I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
For a few years, I’d been seeing advertisements or booths at homeschool conferences for Moving Beyond the Page. I felt a slight tug towards it with the idea it might work well for the more ‘gifted’ child in my house. But, I never took the plunge. Now, our family has been given the chance to try out 2 of their modules (Greek Myths and Our Changing Earth) for review as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.
What is Moving Beyond the Page?
Moving Beyond the Page is definitely a unique curriculum for elementary students which covers science, social studies, and language arts. Rather than a ‘read this, fill in this worksheet approach, they use living books and activities than may include some that look like worksheets to engage the child in learning. The books are highly engaging for the subject being studied and the lesson plans often include choice of activities to help you find the best one for your child. The units are also labeled by an age range rather than grade level. While you can purchase an entire year’s worth for one age range, there is also the ability to pick and choose based on your child’s educational needs.
All of the materials are developed by a team of ladies with degrees and work backgrounds in education (especially curriculum development) so they also keep an eye on standards used in a traditional school setting. While that might not be a key consideration for some homeschooling families, I really appreciate knowing that the boys are getting those standards integrated into our homeschool. (Of course, that could be a product of having lived in states where they have more regulations for homeschoolers.)
Moving Beyond the Page ~ Greek Myths
My 9 year old was already wanting to dig deeper in the Greek Mythology after having read the Percy Jackson series of books, so he delved into the Greek Myths Unit. He’s also the one I had been considering using this product with in the past, so I was really interested in seeing how it worked for him.
While Greek mythology is often studied as part of social studies, Moving Beyond the Page has it as a Language Arts unit. The online package we received for review includes the curriculum (lesson plans and activity pages) in a time limited online format, D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, Icarus At the Edge of Time, and More Roots. Through the unit, they delve into the world of Greek Mythology including in learning more about Zeus and his family tree. More Roots provides a hands on opportunity to learn common Greek and Latin roots through repetitive pay.
Initially, he was thrilled to be doing the work as outlined in the lesson plans. But, then his long lived attitude of doing it all on his schedule kicked into play. First, it was reading almost the entire D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths in one sitting. Then, it was wanting to play the More Roots game with me for hours at a time. Finally, he started questioning why he had ‘paperwork’ to do when I would given him the activities. Some of those he didn’t mind, but others seemed a bit ‘pointless’ to him. He’s definitely one to march to his own beat and it shows in the spurts of learning he typically does at home. Given his ‘attitude’ towards some book work, I opted to do all of the discussion questions orally with him.
All of that being said, he still got a LOT more work completed from the program than he has in other studies this year. Why? I’m guessing it was in large part to being a subject that he was really interested in studying. Although, I believe the way Moving Beyond the Page pulls things together was a better fit for him than some other curriculum programs we’ve tried.(That being said, he did not finish the tail end of the unit as Cub Scout Camp happened. So, he’ll be wrapping it up this week and I am eager to see how the final ‘project’ comes out.)
Moving Beyond the Page ~ Our Changing Earth
While all of my boys love to learn about rocks and search for them, it is my 12 year old who delved into this unit at the moment. (I do suspect my 9 year old will move into this one later this summer as he loves rocks, too.)
This unit covers topics such as the rock cycle, layers of the earth, volcanoes, earthquakes, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, weathering and erosion. Along with the printed lesson plans with student activity pages, this package includes a copy of the book Investigating Rocks and an Our Changing Earth Science Kit with materials for several of the activities.
As R is on the upper end of the age range for this particular unit, I was especially glad that some of the activities had multiple options so I could have him complete the one that was a bit more challenging. Questions that appeared in the lesson plans were assigned to him as written responses as he needs to practice that particular skill. Any clarification I needed was received via oral discussions after I read his written response.
Some activities were more fun for him than others. I think one of his favorites was during the lesson Inside the Earth where he got to visit the kitchen and use different chips (chocolate, butterscotch and peanut butter) to see how rock formations might happen.
There was a definite difference in how the ‘rock’ formation cooled (freezer/fast versus on the counter at a slower rate) and even how it responded to our trying to remove the formation from the greased containers. Day 2 had him adding more chips. he opted to do more peanut butter as the white chocolate ones we had he deemed too precious to use. But, you can see the striations in the ‘rock’ still.
Beyond the fun of melting the chips, he and his brothers liked the change to eat the final product when all was said and done!
Overall, this is definitely a program I am much more inclined to use in the future. The units engage the kids on multiple levels and are short enough that they are less inclined to lose interest before completing the work. If this program sounds interesting to you, visit the Moving Beyond the Page curriculum page to check out samples for the different levels.