I write a lot of homeschool curriculum reviews. Have you noticed?
I fear you have, and that perhaps you don’t always pay close attention because you have grown so accustomed and just move on.
So I’m going to begin this review with a request that you don’t skip this one. I want you to hear about this company, because until a few weeks ago I had not. And I wish I had heard about Moving Beyond the Page homeschool curriculum years ago.
Moving Beyond the Page Homeschool Curriculum Review
Moving Beyond the Page provides a full, literature-based curriculum for ages 7-13, with more to come. We received 2 units from the package created for ages 10-12 — World Wars I and II printed unit for social studies ($42.89) and Number the Stars online for literature ($19.92). For the World Wars unit, we receive the printed curriculum lesson plans as well as 2 supplemental books — Where Poppies Grow by Linda Granfield and All That Jazz: A History of Us by Joyce Hakim. For the Number the Stars unit, we received 3-month online access to the curriculum, as well as the print book.
Prerequisites for using this package include:
- Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 6th or 7th grade reading level
- Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
- Familiar with the five paragraph essay
- Usually used by children in the fifth or sixth grade
Moving Beyond the Page is not “graded” for a reason. It’s designed for you to choose the appropriate level for your individual child. The age guide is just that — a guide.
The program is divided into “units,” each meant to take about 3 weeks to complete. For the full-year program, your student would likely complete 6 Social Study units, 6 Science units and 12 complimentary Literature units. The literature units are a full Language Arts program. All you need to add to the full-year curriculum is math to have a comprehensive school year.
And therein lies the beauty of Moving Beyond the Page for a delight-directed homeschool such as ours. The ability to pick and choose units of interest to Ben makes this a company I will return to often. In fact, when we were given the opportunity to choose which units we would review, it was difficult for Ben to even choose. After using this program for just a couple of weeks, he has begun a list of what he would like to do next.
Moving Beyond the Page is Flexible
I really appreciate curriculum that provides flexible options. I think most of us do. Here are a few of the options for this one:
- Use Moving Beyond the Page as a complete curriculum with the addition of math (they recommend Life of Fred, which coincidentally, we already use).
- Use the 6 Science options as your science curriculum for the year. Add in the coordinating literature options for your Science and Literature curriculum for the year.
- Use the 6 Social Studies options as your social studies curriculum for the year. Add in the coordinating literature options for your Social Studies and Literature curriculum for the year.
- Use the 12 Literature options for your Literature curriculum for the year.
- Pick and choose Social Studies and Science units according to the interests of your students to supplement your studies. Add in coordinating Literature units as desired. (our favorite option)
The next super-bonus of Moving Beyond the Page:
“The Age 10-12 curriculum provides a number of hands-on science kits and manipulatives. These kits will provide your child with a hands-on experience that is unparalleled in any homeschool curriculum. If you have a hands-on learner, you have found a curriculum designed with them in mind.
Beginning with the Age 10-12 level, we are also including many of the common materials for our hands-on activities in the science kits. Our goal is to help you provide quality science instruction for your child without the hassle of gathering lots of materials.”
Because we did not choose a Science unit, we didn’t receive a science kit or any kind of manipulatives, however, we did receive the books that went along with our units.
For the World Wars unit, it was simple to give Ben the curriculum book with his daily lesson plans and the books for him to use. But for Number the Stars, I had to begin by printing the lesson plans to make a notebook for him. I will likely purchase everything in printed format in the future. The cost is higher, but the convenience factor is worth it for me. And although it appears that the company is generous with renewing the online access, I would still prefer to just have everything I need (and Ben needs) in a neat little printed package. If you find the cost of the pre-printed curriculum prohibitive, then you will definitely want to consider the online option.
Ben loves Moving Beyond the Page. And so do I. Here’s why:
- Fostering Independence — At this level, Moving Beyond the Page is student-directed. Ben was able to work pretty independently, though I did choose to do the literature study with him. The in-depth literature analysis with this program was something new to him and required guidance to complete or it would have been a pretty superficial outcome.
- Daily Lesson Plans — Moving Beyond the Page provides daily lesson plans for a 4-day week. Ben was able to follow along quite easily for the World Wars program. Homeschooling 4 days a week with a Fun Friday for field trips and other interests has been our style for quite some time.
- Coordinating Studies — This is a very “unit study-friendly” curriculum. I really love that they integrate the literature studies with the social studies and science units. It pulls everything together, just like any great unit study. This is one of my favorite things about Moving Beyond the Page.
- Included Items — The Science units include science kits for those items that are not commonly found around the house or easily found at your local store.
- Quality Literature Options — The Literature units contain quality choices, and the books included with the Science and Social Studies units do as well. The Literature units are a complete language arts curriculum.
- Challenge — Even though Ben is at the upper level of the age suggestion for this curriculum and is very bright, he found it quite challenging. In fact, we have not yet completed the units. We’ve had access for roughly 4 weeks, which means that we should be wrapping things up. However, Ben is finding the subject matter so interesting that he often ends up on a rabbit trail, desiring to learn more and more, and the literature unit has been stretching him, even though his reading level is quite advanced.
Moving Beyond the Page is Academically Challenging