This morning I am excited to guide you through the nuts and bolts of a company called Moving Beyond the Page. This spring I was able to use Language Arts Package – The Tree That Time Built -/ Online and Science Package – Force and Motion for a fun intermission with our 7th grade homeschooled son. I’ll share the details of Moving Beyond the page, a full year curriculum company later; for now, let’s start with Language Arts.
It took me a while to pick which stand alone product to choose as I knew we were headed out of Track Season and into Surf Competition season. Lots of practices, and lots of lost attention. I needed to pick a product that would fit my 13 year old son, who still does not read for fun. He’s able to read, and well, but does not enjoy it. I chose The Tree That Time Built.
The Tree That Time Built is based on the book by the same name. A compilation of many nature based poems. It was only 9 lessons long. Some lessons could be done in a day – or two – so this could stretch out – 2-3 weeks. I liked the topics: Fields, The Sea, Prehistoric, Plants, Amphibians and Reptiles, Insects, Birds, Mammals, and Preservation. This book also comes with a CD of the readings of several poems in the book. If your selection of the day is on the CD an * is located by the title. We used the CD in the car, just to listen to, and only used the recording in one lesson. We love the CD in the car.
This particular unit is one of their Online products. All of their curriculum pkgs have the option of Printed Spiral or Online. The Online is simple to access. At the top of your package are several links to PDF files. I downloaded the PDF’s and sent them to my small town printer company and picked them up in the afternoon. As you are working on the product, there is a very simple online guide for each lesson. I wanted the package printed out so that we could do this without internet, since we would be at the beach quite a bit.
I printed out the Spelling list that went with Semester 1, however, we really didn’t get to this as a daily practice using the downloadable weekly spelling worksheet. Only because of how much we were practicing for Surf Season, not because it wasn’t great.
I printed the Unit Review Sheet for the The Tree That Time Built and put it in this book. It helped me, at a glance, to see what the main points were if I wasn’t around a computer. I won’t list them all, but interest points such as Stanza, Rhyme, Poetic License, Personification, Metaphor, Hyphens, Shape poems, Dash, Imagery, Parentheses, Haiku, etc. Two to Three main bullet points per lesson plan to keep my mind focused on.
And simple as a three hole punch, we started lesson 1! Now, we’ve done Moving Beyond the Page last year, and I do remember a bit of a slow start reading through all of the getting started pages, online tutorial videos, reading the entire course outline first, checking and double checking the forums, reading the Idea Pages to see if there was anything I could add – but in the end, both years, I started the same. On the first page. There is a lot of support online if you are the research everything for a week or two before you start – but you can trust that it will all just work out in the guides. I Promise.
So we start with Reading and Questions. A simple one page start to the lesson. This gives the page numbers to read and a few think about it questions. I would put which lesson we were on on our White Board each morning, and we’d work on that lesson until it was finished. I was a bit surprised at how much Jon enjoyed the poetry and the questions. Based on the recommendations that your child be able to “Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic and be familiar with the five paragraph essay” I’m not sure we pushed this into Writing as much as we should. We did most of the questions verbally, around the table or in the car or at the beach. He knew he’d have to verbally answer which poem he enjoyed most or least and what he learned from one of the questions at a random hour of the day, and was eager to share.
For each lesson, there are 2-3 Activities, some with 1-3 Options. The activities are Notebooking Style pages that help to reinforce the main learning points such as Personification and Metaphor. Such as in Lesson 2, The Sea, Objects were given Human Traits – Water Urgent Voice, Whipsers; Hermit Crab Lives by his Wits. He was to find these examples in the text and then match the Object with the Trait. The fonts, graphics, and layout make it enjoyable to complete.
