We have been so very blessed to be able to review so many exciting and fun homeschool materials. Moving Beyond the Page was certainly no different. 🙂
We received the Language Arts Online Package for Holes ($19.92) and the Social Studies package for The Fifty States. 🙂 The Language Arts Package included the book Holes as well as online access to the curriculum guide. The Social Studies Package ($49.62) included the curriculum itself, Smart about the Fifty States: A Class Report, Original Sculpey – Terra Cotta (1.75lb), and The Scrambled States of America Card Game.
Moving Beyond the Page is an amazing company; this is a literature based, unit study program, all encompassing. Their programs are very project based, a lot of hands on, critical thinking opportunities for kids to really get into what they are learning. The materials all seek to show the connections between various subjects using unit studies to integrate science, social studies, and language arts. They also offer numerous opportunities to really become a problem solver and an innovative thinker, through activities requiring critical and creative thinking, And of course these encourage and show application in the real world. It is a way to inspire and encourage our children in their learning with a way that shows them how it all fits together in this great big, beautiful world we live in.
The Holes Language Arts Unit is designed to be used with children ages 8-10, as a stand alone unit or alongside the science unit, Rocks and Minerals. It is advised that, to use this independently, students should be able to read/comprehend at about a 4th/5th grade level and to write an organized paragraph (we are still working on organized writing ourselves).
The Language Arts Unit is online and it contains teacher’s notes you access online as well as student worksheets. We chose to download and print out as we went along too. There are 13 lessons as well as a final project within this unit and it is estimated to be a three week program. There are assigned chapters to be read, comprehension questions, and a variety of activities for each day. I love the vocabulary words, and lessons on punctuation, describing and drawing inventions (my oldest is quite an artist!), biomes, sentence structure, and I could go on there is so much to each lesson 🙂 They have the chance to make their own fossils, play homonym bingo, and cook an onion recipe. There is also a spiced peaches project but of my three, all think peaches are just gross. I love them myself; side-note here.
There are some materials that are not included but are needed to go along with the program. These are very basic school supplies though (scissors, construction paper, tape, glue) We needed a dictionary, and thesaurus so we had to purchase those but no biggie; I was shocked we didn’t already have them! If you plan to do the recipes or watch the movie Holes, those things are also things you need to obtain on your own. Again, nothing huge. They do include a materials list with the curriculum to help you along; you can see what you need and when. I am so unorganized that this list, its a big deal to me; saves a lot of time when I am able to see it all right there.
This is a fun way to really learn the states! This unit focuses on exploring geography and of course, our 50 states of America. Smart About the 50 States: A Class Report book gives lots of great facts and interesting information about our states. This is such a great book. There’s a big map of the U.S. and a page for each state chock full of trivia, interesting facts, handwritten captions, and jokes. At the end of the book is a map showing how the United States as time went by, a spread on the presidents and a few facts about them such as what states they originated from. There is a “bibliography” of books which the kids used in their research too. Did I already tell you what a great book this is for kids? There is also some Sculpey clay included for a project so your kids can make their own pottery as they study the Old West. The Scrambled States Game is a fun way to learn the state names, nicknames, shape and geographic locations on the map too. It’s quite an exciting game. This unit is designed to be used in conjunction with the unit entitled, Poetry, however, it can be used alone as well, as we did this ourselves.
Moving Beyond the Page has curriculum for ages 4-14. They have packages for a full year as well as individual units. Start here to find full year packages or visit the Individual Units page to see all they offer for literature, science, and social studies units for ages 7-14. There are also several samples you can check out; if you go to the top of the page you can choose samples for various age levels. My kiddos are 8, 4 and 2. Of course we used this with my oldest son; the two little ones were pretty involved at times though too ~ since there are many projects within these units, there were times it was so easy (fun too) for the little ones to get in on things.
We really enjoyed the literature and reading each day. We tended to alternate between the social science and the literature studies and projects, alternating days. I read from the books aloud and we answered the comprehension questions orally, I did have my oldest do some writing but handwriting is a struggle here right now. The Language Arts pages we had fun talking about together too. Again, everyone worked on the hands on activities. It did take us about 5 weeks to complete the units but we did this slowly and sometimes strayed a bit I admit.
I love Moving Beyond the Page! My oldest son really loved all the hands on projects within this but some of it as a bit much for him. Blame momma! I love that you can choose units that correspond; this way everything you are learning really does fit together. I think as my son gets older; as reading and writing become less of a struggle for him; he will enjoy all this literature more than he did this time around. Still though all in all, this was a hit. The worksheets covered a great deal of material which is good They are ; they aren’t just busy work but they are purposeful. An extension of the unit that helps retention and comprehension. I love the variety of material covered too; so many concepts and connections I never ever thought of. And those projects? Hands on activities are the best! They really do move you beyond the page! Talk about children really learning; its a living education hands down!
I do have to admit I favored the hard copy over the online one. We did print and folder all of the worksheets as we went along but I definitely find it easier, myself, to have a bound copy of the materials in front of me. This is an excellent addition to any curriculum; it does not include math however so do keep that in mind. But for any literature lover these are wonderful materials; it encourages creativity and imagination too ~ the adaptability of this program too is a wonderful thing for any family with multiple ages. We can definitely Move Beyond the Page with these programs and experience it all!
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