Bella & Harry Series ( Book review )

 

We were in a super rush to head out the door for the library again today and just last minute, I remembered to get a picture of these guys. So not the best picture, but hey.. you do what you gotta do ūüėČ !!

The Bella and Harry series was a lucky grab a few weeks ago and we were pretty excited that our small library actually had quite a few from this series. This was our second grab already and we enjoyed each one of these.

They are clearly  for the younger audience ( 5 and up ) but if your child loves travel stories I think just about every age would still enjoy these. I know my almost 10 year old had fun reading these with her little sister. They both just love these little Chihuahuas !  We have studied many countries through homeschooling in many great details and I love adding little fun stories in between just to recall some of the basic facts, these were perfect for that !

The little puppies travel along with their family to all kinds of amazing places in the world and get to have little adventures. Each page is beautifully illustrated and very colorful. The story is brought to life in fun ways with little dialogues between the puppies as they travel through each city and full of great educational information.

They would be a wonderful addition to anyone’s library, educational, inspirational and just a whole lot of fun !!

 

Check out some of the other books from the series, maybe Bella and Harry have already visited the city you have on your next travel plan !!




{Usborne Books & More} Intro 2

My first¬†12 weeks¬†with Usborne have just flown by. I have learnt so much in those 30 days and my love for books has grown and our inventory has grown immensely as well . My kids are beyond excited to finally have such a great supply of books again. After our move it has been such a change, and I so thankful what this company has offered us. I thrilled about the possibilities to work with our community, charities and kids in general.. things I have always been wanting to do and now I can do them, the way I want. The library is being difficult about volunteering ( because I would like to bring my kids/ homeschooling you know etc. )¬† and they can’t allow it. Which I find incredibly silly, since my kids would read anyways. But I understand policies are policies.

I am sharing lots of fun news and updates about the books on a special facebook fanpage, so make sure you check in here¬†once in a while. Every Friday¬†I will *feature* a special book or book series there and hopefully in the feature do giveaways and special deals and tons of other stuff ! I have so many fun ideas ! It’s an exciting time and I am thankful that it keeps my mind busy and away from our renovations a little ūüôā

Have you heard of Usborne Books & More ? – I am still “shocked ” to meet so many here and there, that have never heard of us, but also even more thrilled when I can tell them all the wonderful and exciting things about the books. It’s like a whole new (book)world. lol. ¬†In the last 30 days I have come across so many wonderful books in our inventory that I didn’t even realize where part of our inventory . With Kane Miller being part of Usborne Books, the inventory is seriously huge ( nearly 2.000 titles) !!

I will do my best to also feature many books on here as well and I would love, love, love to know which one of you is an ” Usborne Newbie” or an ” Usborne Old-Timer” ūüôā ! Or if you are curious about a book, maybe I could feature it next Friday ?? TELL ME BELOW !!

I¬†will be back on Friday with some fun Usborne book features ! So stay tuned and don’t forget to stop by¬† Julia’s Book Corner !!

Here is a picture of the box I received when I first signed up with Usborne Books & More. It was a great value and we love every and each book ! If you want to learn more about becoming a consultant ( we could be team mates !!! ) or just want to check out the amazing inventory follow me this way please¬†ūüôā

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9-11 A house of Tailors ( Immigration)

We are still playing catch up with 9-11 MBTP but are enjoying it big time. This is another Unit she has once again been looking forward to and so have I honestly. The books included with this lesson are incredible.

As a photographer myself, old photographs always enthrall me. Like I said, I enjoyed this unit a lot myself. The first two books go with the social study unit Immigration.

And we also added

And of course this is the main book for the literature unit.

There are also some great video’s suitable for this age range. I added a few to the list.

During one of the lessons you will also visit and tour the Ellis Island museum. Isn’t it amazing what we can do with technology nowadays ? The links are provided in the curriculum.
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/immigration/tour/index.htm

And you will also get a glimpse of how immigrants lived in the tenements.
So much good stuff on these websites alone.
https://tenement.org/education_lessonplans.html

I sure wish we could take a trip to NY right now and see some of these historic sites, luckily this fun family has taken many trips for us and its always fun watching and exploring with them. If you have amazon prime you can watch this episode for free ( you might find it on youtube as well)

There are also some big writing assignments in this unit and be ready to put aside some time for the the artsy projects, like making a hat pattern and making a quilt at the end of the story !

We ended the unit with an amazing final project, a story quilt about the house of tailors !!

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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

 

50 states Concept 1 Unit 1 9-11

With the move and everything else that has been going on we are still only in concept 1 9-11 MBTP ¬†. We are nearing the end of Unit 1, the 50 states. It was one of the units she looked really forward to, and with all the recent traveling it really was very enjoyable. I had many people tell me, there were better ways to study the 50 states and I can’t disagree that there are about a million cool ways you can learn about them (traveling probably thee best anyways ) but for bookworms like us, this way was pretty fun, too.

The book Smart About the Fifty States (Smart About History) is used throughout the unit. It is made like a class report and every student reports about a few states or one specific region. So it really feels like reading a class report and like the book was written by kids, which again makes it easy to understand for kids. She was able to pick out information easily and gather facts quickly.
Since we had purchased the complete 9-11 curriculum we also received a a super fun game , the Scrambled States card game. It is such a fun game that we have played it over and over again and  I loved that it was so easy to understand that little sister was even able to join us.  We had some fun family game nights and I am sure this game will be played many more times.

With starting 9-11 we also hit a major milestone and a big change with MBTP. Now we are working with the independent student books, which means all the lessons are completely directed towards the child. No more, tell your child to do this, or that. On the one ¬†part, super cool…. On the other, a lot to get used to ! ¬†Luckily ( so far, at least ) this seems to work out well, and she is very¬†happy¬†to work on her own. I am not sure how it will work with the later units, but of course if needed there is always the parent book in the back to refer to. So far, I love that I can send her off with her studies, and she will work through the activities and check mark them when finished. ¬†Both kiddos have also just recently gotten their own laptops so now all the individual research projects are easily taken care off.

Since we are quite a bit behind I feel like we need to skip a little here and there, but since she is in charge, she also gets a bit more to say on what to skip and what not. This was something I really kind of wanted to skip, but after she saw the word cookie and decorating this battle was over and I just agreed to make the cookie for the western US states ūüėČ What the heck.. it’s Christmas time anyways and I pretty much had the baking stuff still out from the day before. I made a double batch and we had plenty of cookie dough left to make Christmas cookie’s with cookie cutters and little sister was super happy about decorating cookies as well !

Here is a super simple sugar cookie recipe that will work. We simply cut out the state map provided with MBTP and copied it on parchment paper, rolled out the dough and cut it out on the dough. Since it’s a rather large piece we made sure not to roll it out too thin, adjusted the baking time a little and stuck the cookie in the oven. We decorated with food coloring, sprinkles and chocolate chips ūüôā

Total Time:
2 hr 25 min
Prep:
2 hr 15 min
Cook:
10 min

Yield:approximately 36 2-inch cookie
Level:Easy
Ingredients
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (or 1 stick) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 -1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Salt to taste
To decorate: 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
ADD CHECKED ITEMS TO GROCERY LIST
Directions
In an electric mixer cream the butter with the brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time, mix well. Sift together the flour and salt, add it to the wet ingredients beating until just incorporated. Place the dough in a 1 gallon size plastic bag. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured board roll the dough to approximately 1/4 inch thick. Remove rolled dough to a lightly floured board and using any shape cookie cutter cut the dough into shapes. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 10 minutes (depending on the size of the cookies). Remove to a rack and cool before decorating. Place the rack with the cookies over another pan to catch the excess chocolate. Put the chocolate in a quart size plastic bag. Place the bag with the chocolate in a saucepan with hot water. Allow the chocolate to melt, squeezing the bag to mix occasionally. Snip one of the corners off and drizzle chocolate over the cookies. Allow chocolate to set before serving.

So much for now, I will post some fun stuff about the Poetry Unit that we are also currently working on, soon !

Holes Concept 3 8-10

Holes has been a unit my daughter had her eyes on, since we started with the 8-10 level. I had again never read the book, and could not quite imagine what story was waiting for us. The geology, the science part that goes along with this unit looked very promising and fun as well. It comes with its special little science kit and you will do multiple tests, labs, experiments throughout this unit. Once again we had many opportunities to all work on things together, her little 5-year-old sister had plenty of moments to observe along with her, go on a rock hunt and big sister even let her help discover the skeleton of the T- Rex.

 

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The book ” Holes ” was a great story. I was not sure how my daughter would react to the feel of the book at first, the whole idea of “bad kids” at a camp being punished for things. There is a little bit of violence in the book ( hitting, kicking, a few guns etc with the mention of the wild west ) but we had no problems with it at all, I guess my little girl is really growing up. She surprised me many times again, with her wonderful insight and great ideas. As we were discussing the final project, to make a better camp for juvenile kids, she instantly had wonderful ideas how kids could be helped. We have not started with it yet, and I was nearly set on skipping the final project here, but with her wonderful ideas it would be a shame to do so… This weekend we will also watch the movie ” holes” which is currently available on Netflix ūüėČ

Our geology studies were great fun throughout this unit. We started with cookie mining !

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We learnt lots about rocks and minerals and another activity that surprised me as being fun, was reading through all the labels in our pantry ! She sat there for multiple hours and dug through the whole, entire pantry !! She was amazed about what we are eating and shares her facts with us nearly daily now !

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Above are some of the rocks and minerals that come with the science kit. I would loved it to be even more rocks, even though we already had some from other kits we still wished for more to just really be able to do the experiments better and have a wider variety. I found some great rock kits on amazon and I will be ordering some for her birthday in the summer. She had such great fun with this unit that I know she will be happy to pick it back up again.

This is an amazing series of books, which we have gotten from the library. It is fun and brings science to life !

Overall there are many great kits available on amazon. I will update this after I have chosen another one and we have tested it. For now it looks like I will be ordering another one of these.
ROCK & MINERAL COLLECTION Kit with 2 Easy Break Geodes Activity KIt with Over 150+PCS Comes with Identification Sheet EDUCATIONAL DISCOVERY TREASURE KIT SORT, FIND, IDENTIFY

Of course we also got to break our geode. She was a little disappointed to see how little the geode was and the size also made it harder to actually break it. Again, I plan on buying a few more to let her try it again and maybe get a better chance at finding a colored one. Ours was white, and still very beautiful.

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We had multiple activities that called for lots of outdoor time. Unfortunately our weather her in Texas has been very awkward for our state lately and we have had rain, rain and more rain. We still ventured out a few times and had a great time collecting and hunting for rocks. Our great exploration to an actual Fossil park will have to wait until better weather though.

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Some of our crystal experiments did not work this time, but we got some amazing sugar crystals !

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Working on different fossil types. We learnt about imprint, cast and mold fossils !

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This was the T-Rex dig !! It was a lot of fun for them, the spent two days outside just working away on it !

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We love the variety of activities throughout Moving beyond the page. You really learn in so many ways. Cooking is a favorite of my daughters and she loves learning about culture, history and food al at the same time. Here we made Katherine Barlow’s famous spiced peaches !!
Ps: Here is another fun site to go along with Kate. http://holes.wikia.com/wiki/Kissin%27_Kate_Barlow_(Katherine_Barlow)

So as you can see, this Unit kept us very busy ! I didn’t feel like it was a very difficult unit, and it was fun and easy to go through and along with all the activities. Sometimes some units feel like they have an intense work load, or just way too much to read. But the chapters in HOLES are short and sweet and easy to read. My daughter actually finished the book on her own at some point, because she was too excited and just could not wait. The Geology rocks is a wonderful book, that will be kept in the library for a very, very long time. Many more experiments that can be done at a later point, just for fun !

So if you are curious about this level of Moving beyond the page, the Unit HOLES and the Geology can be found in the 8-10 level here. You can buy them both separately and both can be done independently but they are so much fun together !

BOX DAY with MBTP 2015 !!!

Our boxes arrived a few weeks ago but (homeschool) life has been busy once again and I have hardly had time to post. We are still wrapping up our Units from 8-10 and 5-7 but the girls are beyond excited for their new levels 9-11 and 6-8.

Multiple times I have thought about skipping 6-8 and push my youngest into 7-9 but after much thinking and a little bit of research, I figured there was really no need to. Even though she is so advanced she will enjoy the 6-8 level and it will hopefully help her with more independent writing and build the little bridges she needs for all the other subjects. So often I think they already understand a concept but then a simple explanation in a book or activity comes up and we have this wonderful AHA-moment, and all I can do is smile and enjoy learning with them. It isn’t always about pushing them ahead and challenging them to the max its more about the ride of learning and enjoying learning. I like that she can be done in less than two hours most days and most activities come easy and natural to her and we don’t have to struggle so much. If I would have known just a bit more about MBTP back when we started I probably would have started with 7-9 for my oldest and not jumped ahead for 8-10. I understand the technique and how the curriculum is set up much better now, many concepts build up on others and many things get easier for the kids as they go along with the curriculum.

9-11 looks also very exciting, many big subjects and I doubt we will be anything but finished with it by the time of next spring but we will see. I have heard about so many amazing projects and the book selection is beyond amazing in this level. The kids had a nice little fight about the human body lab

but I ensured my youngest that she will have plenty of opportunity to explore it as well. Even though both kids have their own levels we do end up doing a lot of things together. Some activities are just too much fun to miss out on.

So here are a few of our moments from box day. We have actually opted to buy some books used this time, we already had a few sitting at home and ABEBOOKS.COM and amazon as well as our local Half price books was a great help finding all the books ( over 50 books for both levels… crazy if you think about it ūüėÄ !!! )

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The big box arrived !!!

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Checking out 9-11

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This kid is crazy about learning ūüėȬ† ( most days anyways hehehe )

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Slightly overwhelmed by 9-11 ūüėČ

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A closer look of 9-11

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Almost all organized and ready to go. The pink organizers hold the curriculum for 9-11 and along the sides it contains the matching books for the units and concepts. The yellow is for 6-8, and also hold the curriculum and some of the books are matched up accordingly. This makes it easy to just pull out the units with the needed books whenever you are ready for the next one !
There are so many fun units up ahead and we are excited for a new year of learning. I hope I can share some units more detailed before we even start.I can not believe that it will be the start of our third homeschool year !!!! I can’t even grasp that quite yet. It just seems like yesterday when we started this crazy journey ūüėÄ

Why choose a literature based curriculum

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I just wanted to share this little article that I wrote for our curriculum MBTP, that was published yesterday. I am so excited and thrilled that they decided to share it on their website !

I really love our curriculum and am so thankful we found it. I know each curriculum doesn’t work out for everyone, but this was our match and I am glad we found it early in our homeschool life. I don’t know if we will always stick with it, but for now we are loving it and it’s working out pretty well.
Anyways, if you have questions about it or need more info, I would love to help !

Also the SPRING FLING, the best SALE of the year should be coming up soon, so sign up now, then you won’t miss it !!

Here is the link to the article, if the link doesn’t take you directly to it, check under the blog section !

 

http://www.movingbeyondthepage.com/articles/why-choose-a-literature-based-curriculum/

Or you can just read the copy from the website right here ūüėČ

When my family first began homeschooling, I was introduced to dozens of previously unknown curriculum strategies. There was classical education, core curriculum, common core curriculum, Waldorf, Montessori, and unschooling. I even learned how to align curriculum based on learning style. In just a few days I felt overwhelmed by the possibilities. The curriculum choices seemed endless.

As I began searching for the right curriculum for my family, I came upon the termliterature-based. Literature-based curriculum utilizes real literature and books for students’ studies instead of textbooks. My children love books, so when I first heard about literature-based curriculum, I was intrigued. I definitely wanted my curriculum to include lots of fun books. I also knew that I wanted things to be “hands-on,” and the combination of the two of these led us to Moving Beyond the Page.

Things I Like about Literature-Based Curriculum

Through a literature-based curriculum, my children are exposed to a broad variety of literature. Most literature-based curricula will include a large number of the “classics” as well as modern novels, poetry, and biographies. Children will get introduced to some masterpieces by marvelous, timeless authors, authentic documents from history, and thought-provoking poetry. They will also begin to learn through connecting multiple subjects and themes. These books will often connect to language arts, history, social studies, science, or other subjects. Your child will be engaged and learn multiple subjects just by reading one book.

Stories make our brains come alive. They make learning easier and more fun. Our brains build more connections when those connections are intertwined with story. When I first considered Moving Beyond the Page, I mainly looked at the list of books that we would go through for each level, and we all got really excited about the selections. I like to include my kids with the decisions about choosing a curriculum whenever I can. It gets them excited, and being excited and curious are important parts of learning.

