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This hardback astronomy textbook, written by Jeannie Fulbright, is recommended for grades K-6. It uses the classical and Charlotte Mason methodology to give elementary school students an introduction to our solar system and the universe that contains it. Narration and notebooking are used to encourage critical thinking, logical ordering, retention, and record keeping. Each lesson in the book is organized with a narrative, some notebook work, an activity, and a project. Although designed to be read by the parent to elementary students of various grade levels, it is possible for students with a 4th-grade reading level to read this book on their own.
The book begins with a lesson on the nature of astronomy, and then it covers the major structures of our solar system. Starting with the sun and working towards Pluto, the student will learn details about all nine planets (or is it eight? - your student will have to decide) in the solar system. Along the way, the student will also learn about earth's moon, the asteroid belt, and the Kuiper belt. After that, the student will move outside our solar system and learn about the stars and galaxies that make up God's incredible universe. Finally, the student will learn about space travel and what it takes to be an astronaut!
As you might expect from a book that uses the Charlotte Mason approach, the student notebook is emphasized in every lesson. Students are told to make illustrations for each lesson and are given notebook assignments to reinforce what they have learned. Notebook assignments include making a mnemonic phrase to remember the order of the planets in the solar system, making a comic strip called A Day on Venus, making an advertisement to sell the earth, and writing a play about the discovery of Uranus.
The activities and projects use easy-to-find household items and truly make the lessons come alive! They include making a solar eclipse, making craters like those found on Mercury, simulating the use of radar to determine hidden landscape, keeping track of the phases of the moon, making a telescope, making fog, and making an astrometer to measure the brightness of a star.
Most importantly, of course, a creationist world view is stressed throughout. Time and time again, God is glorified as the Master Creator of all that the students are studying. In addition, sections entitled Creation Confirmation provide evidence for young-earth creationism in the context of the topic that the students are studying.
We recommend that you spend the entire year covering this book, devoting approximately two sessions per week to the course. The sessions will be something like 30 minutes to an hour, depending on exactly what you are doing on that day. Of course, if you want to cover the book in less than a year, you will simply have to devote more time to it.
Here are some comments from parents who have already used the course:
Well, it has finally happened! After years of searching for an elementary science curriculum that is truly God honoring, user friendly, and scientifically sound, we were introduced to two books by Jeannie Fulbright. It's no wonder that we want to publish her books. As one of the parents who has already used Mrs. Fulbright's astronomy book says, It reminds me of Dr. Jay Wile's Apologia Science, only yours is on an elementary level while his is written for high school age. We couldnt have said it better ourselves.
- We have so enjoyed the Astronomy Course...It has been our favorite subject this year! My son is enjoying it so much that he'll ask when we are going to do it if a couple of days have passed.
- Thank you for writing a science curriculum that is actually fun to read out loud! The kids have enjoyed it so much, and ask me when we can read it again. I love the narrative prompts within chapters, as well as at each chapter end. Best of all, of course, is the glory it gives to God. It is amazingly refreshing to hear Him getting the credit for His creation, not just once at the beginning, but throughout the text.
- I have learned so much. Even my 3 year old knows his planets now! We are not finished with the astronomy book yet but the kids beg to do it every day.
- Your science curriculum is awesome and has been an answer to prayer for me and my family!...It amazes me how almost every page of your book talks about God! Your book is well written and truly engages my children. My kids love the hands on activities, which really help them to remember what they've learned...More science curriculum needs to be written like this!
- I just had to drop you a line and let you know how excited I am about using your book! A friend of mine is currently using it and she has called me twice (in two chapters!) to tell me how much she loves it.
- The Astronomy book is one of the best that I have ever read...we have learned so much. WE LOVE IT. [We are] looking forward to others from you.
- WOW! What an awesome way to teach our children about God's wondrous creation and how it relates to everyday life! My children (12, 10, 6 and 5) were completely astounded and amazed...I am sure that many, many families will be blessed by your work for the Lord.