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    Astronomy recitation

    Hello! Why memorize zodiac signs (4th grade science)? Does this come up later in the curriculum? Thanks!

    #2
    Re: Astronomy recitation

    The zodiac signs are the 12 constellations which fall directly on the sun's path through the sky (the ecliptic) in a regular, orderly way throughout the year. There are 88 known constellations in the sky, but 12 of them fall in regular intervals on the ecliptic in what we think of as our seasons. If you are worried that the curriculum will eventually begin to predict horoscopes, don't. The knowledge of the 12 regular zodiac constellations is something every sky gazer simply has to know in order to place the seasons of the sky.


    I admit that I am not certain what you mean by "come up later in the curriculum". The constellations *are* the curriculum. I may not be answering your actual question, and if not, I am sorry!



    Jen
    DS, 28 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

    DS, 26 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

    DD, 23 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

    DS, 13 yrs, 9th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

    All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

    Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling, now a high school chemistry teacher at a large Catholic high school

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      #3
      Re: Astronomy recitation

      Thank you. If the zodiac signs aren't mastered as a 4th grader, will he see this material again in future years with MP? Will a basic familiarity with the signs be sufficient, or will we wish we (he) had mastered the signs? I'm having trouble seeing the benefit of an entire year of astronomy, I guess, which is a bigger question. TIA!

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        #4
        Re: Astronomy recitation

        The only times those 12 constellations reappear is if referenced in a literary piece being studied. I don’t recall them even being included as often as the 15 brightest stars which is in recitation. As Jen stated knowledge of the twelve is due to their regularity in the heavens. Any reference within the curriculum will be for cultural literacy.

        Blessings,
        Michelle T

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          #5
          Re: Astronomy recitation

          YoursTruly,

          The classical approach to science is to observe and classify in the early years. What is more observable for a small child, with the "Ooohhh" and "Ahhh" moments, than the stars, right? The subject gets a full year so that you can observe the sky for an entire school year while memorizing and classifying as you go.

          As Michelle mentions, a familiarity with the zodiac will be helpful for literacy, both cultural and literary. You might also want to know that once you move to the next level of MP science (Insects), those lesson plans have you continue to recite and reinforce the Astronomy concepts. Basically, in the MP cores, nothing "goes away". This can be both good and bad. If a list is imperfectly memorized, the child gets another year to perfect it. Just keep in mind that the goal in the classical methodology that Memoria Press uses is to *master* the material, not simply gain familiarity with it. In so many ways, that is the single defining factor that differentiates MP from other curricula providers.


          Jen
          DS, 28 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

          DS, 26 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

          DD, 23 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

          DS, 13 yrs, 9th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

          All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

          Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling, now a high school chemistry teacher at a large Catholic high school

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Astronomy recitation

            An added benefit of learning the zodiac names is that they are all from Latin and would aid in recognizing some Latin vocabulary. In Caesar you will see forms of sagittarius, archer; taurus, bull; aries, ram (in Caesar, a battering ram). You would see zodiac words in other literature, e.g., leo, lion; virgo, maiden; libra, scales; gemini, twins; cancer, crab; etc.

            Bonnie
            Last edited by Bonnie; 10-16-2017, 11:45 AM.

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              #7
              Re: Astronomy recitation

              This is wonderful food for thought. Thank you. So in response, what about my 5th grader who also just started MP. We just came upon the Zodiac signs in her recitation. How can she quickly commit that to memory along with all her other new material? There is so much new material. Having come from 6 years with another classical program, we have a very good *foundation* for memory work. This curricula is going deeper with our memory work and is certainly pushing us: a challenge we sought out and are eager to pursue. Is it suggested that we find songs, do copywork, chant, repeat, repeat, repeat in order to commit new grammar to memory? If one didn't have a background in another classical program which encourages "pounding the pegs" of memory work, what tips are there for committing memory work to long term memory? It is lovely to continue seeing memory work from all subjects pop up in weekly recitation.

              Regarding astronomy, if the memory work is not mastered on pace with the lesson plans, is it suggested to slow down until it is mastered or understand that this is a first go-round with said material?

              Many thanks again!

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                #8
                Re: Astronomy recitation

                Well, it's the most dedicated go-round for the material, so it's worth the effort to get there, or most of the way there.

                When we were learning the 15 brightest stars or the books of the bible in large chunks, I'd prioritize those lists a bit extra for a short time. Not every memory task is equally challenging, right? With the brightest stars, I'd simply have my son memorize the list in groups of 5. Every day I'd have him recite the first 5, sneaking them into our day on top of and in-between tasks. Driving to soccer? Recite the first 5 stars in order. Getting ready to come back from lunch? Recite the first 5 stars. I also had him write them on a white board: star and constellation. Taken in small pieces, he was able to manage the task without a single freak out.

                Then I added the next 5. Same as above. Then the last 5.

                Neither my son nor I am keen on jingles or silly songs (some are... excuse me if that is your favorite way to memorize). We simply break a list into small pieces, then string them together, a bit like how we used to memorize phone numbers when we used to have to dial them: groups of sensible combinations.

                Even when you see the material again at the next level, there is something wonderful and amazing about realizing your child has mastered-or-all-but-mastered an important list or category. Although this is not my main educational goal for my son, I do know that if done well today, he will retain this information into his adult life. That is more than I can say about more than a small handful of things from my own youthful education.




                Jen
                DS, 28 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

                DS, 26 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

                DD, 23 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

                DS, 13 yrs, 9th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

                All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

                Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling, now a high school chemistry teacher at a large Catholic high school

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Astronomy recitation

                  Thank you, Jen! 💖

                  Rachael

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