Astronomy for Kids Constellations with Memoria Press Homeschool Curriculum
Super Hero has always been fascinated with space. Since very little, he’s been learning about the stars, and the Universe. For a long while, we went religiously to the Miami Science Museum’s Planetarium during their monthly open telescope nights. Interestingly, we haven’t really followed the constellations all that close, so when Memoria Press offered its Book of Astronomy Set, we just had to take it.
What We Received
Memoria Press sent us the Book of Astronomy Set free of charge in exchange for my honest, complete and unbiased review. So, I’m happy to post our opinions here after using these books for the last few weeks. The Book of Astronomy Set retails for $31.90, and it is intended for grades 3 to 5.
What to Expect
The Book of Astronomy Set comprises 2 books: The Teacher’s Guide, and the Student Book. The Student Book is a consumable 164-page workbook broken up into 4 units. The units cover the constellations, the motion of the Earth, the names of the brightest stars. The Teacher’s Guide is almost identical to the Student Book, except of course it contains all answer keys. A handy pronunciation guide and overhead graphs/charts are found in the Appendix. We’ve used the pronunciation guide –essential for the often unfamiliar words. We do not have an overhead projector, and even if we did, gone are the days in which we would’ve thought to pull such a relic out. Nowadays, we just google any tingling curiosities.
This Is How We Use It
Using the Book of Astronomy Set is as easy as it gets. We just opened the book and started reading the chapter. I read aloud, and Super Hero follows along in his own book. Naturally, since the constellations are all about Greek and Roman mythology, the readings reference important details nicely pairing them with the classic book D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. Then after so many readings, each introducing a star and the constellation where it belongs. the exercises follow. So far they’ve been pretty simple, just drawing the constellation again as explained before in the reading, and writing down the Greek (or Roman) and English names. Each drawing appears twice side by side, so that the child can draw the constellation on the left, and envision it as it’d appear in the sky on the right. I like that the drawings are simple, so it’s easy for Super Hero to replicate them. Most importantly though, the exercise have been so effective in helping cement this information that can be oh-so slippery.
Part of the exercises require listing the stars in order of brilliance. Each time a new star is introduced within a new constellation, the stars must be written again in a new table that looks exactly like that of the previous one. Super Hero found this to be extremely repetitive. Needless to say, he was unwilling to write the stars over and over again. Since I shy away from the writing part becoming a struggle in our homeschool. And most of all, since having fun while learning is our true “North Star” (no pun intended!) I allow him to just write the stars that have been studied so far. This keeps the study fun and the mood light. Otherwise, believe me, I’ll hear a dreaded “tis not fun anymore!” pouting and all. Still, even with that much less repetition that the authors intended, Super Hero, and myself, have memorized the stars and constellations studied so far quite effortlessly. I’m certain that as we progress we will memorize and cement learning of the entire list as well.
Have We Enjoyed This?
We have both been enjoying this fun study of the stars and constellations. I’m learning right along with Super Hero about them all. It’s curious how the ancients came up with such peculiar figures in the sky. I still have a hard time seeing some of the figures they –and the entire world have seen from times inmemorial.
We have certainly tweaked and customized the lessons to accommodate our own style and preferences. For example, I don’t require him to write down everything, as mentioned earlier. We go over the questions orally for the most part. I use them to spark discussions rather than a must-fill worksheet (a staunch interest-killer in our homeschool.) Tests have been included as well. Tests are something I generally take with a grain of salt. I am not usually inclined to use them as “tests”. In this case for instance, I can glean so much of his understanding just with our conversations about what we’ve learned. Nevertheless, Super Hero does love to take tests sometimes, well actually he loves quizzes more so than tests. For this reason it’s good to have them available in case he feels up to the test! 😉
As you might know, Memoria Press is a Christian publisher. Since we’ve used –and enjoyed– some of their products with a secular perspective in the past, I was willing to give the Book of Astronomy Set a try. I’m glad I did. For although this set is not completely devoid of Christian remarks, they’re not intrusive or actually woven into the lesson. So far, we’ve encountered a few Christian notes that can easily be omitted or even taken as an opportunity for study of Christianity, if desired.
In a Nutshell
In Super Hero's Own Words
I liked it because it was fun to draw the constellations and to learn more about them.
If your child has been interested in astronomy and the constellations, you can’t go wrong with this Book of Astronomy Set.
In Case You’re Interested
If your child is interested in astronomy and the constellations, this is definitely a solid resource. It’s fun and effective. I appreciate the flexibility it’s afforded me in tweaking it to make it work for us. Or, if you prefer a traditional approach, with structured worksheets and lots of repetition then this totally fits the bill.
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I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was i compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.