Moving Beyond the Page

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grtlyblesd

  • Reviewed on Saturday, July 12, 2014
  • Grades Used: 4-8th
  • Dates used: Summer 2014
Our family was asked to review for Moving Beyond The Page. I chose the Language Arts Program - Greek Myths and the Social Studies Program - Greece & Rome because they went with what we were learning at the end of our school year. These particular books are intended for ages 11-13. My reviewers are 10, 12, and 14.

It wasn't until I saw the catalog that was shipped with my materials that I really understood clearly how the program was laid out. The materials we received are a 3 week chunk of a greater plan for an entire school year. Another thing that was helpful was watching the video that explains how the program works.

Moving Beyond The Page lines up language arts, social studies and science all around a central theme for each unit. Doing this helps kids see learning as a whole, rather than separate, unrelated subjects.

In our reading the very first day, we learned about Thera, a volcanic island near Crete, that exploded violently around 1450BC. This tied in perfectly with the volcano science kit that we had started, so we worked on that some more.

Reading about Theseus and the Minotaur labyrinth, one of our activities was to create our own mazes. Another activity was a reconstruction of Greek naval battle tactics.

Moving Beyond the Page was far meatier than what I expected. Because this was our Greece & Rome summer school program, I knew the kids would balk at doing all the Social Studies and all the Literature at the same time. So we did the Greece section of Social Studies, then switched over to Literature for Greek Myths, then came back to Social Studies to learn about Rome at the end.

The More Roots game that came in our package was used several times to help familiarize the children with Greek and Latin root words.

Although these three kids are my "reviewers," I caught Sam (who is 15) reading the books that came in our package--more than once! Brianna also asked if she could take the Greek Myths book to her room and read it cover to cover instead of just the sections I read aloud, as specified in the curriculum. This, to me, says MBTP chooses good books.

We also played "Go Greek," a form of Go Fish that I printed onto cardstock and Josiah helped me cut out. The cards helped reinforce who's who of the Greek gods and goddesses. These would have been lovely in color! I thought about asking the kids to take the colored pencils to them, but my boys are not big on coloring.

One of the activities was to create a Venn diagram, something my kids haven't had to do before. This was fun, because it was a Venn diagram comparing Hercules to any superhero. I used Larry Boy from Veggie Tales as my superhero when I did the example on the board. It was a painless way to introduce the concept and a great discussion starter. My kids also watched the Hercules movie on Netflix at this point, and compared it to what we'd read about him.

I had a hard time letting go of the things we didn't do. Many days there are 3 options you can choose from. I felt like they were all worthwhile activities, and I didn't want to "miss out" on any of them. BUT, we were on summer routine, and I knew the kids would protest if school got longer instead of shorter! It would be great to slow down and do everything, but I wanted to make sure we got through the book during our review period.

I think a year of MBTP would be really fun and interesting, but I also think that using just pieces, like we did, as a unit study or a summer program would be good, as well. In conclusion, Moving Beyond The Page is a very in depth, comprehensive program, that is easy to customize to your needs. I know some families like to slow down and really savor a subject, and while they may not get through 10 or 12 units in a school year, I think this would be a great curriculum for homeschoolers who like to meander through topics.

You can see photos of us using Moving Beyond The Page at: http://grtlyblesd.blogspot.com/2014/07/moving-beyond-page.html

TDavis

  • Reviewed on Friday, April 18, 2014
  • Grades Used: Kindergarten (5-7)- 8th grade (12-14)
  • Dates used: 2006-2014
When we first started homeschooling, I had pulled out my son halfway through kindergarten. I had no idea what I was doing or what we should look at. One of the first issues that we ran across was the lack of non-religious curriculum available to homeschoolers. We dabbled in a few available resources during that first year. Initially, we had good luck with Calvert because my son wanted everything to look like school. He got over that. Then we tried out Oak Meadow. It moved to slowly and the emphasis on de-emphasizing technology was not a good fit for our family.
One day, my son came to me and said, "I don't understand why all of the subjects are not connected together. I don't like that. I want my history, science and everything to match." So the search for unit studies was on. Initially, I put together my own. He was 6, how hard could it be, right? I quickly found out that my lack of knowledge on what was available made the job time intensive and cost prohibitive.
So, when I found Moving Beyond the Page, I was initially very excited...secular, unit studies, literature based, project oriented? It was everything we wanted. So, of course, I was skeptical. ;) We tried out one concept (9 weeks of school) and we really liked it. Then we tried another concept, and we really liked it again.
We have been die hard Moving Beyond the Page users and supporters ever since.
I have three children using it. The first, of course, was my son. Then my second came along. She is dyslexic. She didn't click with it immediately, but now she uses it alongside her brother and sister.
My 3rd child started out using the 5-7 (by this time, my oldest was using the 8-10). I knew that the youngest was very academically ahead, but it took getting through 5-7 and starting 6-8 before I realized how FAR ahead she was. When we began the 6-8 level (she was 6), she would do her work and then turn around and ask to do what her brother was doing. After doing that for a unit or so, I realized that she was just as capable of doing the 8-10 level as the 8 year old. She has been working at that level as him ever since.
Currently, we are getting ready to finish up the 12-14 level (11, 12 and 13 year olds) and are very sad that we are coming to the end of our time with MBTP.
Pros:
-literature based (no text books)
-project oriented, hands on
-unit studies
-secular
-Student driven in the older levels
-Available online or typed copy

Cons:
Really, none for our family. We are all very visual learners and unit studies has been a great match for us.

vsheldon

  • Reviewed on Friday, January 25, 2013
  • Grades Used: 6-8, 9-11
  • Dates used: August 2011-Present
I'm not sure how I feel about MBtP. On one hand, my son really took off on his own with some of the topics and enjoyed what he was studying, on the other hand, it was very parent intensive, and too much to manage when working outside of the home. Also, we had absolutely no luck with any of the science experiments. I'm not sure if I'm going to try to use up our curriculum and give it a fighting chance this year, or move over to Oak Meadow.

smlott

  • Reviewed on Thursday, May 31, 2012
  • Grades Used: 6-8, 7-9, 8-10
  • Dates used: 2008-2011
We have had great experiences with Moving Beyond the Page, but I think we use it a little differently than most. Aside from age level 6-8, which gives you no choice but to include the science and social studies, we have only used the literature units. It works perfectly for our family to use the literature unit guides as a "super duper" study guide. Not that I dislike something like Progeny Press, but you would never get all of the creative activity choices in a study guide like that as you get with MBTP. I think it makes the literature stick with you. We have a separate grammar, spelling and writing program, which is ok. We check out all literature from the library, so our only cost is $15 for each literature unit guide, which is no more expensive than something like Progeny Press. When our cost is so low, I don't feel badly about not completing ALL activities as we have other writing that must be done as well.
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