My eight-year old is a challenge when it comes to choosing curriculum. She has a high reading level, a low attention span, and a thirst for knowledge that comes with a love for computers and a need for independent work. Moving Beyond the Page turned out to be a pretty good fit for her – I was pleasantly surprised!
Have you heard of Moving Beyond the Page? I had not and when given the opportunity to review their curriculum I was excited to give them a try. Moving Beyond the Page states they are a “homeschool curriculum for creative, hands-on, and gifted learners.” My daughter is definitely creative and loves hands-on activities so I figured it might be a good fit.
Upon visiting the Moving Beyond the Page website, you will see that it’s user-friendly, very colorful and pretty nicely organized. I like that when going to a website and trying to choose curriculum. It’s easy to find what curriculum might be appropriate for your child and what you might want to use in your homeschool.
The website provides placement tests and shopping lists, as well as an overview of the age level curriculum, prerequisites for each level, and an outline of the concepts covered by each level. You can use Moving Beyond the Page as a complete curriculum or you can choose to use individual units to enhance your current curriculum. No matter what you choose, the website is very helpful in determining what you need to complete your unit or make your curriculum complete with additional subjects like reading and math.
Moving Beyond the Page is available as a physical curriculum or online curriculum. All units are available in both formats. This is great for those who prefer one format over the other. Prospective families can view samples of both the online and the book samples of many of the units to see the difference in presentation of the materials.
How we used Moving Beyond the Page
We reviewed the Charlotte’s Web Literature unit along with the paired Science Unit of The Water Cycle. All literature units have been paired with a Science or Social study unit to correspond with a topic that is covered in the book. However, you do not have to use both, each unit is a stand-alone unit and therefore can be used to supplement other curriculum’s or books.
The Charlotte’s Web book is used in the Age 7-9 curriculum. The Age 7-9 curriculum states that it requires the student to be able to comprehend literature at a 3rd or 4th grade level. This was an appropriate reading level for us and my daughter was anxious to read Charlotte’s Web.
The literature and science units are meant to complement each other and started at the same time, but they can be used independently if preferred. We began our study on the same day and followed the daily lesson plans as written by the company. We received the physical copy of The Water Cycle unit and were given access to the online literature unit of Charlotte’s Web. This gave us a chance to see how each medium worked for us.
We used the curriculum 4 days a week, since that is our typical school week schedule. Each day we started with the science unit and then proceeded to the literature unit. There are many activities associated with each one. I liked that there were several options for activities so we could pick some that were most appealing to our homeschool and my daughter’s learning style.
We found the activity pages very easy to read and use. The online curriculum activity pages and worksheet were organized easily to print. I liked that all the print outs were available from one link for the entire unit to print at one time as well as being embedded into each weeks lesson plan to be printed as needed, if preferred.
The curriculum is meant to encourage independent work and learning and we found the activity pages to be that way as well. My daughter required very little assistance in completing the activities and worksheets. The questions were challenging at times, which I found to be very good.
Each literature unit includes spelling words and vocabulary words. I LOVED the spelling worksheets. Each week the same spelling worksheet is used with a different task to do each day with the spelling words. The spelling lists are organized into already Mastered words, Semester 1, Semester 2, and Challenge words. We found that the Challenge words were a good place to start for us, the rest she already had mastered. However, Moving Beyond the Page suggests that for advanced spellers, or for those who master the word lists early, the use of the vocabulary words is a good choice. They also suggest using words found in writing that are misspelled as spelling words. The vocabulary words list provides students with vocabulary words to spell, learn the definitions of, and use in their writing.
What Worked for Us
We loved the spelling worksheets and the reading comprehension activity questions. The unit provides additional research activity pages. For instance, since Charlotte’s Web, as you likely know, has a lot to do about pigs and spiders, there are extensive research activity pages on spiders and pigs. In addition, it is the study of cycles so the seasons are studied, the cycle of a pig, and cycle of a spider and so on. My daughter enjoyed these activities including being able to research more about spiders and pigs, drawing pictures of the seasons, and then learning about the water cycle in detail through the science The Water Cycle unit.
The Water Cycle Unit included a book entitled A Drop Around the World by Barbara Shaw McKinney, which my daughter loved. Since we had studied the water cycle briefly last year, it was a little bit of a review, but learned a lot more detail about the water schedule. She enjoyed some of the activities associated with the water cycle study like graphing her observations of the clouds and learning about the water sources in different types of habitats. We even made a little precipitation pinwheel to see precipitation types as they appear in the landscape. My daughter thought that was pretty cool!
The hard-copy curriculum was very well put together, and easy to use. Each lesson tells what the principle idea that is being studied is as well as facts and definitions, skills, and a list of materials needed for the lesson. The lesson plan explains what you, as the teacher, should cover each day and lists the activities associated with that days learning. The activity sheets follow and have easy to read and understand direction for the student to follow.
The online curriculum is very well organized and includes the lessons you have available, the lessons you are working on, how long the lesson will be available online, and a table of contents showing everything you need for the lesson including reading and materials list, student activity pages, reading and question pages, summary of skills, review sheet, and a “how to use Moving Beyond the Page” link to help you understand how to maximize your lesson. I really liked how you can check off each lesson as it is completed so that you can keep track of where you are online within the unit.
Purchasing Moving Beyond the Page
You can purchase curriculum, either a full year-long curriculum or supplement units, through the Moving Beyond the Page website. The pricing differ depending upon the unit, a full-year curriculum age level, and whether you purchase the hard-copy curriculum or the online curriculum. The Charlotte’s Web literature unit is $16.99 for the hard-copy version and $12.93 for the online version. The Water Cycle unit is $16.99 for the hard-copy version and $12.93 for the online version. The book A Drop Around the World can be purchased in hard-copy form for $8.95. You can even purchase additional student activity sheets for both units for $4.99 in case you are using with multiple children or are using with a child later and have already used all your consumables.
You can also purchase individual concept packages or subject packages. For instance, in the Age 7-9 Curriculum, the student study Language Arts, Science and Social Studies. Each of these subjects can be purchased individually as well. Within the Age 7-9 curriculum, the concepts of Environment, Cycles, Change, and Relationships are studied. These concept packages can also be purchased separately. For instance, the entire year long Language Arts package for age 7.9, which includes the Charlotte’s Web literature package, can be purchased for $312.18 for the hard-copy version and $267.84 for the online format. The Science package for age 7.9, which includes the Water Cycle unit, can be purchased for $181.80 in hard-copy format and $159.63 for the online format.
Moving Beyond the Page is available for ages 5 through 13 at this time. The age 4-5 and age 12-14 curriculum’s are currently being developed at this time. Sample pages are available for all curriculum including those currently being developed.
Each unit includes a final project to bring the unit together and to a close the unit. A rubric is provided. There are generally two options and specific instructions are given on how to help the child understand and complete the final project. My daughter enjoyed her final project of doing a book review. She likes to do oral presentations, which we did of her final written work.
Overall, we really enjoyed Moving Beyond the Page and our literature and science units of Charlotte’s Web and The Water Cycle. The only thing that we changed was our daily time spent on the units. Since my daughter has a short attention span, the daily expectations of this curriculum were a little stringent so we modified the schedule to accommodate her best learning environment and it was easy to do. Other than that, it was a good fit and we are likely to be using Moving Beyond the Page again in our homeschool.
Be sure to read the rest of the Schoolhouse Review Crew and their reviews of various Moving Beyond the Page units and visit the Moving Beyond the Page website to see what they have to offer for your homeschool.