Monday, June 24, 2013

TOS Review - Moving Beyond the Page - Greek Mythology and Ancient Asia

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Recently our family was asked to use and review two products from Moving Beyond the Page. The first product is a language arts unit, Greek Myths and the second product is a social studies unit, Ancient Asia. There is so much information about this company and their products that I wish to share with you. Until this review I had never even heard of Moving Beyond the Page, which is a shame, because we are now technically aged out of their curriculum. 
Ancient Asia                     Greek Myths
The educational philosophy behind Moving Beyond the Page curriculum is based on the "Constructivist Theory of Learning". This was a new term for me, but basically it means students and parents view learning as an active process to gain knowledge and apply it to the world the student lives in for continued learning. Moving Beyond the Page does believe in educating the "Whole Child", and includes many different facets of learning methods in their products. To learn more about their educational philosophy visit this page on their website. You might also find it beneficial to visit the Frequently Asked Questions Page to answer many of your own questions about the curriculum and how to use it in your home.

Moving Beyond the Page offers different study units that can be purchased as a package for the entire year or separately to supplement your own curriculum. All units can be purchased as physical copies or online versions. The packages include units for science, social studies, and language arts with options to add reading and math programs from other companies. At this time I would like to break down each product and show you what it includes.

Language Arts - Greek Myths - Online Version

Included in the package:  Greek Myths Online Study Guide
                                     D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths - physical book
                                     Icarus At the Edge of Time - physical book
                                     More Roots Card Game - physical product

Package Price:  $68.78/online version
                       $72.84/physical study guide

Recommended:  11-13 years of age

This unit includes 7 lessons and a final project. Some lessons require one day of work where others will stretch to 2 or 3 days. The authors of the products recommend for a student aged 11-13 years of age 75-90 minutes a day for each subject which includes the reading time in the language arts units. In this language arts unit your student will learn about the gods and goddesses of Greek Mythology. Types of activities included in this unit are sentence editing, learning Greek and Latin root words, vocabulary, reading and answering questions, writing assignments, creating a movie poster and script, retelling the story of the Trojan War with props, and many more.

Each lesson starts out with an Intro section that involves reading and answering questions as well as items the student needs, ideas to think about, and special items the student should know. Next up is the activities section. Different activities are available in this section such as decoding a message with the Greek alphabet or creating a family tree for Zeus and his descendents. Some lessons will have 1-2 more days of reading and activities to finish. The conclusion section will wrap everything up that the student has learned in that particular lesson.

Social Studies - Ancient Asia - Physical Copy of Study Guide

Included in the package:  Ancient Asia Study Guide
                                     Life in Ancient China
                                     Life in Ancient Japan
                                     Life in the Ancient Indus River Valley
                                     Geography of the World The Essential Family

Package Price:  $63.83/physical study guide
                       $59.77/online version of study guide

Recommended Age:  11-13 years of age

This unit contains 6 lessons with a final project at the end. Again some lessons only require one day of work while others are sectioned out to 2 or 3 days. For the recommended age of 11-13 years of age this subject should take the student 75-90 a day to complete. In the study of Ancient Asia your student will learn about peoples, cultures, inventions and more from Ancient India, China and Japan. Each lesson will have all or some of the following:  a getting started section, reading and answering questions, mapwork, timeline entries, and activities.

What I Thought of the Products

When our family was offered the possibility of this review I knew I needed to chose wisely the subjects Grace would be studying over a six week period. Grace is a tough nut to crack and I knew to make this work the subject matter needed to be something she was interested in. The language arts unit about Greek Myths was a good choice for her. She has loved Greek Mythology since being introduced to it through the Percy Jackson series of books. Reading and learning about Greek Myths is enjoyable for her, which made my job of reviewing easier. The next choice was the social studies unit of Ancient Asia. Grace will tell just about anyone that her dream is to one day travel to Asia - Japan or Korea to be exact. She loves all things Asian. So for this review I had her pick the subject areas which turned out to be the above mentioned units.

The language arts unit was the online version and the social studies unit was a physical spiral bound book. With using both through the review process I can't really say that I enjoyed one version over the other. In future purchases I would probably go with the printed copy to save on printing the worksheets at home. The printed study guide is only a few dollars extra. Also once the online version is activated you have three months to complete it, which is plenty of time, unless something comes up in life that would prolong the study. The intro video does say that you can get an extension on that time if needed. As I have mention MANY times before, I am old school and still like a paper product best.

Here are some items I especially liked about the products:
  • Handy Writing Guide - The language arts unit came with a 7 page writing and grammar guide. This guide has all the important "stuff" your student would need to write a great paper. 
  • Review Page - the language arts unit also came with a short handy review page to look over at the end of the unit to refresh the student's mind about what they learned.
  • Both units gave options for activities. Sometimes you will find studies that require the students to do everything listed. Many times in both of the Moving Beyond the Page studies Grace was given different activity options. This made her feel like she had some control in her learning. 
  • I like the timeline entries and different activities that were assigned.
  • I also thought all the books chosen for the studies were good choices.
  • This product is priced very well for all that you get in the package.
What I didn't like about the product, which isn't much:
  • We are a very relaxed family that homeschools in a very relaxed fashion. Doing one subject for 75-90 minutes is not for us. This would have to be tweaked for us to continue using and would take longer to finish. That being said, we are homeschoolers and tweaking materials to suit our educational lifestyle is a common thing and what homeschooling is all about.
  • Grace just turned 14 and will start 9th grade in the fall. Unfortunately this means we have aged out of their products.
I truly wish I had known about Moving Beyond the Page earlier. So many wonderful units to choose from. Their units could appeal to such a wide range of families and learning methods. They can be used as recommended or go slower at your own pace. 

Grace's Thoughts

Grace liked reading the stories in the Greek Myths book and comparing them to other accounts from around the world for similar world events. She enjoyed playing the More Roots card game, but thought some of the activities were a little young for her. Grace also liked reading about the Ancient Asian civilizations. It surprised her how smart the people were from that time period and what they invented. She was not too fond of the map work but found the questions easy to answer.

Please go to Moving Beyond the Page and check out all the wonderful studies and subjects they have available.

Also be sure to visit Tos Review Crew to see what other families thought of their products.

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1 comment:

Jessica said...

We have used Moving Beyond the Page for The BFG and Hugo Cabret and we have the Greek Mythology book as well as the Heros book. I like them very much and wholeheartedly recommend them.

I am curious why you think you aged out. I often give my girls things that may not be labeled at their age, like a geography book I bought that was labeled grades 4-5 but I knew Grace would like it because it explains concepts very clearly.

My understanding is that this program is designed for gifted children and while some of it is clearly for a younger child (like the BFG guide), I would use the older guide books with older children.

I love your reviews and have discovered new products. Thank you!