I grew up in the country, away from the bright city lights, and have always loved looking at the stars. Now that we are living in the country again, we decided it was time to introduce our kiddos to the night sky in a more in depth way! Super D received a telescope for his 9th birthday in May, and I was super excited when Memoria Press offered us the opportunity to review their Book of Astronomy Set. They sent us both a teacher’s guide and a student book. The materials and telescope were a perfect pairing for us, although you could certainly work through the material without a telescope!
This set was my first exposure to Memoria Press, and they are definitely on my radar now! They publish a wide variety of classical materials that are heavy hitters in terms of quality! Memoria Press offers full curriculum organized by grade level. Third grade includes materials like Latin, Spelling, English Grammar, books like Farmer Boy, Charlotte’s Web, A Bear Called Paddington, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Greek Myths, Math, Science, and more including States & Capitals and Cursive handwriting.
This Astronomy set is def not a light weight and it’s one we will continue to use and dive into. It is designed for 3rd graders, but can be used for any age student. It was a bit intense for my 3rd grader, and I believe it will be a set he will grow into during 4th grade.
The student book is a great combination of instruction, memorization, and drawing constellations. The kids dive right in with memorizing, 5 per week for the first 3 weeks, the 15 brightest stars, the constellations they are part of, and the season when they appear.
In-depth studies of the constellations are grouped by season. Unit 1 covers the Summer-Fall, Unit 2 covers Winter, and Unit 3 covers Spring. Unit 4 covers the Solar System. I think we could easily pace this book to cover the units during their corresponding season. This is especially fun if you’re pairing the study with using a telescope to watch the night sky!
The teacher book was a great resource, and a must to help me check his answers in the student book. It is a replica of the student book, with the answers completed. It also includes a test over each unit with review questions and drawing constellations.
The book does refer to Greek myths from time to time, so I picked up a copy of D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths to help him. I don’t think this book is necessary to have in order to use this curriculum at all, but it was an interesting addition!
Super D loved laying out in the driveway with his telescope, looking for Sirius and the other bright stars he learned about in this book. I heard a lot about the moon from him, and also all about Saturn’s moons! I’m still so impressed that we could see as much as we did, with a $80 telescope from Amazon! It truly opens up a whole new world.
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