Friday, September 7, 2012

Moving Beyond The Page

I have always felt that as long as my girls were reading across a variety of genres that they were getting what they need.  For the most part my girls do choose a wide variety of books.  Lately they have been asking for things like book reports.  Really?  A book report?  I have always encouraged them to blog book recommendations.  We have had lively conversations around my dinner table with their friends about books.  We have shared books among families, attended author talks, compared and contrasted movies to the original works, but I have never assigned my girls a report.

I flipped through a literature guide at Kim’s house published by Moving Beyond the Page.  I was impressed that the guide covered vocabulary, grammar, writing, art, history and more.  You do not have to purchase an entire curriculum to use these literature guides, they can be used as a stand alone component to a reading curriculum.  I love that I can offer the girls a choice of books across a wide range of reading levels.  
Homeschool Curriculum for Gifted Learners

Grace chose The BFG by Roald Dahl.

Lilah chose The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.

To teach them that somethings in life involve deadlines, we are sticking pretty close to the recommended schedule, about two days to complete a lesson, which involves reading the assigned chapters and completing the activities.  
Today the girls were writing.  Grace had to write about how different our neighborhood is during the dark hours of the night. Lilah had to choose an illustration as a story starter. She spun a tale about a boy who finds a puppy floating down a river in a cardboard box.  For 45 minutes my studio was silent.  When they were done, we had a share, just like we do in art journaling.  
Lilah is working in a composition journal.  She answers the questions in the journal and when necessary takes out pages, cuts them up, and pastes them into the journal.  When she is finished, her journal will resemble of scrapbook of all things Hugo.  Grace chose a different approach.  She completing her work on pieces of paper that will be bound together with a cover page when she is done.  There is so much room for creativity and individual style with these literature guides that every day is something different and so far the work has been enjoyable, yet challenging.  
In the past I used to knit while the girls were working.  I know I cannot be anywhere near the computer or the lure of what is on the screen pulls them away from their work.  I can’t read because I am constantly on call to clarify directions or answer questions.  Sitting in the cool studio, in the beautiful lighting, enjoying the moment of studious peacefulness, I found my own joy in the pages of my art journal.  I completed my favorite page yet.

* I was not approached by Moving Beyond the Page to provide this review.  I purchased these literature guides privately and felt compelled to recommend them to other readers.

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