Sunday, June 30

Moving Beyond the Page - A Review

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Moving Beyond the Page sent us a very lovely package a couple months ago. I knew that it included a book we were getting to read with our history studies and I knew that it contained some other fun extras, but I really had no inkling what the true scope of the program contained.

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My wonderful box contained the Magnetism and Electricity package and the Ben and Me Language Arts package. These are much more than a fun history story and some extras. Moving Beyond the Page offers many units for many grade levels. The level sent to me offers 4 concepts, connecting science, social studies, language arts, and some smattering of humanities (art, drama, and music.)

The package is not a matter of having a few fun activities to complement our regular studies, the package IS becomes the regular studies. They are fun and they are definitely active, hands-on activities, but they are the meat of the lesson plan. The only thing missing is math and foreign language. But the company also offers math on their website!

Sometimes I worry that a focused unit study will hammer a topic to death, but this integrated approach seems to foster curiosity and exploration. Students actively see how different fields are interrelated.

The science portion contains 10 lessons, which last around 40 days. These lessons include reading, comprehension questions, vocabulary words, and at least one activity. The activities include fun things like speculating which items will be attracted to magnets, building a circuit loop, creating a mini-book about the invention of the lightbulb, and creating lightning in the mouth with a peppermint, There is so much more and the amazing part is...ALL of the neeeded supplies are provided with the kit. Even the peppermints!

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The Language Arts portion was given to me with an online package. The book Ben and Me is a fabulous book. My boys read it when they were younger and it is a must read for elementary students who like to smile while reading their history. My girls love it just as much as their big brothers did. 

The Language portion includes 10 lessons, plus an overview activity. Three of these lessons are two days of lessons. These are full days of learning and activities. For example, Day 1 instructs you to read about the life of Benjamin Franklin, mark his birth and death on a timeline, study the characteristics of historical fiction, review a brief history of the 13 colonies. Each of these activities is guided by a student activity page. The next day includes 3 more activities and then there is a wrap-up section that requires the student to narrate what they have learned so far. 

There are a lot of challenging words in Ben and Me. My youngest daughter is 7 and she struggled a bit reading words like succor, flourishes, and ingenious. Thankfully, the lessons stress incorporation of vocabulary and spelling and use of a daily journal. 

I am impressed with Moving Beyond the Page's many options. They are very helpful with decisions about what options are best for your family. There are many online options and all packages can be very personalized to give you only what you want and need. Also, there is an active Forum to encourage you and answer questions. Moving Beyond the Page offers samples of this unit online so you can see if it is a good fit for you.

This comprehensive curriculum is designed to be all you need, with the addition of math and optional foreign language. Moving Beyond the Page recommends you schedule the following:
  • 3 hours on science, social studies, and language arts
  • 1 hour on math
  • 15-20 minutes reviewing vocabulary and/or spelling
  • 30 minutes of physical activity
If students and parents are able and willing, they recommend you add:
  • 30 minutes exploring topics in the curriculum
  • 30 minutes reinforcement of any weak areas
  • 30 minutes of real-life application of ideas from the lesson.
The science package can be purchased for $89.92. This includes the Curriculum, a book entitle Electricity and Magnetism, a Force and Power kit that includes everything you need, and a Science Wiz Electricity Kit. There is an online option, but the only difference is that the main curriculum is online rather than a physical copy and it is only available for 3 months once activated. I highly recommend paying the extra $4 for the physical book. 

The language arts package can purchased for $33.18. This includes the Ben and Me book, Ben and Me curriculum, and a kite kit. You can order the online curriculum for $29.12, but again, $4 dollars gets you a reusable physical book.

There are so many more topics available and different age groups available. Be sure to check out the crew reviews linked below to get a glimpse at some of the many options.


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