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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Celestial Almanack: A Review

 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words, no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,  their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19: 1-4

I love looking up at the night sky and thinking about the glory of God but I must admit that my astronomy experience stops at being able to identify the big dipper.

 Are you curious about the activity that happens around us?  The way the planets move, the names of the constellations and how to find them? You may consider purchasing a Celestial Almanack from Fourth Day Press (available through Currclick).  This monthly publication is an illustrated guide to learning the night sky.  I was recently sent  Celestial Almanack: A Visual Representation of the sky Vol 1, #2 February 2012.


What can you find inside?

February, 2012: this month, learn about:
* The Sun is moving higher in the noon sky, and rises and sets farther to the north, and how this relates to the days growing longer;
* The constellation Orion dominates the evening skies.  Find Orion and his neighboring constellations, and how Orion can be used as a starting point for finding 35 constellations!
* Jupiter and Venus are drawing closer this month, approaching a spectacular conjunction in March!  What an amazing sight!
* Mars and Saturn are visible earlier in the night, and are well placed before midnight;
* Discover these planets and also many bright stars on the evenings when they line up with the Moon.

My thoughts:

I didn't have very long to review this product as it is obviously time sensitive (you are not going to want to purchase the February issue in March!)  As a novice, I found the information, while well written, to be a little overwhelming.  It is advertised as a monthly illustrated ezine companion guide for the Signs & Seasons curriculum which is a traditional hard copy publication from the same publisher.    It would probably have been better for me to be more familiar with that curriculum before trying to jump right into the Almanack.  I soon realized that I wasn't going to  understand it enough to explain it to the kids before this review was due.  If the kids were older ( it is advertised for 11+) and if we had more time  we could have checked it out together, using internet resources to explain things we didn't know.

My recommendation:

Don't let my experience deter you from checking out this product.  I am going to press on during the rest of the month and try and identify some of the events in the night sky.  The material has piqued my curiosity in the area of astronomy and hopefully by the time the kids are older I will have a better understanding of the subject.  If you have kids in the suggested age (11+) whether you homeschool or not,  I would recommend you checking out this ezine (hey, it's only $3... what do you have to lose?)  Then bundle everyone up on a clear night and go and see some of God's amazing handiwork!

Check out a free sample here.

Disclaimer:  As a member of TOS Crew review team, I was given this downloadable copy in return for my honest (positive or otherwise) opinion of this product.

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