For this unit, he was encouraged to write poetry for each lesson and keep it in a notebook to put in a lapbook at the end. This sparked my favorite result of this unit for my particular child. He now has a poetry notebook. He loves to draw and has carried around a sharpie marker and a blank journal every day for almost two years, drawing waves and nature scenes, and recently caricatures. This unit switched his journal out for his poetry notebook. A challenge was made to write the poetry outside, and it became his favorite quiet time activity. Most of his poems are really long, mostly a journal entry for how he is feeling or what he is seeing. It has created a way for me to be able to see his heart, his longings, his passions. The quite things he keeps to himself. Even of simple topics of sounds or distractions, or nature objects.
For the Language Arts Unit for ages 10-12, I was surprised at how easy the projects were to complete; especially self directed by my son. It encouraged me that this year he has made leaps and bounds with his reading and comprehension. We have focused on having him be a self directed learner these past two years, instead of me explaining every single lesson out loud. With our activities, I am glad that it wasn’t particularly challenging, but if it were in September, I’d move on to the next grade level, maybe 11-13 or 12-14 depending on the topic; I think he is ready for the 12-14 products for sure.
Which reminds me – this curriculum weaves one of the greatest naturalists, nature discover’ers, and poets into the entire unit. The first lesson gives an activity option to learn directly about Charles Darwin. Your child may think of 3 questions to ask Mr. Darwin if he could go back in time, and the opposite thinking what two things you would tell Darwin if he could travel to our time, or two things you’d show him. Many of the poets found their inspiration from his work. At the bottom of each poem in the book are details of the poet and things to think about. Creation / Intelligent design is never mentioned or insinuated. Millions/Billions of years, evolving, etc is often brought up. My boys are older and we have talked about these things. This is meant as a Middle School Curriculum. I would think that this is the softest way to introduce Darwin’s naturalist side to your Creation family. It would be appropriate for families who want a secular approach to science and literature.
We have not yet completed the lapbook. I’m thinking he has just moved beyond scrapbooking his work. He enjoys notebooking and keeping his ideas there. Which, of course, makes me sad – oh how I enjoyed our lapbooking days. Now, looking back over our time with this unit, I think I would have looked at the lapbook and created it for him, during the first two weeks. As he moved through the lessons, we could have used the lapbook to record information learned, instead of as a review at the end. He has no desire to go back through all of the lessons again. There are several activity sheets to guide you through how to make a very cool lapbook with many folds and paper pieces. I may still go ahead and create one, if anything, to help show friends at co-op what a middle school level lapbook could look like.
Since this is the Online version – one thing that can not be printed out is the Lesson Sheets. This gives you the Getting Started, Stuff you Need, Ideas to Think About and Things to Know. It lists out the Activities and gives the details of what to do for each. It also give links to online videos to incorporate. The last section is Wrapping it Up, and maybe a Life Application section. This is a Very Simple step by step form on the computer for you or your student to navigate. Each lesson is simple to find, as you finish one section, you click complete and it moves to the next until you are done with the lesson. We did print out the PDF to make it easier on days out of town, and have all of the Notebooking Pages printed at once, but you really still do need to check online to make sure you are not missing anything.
Language Arts Package – The Tree That Time Built -/ Online
Package $40.42 Total Value
This came with an online guide and physical components (Curriculum $12.93 Value )
This is a fun natural poetry anthology celebrating nature, science and imagination. We read from Emily Dickinson, D.H. Lawrence, Walt Whitman, William Blake, Langston Hughes and others. We explored the language techniques and read a variety of forms of poetry. We worked to develop an understanding of poetic license and imagery – recognizing the importance of word choice in writing poems.
This package came with :
The Tree That Time Built
by Mary Ann Hoberman, Linda Winston ( Literature $19.99 Value)
Fossil Excavation Kit (Manipulative $7.50 Value)
Whew! This is only for one of the products! Are you ready to slip into Science Mode?
