Monday, July 7, 2014

TOS Review - Moving Beyond the Page - Biochemistry and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Moving Beyond the Page Review
Last year one of our favorite reviews was from Moving Beyond the Page.  At that point we studied Greek Mythology and Ancient Asia. You can read that review here. This year we were blessed to be chosen again to review two products from Moving Beyond the Page. Grace and myself researched each unit offered before making a choice. We are still in the process of finishing up a 9th grade science credit. So it was a no brainer that we would chose a science unit to help with that effort. After much discussion Grace settled on Science Package - Biochemistry which came to us as a spiral bound printed product with another physical book about nutrition. Second choice was also kind of a no brainer because we love literature. Grace had never read Huckleberry Finn so we picked Language Arts Package - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in the online format with a physical copy of the book.
Moving Beyond the Page is often thought of as a program for gifted children. In more than a few aspects this may be true, but all of the units can be used with any child on any learning level. Each individual unit has prerequisites that are recommended for your child to already be competent in before starting the unit. Parents should research well before the choice is made. Many different educational philosophies are interwoven into each unit, like classical, Waldorf, Montessori, unschooling, and core. The authors of the products have settled more on a term of Constructivist Theory of Learning. You can find more information about their educational philosophy on the Frequently Asked Questions Page.

The Biochemistry unit is recommended for ages 12 -14 and retails for $25.98. This includes the Biochemistry unit guide and Nutrition: From Birth to Old Age. We received both books in a printed and bound physical format. What the unit guide included:
Note to parents on how to use the curriculum
Materials list and required books
Vocabulary list
7 complete lessons
Worksheets and assignments for all lessons
Study guides for review of each lesson
Final Exam
Answer Keys
A vocabulary match up activity
We learned many different science concepts in this unit. Much of it was all new material for Grace. Some important concepts she learned were the carbon cycle, biomolecules as building blocks, osmosis, feedback, immune responses, making a diagnosis, how a virus replicates, and alcohol awareness. The main project of this unit was keeping a food journal and analyzing the data. Grace's favorite part of this study was an interactive link with an investigative game to discover what caused a family's mystery illness. There are links provided through each lesson that may lead to an article to read or video to watch that corresponds with the lesson being presented. It is recommended that the student can read on a 8th or 9th grade level, be able to write multiple paragraphs, and understands what it takes to write a five paragraph essay. We worked on this unit 3-5 times a week and it took us about 7 weeks to complete. I found this unit to be very meaty with important science information which has helped Grace to gain insight on some of the concepts which will come up again this year in Biology.
Watching one of the video links provided in the unit study

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
This literature unit is also recommended for ages 12 - 14 and retails for $22.88 which includes online access to this unit for 90 days and a physical copy of the book. Even though we received the book I made the decision to purchase it in audio book format to listen to as a read aloud. Huck Finn has so much southern dialect throughout the book I knew I could not do it justice and if Grace tried to read it to herself it might have been a struggle. The online version has much of the same contents that a printed version would have:
List of materials needed
Student activity pages to print
Comprehension questions to print
A handy guide to writing and grammar
Summary of skills
Review sheet
Answer Key
Activity to create a raft
In this unit you will find 12 lessons and a final project. Here are some highlights of what we did while reading through the book:
  • Learned who Mark Twain was and the world he lived in. Why he wrote this book and some information about his other writings.
  • Different forms of writing including; narrative, expository, and persuasive.
  • Different types of irony and examples of each.
  • Figures of speech, point of views, and dialect.
  • Slavery
  • Watched the movie version of Huckleberry Finn (Grace loved it) and compared it to the book.
  • Created a cultural biography poster.
Cultural Biography Poster about Jim from Huckleberry Finn
We worked on this unit 3-5 days a week. I think it is recommended to finish faster than the 7 week period it took us. Again I love all the links that are provided. The searching and guess work are taken out of the equation by already providing it to the parents. We listened to about 2 chapters a day but sometimes 3-5 chapters a day were recommended. That would have been too much for us. In the future we would definitely work through the units slower than the recommended pace to accommodate our more relaxed way of learning.
As you can probably tell I really like this company and their products. There are many ways to purchase. I like the supplemental approach adding individuals units as needed, but you can also purchase an entire package to fill out the year. Also - so - many - choices, and because the units are so meaty even older kids could get something out of the younger aged units if nothing else but to review.
Please go visit Moving Beyond the Page and check out all the fantastic choices. Also visit my fellow Crewmates and see what they thought of the units they reviewed.

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1 comment:

Sandra said...

I've long liked the sound of Moving Beyond the Page. After reading your review I'm more determined than ever to try and fit them in to the time and budget next year.