RSS Feed

Tag Archives: science

Moving Beyond The Page ~ Review


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!

Click to read Crew Reviews



Updates and Wrap-Ups

I haven’t been around the blog as much lately. Quite frankly, I just needed a bit of a break, and my family needed more of me. 🙂 For the past couple of weeks, I have not done our weekly wrap-ups, so I just thought I would share a short post of some of our latest happenings.

On March 29th, my youngest son had his first major piano recital. He was very nervous before the event got started, but was quite composed once he began playing. He played 3 selections total, Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter, Georgiana from Pride and Prejudice, and a piece he composed himself called Battle of the Knights. (He didn’t even inform me he had written the piece until the night before the recital!) He did an outstanding job, and was complimented by other students and parents alike, which he accepted humbly. I couldn’t have been more proud.


We attended an event at our local library, titled Electrifying Encounters. The boys learn all about electricity, circuits, and even got to check out a Van de Graaff generator. As a result, the boys have a new found interest in circuitry, so I see many projects and activities involving electricity in our near future.



And finally, this past weekend, the men folk of the house dragged me along to the local Dragway for the 4-Wide Nationals. My husband’s company was actually incredibly generous in giving us the tickets, and none of us had ever been. (I later learned that this is the only 4-wide drag strip in the world, so extra cool bonus there!) And even though I was a bit reluctant at first, I must say that the races were actually pretty cool… and I’m sure my hearing will eventually return to normal. (Yes, I wore ear plugs, don’t worry.)


So, that about wraps up the last couple of weeks. I did enjoy the break and spending more time with the family. I am hoping to be better about keeping everything balanced, and my priorities better in place.

As for the remainder of this week, I hope you all will be following along, as we will be doing some very exciting reviews and giveaways in store!

Star Chronicles GIVEAWAY

Today I am excited to share a brief introduction to a new study that my family has been reviewing recently. Star Chronicles: A Bible-Based Study of the Stars by Dawnita Fogleman is a star study unlike many others.  It offers a Biblical perspective of the arrangement and meaning behind the star constellations, rather than the Greek and Roman mythologies with which we are all familiar. If you have ever wanted to study the meanings of the constellations without relying merely on the mythological explanations, then this study might be for your homeschool! Please check out the author’s website for more information about the study. Our full review is coming in a couple of weeks, and I look forward to sharing our experiences with you all.

star chronicles giveaway

cover flat 500x333 shadowStar Chronicles Giveaway

To celebrate the upcoming release of Star Chronicles, I am excited to be joining the Star Chronicles Launch Team in sharing this fantastic giveaway, a perfect compliment to the Star Chronicles study and just plain fun for your homeschool!

Here’s what you can win:

Star Chronicles: A Bible-Based Study of the Stars (paperback) $20

Celestron 70mm Travel Scope, sponsored by the following blogs: Ben and Me, Our Simple Kinda Life, Tots and Me, Marriage, Motherhood and Missions, Acorn Hill Academy, Family, Faith and Fridays, Our Homeschool Studio, As He Leads Is Joy, Angels of Heart, My So-Called Homeschool Life, Best Homeschool Academy by Mom to 3+2 Adopted Sibs, There Will Be a $5 Charge for Whining, Life Off the Paved Road $60

Astronomy and Space Unit Study and Lapbook + $30 gift certificate from A Journey Through Learning $42.50

Nature Study Bundle from Shining Dawn Books, including: Captivating Clouds, Remarkable Rain, and Flying Creatures of the Night $27

Moonfinder by Jay Ryan $15

31 Organizing Utility Tote  in Sea Plaid $30

DVD Collection from 2 Kingdoms/Cathy Friedlander, including Seed Messiah, He Calleth Them All by Their Names, I Want to Explore, Raton Pass Hummingbirds, But Ask Now the Beasts, and Tzon El: Our Zionist Dream $80

A total value of $275!

Enter to win!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Residents of the U. S. and Canada (excluding Quebec), age 18 and older only. See Rafflecopter for additional terms and conditions.

CLICK For the Rafflecopter Giveaway

star disclaimer

5 Days of Homeschool Essentials: The Unconventionals

This week, the members of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew have been participating in a Homeschool Essentials Blog Hop. Today, as we wrap up the last day of the hop, I would like to talk about our unconventional homeschool essentials.

