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Moving Beyond The Page ~ Review

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Moving Beyond the Page provides literature-based homeschool curriculum, on a vast number of topics, in the areas of language arts, social studies, and science. Their curriculum is broken down into a series of units, organized by age level, from ages 4-5 all the way up through ages 14-15. Their unit style works particularly well for gifted and hands-on learners. My family has recently had the opportunity to use a couple of the units from their 10-12 age group, the language arts unit, Albert Einstein, and the accompanying science unit, Force and Motion. Today, we are happy to share our experience and review.

About the Curriculum

The Moving Beyond the Page curriculum is broken down into concepts covered over the course of the year. Each of these concepts is further broken down into a series of smaller units. These units each cover one particular theme relating to the main concept. The concepts and units can be studied in any order, however, allowing a very personalized learning experience for each child. The units can each be used independently, though some (like those my family has chosen) have also been written to work in conjunction with each other.

Each unit includes a Note For Parents page, which describes the structure of the curriculum, explains each component of the lessons, and provides a sample week’s schedule. It goes even further to explain the structure of each lesson, and finally, an example of a typical day, and time allotments for unit activities.

Each lesson is then clearly laid out in the curriculum guides, with checklists to ensure you have everything you need, ideas to think about, and things to know before you get started. The lesson then begins with the reading passage and accompanying questions, a series of corresponding activities, and finally a “wrapping up” section for reinforcement or further study.

Albert Einstein

einsteinThis language arts unit is available in either printed ($48.93) or online ($44.87) form, which includes the curriculum and all additional required materials. For the purpose of this review, we were given the online version. The unit is broken down into 8 lessons, plus a final project. It is made to accompany the biography, Albert Einstein by Kathleen Krull.

The lessons not only help guide students through the book through the use of lesson review questions, but also provide opportunities for activities such as mapping of various countries in which Einstein lived and worked, constructing a timeline of his life, research of other notable scientists that influenced Einstein, and much more. In the final project, students will use all that they have learned in order to construct a biography scrapbook of Einstein’s life and work.

Also included with this unit is a Rummy Roots card game, which is written right into the activities section of the unit. This game teaches children ages 8 and up 42 different Greek and Latin roots, providing an excellent vocabulary builder. The curriculum also includes a vocabulary list, as well as weekly spelling lists to correlate with the unit, making this an all-inclusive language arts curriculum.

 

Force and Motion

Force_motion_graphicThis science unit is also available either in printed ($50.07) or online ($46.01) form, which includes the curriculum, accompanying book, and experiment kit. The unit’s 8 lessons and final project are made to accompany the book The Quest for Personal Best: Individual Sports by Lisa Greathouse. Through the study of various sports and the athletes that participate in them, students are introduced to several physics concepts. Some of the fascinating topics covered include gymnastics and balance, bicycles and friction, skateboarding and gravity, and more.

Like the literature unit, this curriculum provides a series of review questions related to the required reading book, but then goes further by providing a variety of hands-on activities for reinforcement. In this unit, that includes a number of worksheets (included within the unit) plus simple experiments, which use the items from the experiment kit. Because this unit covers force and motion, the experiments involve simple activities such as using a spring scale to measure mass, using marbles to demonstrate Newton’s Laws of Acceleration, or a ball drop experiment to illustrate directional changes. The curriculum provides all necessary instructions for conducting these experiments, as well as forms for students to record their data and conclusions.

This unit also includes a list of vocabulary words covered in the study, as well as a unit review sheet to ensure understanding of the unit’s key concepts.

How We Used it & Our Final Opinion

We decided to follow the units as suggested in each of the curriculum guides, and I must say, the suggested schedule was very helpful in implementing the studies. I was admittedly overwhelmed at first receiving the curriculum, but after reading the introduction notes and suggestions, it was very easy to get up and running. I was also a bit nervous at first about the amount of hands-on work, as my youngest can sometimes get sensory overload by too many activities. However, this curriculum was extremely well balanced, providing plenty of reading and written work in addition to the fun experiments and activities. The hands-on activities are long enough to enforce the concept, but short enough to keep students focused and on task. Follow-up report forms are also helpful in ensuring students understand the purpose of the experiments, and how to interpret their findings.

As the parent, I loved the fact that everything was either included with the kit, or involved simple, household items. For activities that involved outside sources, such as online articles, everything was provided right in the curriculum, which saved a lot of time searching for resources. Having everything all in one place made teaching a breeze. It made it so easy, in fact, that older students could even use this curriculum independently, with minimal parent assistance.

This curriculum makes learning even difficult concepts easy and fun. I would definitely recommend this not only to typical hands-on learners, but to all homeschoolers. With the wide variety of subjects available, parents are sure to find something that appeals to every child. And, with the clear explanations and easy to follow instructions for each unit, it really takes the stress out of lesson planning. My boys definitely enjoyed this curriculum and are asking for more units from Moving Beyond the Page!

