Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Astronomy is a subject I’ve never really studied in depth. As such, it’s one that I haven’t really dived deep into with our homeschool either. But, a couple of my kids have been interested in learning more about God’s creations in space. So when I had the opportunity to review a course from Journey Homeschool Academy, and I saw that Experience Astronomy: Elementary was one of the options, I was thrilled to give it a try.
What Is This Product?
Experience Astronomy: Elementary is an online course that uses videos and other resources to study astronomy. There are 30 lessons, and many families choose to study one lesson each week. However, you can do this course at your own pace.
When you purchase an elementary course from Journey Homeschool Academy, you have lifetime access to the material. I appreciate this, as I can go through the material again in a few years when my younger kids are ready.
For each lesson, you will find a video lesson, a memory video, and extra resources. The picture below shows the student dashboard. It is simple to use and very user friendly.
The extra resources are available as a PDF download. They include:
- Recommended reading
- Copywork (for handwriting practice – and both cursive and printing are included)
- Memory cards (questions and answers for some material from the lesson in flash card format)
- A quiz
When you use these resources, there’s definitely enough material to study throughout the week. Some of the activities require a variety of materials. It would have been nice to have a material list up front, so I could have purchased what we needed all at once without having to download each PDF.
How Did We Use This Product?
I had my incoming third and fifth graders work through several weeks of lessons together. We watched the videos and had some discussion. Occasionally we completed projects or read corresponding books.
Many of the activities required a printer, so I adapted some and was able to do them without. But, we will definitely do a few more when we get back home and can easily print out the material.
Here is one that we adapted. In lesson six, students were supposed to look at cards and use toothpicks and marshmallows to build constellations. My daughter looked at the screen instead, and used spaghetti noodles instead of toothpicks. It was a lot of fun, even with our changes!
I also had the older of the two take the quizzes each week to ensure understanding. However, we’re down in Missouri for the summer without a printer, so I just turned the quiz into an oral one. It was a quick way to check her learning.
We are looking forward to continuing to work through this course in the coming weeks.
What Did We Think?
I did not like the first video, as I wasn’t expecting what it was. It opened up with a dive into astrology and the chaos that some ancient societies believed caused the stars and the moon and everything. For a course geared at elementary school kids, from a biblical standpoint, it wasn’t something I would have thought would have been the starting point. Thankfully, the lesson did switch gears and dive into a biblical worldview about partway through. There was definitely a contrast shown between the two.
I appreciated that the lessons were fairly short (typically 15-20 minutes). They also covered the material I would expect to see in an elementary astronomy class. Students learned about the moon, constellations, planets and more.
The content was delivered in an age-appropriate way, and the author of the course does a good job on camera. He doesn’t seem too tense or anything, it seems very natural. The resources were helpful and tied in nicely to the content. I used the search at our local library and found many of the recommend books. I appreciated this, so if we were home I would have checked out many of them.
Here is what my kids thought:
3rd Grader: “I learned a lot about the things in the sky that God made. I want to get a telescope and study them more on my own.”
5th Grader: “I liked being able to read books that went along with the video. I want to have a printer again so we can try making the Star Wheel.”
(In week 8, the activity is to use a PDF to create a star wheel, and she thought that looked like a lot of fun. Here’s an image of part of it. You print it all out and use the directions to assemble it.)
All in all, this was a fun way to learn more about astronomy. It was very low key, which I appreciate, especially for this age level. I think this course would set you up nicely for further study of this subject in the future.
Journey Homeschool Academy also has other courses available. To learn more about them and see how other homeschooling families used them, please click on the banner below.