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

When we first began homeschooling 6 years ago, I was a traditional textbook-er. Other approaches intimidated me, so I went with what I knew at the time. It didn’t take long to begin to re-evaluate my stance. Nowadays, I absolutely love to mix up different resources and learning approaches. And most of all, I love using unconventional methods for teaching and learning.


What child doesn’t love Legos? We actually use them a lot in our homeschool. One subject in which we use Legos is history. Studying Egypt? Have your kids build the pyramids out of legos! For older children, choose a more difficult statue or historical building to construct with legos. And history isn’t the only class in which you can use legos. Why buy expensive math manipulatives when legos will work? Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, and percents are all concepts that can be easily presented using legos. They really are perfect for the tactile learner.


While we are talking Legos, we should also mention Minecraft. Everything we are able to do with Legos, we can do to the extreme in Minecraft. History can definitely come alive by recreating scenes in Minecraft. For those who need ideas for implementing Minecraft in the homeschool, you can check out some Minecraft Homeschool Classes in which your child can participate, with building assignments and challenges.  The Skrafty Minecraft Server, sponsored by When You Rise Up, is another great resource, offering a safe place for homeschoolers to create together. They offer some fantastic Minecraft classes as well, including some science classes, so I highly recommend checking them out.


Netflix is our number one unconventional history resource. There are so many great documentaries to be found, and new titles are always coming into rotation. In our homeschool, we use the documentaries in conjunction with notebooking pages. That way, my kids can take notes and illustrate on their pages while watching the documentary, which helps to reinforce what they’re learning. This has helped tremendously in allowing history to “come alive” for my sons. Netflix also has some great science documentaries, as well as some biographies, so the benefits definitely don’t stop at history class alone.


Youtube is another great source for videos. We are able to pull up some shorter history videos, when all we need is a brief overview of certain time periods or civilizations. Occasionally, we can find full-length documentaries there as well, which often differ from those we can find on Netflix. Videos are constantly being added to Youtube, so there is always something new to be found.

Another subject in which we use Youtube is science. Sometimes, we don’t have all the supplies for lab experiments, or we lack the time. And sometimes we just want more or different experiment ideas. Whatever the case, Youtube is a fantastic resource for experiment videos. It is simply a wealth of new ideas.

Youtube is also an amazing source for music, so why not use it for music appreciation? When we are doing our composer study, we don’t have to worry about trying to find (or buy) countless pieces of music for each composer being studied. We can find them all, often with many variations, on Youtube.

Finally, Youtube can be used for math class. While you may not be able to find an entire math course on Youtube, you can certainly find video demonstrations of a number of various math concepts, from the basics all the way up to the most complex. This is perfect for those who learn best by watching someone work out a problem before trying it on their own.

I hope you enjoyed reading about some of our unconventional homeschool essentials. Please take a few moments to visit a few of my team members to learn about some of their Homeschool Essentials as well!

Tabitha @ The Homeschool Four

LaRee @ Broad Horizons

Gwen @ Tolivers to Texas

Amy @ Counting Change. . .  Again

Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

Gena @ I Choose Joy! 

Adena @ AdenaF

Stacie @ Super Mommy to the Rescue

Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker

The New Answers Book 4 – Book Review

answers_book4I am pleased to bring you another review today, for The New Answers Book 4, edited by Ken Ham from Answers In Genesis, and published by Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group. This book covers many questions concerning creation and evolution, and their Biblical answers. The book contains over 30 common questions relating to the origins of our earth and its inhabitants. With each question receiving its own dedicated chapter, answers are provided from both scripture as well as scientific research and observational data.

What Questions are Answered in The New Answers Book 4?

The Q&As in this book cover a wide range of topics, including astronomy and the origins of the universe, the origins of man as intelligent beings, geological evidence of a young earth, the fossil record, the development of languages, environmental changes throughout time, and so many more. There are also a number of chapters on atheistic views of such topics, and how to recognize them and then refute them.

How We Used the Book

Not only did we enjoy this book as recreational reading for the inquisitive minds in the household, but we also used it to supplement our homeschool curricula, mainly in the areas of history and science. Our science curriculum is already from a young earth creationist point of view, so this book was mainly used for reinforcement of prior learning. We did, however, find some chapter subjects particularly interesting, such as those relating to living fossils (meaning those species found in the fossil record that are still found in the same unchanged form today) and the fossil record’s lack of transitional forms (basically, missing links in the evolutionary chain).