 

For more information, please check out the Moving Beyond The Page website, or follow them on FacebookPlease also click below to read the other Crew reviews!

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Progeny Press Literature Study Guides ~ Review

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Progeny Press is the publisher of a huge assortment of literature study guides for students of all ages, from young readers all the way through high school. These study guides fill a unique niche in that they approach literature study from a Biblical worldview, so parents rest assured that the content of these study guides will align with their Christian values. The guides are conveniently organized according to grade level, making it easy to find the right story for each child. For the past several weeks, my boys have had the pleasure of using a couple of the Progeny Press study guides: The Door in the Wall (upper elementary level) and The Giver (middle school level). Today, we are happy to share our experiences and review.

About the Guides

Progeny Press interactive study guides are an easy, flexible way to incorporate literature study into any curriculum. They all come in PDF form, available either on CD or as a digital download. The PDFs can be opened and printed out as needed. The best part is that they are also interactive PDFs, meaning students can also type their answers directly into the form, and then save their file or print it out for their records. This feature is wonderful for those who might not be good at, or enjoy, a lot of written work, or for those who need extra practice with their keyboarding skills.

The guides begin with a note to the instructor, explaining how to use the study guide. This is followed by other helpful information, including a story synopsis, a brief author biography, background information concerning the time period or setting of the story, and suggested pre-writing activities. The next several sections include chapter-by-chapter review questions, followed by a listing of additional resources (suggested books or videos) to round out the study. The answer key is also included at the end of the guide.

The Door in the Wall ($16.99)

DoorinWallEGuideMy younger son worked through the study guide for The Door in The Wall by Marguerite de Angeli. This study guide is intended for students in upper elementary level, approximately grades 4-6.

The study guide is broken down in order to review 2 chapters at a time. These sections all include vocabulary work,which may include using a dictionary to define words, multiple choice questions, or matching exercises. The guide then presents a series of questions, including those based on the events of the story, some that are based on elements of a story, and then some that call for personal reflection by the student. “Dig Deeper” questions often include Scripture references, and ask students how they might relate that to the story. Some chapters also include additional questions for discussion, as well as extra activities on topics such as fact vs. opinion, and similes and metaphors. The conclusion section of the guide then asks questions regarding the overall plot and theme of the story.

 

The Giver ($18.99)

GiverEGuideMy older son used the study guide to accompany The Giver by Lois Lowry. This is from Progeny Press’s middle school offerings, and intended for students in grades 7-9.

This guide has many of the same features as the upper elementary level guide, plus some additional activities. Because this book is longer, the guide is broken down into sections of 2 or 3 chapters at a time. Each section begins with vocabulary, which can include writing definitions, matching, fill-in, finding synonyms and antonyms, and understanding connotative meaning. The questions are also much like those in the upper elementary, but in greater number and depth. This guide also includes a summary section that includes several question regarding elements of a story. Following the summary, this guide includes a number of writing prompts for student essays, which are expected to be 1-2 pages long.

 

How We Used the Guides

For both boys, I thought that completing one section per week would be a good, steady pace for us. Because we try not too do much of our schoolwork on the computer, I decided that printing out the week’s section would be the most sensible option. For the first day or 2 of each week, at our typical reading time, they read the chapters for the current section, and then the remainder of the week was devoted to completing the study guide questions. The boys loved the flexibility this offered them. They could complete the questions in any order they liked, as long as the section was completed by the end of the week. They also liked the idea that they did not have a set daily schedule with it. If they wanted to work faster, they were free to do so. Or if we had to skip a day here and there due to an activity or event, we knew it was no problem, as there was no danger of messing up a strict schedule. They also

Our Final Opinion

We really enjoyed working through these study guides. We love the idea that we can pick and choose the guides we want to use, rather than being locked into a series of books found in a structured literature course, which may or may not include stories that appeal to us. We also love the flexibility they have offered us, both with regards to scheduling, as well as format options of either computer or print. I personally like the variety of activities offered in the guides, especially the extensive vocabulary sections, and the questions requiring personal reflection. These guides have been a great help to us for improving reading comprehension, expanding vocabulary, and studying elements of a story. They are simply the best study guides we have ever used, and we highly recommend them!

 

For more information, please check out the Progeny Press website, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. Please also click below to read the other Crew reviews!

 

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Poppins Book Nook Topic for May

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I hope you enjoyed reading our latest contribution to the Poppins Book Nook virtual book club last week. April’s theme was “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” and we shared a wide assortment of links and activities relating to trains and steam powered engines, while reading through Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. If you missed our post, you can check it out HERE (and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!)

We are already beginning to work on our upcoming contribution for this month. The book club’s topic for the month of May is “Folktales,” and we are looking forward to sharing our various activities with you all.

