Monday, July 7, 2014

Moving Beyond the Page Review

Product: Language Arts Package - Charlotte's Web
Price: $20.92
Age :7-9 Years Old

The full packages comes with the online guide and the physical book Charlotte's Web by E.B. White and Garth Williams.  This package is designed to work hand and hand with the Science Package - The Water Cycle.

Product: Science Package - The Water Cycle
Price: $25.94
Age: 7-9 Years Old

The full package comes with the physical guide book as well as the book, A Drop Around the World by Barbara McKinney and Michael S. Maydak.

For the Language Arts Package - Charlotte's Web we started out by reading the book together as a family.  I only have one reader but I knew my 8 year old (who dyslexia curses her reading) would love to hear the story as well.  We have seen the movie and this was the first time for them reading a book that a movie is based from.  Then we moved on to the guide book that goes along with this book.  I will tell you this guide book can be a bit much for the younger of the age range if you try to do it all but my 9 year old seemed to keep up pretty well.  In the guide book you learn to work with charts, graphs, and maps that all have to do with the book.  This would probably be fun to do in the fall when all the spiders are out.  There is one page that you put information in about spiders also doing a life cycle of spiders.  So really you could take this and make a whole unit study with it. There is also work with adjectives, adverbs, sentence structure, paragraphs and writing narratives. All these are done with the book in focus or turning it into your own life with similarities to the book. The guide also merges into animal life cycles and the seasons and weather cycles which is where it goes into the same learning as the Science Package - The Water Cycle. At the end of the guide there is a project for the kids to do which is writing a book review (pretty sure I got an evil look for even suggesting this one) or making a book advertisement. It comes with a worksheet to put your ideas on and then one that is a rubric for your project to make sure you got everything you needed on it.

My ideas on this package: I think it was a really fun book to read and the activities were well fitting and pretty simple to do with my 9 year old.  I liked that online everything is broke down into sections like it would be in a physical book.  You have 7 lessons and then the final project.  It states a couple of the lessons take 2 days.  In reality though I think they could all use two days to really grasp the ideas that are being taught.  The spelling worksheets rock!  They have a task to complete each day to help you learn the words and then there is a list of vocabulary words from the book as well.  I will say all in all this was fitting for the 7-9 year old age range until we got to the final project.  My 9 year old is generally an advanced child and even scored way beyond on her grade level on her end of the year testing.  However she had a hard time trying to make the advertisement and it brought on some meltdowns.  There was so much stuff required to be on the advertisement that it seemed to overwhelm her.  We went through magazine ad's and such and they were all short, sweet, and simple and then she gets this huge list of all the stuff that was to be on hers.  Maybe it was just the fact that she has OCD and can not stand clutter and felt it was to much on one page, but it did not work out well for us.

For the Science Package - The Water Cycle we read, A Drop Around the World book and then went to the physical guide that came with it.  We love science and we love to learn about it so this one was exciting. There are 5 lessons in this guide and then the final project. There is a materials list at the front of the book so you can check off making sure you have everything you need in order to complete each lesson. The first lesson was about what water was made of along with a project.  We made a water molecule but we didn't have foam balls so we improvised with some play dough. 

It has activities for each lesson including watching clouds and graphing them over a time period.  Lesson 6 was to make an aquarium using real things like rocks, salt, plants and such on a paper plate then placing saran wrap over the top to make it look like a glass window.  We were visiting my parents while we did this one up north and I completely forgot to take the pictures before we left and they did not survive our trip home. I also love the little songs they have in this guide to help learn the water cycle.  The final project was really neat.  We are still working on it as we wanted to really get it right.  I was super shy in school and hated presenting anything to anyone, even my family.  So I want my 9 year old to be able to talk in front of people.  I am also going to have her present it in front of our co-op class if she will to not only teach them but give her that experience in talking in front of people.

I really enjoyed this lesson with the kids.  I had my 9 year old doing the book but we all participated in learning about the water and clouds.  Now anytime I say water one of them will interrupt with H20 to correct me.  I also think having the physical book is worth the $5 extra so I do not have to print everything out myself, plus it is all bound together and I don't have to make a binder for it.

Overall I will be using Moving Beyond the Page for more of our work through our homeschool career.  I would love to be able to afford to buy the whole set but it is not feasible for a big family and many different curriculum needs but for now we will buy them as we find ones that fit in with what we are learning.

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