Thursday, February 9, 2012

Observing The Night Sky - A New TOS Review!!

Have you ever just stood outside at night and started into the night sky wondering?  I have.  I have ALWAYS loved looking at the stars, learning the constellations, and watching out for awesome miraculous events - like solar and lunar eclipses.  Not only do I love it, my husband and my children do too.  And now we can all learn it together by checking out The Classical Astronomy Celestial Almanack a Visual Representation of the Sky.
The Product:
Jay Ryan, astronomer and author of Signs & Seasons, has created a monthly illustrated E-Zine designed specifically to be a companion guide to the curriculum.  Each month he will discuss the Signs of the Seasons, specifically explain what you can expect to see this month in this season in the evening sky, give the astronomical calendar for the current month, and there's even a portion called "Dance of the Planets" - a visual 'map' of the evening sky during the particular month.

Each monthly issue is available for just $3.00 and is a great start to both teaching and learning about the stars, moon, sun, and planets as well as the companion to the classical astronomy book Signs & Seasons (designed for ages 13 and up to teach the traditional constellations, placement of the planets, and following the seasonal cycle of the stars, moon, and sun.)

Our Experience:
I was very excited to be chosen for this review!  As I said a little earlier I've been enamored with astronomy for some time.  I even Astronomy to fulfill a required science class in college.  So having the opportunity to teach this subject to my children at a MUCH earlier age had me very excited!  I also think that stargazing can become a fun family activity that will help

We were given the opportunity to preview his second issue of this enlightening Almanack giving us a close eye on what to expect to be happening in our night sky.  These Almanack issues have been created to emulate the ones of old that the early colonists used.  The February issue of Celestial Almanack talks specifically about the Leap Year and the history of the calendar and how Leap Year came about.  He also talks about the connection between the Old and New Testaments coincide with the traditional church calendar.

I spent several days reading the information to my girls (6,8) and I was glad that they were so interested in the information seeing as this was created for an older age range.  They wanted to go out right away and see the stars and constellations, but we were reading in the light of day so that made it a little harder.  We are planning  as a family to observe the night sky throughout the rest of the month - with the key dates being pointed out in the February issue of the Almanack - and begin the process of learning the constellations starting with Orion.  You can learn more about the constellation challenge in the Almanack and join us in our quest!

My Thoughts:
I have seen Signs & Seasons and my husband and I have talked about looking into the program when our children were a little older knowing that it was written from a classical perspective and integrated Biblical concepts and Scriptures which are thoroughly intertwined in the study of astronomy.  And now to have a monthly E-Zine that can be used as a stand alone informational piece or as a corresponding addition to the full curriculum is a wonderful addition to the homeschooling world.  I believe that alone this E-Zine will enhance any science curriculum you are doing and help ground children in the knowledge that the Lord created the universe and He alone designed the Heavens and all that are within them.

Celestial Almanack is packed full of information and well written for all ages.  I was pleased to learn more about my favorite constellation - Orion - whose sword includes a nebula!  How amazing is that!!

I hope that you take some time to check out what others thought about the newest offering of Jay Ryan - Celestial Almanack and how their family used the information provided and experienced the night sky.

*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2011-2012 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***

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