As usual, Enchanted Homeschooling Mom has created some excellent free lapbooking resources to go along with this month’s theme. Click below to download this month’s lapbook packet!

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If you haven’t done so yet, you can also download the introduction lapbook to the Poppins Book Nook, so please check that out as well. If your kids like lapbooking, this is a great way to dive right in to the club! Click the image below to visit Enchanted Homeschooling Mom’s page to download these FREE resources!

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Remember to come back on the last Monday of May to see all of our activities for this month’s selection! Please also check out this list of the Poppins Book Nook topics for the months ahead.

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Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

Please stop by to meet this year’s other co-hosts of the Poppins Book Nook:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for LearningEver After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ RaventhreadsLearning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids

Clip Art by Melon Headz

Be sure to check out Poppins Book Nook and follow on Facebook and Pinterest!

Poppins Book Nook for April: Around the World in 80 Days

Welcome back to the Poppins Book Nook virtual book club. The theme for this month is “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” and we chose the classic Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne for this month’s selection. This classic book is one of my favorite adventure novels, and we were very excited to explore it together.

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There are a couple of different means of travel discussed in the book, trains and steamboats, both of which are powered by steam engines. Because my sons are inquisitive about how things work, we decided that this month, rather than a craft, our main project would be to do a little research to find out exactly how a steam engine operates.

I designed a simple drawing, based on a train engine, which I then put onto a notebooking page so that the boys could write all about the inner workings of a steam engine. Click the graphic below to download the notebooking page!

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The best resource we found for learning how a train’s steam engine works is this Locomotive Engine animation and information page from Animated Engines. (There are a lot of different animations on this site, so plenty of great information here!) The boys really enjoyed the site, and with the easy explanations, they were able to record their findings on their notebooking pages.

Here are a few other sites with great information:

Steam Engines:

A Brief History of the Steam Engine

Steam Engine History at about.com

Trains:

History of the Railroad: Inventor George Stephenson

Steamlocomotive.com – this site is full of information about different types of trains, and even has some virtual tours of museums and railways!

History of Railway Innovations

Transportation History: The Steam Locomotive

Railroad History Timeline

Steamboats:

The History of Steamboats at about.com

The Belle of Louisville – read about the history of the oldest operating steamboat in the world (100 years old this year!)

John Fitch: builder of first steam-powered boat

Robert Fulton: producer of the first commercially successful steamboat

Videos:

Our absolute favorite is this video of a steam engine made entirely out of glass! You can see all the components in operation. So cool!

Steam Engine Drives a Revolution

Steam Train Compilation

Steam Engine History

I hope you enjoy some of these resources as much as we did. We had a great time sharing this month’s reading selection and learned a lot about steam engine operation and history.

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Please stop by to meet this year’s other co-hosts of the Poppins Book Nook:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids

Clip Art by Melon Headz

Be sure to check out Poppins Book Nook and follow on Facebook and Pinterest!

Link up your magical “Planes, Trains, & Automobiles” book fun below!

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Poppins Book Nook Giveaway!

Poppins Book Nook Giveaway! Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win a Fort Magic Kit!  With Fort Magic you can bring all of the planes, trains, automobiles, and anything else your child can think of from your storybooks to life to interact with, play with, and make reading fun. The possibilities are only limited by your child’s imagination. Jump into a world of books today with Fort Magic! You can read a review of Fort Magic HERE.

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The winner must reside within the United States. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook, in partnership with the Fort Magic. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom’s disclosures found here {http://enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org/disclosures/}.  Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:

Click HERE for the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Poppins Book Nook Topic for April

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I hope you enjoyed reading our first contribution to the Poppins Book Nook virtual book club last week. March’s theme was “Where in the World?” and we visited England during the Middle Ages through the book Robin Hood. If you missed it, you can check it out HERE (and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!)

We are already beginning to work on our upcoming contribution for this month. The book club’s topic for the month of April is Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. This is definitely going to be a fun topic, and we are looking forward to sharing our activities with you all.

As usual, Enchanted Homeschooling Mom has created some excellent free lapbooking resources to go along with this month’s theme. If you haven’t done so yet, you can also download the introduction lapbook to the Poppins Book Nook, so please check that out as well. If your kids like lapbooking, this is a great way to dive right in to the club! Click the images below to visit Enchanted Homeschooling Mom’s page to download these FREE resources!

Lapbook_April lapbook

Remember to come back on the last Monday of April to see all of our activities for this month’s selection! Please also check out this list of the Poppins Book Nook topics for the months ahead.

Poppins-Book-Nook-Themes-2014-2015

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Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

Please stop by to meet this year’s other co-hosts of the Poppins Book Nook:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Faith and Good Works ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ The Kennedy Adventures ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids

Clip Art by Melon Headz

Be sure to check out Poppins Book Nook and follow on Facebook and Pinterest!

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