Age 9-11 notify me

Mature content - The View From Saturday

Stephanie T
Winter Springs, FL

I have been a bit surprised about some of the content of this book. So far we have run into "making love to the same woman over and over", curse word "AS_" , female dog name "B", and mention of a "drunk monkey". The "B" word happened when my oldest was reading aloud to myself and little brother in the car.

One of the characters also struggles with the divorce of her parents and the life changes it brings. We discussed this at length and had much dialogue about it with our oldest. BUT, I had no idea it was in the book until I took a turn reading to him and found out he had already been reading this.

I wish I had known all this prior to starting the unit; we would have skipped the book OR made it a parent read aloud from the start. (Which it will be now so we can finish the story. We are just stopping the unit and moving on to the next.) **Now I'm left wondering if there are any other surprises in this age?**

Has anyone else noticed?

Keith H
College Station, TX
Hi Stephanie,

I am sorry for catching you off guard with the content of the book. From a maturity perspective, this book is the most mature in the Age 9-11 level. There is one instance of mild profanity in "The Cay," but there should not be anything else to catch you off guard in the other stories of this age level.

We do evaluate each of our books very carefully, and as with any use of mature themes or profanity, the context is a key indicator as to whether we include it in our book list or not. The decision to use this book for this age group is not just ours, but is shared by the publisher, a plethora of schools, and every parental review site that I could find online.

This book in particular is a very sweet story that many bright children will connect with. The kids experience bullying (hence the use of the "A word") like many bright and often eccentric children will, and they show a positive way to deal with it. The reference to sex is a positive affirmation of an old man's love for his wife. Most children won't even understand the reference, but those that do will see a positive look at a decades long relationship, and not the denigrating view so often shown in popular media.

One of our goals at Moving Beyond the Page is to empower you as parents to teach through your set of beliefs and values, and not to force ours on you. With that in mind, we are going to go back and put a warning in the beginning of the Parent Overview for this book to let parents know that it contains themes that are more mature than the other books they have used with Moving Beyond the Page prior to this book, and even more mature than those available in rest of this age level. Hopefully with this warning, you will be able to avoid reading the book with younger children present as happened with your family.

Thank you for expressing your concern.

Davina F
carrollton, TX
I know this is an old post but I was very surprised by this book as well. The language and references to sexuality do not bother me as much as the themes that a gifted child can find quite disturbing. Divorce, bullying, discrimination, violence . . . I know this is reality but not all kids are ready for such themes. My child was in tears for a week after reading Number the Stars in his school (where, in their great wisdom, they read the book in third grade). Just because a book is taught in some schools does not mean it is a good choice. I am skipping this book altogether for this year and may teach this a few years from now.
Jen S
Roseville, CA
I would like to echo that a warming would be appreciated in this book. Thankfully I started to read the book in advance of my son, and will now be having it as a read-aloud with him rather than having him read and interpret it on his own. That way we can discuss these issues as they come up. I would have appreciated the heads up in advance when looking over the curriculum so that I could have had the option to decide if this book was best suited for my son and where he is in his maturity. However since I started reading it literally the weekend before we were suppose to start the unit, I kind of felt stuck, since I didn't have anything else planned at that point. :-/
Keith H
College Station, TX
Thanks Jen,

We do include the following warning in the introduction section of the Parent Manual.

This book contains themes that are more mature than any of the previous books your child has read in Moving Beyond the Page. There is also an instance of mild profanity. Most parental review websites recommend the book for ages 10 and up. You may want to be prepared to discuss these themes with your child as you go through the book. Parents that prefer to be cautious may want to read the book ahead of time.

I hope this helps.

Christina M
North Logan, UT
I actually have had mixed feeling with MBTP. I actually have chosen to wait until my children are older to cover some of the topics that MBTP covers quite early, in my opinion. The program itself is excellent, but I have found I have to sensor some of the content. Not necessarily for swearing or sexuality, but even just introducing topics at too young of an age.
Michelle M
Londonderry, NH
This coming year will be our first full year of homeschooling. I was very excited to have found a program like this, as I believe it will fit our family's needs wonderfully. My 9 year old took the placement test, and I believe he is ready for the 9-11 curriculum. His writing is a little weaker than I'd like it to be though. I was thinking we would try The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe unit over the summer to see how he does and to hopefully bump up his writing skills. After reading these comments about The View from Saturday, I am wondering if substituting The Lion, the Witvh and the Wardrobe for The View from Saturday would be a better option, as I am not sure he is ready for the more mature themes. What are your thoughts on how well that substitution would work? Thanks!

