Seeing the Sky: A resource for homeschool astronomy {Review + Giveaway}

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Popular among homeschoolers for their detailed, fact-filled coloring books, Dover was one of the first big names I learned as a new homeschooler. Even if you’re not a homeschooling family, you have undoubtedly seen their puzzle and activity books in stores.

I’ll admit that, until a few weeks ago, whenever I heard the name Dover, I immediately thought of coloring books. They’re so much more than that! Their Thrift Edition classics make it easy for families – homeschooling or otherwise – to fill their bookshelves with classic literature and study guides, plays, and non-fiction titles.

Seeing the Sky: a resource for homeschool astronomy {Review + Giveaway}

They also have books on topics such as:

  • Art
  • Languages
  • History
  • Math
  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Cooking
  • Crafts
  • Puzzle and activity books
  • Clip art

For the last couple of years, I have thought about doing a homeschool astronomy course for high school credit since I have more than one teen (and myself) interested in the topic. So, I was excited to discover the Dover title, Seeing the Sky: 100 Projects, Activities & Explorations in Astronomy.

This book is appropriate for budding astronomers of all ages, including myself, my middle school girl, and my high school boy. What I really like about it is that it is exactly what it says it is – a collection of astronomy-themed projects and activities that teach readers how to observe the sky. That means that I don’t have to go through the book in any particular order. I can simply check out the table of contents or flip through the book to find an activity that fits with what we’re doing. I kept finding myself thinking of it as the Handbook of Nature Study of astronomy.

I had planned to give you a nice update on our moon observation project, but nearly a week solid of rain derailed my plans to observe the phases of for a month, starting with the new moon on August 14. We’re going to try that one again next month.

Seeing the Sky is a great jumping off point for hands-on science projects. For example, the kids and I are going to keep an observation log of the moon’s phases, sketching what we see each night for the full month, culminating in a tasty Oreo moon phases project – because the best hands-on projects are the ones you can eat!

hands-on astronomy projects

Not only that, but there is a section on the patterns visible on the moon’s surface, as well. So, we’re going to be looking for and sketching the Lady in the Moon, the Man in the Moon, the Lunar Hare, and the Lunar Crab. I can’t wait to get started! I hope the weather will be more cooperative next month – you know, because my OCD tendencies are insisting that we start with the new moon.

Seeing the Sky also features sections on:

  • Planets
  • Stars and constellations
  • Meteors and comets
  • Eclipses

The best part is, I haven’t yet come across any projects the require special equipment. They’re just observations with the naked eye, making it an economical, easy-to-implement addition to a homeschool science program.

Originally published in 1990, Seeing the Sky has been updated to include a resources section with books, magazines, and up-to-date websites for current information.

Seeing the Sky: a resource for homeschool astronomy {Review + Giveaway}

You can save 25% on Seeing the Sky and other purchases from Dover now through 11/01/15 using coupon code WHBE. (Click the ad in the right sidebar to easily access Dover’s extensive collection of homeschool resources.)

You can also enter to win a copy of Seeing the Sky. Follow the directions on the RaffleCopter widget below to enter.

Rules: This giveaway is open to United States residents, ages 18 years and older only. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM (ET) on Wednesday, September 2. The winner will be selected at random using via RaffleCopter.

The winner will notified via email and given 72 hours to respond. You must enter a valid email address to win. In the event that the winner cannot be contacted by email or does not respond within 72 hours, the prize will be forfeited and and alternate winner selected.

Click to read the complete rules. By entering this giveaway, you indicate that you have read and agreed to abide by these rules.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. I would spend the most time shopping in Dover’s K-5 section of books…can’t ever have too many books!

  2. I like the Children’s books and the Art section. The Children’s science and nature section had some really great books to use as supplements for Science topics we are covering this year!

  3. We would be looking at the science and art books aimed at older kids, middle and high school. I almost got lost there and couldn’t leave!

  4. I couldn’t find the ad in the side bar, so I used the link in the blog post instead. Hope that is alright! I would really probably spend the most time in history and science! They look like they have some pretty awesome stuff! 🙂

  5. I didn’t realize just how many books were by Dover! I can’t imagine where I would spend the most time/money other than at the Dover site in general. 😉

  6. I am excited about this information! My kids love the dover activity books and it’s great to know they have all sorts of other materials. I especially love the recommendation since they don’t require special equipment. We live in a small apartment and I don’t have room to store any more stuff!

  7. Before viewing the catalog, I assumed the art books would be the winner. However, the foreign language resources look fantastic! That’s where I would shop.

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