ordinary child who like ordinary children things. But when she was about 3-4 years she began to take an interest in the sky. She was thrilled whenever she saw the moon. Her father started to share some of the night sky with her pointing out different things. When he went out observing early in the night he would take her out with him and let her look through the telescope. This fascinated her. I began to see a real bond between them at this point. I must point out before this she had always been a mama's girl and wanted very little to do with dad. But this captured her interest and really laid the groundwork for bonding. From that point forward she always wanted to go out with daddy to look at the stars and moon. I could never understand how a child can look through the scope since I always found it a little hard to see things all the time. But my husband told me that when looking at bright objects like the moon you can see the light reflecting in their eyes. If it looks centered then they can see fine.

I will never forget one night after he acquired a pair of binoviewers when she was only 4 years old. He once again took her out to view the moon. After about 5 minutes she came running in as excited as can be shouting, "Mommy, mommy, I saw the moon and the crouters and they were this big (holding her arms out real wide)."

On another occasion my husband was helping a friend and took my daughter with him. Later that evening they were outside and the friend noticed a bright light in the sky. My 6 years old told her that it was Venus. She firmly told her, "No honey, that a plane." She insisted to her, "No, I think it's Venus." When my husband came out she told him about it and he looked up and said "She's right, that's Venus." Her mouth dropped they told me. She couldn't believe that she knew the sky that well.

Last year she asked her dad if she could have a telescope for herself. After contemplating that for awhile he remembered an Astroscan scope he had and decided that would be perfect for a 6 year old. So after mounting the Astroscan base on an adjustable tripod (it has a provision for mounting on a tripod) he showed her how to use the Astroscan. Now the scope can grow with her. He added a red dot finder and taught her how to use it. I am quite amazed at just what she can find in the sky now.

Just a few weeks ago we were out observing and she proceed to join us with her scope. Dad set it up but then left to get some things for his scope. While he was gone she started to show me different objects in the sky. Things I considered typical like the moon. Easy find even for a child. But then she said, "I going to find Pleiades." I thought yeh, right. She began to look around the sky searching very hard. Then she said, "There it is." At that point she took her little scope and pointed straight at it. Now I wouldn't know Pleiades from anything else. When dad came out I told him about it and he checked it out in her scope and she was dead on. I was so impressed I couldn't believe it. She knows so much more about the stars and planets then I do.

So in ending this little story I wish to encourage all you parent who can to take your children out with you even if it is for only 5 minutes at a time. They will come to appreciate the heavens and all it glory and you will form a bond with your child(ren) that is uncomparible. Children are such little sponges and soak up the knowledge much faster than when we get older. Keep up the good work guys.

  • Astroman007 likes this


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