Although I thought I would never purchase another boxed curriculum, I am thrilled with Moving Beyond the Page. It had actually been on my radar for several years, if for no other reason than an excellent source of age-appropriate reading material. In fact, I often found myself adding their reading list to ours, but I couldn't help but wonder what we might be missing inside those lovely spiral notebooks. Fortunately, they have not disappointed!
Moving Beyond the Page is considered an interdisciplinary curriculum, blending the language arts program with both the social studies and science. Thus, students can synthesize and integrate the material in a more cohesive fashion, making mental connections between the subjects that might have been lost before. I love this approach, because Moving Beyond the Page has accomplished what I could not when I was pulling curricula from multiple sources. Rather than a disjointed transition from one subject to the next, there is an easy and natural flow from the language arts to the science or social studies.
So, what does a typical lesson look like? We begin with language arts, normally starting with one or two chapters from a "living book". This is usually followed by comprehension questions. Beginning in the Age 9-11 bracket, the material is written to the child, encouraging more independence. Therefore, certain concepts and ideas from the lesson will be elaborated upon directly to the child. With the 8-10 age group and younger, the parent has a more involved role, discussing the concept with the child and ensuring that connections are being made. Each lesson involves two to three activities for further emphasis and understanding. These can vary across the board. It may be a Venn diagram, map work, an art project, a specific grammar lesson, or a writing assignment. Moving Beyond the Page does a great job of mixing it up and keeping the creative juices flowing.
The language arts lesson is then proceeded by a science or social studies lesson, joining the two subjects. For example, my youngest is currently reading Ben and Me, a historical fiction about Benjamin Franklin. This is tied into her science lesson about magnetism and electricity. Again, the lesson typically begins with the reading material and then is followed with related activities, many of which are engaging science experiments. Because I purchased the full year package, the materials for the experiment are included. Yay! That means this experiment might actually get done, versus me constantly searching on YouTube for us to hopefully watch it being performed.
Here's the part where I keep it real. If we did every assignment and activity to a tee, we could be anticipating a very long school day. For us, that means more than four hours. However, a shorter day helps prevent burn out and allows more time for the pursuit of other interests. So, I'm happy to say that Moving Beyond the Page is easily adaptable to both the child and the parent. Furthermore, having the lessons planned out and feeling confident that I'm not neglecting any particular subject is a huge burden off my shoulders, one that is well worth the financial cost.
I think that about covers it, but please don't hesitate to comment with any specific questions or concerns.