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Signs and Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy Review by Tamara Dumont

By Jay Ryan
Fourth Day Press
1621 Merl Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44109

This beautiful book, written by a Christian homeschooler for Christian homeschoolers, offers a wealth of information on classical astronomy. The book is written directly to the reader, whether child or adult, with ample pictures and diagrams. Explanations are thorough without being cumbersome or over the student's head.

Classical astronomy is the visual observation of the motions of the celestial bodies. Classical astronomy, unlike modern astronomy is the simple act of studying the cycles of the sun, moon and stars with our unaided eyes.

For each chapter there is a corresponding Field Activity in the back of the book. The activities use items that are easy to find and inexpensive. Through these extensive field observations, the student will create and maintain a very interesting field journal.

The most helpful aspect of this book is that the student will learn to approach astronomy as a concrete science and to distinguish verifiable, repeatable, scientific methodology from thin evidences and inferred conclusions, such as the "proofs" typically cited to support evolutionary theory.

High school students can read the book and compile the field journal all on their own. Parents of younger children could easily adapt the activities in this book to suit their child's level. It could even be adapted into a unit study. Charlotte Mason-style learners as well as classical educators will find this book a must-have.

We found this book enlightening, engaging, and well written. It is well worth the limited space on any homeschool bookcase.

Product review by Tamara Dumont, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2007