Frequently Asked Questions
I have more than one child. How do I use two or more levels of Moving Beyond the Page at the same time?
Moving Beyond the Page lends itself very nicely to grouping children together. Since we have age ranges instead of grade levels and because many of our activities have two options (one more challenging than the other), parents have found it very easy to group children together who are within our recommended age ranges.
Here are some suggestions for how to work with two or more levels of the curriculum within the same family:
Scenario 1: One child using the 7-9 or 8-10 level and another using the 5-7 or 6-8 level.
The language arts program for your older child has a fair amount of independent work built into each day. Your child will be reading one to three chapters of a book and answering questions in his journal. We encourage parents to let their children do this work independently. Your child should also be able to work fairly independently through most of the activities - needing only moderate oversight and explanations as they proceed.
While your older child is working on the language arts lesson, this will free up time for you to work with your younger child. The lessons in the 5-7 and 6-8 levels are less time intensive than the upper levels of the curriculum. The 5-7 level should only take about fourty-five minutes to an hour each day and the 6-8 about an hour to an hour and a half.
Then when your older child is doing his science/social studies lesson, your younger child can listen to the books and engage to some degree with many of the activities. The level of independence children can have with the science and social studies depends on the maturity and ability of the child. Of course more supervision will be required of the parent for the science lessons because our science program is very hands-on. The older your child is to the upper range of the recommended age range, the more independent the child will be able to be as they work through the program.
Scenario 2: Using the program with two children who are between the ages of seven and eleven.
There are two main reasons we break out the science and social studies from the language arts beginning at the 7-9 level. One reason is because we know that kids may be more advanced in science and less advanced in language arts, or vice-versa. We want children to have the appropriate level of challenge in each subject area. The second reason is because we know many families choose or need to group children together for science and social studies, but are not always able to do this for language arts because of the reading level of each individual child.
If this fits your situation, you may choose to use two different language arts levels but combine your children for Science and Social Studies. For example, an 8 year-old may be working through the 7-9 literature units but may be doing science and social studies at the 8-10 level with a ten-year old sibling who is using the 8-10 level literature units.
Because our curriculum has different options for many of the activies (one being more challenging than the other), it works very well for grouping children together. Most parents utilize the science/social studies at the level they are using with their older child and then teach their younger child a different level of our literature units.
Many parents are finding that they can group children who are 9 and 11 together for language arts (8-10 literature units) since our books at this level are on a fifth to sixth grade reading level. Our activities are designed in way that a younger child and older sibling will both be engaged and challenged by the activities. You will want to be sure that your younger child feels confident in the books she is being asked to read.
The 9-11, 10-12, and 11-13 levels of our curriculum will require your child to be much more independent in his learning. He will be responsible for scheduling his day and keeping track of his own assignments. Of course we still want parents to be involved in their child's learning, but at these levels we encourage the child to begin to develop independence. This will also free up time for parents to work more with younger siblings.
A Word to the Over-Zealous Homeschooling Mom
We also encourage parents to remember that MBTP is a comprehensive curriculum (with the exception of math in the upper levels and phonics in the lower levels). You will not need to supplement with other programs. Our curriculum is very thorough and if you are using us as your core program, adding too many supplements will make it less manageable for your family. Our literature units cover all of the language arts elements — reading, writing, vocabulary, figurative language, story elements, and research skills. Our science and social studies units cover all the state standards and go far beyond them in most areas.
We believe the flexibility and design of our program will make it very manageable for parents to utilize different levels of the curriculum with their children as well as group siblings together when possible.