Super Hero and I received the complete science and language arts units from Moving Beyond the Page, secular homeschool curriculum, for free, in exchange for my thorough and honest review.
What We Received
Both unit studies belong to the 7-9 age range, suitable for children in 2nd or 3rd grade, as defined by Moving Beyond the Page. The specific titles are Charlotte’s Web – Language Arts Package and The Water Cycle – Science Package.
Charlotte’s Web came with complete access to the online guide –which includes printable student pages, and the actual, physical book. The Water Cycle came with the physical teaching guide and student pages, all in one, and the book “A Drop Around the World”. A catalog –to get us all excited about future units– was included as well.
The specific pricing for these units are:
- Charlotte’s Web: $24.98 physical unit and $20.92 online guide with physical components
- The Water Cycle: $25.94 physical unit and $21.88 online guide with physical components
What To Expect with Moving Beyond the Page
MBTP is organized in concepts, 4 concepts comprise a school year worth of learning. Each concept comprises 3 units, and each unit includes 10 lessons plus a final project. One covers one lesson per day, with a few exceptions where a lesson is extended for an additional day. At any rate, each unit is intended to be completed in 3 weeks. Beginning with the 7-9 age range, the concepts cover Science and Social Sciences separately from the Literature units. However, MBTP, has designed Science/Social sciences units to be used concurrently with the Lit units, optimizing its cross curricular, comprehensive approach.
How We Used Moving Beyond the Page
Super Hero and I are actually not new to Moving Beyond the Page, MBTP was in fact, the very first curriculum we used when we first started homeschooling 3 years ago. As we became more involved with community activities and coop classes, we gradually dropped MBTP, as it required a good chunk of our time. Nevertheless, I’m only too glad with the chance to revisit this excellent secular curriculum.
Super Hero did browse through the 7-9 age range selections, and enthusiastically chose Charlotte’s Web, one of his favorite books, (and rated among his top 10 audiobooks). Since this Language Arts unit belonged to Concept 3: Cycles, he decided to also choose The Water Cycle, its Science unit counterpart in the MBTP catalog.
A Glimpse into The Water Cycle
The choices of outstanding literature, not just for their Language Arts units, but for all their Science and Social Sciences units, is Moving Beyond the Page’s strongest feature. We loved the book A Drop Around the World, which follows a Drop that transforms into ice, snow, vapor and back again into water as it travels the world. We couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous, age-appropriate depiction of the water cycle.
A Glimpse into Charlotte’s Web
As I said before, Super Hero rated Charlotte’s Web within his top 10 favorite audiobooks. I first read it to him when he was 5 or 6, he’s watched the movie, and he’s listened to the audiobook 2 or 3 times. Moving Beyond the Page has now given him the chance to actually read the book himself, delve into its details, and carry out related activities that wouldn’t have occurred to me. It has totally enriched the reading experience of his beloved Charlotte’s Web.
Super Hero and his friend, Avenger Iron Man, develop research skills consulting the Internet and further resources. Here “they” read all about Charlotte’s kin, the arachnids, in yet another gorgeous book: Spiderlings.
Supplementing with a Fantastic Learning Aid
We used the fantastic app Notability, to write, annotate, draw, highlight and more cool things, right into the student pages downloaded from the online guide of Charlotte’s Web. It’s amazing how convenient Notability has made our learning from online sources. There is hardly any need to print anymore. Here, for this particular activity, Super Hero highlights and later writes down the appropriate adverbs.
Our Opinion about Moving Beyond the Page
I believe MBTP to be a solid, well-rounded curriculum. I appreciate the variety of cross-curricular, relevant activities included in all of their units. Far from busy-work, these are thoughtful, fun exercises that estimulate the child’s creative and intellectual skills.
Contrary to my first year homeschooling, when I thought Super Hero HAD to do absolutely everything regardless of the effort demanded, I now feel completely free to modify the activities, if needed. Doing ALL the activities may, at times, feel like a burnt out (which I confess happened to us the first time we used MBTP). It really all depends on your child’s level and abilities. Super Hero, for example, is a much faster reader than he is a writer. And most MBTP activities demand lots of writing. Therefore, I always allow Super Hero to dictate, narrate, or take turns writing with me, if needed. When he dictates, I make sure that after he’s blurted out his opinion and points of view, he tells a complete sentence including capitalization, commas and periods, so I know he is indeed developing his grammar and punctuation skills. This way he can concentrate on his ideas, with no frustrations because his writing is not as quick as his thoughts.
Aside from the writing modification, I still feel free to skip or alter an occasional activity if, perhaps, we’ve already done something quite similar elsewhere. Likewise, occasionally, I have split a day’s worth of activities into two. I want us to be in command of our time and of our learning. So, if we’ve already devoted a good deal of time in 3 or 4 activities, and have even extended ourselves with further books, websites or other resources, I don’t want us to feel obligated to continue if we are in need of a break. I want the curriculum to work for Super Hero, not the other way around. Fortunately, I do find that Moving Beyond the Page allows us the flexibility to do just that without sacrificing the quality of Super Hero’s learning.
In A Nutshell
I do highly recommend the Moving Beyond the Page homeschool curriculum. It is secular –a biggie for us, and it is fun! Approaching it with a fresh, new mindset of flexibility has been the key to enjoy it, and derive much more pleasure from it. I definitely plan to get more of their unit studies in the future, especially those about our favorite literature.
If you would like to learn more about Moving Beyond the Page, please read more experiences and reviews from my fellow Crew members, or visit their website or Facebook page – www.facebook.com/movingbeyondthepage