History, we have found, is an especially difficult subject in which to find resources from a creationist perspective. Most history books are full of evolutionist theories rather than showing the true origins of man. I found this book particularly useful in helping my sons to affirm our beliefs in God’s creation and the Biblical timeline of man. The chapters we found most helpful in this capacity were those discussing the intelligence of early man versus typical “caveman” assumptions, various cultural legends concerning creation, global flood, and the development of languages, and geological evidence proving that the earth itself is much younger than commonly accepted, so man’s existence must be much shorter as well.

Our Final Opinion

We have thoroughly enjoyed this book, and have found it to be an excellent supplement in our homeschool. I was very glad to find that a number of the questions that my own children have asked me concerning the topic of evolution were included in this book. I appreciate having one single source to turn to for our answers to so many of our common questions on the subject. We also like that the book presents opposing views and false claims of evolutionists. I believe that from a young age, children need to be taught about the worldly views that they are going to be up against, and how they will defend their opinions against them. This book, which is written clearly with thoroughly researched scientific support and explanations, can help them do just that. I would recommend this book not only just to fellow homeschoolers, but to all Christians seeking answers to their questions on creation versus evolution.


Chronicles of Dinosauria – Book Review


I finally pried my kids’ hands loose from this book long enough to provide my review of The Chronicles of Dinosauria: The History & Mystery of Dinosaurs and Man, written by Dave Woetzel, Illustrated by Richard Dobbs, and published by Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group.

This is a relatively short read of only 8 chapters and 88 pages, but don’t let those small numbers fool you. This book is jam packed with evidence to support the fact that dinosaurs are not only much younger than their supposed “millions of years old,” but that they also roamed the earth alongside man.

Topics covered in this book include:

Chapter 1 – The Creation and the Dinosaurs

Chapter 2 – The Flood and the Dinosaurs


Chapter 3 – Fossil Evidence of Dinosaurs and Man


  Chapter 4 – Historical Evidence of Dinosaurs and Man


Chapter 5 – Artistic Evidence of Dinosaurs and Man


Chapter 6 – Cryptozoology Evidence of Dinosaurs

Chapter 7 – Biblical Evidence of Dinosaurs and Man

Chapter 8 – Apologetics and Conclusion


This book was fascinating. It appealed to my older son, whose favorite subject is history, because it explained how the art and folklore found  found in various cultures throughout history all points to the fact that man, at some point, walked the earth with dinosaurs, which then gave rise to stories of dragons and creatures of the deep, as well as artistic expressions of such creatures.

My younger son and I, being science nerds, especially loved the scientific evidence presented throughout the book, such as the detection of carbon 14 still present in dinosaur bones, as well as the prevalence of unfossilized soft tissue found within the bones. Both of these findings support the youthfuless of dinosaur bones, since both carbon 14 and soft tissue would have deteriorated well before now, had dinosaurs actually lived “millions of years” ago, as commonly believed.

IMG_5858  IMG_5860

My children and I have read this book time and again. Not only is it beneficial in our homeschool for reference purposes, but it is a book we enjoy for recreational reading as well. Though very young children might not understand all the topics within this book, I highly recommend it for parents and children alike.

Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions and review. I received no compensation.

Weekly Wrap-Up: Nov. 4-8

This week, we made our return to Apologia science. Big G began General Science, while M began Chemistry & Physics. Honestly, all it took was one little experiment on buoyancy…


…and I knew we had made the right decision to come back to Apologia. I made some notebooking pages for both boys, and they actually had a lot of fun documenting their findings.


We also began our new history this week. We decided on Ancient Civilizations and the Bible, by Diana Waring (available through AIG.) The first week introduces the material and we listen to audio stories. Knowing that neither of my boys are auditory learners, I decided to let them do their personal timelines while listening, which worked out VERY well.

IMG_5729 IMG_5730


Our last new thing this week was the beginning of our trial of Time4Learning. This being only a couple of days into our trial, the verdict is still out, but the boys do seem to be enjoying some of the activities.



We also concluded our first week of our Spirit of Thankfulness study, so we will start week 2’s focus on Monday. Until then, a long, lazy weekend is in order. Blessings to you all.

%d bloggers like this: