Moving beyond the Page HIGHSCHOOL 1

 

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What exciting news !! I have been out of the loop for so long, but I am totally getting back into the grove of things ( wait for another post later today ) Earlier I was cruising through facebook and saw this amazing announcement from MOVING BEYOND THE PAGE !! The rumors have been going around for a while that the team has been working on this , and now finally it is here  !! The first HIGHSCHOOL semester is now available and Semester 2 will be available in September !

I am beyond excited about this ! Even though we are still a few years away from this, I have been wondering what we will use later on.  After working through many levels of this curriculum I feel confident that MBTP works wonderful for our family ! I honestly think that now curriculum is absolutely perfect and you have to adapt, change, tweak things along the way. But MBTP works great for us and I am pretty sure we will keep going with it for a long time…. I am excited for the years to come !!

If you are curious about the curriculum itself, check out my other posts. I am hoping to catch up on many units and re-blog many of them in the next few weeks. If you have questions, leave a message 🙂

 

Happy Homeschooling !

Cloud and Wallfish { kids book review by 10 yr old }

Cloud and Wallfish

Cloud and Wallfish is a book about a boy and a girl during the time of the Cold War. Noah finds himself in a crazy and dangerous event when his parents decide to go on a trip to East Berlin. His whole life completely changes, and he has to forget his past of quiet, small-town living and take on a new secret identity. He also has to live by the new rules, like Rule #1: They are always listening!

The book was so well written that I felt that I, myself, was there. I was able to understand Noah and feel his fears. I loved this historic fiction novel and that it had true events and facts stored inside it. Some things were hard for me to understand, but it makes me want to learn more about this time. I loved the secret files at each end at the chapter; it helped me know more about what was going on. I would recommend this amazing book for people ten and up.

Cloud and Wallfish is a book full of secrets, codes, and friendships!

 

Parent note ” This was a really great book and I am happy my daughter picked to read this.  Since I am from Germany myself, this was a subject dear to my heart and I am always wondering how I can teach her more about this time back then. Since we also had the opportunity to travel to Berlin the year before, it was really great to have another opportunity to talk about many events. I think the author did a great job of keeping a certain mood and mystery in the book. It wasn’t necessarily an easy read ( not so much because of events in the story but more because of  the bit complicated story line and characters). I think my daughter really enjoyed it though and it helped her understand some of the history.

Bab’l Books Review : BILINGUAL BOOKS

I am always on the hunt for new, awesome kids books and I am very involved in all kinds of educational groups, forums and more because of homeschooling and my love for books itself. Recently in one of our bilingual groups, I came across an amazing new company called,  Bab’l books. Being bilingual and raising our children this way is something that has interested me since before their births, but I didn’t honestly know much about it back then. There was so much else to worry about at the beginning. Now almost 10 years later, I regret a few things, but luckily we are still succeeding in raising them bilingual. One of my problems back then was simply to find good material to use. I had a few options for german- english books from Europe ( Germany has tons more than the US) but it was still difficult and expensive to get them.

I want to thank  Bab’l books for introducing us to this amazing new series and give us a chance to review them. We have so many friends from all over the world that are growing up as bilinguals or even trilinguals. What better is there than growing up, learning multiple languages ? The advantages we can give our kids with this are almost too big to measure and since they will be reading colorful fun books, it will be just a normal part of their life instead of having to learn difficult vocabulary later on life. Nothing more boring than that.

 

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But Bab’ls books is not just books. They have a wonderful website where you can actually participate and help bring books closer to kids worldwide, and you can be part of this by helping to translate some of them, in the form of crowdsourcing ( It’s multiple people doing the translation of one book. That is the key to having higher quality translations. On the Translate site, you can see all of our books page by page, sentence by sentence, and see the translations that people have submitted.) . We tried this out. and it has actually been so much fun clicking through the images of the books and translating a little here and there. You can choose if you just want to transalte a few pages, or a whole book. And you can earn points and then guess what… you will earn books !!

They already have 9 languages listed for most of the books and they are working hard to add even more languages.

The books are guided towards 3-7 year old, but even my 9 year old enjoyed the books we got to test out and read together. She has been asking for french books for a long time ,since this is the 3rd language she wants to learn and is already very fluent with German. Bab’l books looks for stories that have a lesson or message the author wants to share in a subtle manner. The story’s message needs to translate across cultures, like the importance of sharing, never giving up, or not bullying. Stories with universal appeal.

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Think about it, more than 20 million school-aged children in the U.S. live in multilingual households, but few children’s books are available for smaller language groups. Multiple studies have proven the importance of bedtime stories and reading to your child over and over again. By having bilingual books we give children across the world a chance to connect ! By connecting languages, we connect cultures and with that we are on the best way to a better future for all of us !

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Some are available even on amazon, so if you just can’t wait you can go ahead and find some awesome titles right there, some as e-readers or others as paperback edition. I am old school on this I guess, because I still adore the actual book. But if you are on the go and an active traveling family, these would be an amazing addition for the e-library !

Movie time with Moving beyond the page

If you have been following me, or reading about Moving Beyond the Page elsewhere ( the curriculum we primarily use) than you know that it is literature based. Throughout the levels your children get exposed to some amazing literature, a lot of them beautiful classic children’s novels that have stood the test of time.

I am a book lover and so are my children, but we love a well made movie as well.  I have tried to teach my children to always read the actual book first, if there is a movie out already. Often as a little reward they get to watch the movie afterwards, and their excitement and anticipation is so much bigger than with any other movies we just watch. It is exciting to me to hear their opinions, to see if their imagination was similar to what was shown in the movies and if they think the movie did the book justice. For example when my oldest first started reading Harry Potter.  I simply just had to sigh a little and nod in agreement when my daughter realized how much of Harry Potter they just had to cut out from the books to make the movies possibly. I know she loved the movies, and was amazed, but I know the books hold more treasures for her than the movies can ever show.

With MBTP you will come across many books that have been turned into a movie. And in some of the units you will be asked to watch the movie with your children, possibly write a comparison or opinion about the movie itself. I have not seen every one of these, and especially with movies, I google a lot to read some reviews and opinions. If there is some concern I obviously watch the movies before my kids get to see them. Just like with everything else, everyone needs to make their own decision if these movies are appropriate for their child.

 

Level 5-7

  •  How the Grinch stole Christmas

Level 6-8

  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day 2014
  • Pecos Bill

Level 7-9

  • Charlotte’s Web
  • The Whipping Boy
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall



Level 8-10

  • The sign of the beaver
  • Little house in the big woods ( TV show)
  • The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe
  • The BFG
  • Ben and Me
  • Holes
  • Mrs. Frisby and the rats of NIMH
  • Able’s Island ( short cartoon)

Old cartoon, might not be available anymore for purchase.

Level 9-11

  • Tall tales
  • My side of the Mountain
  • The Cay
  • Lucy Whipple
  • A wrinkle in Time ( in production)

Some info about the older movie here.

Some info about the older movie here. (Lucy Whipple )

 

Exciting news about the new movie here.

Level 10-12


  • The Giver
  • Tuck Everlasting
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry

Info about the movie from 1978 here, I could not find it on amazon for purchase but you might get lucky on YouTube.

Level 11-13

  • The Pearl (relatively bad reviews on this one, unfortunately )
  • The Hobbit
  • The Little Prince ( coming out 2016)

Level 12-14

  • Animal Farm
  • Watership Down
  • The Book thief
  • The adventures of Huckleberry Finn


DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more or less when buying a product through my link, but you will help us to continue our wonderful journey of homeschooling, which we thank you for !

Questions and answers for using Moving beyond the page

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We have been using MBTP for quite some time now ( we did all of of 5-7, working on 6-8, some of 7-9, all of 8-10, and working on 9-11 with my oldest) and I often find myself answering a lot of questions and helping people with choosing if the curriculum is right for them. In the end I tell most people, unless you try it, you will probably not find out. But there are a few things to consider in making the first steps of figuring out if the curriculum is worth considering.  Now is a good time to consider buying a test unit. The spring fling will be happening more than likely in early spring time again and maybe, just maybe you have might up your mind by then if you want to order a whole year set and will be able to take advantage of the 10%. We would greatly appreciate if you order through our blog , it will not cost you anything extra, you are only helping another homeschool family out continuing our adventure of learning.

  • What is a literature based curriculum ?

A literature-based curriculum uses mainly “living books”. Books that are fun, engage your child in a real story instead of a textbook. You might find that you already own a lot of these books, a lot of classics are included in the wonderful selection for each level as well as many fun, historical fiction books.

(Historical fiction tells a story that is set in the past. That setting is usually real and drawn from history, and often contains actual historical persons, but the principal characters tend to be fictional. Writers of stories in this genre, while penning fiction, attempt to capture the manners and social conditions of the persons or time(s) presented in the story, with due attention paid to period detail and fidelity.)
My kids are bookworms and have been independent readers from early on, so this curriculum fits our needs very well and we have truly enjoyed just about every book. After all it is still a box curriculum though. A box curriculum is designed for many, many children all at the same time. It will not suit everybody and just because it is right for us does not mean it will be right for you.

You can find more about what  a literature based curriculum is here.

 

  • My child is still a slow reader ? Will this mean this curriculum will be a bad fit for us ?

Not at all. In the younger levels most often you are still encouraged to read the books with your child. Read aloud, talk and answer questions about the book together, simply share time together while learning. This way you also encourage and teach your child to study independently in the later levels, starting 9-11 the curriculum is directly addressed towards the student. Some parents still choose to read aloud during many of the later studies just because it is fun and builds a great connection between you and your children,it works wonderfully too, when you have multiple children doing the same level.

  • The daily lesson plan seems too much ! How can we make this work with all our extra activities ?

Even though Moving beyond the page offers a lesson plan for the whole year level I have talked to many people that just feel overwhelmed by it and have to tweak it. When I first opened the curriculum books, i felt overwhelmed myself and it took me a little while to make it right for us.  I have found that with most “box curriculum” you have to tweak it a little here or there, after all it was ” mass designed ” by someone else for many other people. I now plan once a week, read through the next 5-6 lessons ahead and see what activities seem right for us, and which we might just skip.  I have found that MBTP offers a good variety of different activities in each lesson, but not each one is a must and there is sometimes a bit too much repetition for us.

Then there is another way. You simply do not have to choose the whole years worth. The curriculum works well as a supplemental curriculum, or simply unit studies. You could easily pick and choose a few units ( even let your children pick) and just do those. Remember the beauty of homeschooling is that you can pick and choose. You can make it right for your family. Every one is different so there is never a one fits all solution.

  • Can I do levels with multiple, different aged children ?

Absolutely. Each level has a suggested age range, like 6-8, 8-10 and so on. Most often kids  will fit into the suggested  level. Reading can easily be done together in a group and many activities are enagging and fun for younger kids as well.  Most often if you follow the guided age suggestion and possibly do the placement test you will figure out if it will work .
Also many activities in the lessons have options. You can make it easier or harder. You can have your younger child work on an easier version than your older one, but they will still both have the benefit of learning from each other.

  • I see a lot writing activities , worksheets and worry my child will not enjoy it ?

It all depends on you and how you will use the curriculum. Each lesson has a wide option of activities, some that might just be suggestions or little task for your area, like go outside to the park and find different types of habitats. Another day the activity will encourage you to go to the zoo, or go interview somebody in the community. Then there will be “worksheets” that go  along with the subjects, but they are often different than your average worksheets. They often require a little talk, additional discussion and inspiration to get your child started.  Also you will train your child towards independent research online. Many of these things were a big change for us at the beginning of homeschooling in general  (especially for my child that spend two years in public school) , but over time and a bit of guidance she learnt to work more fluently and independent on her own.

During some units you will come upon some really big activities (go to the Zoo, go to the beach, go to the museum )  that might just require a day of ” vacation”. Often this might not fit into your schedule at all, but it has opened us up to do more ” fun stuff” in general and we try to just make time. Some activities seemed ordinary at first and I thought about skipping them, but then when I thought about it a bit more I found that we so often do not pay attention to the little things and this activity will actually , really let us focus on THAT particular thing we are trying to learn, like going to the zoo and just watch one certain type of animals or even try to arrange a meeting with a zookeeper and have a long discussion.
Back in Texas we went to the Zoo every few months ,going to just see the birds for example seemed “ordinary” but how often do we end up at the zoo, try to do it all and are not able to give each animal its special attention ? How often do you go and really just watch the “hawks” for 30 minutes and try to study just them  ?

Sometimes there will be activities when you  are supposed to literally “interview” people. I am a shy person myself and honestly  often would just rather avoid conversation with strangers. These activities have gotten us out of our little bubble. They have brought us closer to our community and let my children even be in charge. We have not always been able to interview people for every subject suggested of course, but so often once we thought about finding the right person we were surprised who we found that could participate and have great information.  For example, when my little one asked one of our librarians back in Texas what he did in his job, if he enjoyed , what made him become a librarian etc…. She had the biggest and proudest smile on her face and still often talks about this little activity.

When we don’t find a matching person, there are always options. There are many books that describe people with different jobs, cultural backgrounds or experiences. Sometimes we even get lucky and find a great video on YouTube about it.

There are many ways you can make the curriculum flexible and very hands on.

  • My child is still struggling with writing in general. Can we make it work ?

Many studies show that especially for younger children, narrating and dictation are great tools for learning. If your child struggles at the beginning to form her own stories try to come up with ideas on how to make it easier. We use a white board or chalk board and often brain storm. Some activities in the younger levels only require a few words, while others might encourage your child to come up with a whole story. When we struggle with ideas we grab our pencils and colors and just try to make the lesson fun.

 

If you are ever curious about the curriculum, feel free to write me or the company itself, directly. I am only an affiliate with them and do not work  for them and do not necessarily earn much for anything I write about the curriculum, unless you click on the little links and actually order something.  But we have honestly enjoyed most of our time with it and I feel good about sharing our adventure and telling others about the curriculum itself. Everyone is different though and just like homeschooling itself, not everyone will like it. In the end you know your child and family best and can make the decision. I am only another homeschool mom, sharing our time of learning and living. If you are a little more curious about trying it, you can always order a test unit, try it and see if this will work out at all, instead of spending your money on a whole year level !

So long and as always, 

Happy Homeschooling

 

People around the world Culture Concept 3 6-8

After we finished Concept 1 of 6-8 I felt like I needed to change things up a little. I always try to look ahead, what each level from both kids will be dealing with and saw that Concept 3 would line up pretty well with the third Unit from Concept 1 from 9-11 .  In 6-8 you will be learning a lot about culture with your little one and it was one of the units and concepts she was most excited about. So, I figured why not.  It matches up wonderfully with the Tall Tales from 9-11 and the Myths and Folktales from 6-8.

After a little bit more research I also found tons of books our library actually has for these. For a small library, our library had hundreds of books with Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, Native American tales. I think I spent nearly an hour going through all of them and brought home a huge stack of nearly 100 books. In my defense, our library is actually renovating and trying to empty their room while they do it 😉

When we did the little activity page of different kinds of transportation in the world, Venice came up. And when you remind your child about Venice, she will want to read the OLIVIA goes to Venice book. It’s one of her favorites. So we all hung out together and enjoyed this silly but also beautiful story of Olivia Goes to Venice.

Then we explored Mexico a little bit more, made some musical instruments and read some more in this book.

This book is from the previous year actually, but it is one I pull back out so often. It always reminds us that life around the world is so diverse and often so different, yet there are so many things we all have in common. The book does a great way of telling the stories of some of the kids that are portrayed in the book.

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Also we have cooked a whole lot this week. We made a whole lot of Mexican food, bought sushi and also tried our luck with Chinese noodles. Actually it all turned out rather yummy, everyone was so inspired and excited to help  and eat that I pretty much forgot to take pictures. We also made some fun mexican instruments and listened to all sorts of music, thank you YouTube.IMG_20160202_1851515_rewind

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We had also found this Cat in the Hat book at the library and it was a great way to cover a lot of Holidays quickly. Not very detailed information but a fun intro about many different cultures, one of those books she can easily read over and over again on her own without much needed extra explanation.

Another book that worked perfectly with this lesson is

This one really does an amazing job at telling about all holidays all around the world and if you are looking for even more extra ideas and crafts this one is a must !

We ended up this lesson by researching a bit more online and also watch some more travel kids. My youngest was really in awe with Venice that day and since it is also Februrary, the time of Carnevale, we really enjoyed ” travelling” through the world a little bit more.

They have so many great video’s that give kids a fun, quick way to introduce them to different cultures. It’s one travel show my kids don’t get bored of.

I am really excited about the rest of this unit 🙂 It is full of discovery, fun crafts and lots of room for exploration !

Tomorrow we will start reading this book and I am curious what places and traditions we will discover !

9 to 11 Moving beyond the page addtional resources

These cards are a  wonderful addition for the units of 9 to 11 for Moving beyond the page.

These are cute cards with great info about figurative language which comes up quite often throughout MBTP 9-111. It was very helpful for the Poems unit, view from Saturday and as I am getting a quick look for the Tall Tales study ahead, it will be of use for it as well.

I printed these out black and white, let her color them and then laminated them. They turned out to be wonderful as bookmarks which my daughters uses very frequently. Download for free here at teachespayteachers.

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https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Figurative-Language-Anchor-Chart-Illustrated-Word-Wall-Cards-1697435

 

 

 

Book review REDWOODS and the Tree Lady

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Last week I grabbed these books at the library to read with the girls at home. Since the MBTP 6-8 Concept 1 deals with a lot of plant types, plant cycyles and also being mindful of our nature in general ( Giving tree )  these seemed a great fit.  Now that we live in Oregon I am trying to gather more and more information about all the amazing places that are just so different that anywhere else we have lived before.

Every so often you just make this awesome catch of books at the library, where you have a few books that you would just love to keep or just go ahead and buy them one way or another. These were just like that…

The tree lady is the story of Kate Sessions. A wonderful woman, who was one of the first women to go to college in California to study science. She loved trees and nature more than anything and made it her life work to turn San Diego into a little oasis.

It is in Balboa Park that the legacy of Kate Sessions is most obvious. She leased land in what was then called “City Park” in 1892 for a nursery. For this privilege, she was to plant one hundred trees a year in the park and furnish three hundred more for planting throughout the city. In 1902 she was instrumental in the formation of the park Improvement Committee with her friends George Marston and Mary B. Coulston. Their work resulted in assuring the park’s place in the life of the community.Kate Sessions died March 24, 1940. She has come to be called the “Mother of Balboa Park” and a bronze statue of her was erected there in 1998.

The book is beautifully illustrated  and it’s just one of those books you wish you would have read before or even better, you end up longing for actually going back in time and meeting this amazing lady. It is a beautifully written book about a lovely person who clearly deserves to be recognized for her amazing work and dedication. It is incredibly inspiring, especially for young girls.

 

And then there was the REDWOODS book.

A book that shows a little boy walking and day dreaming with his book in his hands, the book you are holding, the book about the REDWOODS. The book is once again beautifully illustrated ,the charming little pictures of the animals and especially the little cute squirrel my daughter had discovered after a few pages are just adorable.  It even shows the magnificent DRIVE TRHOUGH REDWOOD which made it so much clearer how big some of these trees really are. We loved how it referred back to the roman times to explain again how old some of these trees really are. The details and information given was more than I really expected from a picture book, and I think it will take a few more times to fully understand each bit of it. The whole ecosystem of the redwoods is simply amazing and it is so important we learn more about it.  I am beyond excited about the summer, it will be an unforgettable little trip to go there and see these giants for real !

