Creativity Is a Way of Thinking
published on 6/5/2023 by Keith A. Howe

As I sat down with my son's preschool teacher to discuss his progress throughout the year, I was taken aback by her conclusion: my son wasn't ready for kindergarten. He was literally failing preschool. Picture his art projects in your mind, and you might understand why she arrived at that decision. While his classmates' masterpieces burst with vibrant colors and imaginative scenes, my son's creations were often adorned with a few hastily drawn black lines.

His teacher went so far as to suggest that he lacked creativity. As I strolled down the hallway adorned with various art projects, it became evident what she meant. The walls came alive with adorable, engaging pictures bursting with intricate details and vivid hues. Meanwhile, my son's minimalist black line drawings stood out, lacking the imaginative touch we often associate with creativity.

Creativity Is More than Art

But here's the thing: my son is actually a highly creative individual, despite his aversion to art. Don't get me wrong, his black line drawings weren’t avant-garde modern art. He simply despised art and did his best to avoid it. However, his creativity manifested in other domains—within storytelling, imagination, and even mathematics.

We tend to associate creativity solely with artistic talent, but it extends far beyond that. It permeates every facet of our lives. It can be found in 

  • the novel solutions engineers bring to problems, 
  • the connections scientists forge among seemingly unrelated fields, 
  • the myriad ideas parents generate for daily activities, 
  • the originality and flexibility accountants infuse into their work, and 
  • the teachers who courageously take risks with unique ideas, teaching their students the value of making mistakes.

Practice Creativity Every Day

With Moving Beyond the Page curriculum, your child will practice creativity EVERY DAY. It isn't a separate subject but an integral part of her educational experience. When you learn what to look for, you'll discover creativity infused throughout our curriculum. Your child will

  • Develop her imagination, forming mental images of abstract concepts,
  • Cultivate original ideas, insights, and expressions, nurturing her own unique voice,
  • Unlock her fluency, effortlessly generating a plethora of ideas,
  • Learn to approach problems from different angles, shifting perspectives and adapting her thoughts,
  • Draw connections between seemingly unrelated topics, 
  • Find innovative solutions to complex problems,
  • Embrace taking risks, knowing that failure is a steppingstone to growth, and
  • Develop unwavering persistence in the face of challenges.

Honed Through Practice

Creativity is a way of thinking, and it is a skill that can be honed through practice. Just as daily exercise benefits us all, regardless of our initial athletic prowess, daily practice can enhance everyone's creativity. With Moving Beyond the Page, your children will engage in creative exercises every single day.

* The black and white drawing in this article is a real piece of art: Morning Meditation no.2 by Sara Hicks Malone.

What Is Interdisciplinary Curriculum?
published on 5/22/2023 by Keith A. Howe

Let's step into the shoes of an eight-year-old boy who's beginning a science unit on sound. Imagine diving into the world of sound waves, discovering how they come to life and how they travel through space and reach our ears. He uncovers the amazing biology behind our ears, exploring how they work like intricate machines, capturing sounds and sending them to our brains. He gets to experiment with an ear model and create his own musical instruments.

But sound is more than just scientific facts; it's an incredible force that shapes our lives. The best way for a child to appreciate this impact is through story. 

He is introduced to an adorable 18-month-old girl, full of wonder and curiosity. Imagine her exploring the world around her, captivated by the vibrant colors and enchanted by the sweet melodies of birdsong. She's just beginning to talk, expanding her vocabulary day by day. Her world feels like a perfect symphony of joy and discovery.

Now, imagine the unimaginable. One day, this little girl falls ill, and when she awakens, her world has turned into an abyss of darkness and silence. Helen Keller, as a young girl, experienced this profound change. Suddenly, the science of sound takes on a whole new meaning. 

Sound isn't an abstract concept. It's a lifeline, connecting us to the wonders of life.

Interdisciplinary Curriculum

At Moving Beyond the Page, we believe in helping your child discover the interconnectedness of the world around him. That's why we've created an interdisciplinary curriculum that seamlessly blends science, social studies, and language arts from kindergarten through middle school. With every subject your child explores in science and social studies, he will also delve into a corresponding language arts unit, enabling him to forge meaningful connections with the broader world.

Moving Beyond the Page is the only curriculum that ensures that science and social studies are intertwined in your child's education every single day, all year long, and all the way through middle school.

Unleashing the Power of Connections

We believe that interdisciplinary learning encourages critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity in children.  By making connections between different subjects and applying their knowledge in real-world situations, children develop a more holistic understanding of the world and are equipped for success in diverse fields.

I'll Help You Later
published on 4/24/2023 by Keith A. Howe

My daughter, Piper, and I had this conversation recently while she was completing a Learning Gates quiz for Age 9-11 math.

Piper: "Dad, should I multiply or add on this word problem?"

Me: "Do your best and let me know if you get it wrong."

Piper: "You are so annoying!"

Me: "Yes. Yes I am."

Piper doesn't like to make mistakes, but sometimes mistakes are exactly what she needs.

Learning Gates Never Forgets

Learning Gates is trying to learn what types of questions Piper struggles with. If I helped Piper with this question before she answered it, Learning Gates would never know that she struggled with it. She needs to miss problems that she struggles with.

Every quiz includes review problems that are tailored specifically around problems she misses. If Piper doesn't understand a problem, it is essential that she miss the problem on the quiz. This way, similar problems will be offered on future quizzes -- much to her chagrin.

Here to Help

This doesn't mean that we leave our kids to flounder. Whenever a student answers a question incorrectly, she will see an explanation. If you are sitting with your child, this is a great time to stop and review material that was not understood. If you are not with your child as she takes the quiz, you will recieve an email summary. Use this summary to understand your child's areas of weakness and provide additional instruction as needed.

On Average

You can expect your student to miss about 1 in 5 questions on Learning Gates. This is an average taken over millions of answered questions, so results will certainly vary between different children and even between different quizzes for the same child. If your child learns their mistake quickly, then she can simply move on, but if a problem is repeatedly missed, she may need you to provide an intervention. 

Moving Things Around
published on 3/9/2023 by Keith A. Howe

On March 10, 2023, we are switching the order of Age 6-8 Concept 2 and Concept 4.

  • Concept 2: Relationships will become Concept 4: Relationships.
  • Concept 4: Matter and Movement will become Concept 2: Matter and Movement.

This change should not affect most customers, and if you like, you can continue to utilize these two concepts in the original order. It won't cause any problems.

Why Are We Doing This?

The Relationships concept was originally created in the summer of 2019. It was always designed to be the final concept of the year. Even though The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a read aloud, it is the first real literature unit that students are exposed to. It was meant as a soft introduction to the more advanced literature units that students would begin in the Age 7-9 level.

We also wanted to get Matter and Movement into the first semester so there would be more science toward the beginning of the year. If your students are like mine, they want more science, and they want it sooner!  

Our initial plan was to get through 2019, and then fix the order in 2020. Well... 2020 happened, and switching concepts was the last thing on our mind. 

What Does This Mean for You?

If you ordered your Age 6-8 package before March 10, your books will list the concepts in the original order. If you haven't started either concept yet, you can complete the in whichever order you prefer. Our recommendation is to complete them in the new order, but you are free to do whichever you like.

If you ordered after March 10, your curriculum will show the new order. You can simply follow the order as it shows up.

We are sorry if this causes any problems for you. If you have any questions, please let us know. We will be happy to help you out.

Concept 2: Matter and Movement