Sunday, June 30, 2013

Moving Beyond the Page {Schoolhouse Review}


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Moving Beyond the Page is an incredible unit study based product that we had the immense pleasure to review during the past several weeks. This product just might be my favorite product we have reviewed this year. Yes, it has something to do with the fact that we thrive on literature unit studies. But, additionally, this product was just that good! We reviewed the language arts study on the book Poppy and the corresponding science study on Life Cycles. Both products are recommended for children ages 7-9.




Product Description

Let's get through the logistics first, so you know how things work. The thing to do is to go the Moving Beyond the Page website. You will immediately see that the products are broken down into age ranges (from 4-6 coming soon all the way up to 12-14). You simply choose your appropriate age range. Our children are ages 7 and 9, so we clicked on that age range.

This takes you to the screen with all of the product and price options. You can easily choose to purchase all of the products in that age range for a complete curriculum for the year. The costs are set forth on the web page. There is so much information for you on this page, including sample lessons and all of the different curriculum options. You can choose 9-week curriculum packages or just purchase each unit study alone. You also have the option of a physical spiral bound product or the online version (which is a tad cheaper). You can also purchase the literature selections on their site (if you don't already have them in your personal library or access to them at your public library) and the manipulatives that go with each unit.

Now, if you want to just purchase individual unit studies, you can choose from social studies, science, and language arts. There are many, many, many units from which to choose. And here is the really cool part ... if you choose one, say the literature unit Poppy, it will tell you which other units in science or social studies would be a good corresponding unit! For Poppy, it is the science unit study called Life Cycles.

Here is just another example: If you chose the literature unit study of Sarah, Plain and Tall in the 7-9 age range, it recommends you also purchase the science and social studies unit study called The Land. The combinations are endless.

The prices also vary depending on which product(s) you choose. We were provided with the entire Poppy and Life Cycles units. The Poppy unit study was in the online form, but we received the physical book of Poppy by Avi and the owl pellet dissection kit. You can choose either the physical or online product. Both products come with the book and dissection kit. The physical product is $29.97 and the online product (of the unit study, but you get the physical copy of the book and dissection kit) is $25.91. I personally like physical products, but that is just my preference. The Life Cycles unit came with the unit study itself, the books What is a Life Cycle? by Bobbie Kalman and Who Eats What? by Patricia Lauber and Holly Keller, and the Green Earth Butterfly Kit (which does not include the butterfly larva). The cost of the physical product is $45.92 and the online product (of the unit study, but you get the books and butterfly kit) is $41.86.

I realize that is a lot of information, but I hope that you get a feel for how many product combinations there are available and the level of information you receive for the price you pay.


How We Used the Product

Like I said, we received the online unit study for Poppy (with the physical book and owl pellet dissection kit mailed to us) and the Life Cycles unit study in the physical format along with all of the books and butterfly kit. We were excited! This opened up our summer unit study of Life Cycles!

Each morning we read two chapters of Poppy, reviewed the discussion questions, and did all worksheets that went with those two chapters. It was so easy to follow! The kids learned things like alliteration, synonyms/antonyms, cause and effect, proper paragraph structure, combining sentences, diamante poems, prefixes and suffixes, adding -ed and -ing, and vocabulary. We made puppets, drew animal habitats, researched deer mice and great horned owls, and wrote a three-paragraph essay summarizing the story theme.

 A favorite activity was definitely dissecting the owl pellets! It was SO cool!!




In the Life Cycles unit, we learned about animals, insects, plants and soil, the circle of life, energy and food chains, and animal design. There were lots of worksheets on characteristics of living things, needs of living things, parts of living things, stages of life, the specific life cycles of many different creatures, the circle of soil, and herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores.



Unfortunately we did not get through the butterfly kit project because we had trouble getting larva. The company recommended by Green Earth was no longer in business, and several of us members of The Crew ordered larva from a company that never delivered them.

Instead, we happened to find some frog eggs several weeks ago that we observed through their life stages. And this week we pick up some chick eggs that we will hatch in a couple of weeks. We do hope to get ahold of some butterfly larva to complete that project, as well.


The studies are designed to be completed in about 19 days. However, since we are on our summer schooling schedule, and tend to take a bit more time on things (and there was LOTS to do), we haven't yet completed the Life Cycles unit. WE ARE COMPLETING IT, THOUGH! We love it and wouldn't want to miss a second of it! We should be done with it in about a week.


Our Opinion

There are many products we review on The Crew that I enjoy during our review period, and even use after the review period. But there are very few that I actually purchase at a later date. I WILL BE PURCHASING Moving Beyond the Page PRODUCTS FOR YEARS TO COME! I really cannot recommend their products enough. Even my one child who does not care for worksheets and busy work has thoroughly enjoyed the worksheets provided. The kids (and I) have learned so much! It has sparked our interest for us to learn even more about the topics we covered! We even checked out another book in the Poppy series because the kids loved the book so much they want to read more!

These unit studies are perfect for literature based learning lovers and for those of us who may have a hard time fitting in relevant social studies and science based units. We will likely do these units individually from now on instead of the corresponding units all together, but that is just out of preference. I'd like for us to read Sarah, Plain and Tall and do the unit study on it and then follow it up with the social studies/science unit study on The Land. And there are many more I have my eye on, as well. We will definitely use these studies in the summer months.


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The Schoolhouse Review crew reviewed many different unit studies by Moving Beyond the Page. You can go to The Crew blog to read their reviews.

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3 comments:

  1. Hi, Nicole! I just started using MBTP last year with my (then) second grader and fifth grader. I love it so much too!! I'm glad to hear you guys loved it. I have been so impressed with it!!

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  2. We love Moving Beyond the Page too. Looking forward to seeing pics about the hatching chicks.
    Blessings
    Diane

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  3. Ok Nicole, now you have made me want to try this! Thanks for the review, it is a great one!

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