This is the place we have picked out for on of our first adventures here.

https://www.treesofmystery.net/

If your hungry for more…

More about the REDWOODS

And a wonderful video that shows almost exactly what is described in parts of the book.How the scientists literally have to climb up these giants to confirm or do any research at all. My daughter thought it was funny that a scientist would have to learn how to climb trees in the first place to even do the research.. who would have thought that can be important 😉 Maybe another homeschooling benefit hidden here ?! 😉

Anyways hope you enjoyed today’s journey through the trees !

Community | Concept 1 | MBTP 6-8

Concept 1 from 6-8 MBTP has been community. All in all this topic was a little boring because I thought we have covered it so much already in the past, but given the recent move again it was actually quite useful.

Due to the weather we did not venture out through the community as much as I hoped but we have met and discovered some wonderful parts of our community nevertheless. It was fun looking up the Mayor of our town, and for whatever reason my little one thought it was fun to incorporate his name into their PLAYMOBIL adventures as the evil mayor.. somewhat like in the LEGO movie, hilarious.

And given this big change of community (from big city to little, country town) this unit probably helped cope with alot of the changes. The map in one of the first units was actually one of her favorite things. ( and once again it was once I was ready to skip. ) She loved making this map, and added so many things throughout the weeks to it, that it even ended up as a little playworld for lego people in her room. Win win.

The map didn’t have to be realistic to your own hometown, which made this a lot easier. The project was great and fun and really let our her creativity. Once she started she wanted to add so many more places.

 

The family flag was also a fun little project on the side.

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Venturing out and learning about our community was very hands-on in between lessons 🙂

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Here are some parts of one of her final projects during this Concept.

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We also dived deep into animal studies with this concept which was a delight for my youngest. She is still dreaming of becoming a Vet and even though she knew a lot of the information given already I felt it was much needed background and cleared up a lot of little questions she had. These were just some of our library books used for this Unit. I really enoyed Raptor Rescue!: An Eagle Flies Free
and the whole series of YOU WOULD NOT WANT TO is simply incredibly funny !! Rain Forests (Magic Tree House Research Guide)
was also a good addition for our montly reading.

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Today we wrapped up the lesson about this wonderful book .

One that seems to bring just a few tears to our eyes each and every time. I swear the first time I read it, I could not stop crying. My 6 year old is normally not my sensitive one but even she had tears in her eyes. Oh boy, these are the moments when homeschooling is worth every penny. The talks we have during these moments are really just priceless.

We also watched a few more videos on how we depend on nature and what exact products come from nature.

THE BOOKS ARE DUE ! ( printable)

The Library is big in our family. It’s like our second home and has turned out to be a great start to meet the community every time we have moved.

But it is so incredibly hard to keep track of our books some days 😉

I am sure you have all been there. At our current library there is no limit of books that you can check out, and my kids are quick to pick up on that and take advantage of it. Unfortunately there are due dates.  I am pretty strict with our library books and we have a certain place where we keep them, and that alone makes things a bit easier at time. But it is still chaos when books are due 😉

So I came up with a little fun list/ printable (remember my last post, yeap, I am big on lists). I will try to print it out every week, hang it on the pin board and the kids can easily add requests on the paper ( interests each week) so we can remember to look certain books up, and I can add on the list which books are immediately due or have been requested to go back to the library. This will hopefully help them to set their own priorities to read certain books first and finish  other books in due time. They can also add which books they have already finished, so you can just grab them, stuff them in the book back and take them back to the library before those hefty fines come in ! If you are keeping a reading log for your kids, it might also help to keep track of all books checked out.  Fee free to save the image below to print it out as well 🙂 Here is to a new ,organized year !

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