This week I deviate from my schedule and talk about copyright and the homeschooler. In addition, I review the products offered at Homeschool Astronomy. I’ll get back on schedule and review SafeEyes next week.
Homeschool Astronomy is a great resource for parents who want to teach their children about our universe. It differs from the classical astronomy approach that you often here me talk about with Jay Ryan on my other podcast, Jesus Geek. Classical astronomy is primarily about what you can see with the unaided eye and Jay Ryan’s Signs and Seasons is the only curriculum I recommend when it comes to teaching astronomy from a classica point of view. The Homeschool astronomy curriculum teaches modern astronomy.
What do you get?
Each unit is self-contained and comes in a PowerPoint format. There are beautiful pictures from NASA and facts and figures that will make you head explode. Each unit also has discussion questions and suggested activities to go along with the study. I found the units to be thorough and easily adaptable to children of all ages. I would recommend using each unit for a week. Spreading out the lesson over a week will help your child to retain more of the information.
Price and final thoughts
Each unit costs $9.95. The unit I was given as a sample had 43 slides in it with a number of discussion questions and information that could keep a motivated student going for at least a week, if not two. The one thing I feel could be changed is if it were offered in different formats. WHile I would venture a guess that most homeschoolers have a copy of Microsoft Office on their computer, some may not. Offering thi product as a PDF or self-contained flash animation would make it much more accessible to those homeschoolers who do not have PowerPoint. It could also be saved a self-executing Powerpoint presentation to make it more accessible to Windows users, however, Apple or Linux users wouldn’t have the means to run such a presentation. I don’t see this as a strike against the product but rather a way that the product could be improved for compatibility with as many computing environements as possible. All-in-all this is a great product and I highly recommend that you go out an purchase at least one unit to see if you’d like to use it yourself.
Copyright and homeschooling is an issue that has baffled me for years. I suspect most people are ignorant of the copyright laws in the Unites States but once someone makes them aware of the law it appears that there is a contingent of homeschoolers that choose to ignore the law and continue to take money out of the back pockets of individuals and organiazations dedicated to providing homeschoolers with quality material in their homeschooling endeavors. I talk a little about that on this week’s podcast and discuss my position on the matter. Fore more information about homeschool copyright and how you can be sure you’re within the law you can visit http://homeschoolcopyright.com
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Music for the podcast by Kevin Macleod.