What I love most about a literature-based curriculum is all the possibilities it gives us. We have so many wonderful opportunities to discuss a variety of subjects that come up in every book. We often discuss moral values and character traits, and I can tell how much it helps my children in learning the process of reading, thinking, writing, and connecting it all. The possibilities and activities are endless. We will do an author study here or there or “travel” to different countries where different authors lived and possibly even learn about their time period’s history.

A final benefit I can see with a literature-based curriculum is that it is easier to include different age groups of children together. Having multiple kids and trying to have them all work on different curricula can be a daunting task. Even though I opted against grouping my own two children together, I know plenty of families that make this work well because they can change up individual activities for each child while the family reads the same base material together. Even kids that might not be able to actually read yet will be able to listen and answer comprehension questions and with that get a feeling of being included. Activities in general leave a lot of open space for creative work. While reading stories, the kids get inspired in many ways ‚ÄĒ they can draw pictures, act things out, or even work together on bigger projects in groups. Students can pick and choose to work in ways that they enjoy most.

In our one year with Moving Beyond the Page, we have gotten to experience all of these things I have mentioned. We have gotten to know many wonderful, inspiring novels and met some amazing authors. We have made several great crafts and cooked incredible recipes from forgotten nations or from old historic times. We have written plays and acted them out and drawn many wonderful pictures. I am thankful that I get this precious time with my children and get to discover some of these amazing books with them together. It is a time that I will forever cherish and remember. We have made a connection through the books while talking about them. Laughing about the funny quotes from The BFG, learning about Ben Franklin through a little mouse, and cooking pioneer meals with Laura Ingalls Wilder have made this homeschool year unforgettable!

Julia Goss is a homeschooling mom of two kids. She has used the Age 5-7 and Age 8-10 levels of Moving Beyond the Page. Your can follow her blog athttps://beyondthebookshomeschool.wordpress.com/.

Planning with MBTP

I have to admit, when we got our first orders from MBTP I felt overwhelmed and I didn’t quite know where to start. Looking through the parent manuals and each, individual unit, I was confused what our daily work load would look like. But after reading through it and kind of just jumping in, it now feels like we have been doing it forever and the kids have adapted so much already that they pretty much know what they need to get done each day. A lot of people just follow the normal lesson plan that is laid out in the teacher manuals and it totally works for them. I am one of those people who constantly feels the need to be just a little ahead of the game. So I try to look ahead, plan ahead, and yes.. write out my lesson plans. I have used different planners. Notebooks, teacher lesson planners, and a few homeschool planners. There were a few that worked just fine, but it always had some space that wasn’t useful for our daily studies. So I figured I would create my own. Now I can quickly add in our lesson for the unit we are working on and have everything listed for our day, for both children¬†¬†and I don’t have to juggle between the parent manuals as much.

Feel free to copy this little layout. It isn’t much really, it can be easily done in any program but it was just what I needed for two kids working with the curriculum. Plus the top gives me something to color in between lessons ;)) Maybe this inspires you to make your own or you can change this one up to your needs… planner empty

The BFG | Unit 3 | Concept 2

Last week we started the one of the books we have been most excited about BFG. I really love it that we get to discover these books together, since I have read a lot more “European authors” as a child, I get to discover some of the American authors and literature with her. The classics are also so different from most modern aged books. Something more magical when you get to read a book that has been around for a long time and has been loved by thousands of kids before. Of course the BFG isn’t really that old yet, but still, we have been excited to learn about the friendship of Sophie and her big friendly Giant.

When we start a new unit, I always try to look ahead a little and see what things are coming up and if there will be anything special that I need to get before the lessons. Most often it is mentioned at the beginning of the units, but I like to prepare a bit more, write down the lessons on a separate piece of paper for filing and lesson tracking. Clearly not necessary but it gives me something to do and I do feel like it helps me with my day-to-day planning.
Anyway,one of the first activities was a vocabulary paper. A figure of a giant and labels to cut out and sort and match the words accordingly. It looked fun, but I thought since we are going to be talking about a GIANT why not make things a little bigger.
So, I started tracing the body parts of the giant on bigger paper and cut each of them out and taped them to the wall. Then I wrote down the¬†definitions¬†onto the giant and the matching words on separate pieces of paper and cut those out… Voil√† !!

The girls loved it and were very excited when they saw the big giant on the door. I am pretty sure he will stay a while ūüôā

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