Book of Astronomy (Crew Review)
About The Book of Astronomy Set
There are four units in the book. Unit 1 is the longest because it contains introductory material that will be needed to go on. Then it covers the constellations found in the summer-fall sky, and the summer-fall zodiac. Unit 2 covers what can be seen in winter, and Unit 3 covers spring. Finally, Unit 4 takes a look at the solar system, covering the planets, dwarf planets, and major moons. At the end of each unit there are “Exercises,” where the student answers questions about specific facts presented in the previous lessons, and draws and labels the constellations. There are also further exercises at the end of the book that cover information from all four units.
The first assignment is to memorize the 15 brightest stars in the universe. We memorized the list by singing the names to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, and both boys had it down within a couple days. In true Classical style, that memorization work was an essential foundation for the rest of the course.
I love the way the lessons build upon each other. For example, when the first constellation (Lyra) is introduced, the students write out the names of the 15 brightest stars (which they learned earlier), as well as listing Lyra next to Vega, since it’s part of that constellation. Each time a new constellation is learned (both the Roman and English names), the student adds it to the list, rewriting all the stars and constellations learned so far. Through this continual repetition, the students become masters of the material and can not only say the names of the stars and constellations (I was really thankful for the pronunciation guide at the back of the book!) but spell them properly as well.
Because many of the constellations were identified back in ancient times, it is helpful to have some familiarity with Greek mythology. The book actually includes page references for D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths, so we were able to spend some time reading about Hercules and other important characters whose names popped up as we went through the Book of Astronomy. (Other Crew members received the Memoria Press study guide to go along with D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths, so check out their reviews by clicking on the banner below if you want to find out more about that product.)
The Book of Astronomy is designed for 3rd grade and up, but I was pretty sure Ian (8) would be able to handle it even though he’s just finishing up 2nd grade. After looking at the materials I decided to invite Elijah (6) along for the ride as well, so I bought a second student book for him. I think both of the boys had more fun because they were going through it together.
I’m really glad I went ahead and included Elijah. Both boys take great pride in filling in their Student Books, and I think these are going to be wonderful references for the boys to turn to for many years to come.