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Mr. Jay Ryan: Homeschool Conference Speaker and Workshop
Jay Ryan - LinkedIn
Classical Astronomy on Facebook
|SEARCH 2010 Homeschool Conference and Book Fair (2010, PA)|
2010 21st Annual Heart of Illinois Convention for Home Educators (2010, IL)
Astronomy, not Astrology!
There is much confusion among Christian families between the traditional, legitimate science of astronomy and the ancient supersitition of astrology. It’s important that we learn the difference. In this talk, we learn about astronomy, the proper study of the lights in the sky, created and called good by Almighty God. We also learn how certain aspects of astronomy are stolen by astrology, which teaches many falsehoods that are forbidden in the Bible and disproved by modern science.
Astronomy: A Foundation for High School Science
Astronomy was an important subject in American education, until 1890 when it was removed from the standard public school core curriculum by the National Education Association. While this subject has since been neglected in the public schools, homeschoolers can reclaim astronomy as a foundation for high school science. Astronomy is the oldest science and the foundation for modern physics. Many other subjects such as chemistry have important connections to astronomy. Astronomy can provide an excellent context for high school science and the hands-on, observational methodology required for understanding the enterprise of science.
Classical Astronomy: The Biblical Purpose for the Sun, Moon and Stars
From their very creation, the Sun, Moon and stars had been made by the LORD for the practical purposes of finding direction and for telling time... "for signs and for seasons and for days and years." (Genesis 1:14). Down through history, the cycles of the Sun, Moon and stars had been used to mark the days, months and years. Everyone from common folk to scientists understood the signs in the sky. As part of the Quadrivium of sciences, Classical Astronomy was part of the classical liberal arts education, learned by everyone from ancient philosophers through the Founding Fathers of the American Republic. However, somewhere down the line, this knowledge was forgotten, and is now neglected or even omitted in contemporary classrooms and curricula. A knowledge of Classical Astronomy can be easily regained by Christian homeschoolers through systematic observation of the Sun, Moon and stars. Perhaps in so doing, our generation can truly come to appreciate how "The Heavens Declare the Glory of God." (Psalm 19:1).
Critical Thinking and the Homeschool
The academic track record of the homeschooling movement is well established. Homeschoolers have consistently outscored their public school counterparts. Critical thinking and logic can be instilled in a child at a young age, and should be a large part of the training received by homeschooled students. This can equip homeschoolers in many ways, from seeing through the liberal bias of the mainstream media to understanding the evidentiary weaknesses of darwinian evolution.
Homeschoolers Save America
Since our nation's founding, the American economy has been based on the development of new technology. From the cotton gin to the light bulb to the Apollo Moon landings, the USA had been the world's technology leader, producing most of the world's scientists, engineers and inventors and ushering in the modern world as we know it. However, a declining number of American students are preparing to enter these fields. Meanwhile, China and India are poised to capture America's science and technology leadership position. Unlike their public school counterparts, homeschoolers have the work ethic and discipline to insure the USA's position as a leader of innovation and a strong economy into the 21st century.
The Relevelance of Astronomy in a Classical Education
Christian Classical Education has become very popular in recent years as Christian educators and homeschoolers rediscover the traditional classical liberal arts education. Contemporary classical educators are inspired by the "Trivium" approach articulated by Dorothy Sayers. However, we hear very little about the classical "Quadrivium." While most families expect their children to learn the Quadrivium sciences Arithmetic, Geometry, and Harmony (or music), Classical Astronomy is often overlooked. Nonetheless, Classical Astronomy was an essential part of a classical liberal arts education. Indeed, classical literature is replete with astronomical references, including the works of Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton. The study of Classical Astronomy can enrich a contemporary classical education.
Where are all the Homeschool Dads?
Far too many fathers of homeschoolers have a "hands off" attitude when it comes to their homeschooled children. Some believe that homeschooling is "mommy's job" and not their responsibility. Yet as the Biblical head of the household, it is indeed the dads' responsibility to take an active role in the homeschool, to provide oversight, set the expectations, establish standards of accountability, and offer support and encouragement to the children and the moms.
Signs & Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy
Signs & Seasons is an evolution-free Christian homeschool curriculum that teaches Classical Astronomy, the traditional, Biblical basis for timekeeping and navigation. Topics include: the phases of the Moon and the passage of the seasons; finding the traditional constellations and identifying the visible planets; how our calendar is based on the Sun and Moon; how the times of Passover and Easter are derived from their cycles.
Fourth Day Press 2007
Signs & Seasons Field Journal and Test Manual
A companion workbook to the Signs & Seasons curriculum, for helping a student earn high school credit. The Field Journal section includes ready-made tables and learning aids for observing the sky. The Test Manual section includes tests for measuring your highschooler's achievement and assigning a letter grade. Includes a parent-friendly answer key! Earn a full high school science credit -- from a Biblical perspective.
Fourth Day Press 2008
Cycles: An Introduction to Astronomy and Time
This 32 page comic book introduces the reader to the three astronomical cycles -- The Day, The Month, and The Year -- upon which our modern system of timekeeping is based. Since 1997, Cycles has been used in high school and college astronomy classrooms around the USA and beyond.
Astronomical Society of the Pacific 1997
Jay Ryan is the author of Signs & Seasons, an illustrated, Biblically-centered homeschool curriculum for Classical Astronomy. He is also the creator of the Classical Astronomy Update, an email astronomy newsletter especially for Christian homeschoolers (though everyone is welcome!) Jay and his wife Debbie have been married since 1988 and live in Cleveland, Ohio, where they homeschool their five children.
Jay Ryan is well known in mainstream amateur astronomy circles as an "Astronomical Cartoonist." Beginning in 1996, his educational astronomy comic strip Starman had appeared in the newsletters of hundreds of local planetariums, observatories and astronomy clubs, around the USA and the world. From 1997 through 2001, he was a Contributing Editor to Sky & Telescope magazine, where he created SkyWise, an educational cartoon feature. Skywise was rerun in NightSky magazine from 2004 through 2006 and has been translated into several languages. His astronomy comic book Cycles has been a supplement in secular high school and college astronomy classrooms since the late 1990s, with over 40,000 copies currently in print. Jay has contributed astronomy articles to Sky & Telescope and The Mercury astronomy magazines. Jay has also made presentations to the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA).
Since 2002, Jay Ryan has devoted his efforts to sharing the sky with homeschoolers and Christian astronomy students of all ages, to the greater glory of God. His articles have been featured in The Old Schoolhouse, Homeschooling Today, and Homeschool Enrichment magazines, and also Crosswalk.com.
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My hope is that this list will assist conference organizers in connecting with Jay Ryan and other workshop leaders and speakers. Furthermore, my desire is to help homeschool workshop leaders and speakers develop relationships with more convention planners and audiences. May your efforts be for the glory of Christ and the strengthening of His saints.
Balancing the Sword makes no claims about the speakers' faith, ability, materials, etc. This speaker profile information is being provided free of charge. Please click the links and do your own research before issuing an invitation to your conference. Postings are subject to change.