Astronomy Almanac

If you want your children to witness interesting or beautiful things in the sky, either as part of a systematic science education, or merely for the pure enjoyment of it, it can be a chore to keep yourself aware of what sights are currently available and which events are coming up. There are a few online resources for sky-watchers that you could consult. I especially like Sky & Telescope's Sky at a Glance feature. It is written by a professional sky-watcher, and is an excellent guide to visually scanning the skies. (Sky & Telescope also has podcasts and articles on a variety of subjects, including how to build your own backyard observatory. It's a great resource for hobbyists and amateur astronomers.) Astronomy Magazine also has an observing page, but it is geared more towards those with fancy telescopes and a need for precise measurements.

However, none of these resources really seem aimed at educators. And they so often give away “plot spoilers.” They simply assert the explanations for things, instead of allowing children to look and to question and to practice thinking for themselves. If and when we teach “fancy stuff” to children, I don't want them to thoughtlessly memorize what we think they ought to know. I want them to understand WHY we believe what we believe, and to see for themselves why it makes sense. But to help them do this, we need to guide their attention to interesting and useful phenomena whenever they are available, and then help them to process what they are seeing in a way that makes sense.

The following list is a brief presentation of some resources that I have developed, or that I have used myself as a science educator. Perhaps you will find them to be helpful in scheduling your child's astronomy education.

Astronomy News
I used to offer my own newsletter for educators. It was my attempt to give parents and teachers an occasional "heads-up" to upcoming events in the sky. Unfortunately, I have sadly decided that I need to focus my time and energy on other things. (If you'd like to read through the archives for some reason, you can find them here.) For professional lists of upcoming events, both Sky & Telescope and Astronomy Magazine publish weekly observing guides, and for amateur astronomers I especially like Sky & Telescope's Sky at a Glance feature. I also enjoy the monthly video updates by youTuber Alyn Wallace, although he is an astrophotographer by profession and his videos are focused mostly on good opportunities for taking beautiful photographs, rather than on showing things to kids. (If you want to see some gorgeous examples of things you can do with a camera, be sure to check out his professional page.)
Event Calendars
As a science teacher, I made my own Planet Calendars to help me keep track of what was going on in the sky. Maybe you'll find them useful, too, although there is a little learning curve involved if you want to learn how to read them. The quarterly calendars can be useful for discovering upcoming events, and longer-scale calendars can be useful for observing the repeating habits of the planets in the sky, i.e. the synodic cycles.
Eclipse Tables
Time & Date is a great site if you want to know about specific eclipses. They have maps showing which parts of the world can see each eclipse, and detailed timetables for any location on Earth. The also have a nice list of upcoming eclipses. But I wanted to be able to examine a long table of eclipses spanning many years. The Ancient Greeks learned several things about eclipses by studying historical records, and I wanted contemporary students to be able to do the same. So I made my own tables of all lunar and solar eclipses visible anywhere on Earth for the years 2000-2050.
Lunar Occultations
Sometimes the moon will pass in front of a star or planet and "eclipse" it from view temporarily. These events are officially known as "lunar occultations," and they can be impressive events to witness. Even "near-miss" events provide a great opportunity to see motion in outer space with your own eyes. By using a nearby star or planet as a "landmark," you can see the moon move past the landmark over the course of an hour or two. Unfortunately, it is rare that you have a good view of a lunar occultation, because so many things can go wrong. Like solar eclipses, each one is only visible from a small portion of the Earth. (Everyone else gets to see a "near miss," although this can still be worth watching.) If the moon is full, the brightness of the moon will overpower everything else nearby and make planets hard to see, and dim stars nearly impossible. Occultations also require a great deal of mathematical sophistication to predict, and I haven't worked out a way that I can do this yet. (Software does exist for predicting occultations, but it was not intended for amateurs and isn't very user-friendly.) The International Occultation Timing Association has lists of upcoming occultations, but they are fairly technical. They have a list for 2023 occultations of planets, and one for 2023 occultations of bright stars that you might find interesting.
Planetary Oppositions
For what it may be worth, I also made my own lists of all oppositions of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn for the years 2020-2040.