Vicki K
Spokane, WA
Hi Michelle,

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a book we use in our 8-10 level. If you choose not to use The View From Saturday, you can really use any book you would like. I would suggest going through that unit, and have your son do the activities that he can complete without directly referring to the book. This will still allow him to build the skills needed, without skipping activities that he will need to successfully complete future skills and activities. We do recommend that you place your child in the level that most closely matches his writing level. This will help your child to build his skills and his confidence, making future writing tasks more successful. I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Thank you,
Merrilee L
Staunton, VA
Although The View from Saturday is a great book choice, it would not be a good fit for my children at this time. We are going to substitute Hoot by Carol Hiassen. It is a book that deals with bullying, family and friend relationships, moving/changing schools, and even saving an endangered animal. Great book and, in lesson planning, I found it easy to sub this book in to the main lesson points from The View from Saturday curriculum. We are really looking forward to the other books in the 9-11 age range. Thanks!
Beth T
Dover, NH
My daughter is using this curriculum and is pretty much your average 10 year old in terms of intelligence and maturity. I thought this book was completely appropriate for her. Most 10 year old have encountered the issues and topics this book discusses. I feel like it is important for them to have an opportunity to explore and analyze these issues.
Lydia C
Greer, SC
Moving Beyond is a secular literature-based curriculum, and introduces "mature" themes as they occur in the excellent children's books they build their unit studies around. It's not that their timing is unusual or pedagogically unsound - we've just all gotten to used to the dumbing-down that Christian homeschool curricula employs in deference to their target audience.
Tiffany H
Tonopah, AZ
I am glad I found this thread! We are working in the 9-11 curriculum with my 7 year old. I was glad that I started reading this book in advance because the content seemed questionable right away for her age (which I know it was not designed for). It is a problem we run into often with finding her appropriate books so I was not surprised, but we elected to skip to another unit entirely while I work out what to replace it with.

I think it is great that MPTP has placed a warning in the parent notes. However, and maybe I do things differently than others, I would not have seen the warning until we were just about to begin the unit. At which point, it would have been a scramble to ditch it. Because other families feel this way, I think it would be helpful to have an alternate L.A unit that parents can select from. One that follows the same skillset, but uses a different novel. Perhaps that is just wishful thinking, but I feel like it is a wasteful to know after already receiving the items in the full year set.
Tiffany H
Tonopah, AZ
It is actually not unusual for very highly gifted students to be 2-3 grade levels ahead of their same age peers. She was 2 grade levels ahead before ever entering public kindergarten. She is active in MENSA and part of the center for talented youth, who routinely have courses for her age at this level. There are not many students like my daughter, less than half of a percent actually.

I would never have posted anything here were it not for other parents with older children expressing similar concerns over this book. If not for that, I would have simply chocked it up to my students age and not the book :) But I appreciate your opinion, none the less, and that you too feel like this is a safe place to share an opinion. I wish you had the opportunity to meet children like mine so that you could be better informed about their educational needs rather than passing your own judgement about her needs.
Kelly P
Henderson, NV
My daughter will be 12 in a couple days. At the time she did The View From Sat., she was 7 or 8 (she said it was abt 4 years ago). In the car today I asked her what it was abt again and how long ago did she read it - she said 4 years ago and she also reread it abt a year ago when my son read it when he did that unit. She reminded me what it was abt and asked why. I told her it was because people weren't too sure about the bad words, that they might not be appropriate. She told me, "Oh yeah and there was a part in the beginning when the older guy said about making love over and over to the same woman..." She was laughing about it when she was telling me today, and also she brought the scene up in the context of me saying "not appropriate." When she did the unit as a 7/8 year old I was reading the books out loud. I have no idea what I said back then, if I explained anything I prob would have said married to the same woman for a long time - but the content went right over their heads because they hadn't been exposed to content like that before. I'm sure they loved the bad words, and I'm also sure I substituted words like "silly," (which is a clue that the kids need to read over my shoulder to see what was actually written. My son was abt 9 when he read it himself and he didn't ask me anything about it that part in the book (right over his head). I guess my comment is really here to just say that I don't remember the warning - probably saw it as I sat down to read to the kids, I was probably shocked when I was reading it, but the content that we needed to talk about would have been discussed and the other content went over their heads. Both my kids were OK with it. I do understand the maturity issue. As the kids have gotten older I can't keep up with all they read and I can't pre-read their extra curricular books or their curriculum books - that does expose them to things I might not introduce far it's been OK, usually someone in the family has read the books and gives a thumbs up, but I've actually stopped some of the series that my daughter starts if I get to the books before she does or if I remember them.