Sunday, June 30, 2013

Moving Beyond the Page Review




We recently had the opportunity to try out a curriculum that easily takes one topic and makes the connections with many subjects.  And the best part of all....there was little to no extra work for me involved.  No extensive lesson planning, just read or print and ready to go.  If you have not had a chance, please read on and learn more about Moving Beyond the Page.

Moving Beyond the Page curriculum uses a unit study approach to make connections between  subjects like science, language arts and social studies.  This classical approach also includes hands-on projects that make these unit studies easily used for multi-level teaching with students who have different learning styles.  They encourage critical thinking and creativity for a wide range of learners from those with delays through gifted learners.

We were able to have two different children use this review package.  Joey worked on the Social Studies, The Power of People unit (Ages 8-10, $23.94).  We received a spiral bound lesson planner with worksheet reproducibles as well as the paper back copy of Presidential Elections and Other Cool Facts.

 

The lesson book included a list of materials needed for each lesson, as well as general supplies to have on hand for your child to easily do more research on the topics being studied.   A vocabulary section is broke down for the child to learn.  Each lesson is then listed out with the skills that will be worked on and critical thinking questions.  This is followed by Activity suggestions to go with each lesson.  This is where the page numbers for the sections you will be reading from the provided reading material.

You are not encouraged to read the book in full everyday.  It is meant to enhance and encourage your child to do more research and to love learning more.  There are even more options for extra activities, such as for this unit study having your child interview a community leader in your town or write a speech to get people to vote for them if they were running for a city council position.  It even includes extra thinking questions at the end.  You can view some of the unit examples by visiting Moving Beyond the Page curriculum sample section.

Joey did really well with this.  He was not able to use it independently, but depending on your child's skill level and age, it could be done.  He learned a lot about the structure of our government.  The worksheets included were easy for him to understand and complete.

We worked on this program 3 days a week.  The lessons, depending on how in depth our discussions became, took under 30 minutes to complete on most days.  He was able to see the importance of how government runs well, depending on the person who is in office by looking back at past politicians.

I studied this on a more basic level with Joey, but there is definitely room for a more in-depth study for gifted students.  I skipped over the materials that would have possibly frustrated him.  I love the suggestions though such as, pretending your student is president of the United States.  Have them create their own "New Deal" and present it to you.  Even create an advertisement for their program.  That is definitely a way to encourage more learning and help those who love creativity also.

While Joey was using The Power of People unit, Lydia was able to use two online units.  Amazing Weather (Ages 7-9, online with book $29.91) and Communities and Culture (Ages 7 -9, online with books $42.83)

I was a bit nervous about using an online lesson planner.  I order e-books and print lessons/unit studies, so this was a bit different for me.

I received actual print copies of all the books needed, except the lesson plan.  That was online.  The user interface on Moving Beyond the page was very easy to use.  I was very happy to be able to easily log in and see what was recommended for that day.  Again, there are so many suggestions given for activities to go along with the reading.  For Communities and Culture, we received the Binkerton Kids books on Ancient Egypt and Medieval Times. These were fun historical fiction stories.  Moving Beyond the Page offers a very thorough set of comprehension questions to go along with the reading.  I was easily able to sit and discuss what was happening in the story without pre-reading too much and writing out my own questions.  (That was a huge timesaver for me!!!)

Material list easily listed for me, all activities (which again....I could pick and choose depending on attention span on that day).  Not that you could skip all the activities, but if something was a bit difficult for either child or we were just having a rough day....I could easily adjust the planner.  There is even an area where parents can share extra ideas with others in the IdeaShare section.





Both Amazing Weather and Communities and Culture were very easy to use.  We worked on these 3 times a week and easily finished them.  The books included in your unit study were able to keep the kids attention, in fact Lydia was a little more attentive to what we were studying this time and even listed a few weather facts out of the blue one afternoon.  That doesn't happen real often, she doesn't like to reveal what she has learned.

Lydia also worked with the suggested spelling program.  Moving Beyond the Page has a suggested list of vocabulary for each age group.  There are downloadable forms, and Lydia is loving these forms and this way of doing her words now.  One day she practices, another day makes up sentences using the words, practices again with a pretest and then writes any words she has missed, and then a final test.  She has been making huge strides over the past month using this program for her sight words!!!  So we will definitely continue using this method as long as it works.

I have thoroughly enjoyed using Moving Beyond the Page.  It has fulfilled any expectations I have for unit studies that I would try and create myself.    Since we had the opportunity to try both the print and online programs, I am not sure which I like better.  There is a cost savings by using the online program, but there is also a benefit to having the entire lesson planner printed and spiral-bound.

The only drawback that I have with this homeschool program is the cost for ordering the entire package set.  It is reasonable considering the amount of materials that you receive, including all your books.  I know that the cost is out of our budget to order the entire program for our family, but I am looking at individual unit studies.  I have my list ready for the upcoming year.  The ease of use and the fun/creative activities with each lesson, has made a huge impact on our daily lessons.  I would definitely recommend Moving Beyond the Page and can't wait to order and start the upcoming studies that we will be getting from them.

Several members of The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to try out several different study units from Moving Beyond the Page.  Still not sure, check out their reviews and see how these products worked in their homes.

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Moving Beyond the Page is also on Facebook.....take a few moments to read about them and like their page for updates.



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