I may have mentioned a time or two just how incredible it is to find a home school program that incorporates so many different lessons into one. Moving Beyond the Page does just that and I find it wonderful and so very helpful.
Ana, my 9 year old daughter, and I were delighted to receive the Language Arts Package – Who Was Helen Keller? as well as the Science Package – Sound to review this time around.
Seriously, there is sooooo much to talk about and I need you to stick around to read the whole review…okay? Here goes…
First off, my most favorite part of this entire review was how very step by step it was and how easy it was to incorporate everything in the lessons.
Ana and I spent between 2-3 hours each lesson time when we were using these products. Staring with the language arts portion and moving into the science portion to close out our session.
Each lesson covers a lot of information and it is so well written that my daughter was able to grasp the concepts quickly and without much confusion. Our units consisted of the 7-9 year old section of the individual units area of the site.
I have to be honest, unit studies have always been appealing to me but I have never really been able to find a company that “did all the work for me” so that I could just sit down and teach. Well, Moving Beyond the Page took out a lot of the guesswork for me and provided me with a plethora of information, worksheets, directions and activities to make the lessons “real” for Ana. Absolutely well worth the cost too.
Our first product was the Language Arts Package – Who Was Helen Keller? and the online unit cost is $22.87. Which includes the lessons, activities and conclusion in online form, the physical book Alexander Graham Bell and the physical book Who was Helen Keller? If you would prefer the physical unit lesson plan book, the total cost will be $26.93.
The unit study consists of 8 lessons and a final project to wrap up the unit. Each lessons has numerous sections:
- Questions to Explore to help get the mind moving in the correct direction for the study.
- Facts and Definitions that pick up specific words and phrases that are important for the student to know in regards to the study.
- Skills that each study should be able to perform or to increase their abilities.
- Materials needed for the lesson at hand (a wonderful resource for people like me!).
- Introduction to the lesson for the day.
- Reading and Questions and answers section to round out the lessons.
Ana loved reading about Helen Keller and was always fascinated with all of the issues that the little girl / young girl / woman had to endure. I too love Helen Keller and what she accomplished in her life and was so excited to share her story with my daughter!
You know how I said I love when someone else does all of the work and I have to do is sit down and teach? Yea…well, from reading to the activities, perfect for busy mamas like me.
Once the reading section was finished, which sometime took a little bit of time as Ana is still in the “gaining confidence” stage of reading, we moved into the activities. Reading out loud was an emotional battle on some days. She really never wanted to read in front of her brothers or daddy but ultimately she did well. The story was just on the perfect level for her and she was immediately intrigued once she began reading the story again.
The lesson then slides into the activities for the day. There was always a questions and answer page to work on after the reading. Ana was never too pleased to do the worksheet but I truly believe that doing them increased her ability to completely comprehend the reading she had just completed. With the maximum of five questions, it was over rather quickly for her and provided me with the opportunity to have her exercise her penmanship.
Once she moved onto the activities though it was always her most favorite part. She is a hands on kinda girl, so coloring, drawing or writing for fun always trumps “real work” in her book. The activities provided were usually simple enough and the PDFs were also provided (again, score one for awesome unit studies!). The activities provided were fun, easy and just the right amount of info to wrap up the lesson for the day.
For instance, coinciding with the Who Was Helen Keller? book we read the book Alexander Graham Bell, a short biography, then the activity was to write out 10 facts about Mr. Bell. Simple work yet enough that Ana had to really use her thinking cap to focus on the story and pull the needed facts from the story she read.
When we were done with the lesson and activities I was able to draw all the important points back to the forefront of Ana’s mind by going over the conclusion portion of the lesson for the day. Neat and tidy, just how I enjoy teaching!
After a short break we often moved right into the second portion of our unit, the Science Package – Sound lessons for the remainder of our schooling day.
I have to share with you that I much prefer the physical book for the unit study.
It makes it much easier to read our lesson, then hand the book over to Ana so she can complete her worksheet (if there is one for the lesson that day). I tried to stay organized with the online curriculum that I printed of the language arts portion, but honestly, I felt more relaxed and “all together” with the physical book. But, if you are better at organization that I am, by all means, save the extra few bucks and print the lessons yourself.
The Science Package – Sound will cost you $33.93 for the online version, which will consist of the lessons online with printable PDFs and the manipulative Human Anatomy of the ear model (more on that in a minute). Or you can get the physical lessons book with the ear model for $37.99.
This was a fun unit to study for both of us.
It was fun due to the fact that with each lesson Ana was introduced to ideas that she might have known but it never really was discussed.
For instance – the fact that there are three states of matter.
Just because she has learned that the table is hard, the pillow is soft, the water is wet and that the sun is mostly hydrogen did not mean she completely understood the whole matter concept. With how well written these units are, it was so simple to say, there are three states of matter. And that matter was simply the combining of molecules…teeny, tiny, need to use a microscope small, God created building blocks.
After I was able to explain that to her it was much easier a task to explain therefore why there are three states of matter. Because of how the molecules sit in each object. There are more molecules shoved into the table, therefore making it a solid, less molecules shoved into water making it less dense, therefore a liquid and even less molecules shoved into hydrogen, leaving a bunch of room, in turn making it a gas.
It was fun watching all of this new knowledge sink into her little brain!
When she used the ear model for the first time…wow, it was like watching the electrical impulses jump all around her brain. She took a while to put it together that first day, absolutely refusing any assistance from me or her older brother. It was a proud moment seeing her complete that ear model. She was so pleased with herself!
The ear model was an amazing addition to this science unit and I was so pleased to see how well made it really was. I don’t know exactly what I expected but needless to say, this model is well constructed and has numerous pieces. It was easy to see all of the small parts inside the human ear and it was fascinating to touch each piece, they are very vivid in detail.
With everything that we were given from Moving Beyond the Page, I am excited to say that this unit study was a complete hit!
Ana said that every single part of this unit study was good, fun and she enjoyed all of it. That sure is a nice thing to hear from your kiddo when it comes to school work.
Overall, the items received are wonderful, full of information and essentially step by step directions. A pleasing product for this school work weary mama. With these unit studies I feel secure in that fact that Ana is learning a lot without too much effort on my part. I like school when it is “easy” and I know my kids do too.
My one, teensy qualm with the company is that the website is a little overwhelming when trying to find products. It feels like you jump around but on the other hand, each age group is color coded for ease. Maybe it’s just me…
There are so many levels of study that I look forward to the next units that we get.
Homeschool curriculum doesn’t have to be overwhelming, I am the mama that likes things laid out well with little effort from me. I have said it before but it bears saying again, this is why I personally do not create school products. I am thankful for those that can and those that can do it well.
If you would like to read more about this company and the numerous products it has to offer, then make sure visit the review crew post to find out more!
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I hope you enjoyed this review and you have found a new product that you can use in your own homeschool environment!
In His Grace.
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