This was all destroyed in the modern world by the demise of the seven liberal arts in education... and the invention of electric lighting. For many people the sky is now unknown territory, but that's not the fault of Thomas Edison; it's the fault of modernity's refusal to accept the glorious inheritance of our cultural past, which includes the knowledge of the heavens.
Classical Astronomy is a practical,
observational attempt to remedy this. We'll
learn to identify and delight in the planets,
principal stars, and constellations of the whole
sky for every month of the year and learn some of
the historical and literary connections - where
stars and constellations show up in poetry and
other literature, including the myths behind them
as well as Biblical connections and use in the
Bible and in Church history. We'll learn to find
directions and time by the stars, make sundials,
and have regular star-gazing assignments.
We'll briefly survey ancient, medieval, and modern
astronomy and cosmology, and we'll discuss the
history of calendars and clocks, which are
grounded in the movement of the heavens.
This is naked-eye, everyman, observational, literary, and historical astronomy. Its aim is knowledge of the night sky and how that knowledge has influenced Old Western Culture (to use C. S. Lewis's phrase). It is not modern scientific astronomy, as valuable as that is. Students should later take advantage of the many good classes available live and online both, that cover the modern science of astronomy - one Schola Astronomy alumna has gone on to become an astrophysicist (a comet expert at NASA's Huntsville, Alabama, facility). But many become literature teachers who have applied the knowledge of the heavens to helping students understand Vergil, Dante, and Milton. And most have or will become homeschool moms and dads who want to tell their children what those things in the night sky are that you see when out camping, and connect their children to scores of generations that have loved the stars because they got to know their names and stories. The real point of this course is to learn to find your way comfortably around the night sky and connect that knowledge with history and literature from Homer to C. S. Lewis.
From astronomy we find the east, west, south, and north, as well as the theory of the heavens, the equinox, solstice, and courses of the stars. If one has no knowledge of these matters, he will not be able to have any comprehension of [other important arts]. --ancient architect (Vitruvius)
Without this science it is impossible to understand not only physics, but also geography and a great part of history. --Reformation educator (John Comenius)