I liked that it would talk about the science of how athletes do the crazy moves they do. Jon was in Field Events, the 800 and the 100. My older son was in Field Events for the High School level. It was interesting how size and build did not really make that much of a difference in how one performed in track. One kid could jump 7-9 feet while another constantly jumped 14-15 feet. One kid could throw a discus 30 feet, while the same size fellow could throw 87 yard feet. How? What did they know that we didn’t know our first year? And then this package became available and I was excited!
Individual Sports and Motion – Force Speed Power
Speed it UP! – Velocity and Acceleration
Gymnastics and Balance
Tennis, Lift and Thrust – Momentum
Bicycles and Friction – Inertia Friction and Drag
Skateboarding and Gravity – Torque
Ice Skates and Other Simple Machines, and
Potential Verses Kinetic Energy – Work, Kinetic Energy Potential Energy and Joules.
In each of these photos, I clicked the button as soon as they jumped up. Jon, above, has been practicing this move for surfing. His friend, below, was a willing example. He could do 90 to 180 before touching the ground.
So – this is where the literature/curriculum breaks down in the science units for us, this year and last year. We are a nature/science/math heavy house. We’ve gone beyond the regular studies per grade level. It may be unfair for us to say that the science is far under grade level. However, there is the literature unit side, and the curriculum guide. You’d need a child that has a great understanding/reading comprehension to do these units alone. I’d say – with parent help – this science unit may be more for the 9-10 year old for the labs, but a regular 13-14 for the curriculum reading and math.
Overall, we learned what we wanted to learn with our jumping and surfing moves. It opened up creative conversations. It focused us on the science of motion, being able to plug in vocabulary like lift , thrust, drag, torque, instead of move up, go faster, twist, etc. And is it a bad thing if science is easy? I don’t think so, overall.
Package $50.07 Total Value
This came with a physical guide and any physical components
(Curriculum $16.99 value)
How do Tour de France bicycle racers improve their aerodynamics, the way the air pushes against them, in order to go faster? How do Olympic gymnasts put their bodies intentionally off-balance in order to create motion? How do skateboarders defy gravity to do tricks in the air? In this unit, you will explore the laws of physics that affect life on Earth, specifically how they affect people’s performance, from famous athletes to you and your friends, as you do individual sports.
- Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 6th or 7th grade reading level
- Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
- Familiar with the five paragraph essay
- Usually used by children in the fifth or sixth grade
The Quest for Personal Best: Individual Sports by Lisa Greathouse
Manipulatives Force and Motion Science Kit
Moving Beyond the Page is a Full Curriculum Company.
You can plug in with Facebook – www.facebook.com/movingbeyondthepage
What Level is Right for You?
We used this for the Middle School homeschool curriculum – 7th Grade. For the 10-12 year old level, your child should be able to read and comprehend novels at a late 6th or 7th grade reading level, be able to write multiple paragraphs and be familiar with the five paragraph essay. This is considered advance courses and is usually used by children in 5th or 6th grades.
Educational Philosophy: – A combination of Classical Education, Core Curriculum, Waldorf, Montessori and Unschooling – Yes, Unschooling. They believe in giving students freedom in what they study and encouraging them to experience education in the real world.
According to their site – they say they align with Constructivist Theory of Learning :
“Constructivists view learning as an active process in which the learner actively constructs knowledge as he tries to comprehend his world. Constructivist theory is about facilitating the learner to go beyond simple memorization toward understanding, application and competence.”
I’m so glad you stayed with me here today. There is so much more I can say, or explain about Moving Beyond the Page. If you are just starting on your homeschool adventure? Do you want a full package curriculum? Did you have a family change and need to hand over your creativity to someone else? Are you switching from Public or Private to Homeschool and need structure? For the price of one month of Public School you could buy an entire year of MBtP with the spines and curriculum. Are you a homeschooler that wants some help with how to study literature with notebooking and lapbooking? Want to see how folks can use living books at the academic level of your child? Then maybe try one or two units. – If you still have time – feel free to click the graphic below and check out how other crew members used their packages – with different grade levels.