Years ago there was an article called by Kym Wright (she's so inspiring!) called How a Textbook Mom Does Unit Studies. She described going through the texts and jotting down the topics that will be covered and keeping that list with you for library trips and picking up other relevant projects here and there. Although we have done whole family unit studies in the past, for many years now we have been using Catholic texts as the spine of our curriculum with LOTS of real life and real books filling in. Frankly it is a great deal easier for me to "track" the texts on transcripts without sucking the joy out of the rest of it by documenting it to death. (back story)
Alice Cantrell's moon painting caught my eye on instagram a while back. When one of the girls had a space chapter in their science book we decided to grab some related library books and try our hands. We are not Alice, any of us, yet the girls still really enjoyed picking up the paint with tissue to create variations in the moon's surface and learning the names. They worked independently so their phases are not in order, for any particular types.
In case it was not clear, let me be sure you know we don't elaborate on every topic every child covers and we certainly don't have a messy project every day. We do more of these now that the children are all school aged and above. It's a perk of getting through all the chasing, pooping, and waking all night long years. They were wonderful in other ways and I miss them. Watercolor is a poor substitute for that baby on your lap. So if messy projects make your eyes roll back in your head right now, please scroll quickly and put it out of your mind. You are where you should be and doing exactly what you ought. All is well.