Mom Teacher Reviews Moving Beyond the Page Level 6-8

by Erin
(Fort Worth, TX USA)

Looking for literature based homeschool curriculum? Are you homeschooling gifted children or a highly creative learner? Check out the curriculum this homeschooling mom recommends..

We've been using the Moving Beyond the Page (MBtP) homeschool literature based curriculum for about a year and a half now (family illness has us going a bit slower than we ought). I have also purchased the 7-9 level, and plan to head into it this summer.

I love that this curriculum combines math, social studies, science and English/writing. The 7-9 levels and above, however, do not continue to include the math as a part of the included curriculum.

These are unit/literature based studies, with all the lessons revolving around a book and the concepts that can be introduced within the story. My children appreciate how the story connects to what they are learning, I often hear, "Mom, that's just like what happened in the book, remember?" That tells me they are really catching onto the concept.

The social studies seem a bit over-done however, with worksheet after worksheet going on and on about the same idea. I'm only beginning to realize that I don't have to use all these worksheets, and that once my kids have the concept, I can move on. So, I'm hoping that as I re-work that for our family, social studies will go more smoothly.

The nice thing about MBtP is that you are not required to re-purchase the entire curriculum for each child as successive children move through the same grade level. However, the company does request that you purchase the student workbook for the next child.

One thing I really appreciate is that each unit's lesson has a list of what you need for each unit - you can gather the needed supplies early on, without searching through the lesson and compiling supply lists on your own. This is especially appreciated when going out of town, as you can set up a bag, glance at the teacher manual and load up - off you go, all prepped for the lessons during your trip!

Compared to many of the curricula available, MBtP is quite affordable, not just for the reason listed above, but because the books used in the curriculum package are included in the cost, so you're building your child's library with childhood classics at the same time! The initial outlay for a year's curriculum is not high either ($4-700, depending on grade level), and if you have several children who will be using the same grade level eventually, this is a significant savings over re-purchasing for each child.

There is not a reading program included, as the curriculum assumes your child can already read before beginning. I'm not so happy with the spelling lessons being incorporated into the units, though the words are associated to the lessons quite well, my children lack this appreciation, and we've found AVKO spelling to be a better fit for us - more repetition without the pressure of a "test" at the end of the week (of course, AVKO has a test every day, but somehow this relieves the pressure for my children).

We have been quite happy, overall, with the Moving Beyond the Page homeschool curriculum, but the name is indicative of a move beyond the literature page, not beyond the workbook pages. There are many activities included as suggestions in the curriculum as well, but many of them require a lot of time cutting and pasting on the child's behalf. I find that my children tend to lose interest about halfway through the cutting and pasting, and then are no longer interested in the activity. As a result, we work more with purchased games to continue to build on the skills that the original activity was designed to ground.

I appreciate that MBtP organizes the curriculum for me, as it seems to be too much for me to do that myself perhaps a bit like my kids having to make their own games :-). Having that being established for me, I also like the literature based learning; however, I tend to run through worksheets as I deem necessary, and then we move on to our own game-like activities.

There are also many, many opportunities for the children to do writing-based activities, but I prefer providing them with paper that has the dashed line for mid-line marking - this makes it easier for my kids.

Erin, you provided such a wonderfully thorough review of this curriculum. I have never heard of it before and will definitely check it out further! Many blessings, Heather :)

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Apr 26, 2010
by: april

thanks!! this is the curriculum we have chosen to use as well.. (buying it this summer) but it was great to read your review! i now know what it is i will be looking out for to supplement the books with! hope to enjoy this program as much as your family does!

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