As part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I was asked to review a few products from Moving Beyond the Page. This company specializes in literature-based curriculum for kids ages 4-14, so I was excited to try it out with my kids. We were able to review the online version of Communities and Culture and the hard copy book of Communities Change Over Time .
The two books worked well together as they were complimentary subjects, and the information went well together. Both of these units are for ages 7-9. I definitely think that this age range (or grades 2-3) is an appropriate one, as I did the lessons primarily with my 8 year old, but let my 6 year old tag along. Some of the assignments were just above his grasp, but my daughter was able to complete the assignments without modifications. Both units included actual print books to go along with the unit study.
The language arts unit, Communities and Culture came with Adventures In Ancient Egypt and Adventures In the Middle Ages, both by Linda Bailey and Bill Slavin. The curriculum itself was available for immediate use online, and the entire unit costs $42.83.
The online unit was easy to use and follow. I loved that it was separated out into sections: Reading and Materials, Student Activity Pages, Reading and Questions Pages, Summary of Skills, How to Use Moving Beyond the Page, and a Review Sheet. Then, each of the 9 lessons and the final project are separated out for viewing and completing. Vocabulary and Spelling information is also linked in and printable.
My personal favorite part of this unit was the required reading. Seriously, my kids and I *love* the Adventures books. When a curriculum works in conjunction with a solid text, everything runs more smoothly, and this proved that. From the first 2 pages of the book Adventures In Ancient Egypt, I knew that our family was going to love this study! Guess what? THEY DID! These books combine a fictional story with a lot of solid facts in a loose comic book-type format. So fun!
My daughter, aged 8, was able to complete and learn so much through the various activities over the 3 1/2 weeks we took to complete the lessons and activities. We had never done a complete literature-based study that was so thorough before! I loved that we were able to connect it with the social studies unit that we reviewed, as well. By touching on multiple subject areas using much of the same type of content, much more was retained and it kept her interest.
My 6 year old loved tagging along with this unit. Ancient Egypt and the Middle Ages are time periods that I was enamored with as a child, and this study really made it magical for my children as well. Their favorite part was comparing their own community to the communities back in Ancient Egypt. This prompted some really neat discussions that lasted over several days!
The social studies unit, Communities Change Over Time, was the “offline” version, so it included a hard copy of the curriculum book, as well as A Street Through Time by Dr. Anne Millard and Steve Noon and Weslandia by Paul Fleischman and Kevin Hawkes. The entire unit costs $41.97.
This unit worked really well with the other one, but it covered a broader span of history in its lessons. This one was completed in the same 3 1/2 weeks that we did the language arts unit. We could have completed one or both soon (or taken longer), but this pace worked well for us working on it 4 days a week. The activities were divided into little bite size pieces so we could get it all done quickly each day or break it up into many meaningful learning times. We did a mixture throughout the time it took us to do it, depending on our schedule.
The flexibility is what I enjoyed! I was able to incorporate my 6 year old in my 8 year old’s studies for this one as well. Although he was mostly able to follow along, some of the concepts were just beyond his grasp, so we’ll revisit this when he is a little older. It was just right for my daughter, and the exercises really stretched her understanding and imagination!
The kids absolutely LOVED the Weslandia book. In it, the character creates his very own civilization. My kids enjoyed following along with the book and re-reading it many times. They used their imaginations during the guided assignments, creating their own civilizations and learning about all of the different factors that go into it. My son was especially interested in how the character in the book used a specific plant in many different ways: for food, clothing, toys and games, sunscreen, and more. It had, I guess, never occurred to him that this could be possible, and it really unleashed his imagination!
Moving Beyond the Page is Intense
If you’re not used to unit studies, Moving Beyond the Page can seem a little overwhelming. Let me urge you to give it a shot and stick with it! The results are totally worth it.
The Moving Beyond the Page curriculum is well-organized, thorough, and (most importantly) a lot of fun for students to use. Parents will be able to sustain interest as well. It provides a great way for parents and kids to learn and engage in the new knowledge in ways that I haven’t seen with other programs. I’m a believer in Moving Beyond the Page!
Are you interested in some of the other courses that Moving Beyond the Page offers? They have units for kids aged 4-14. My fellow Schoolhouse Review Crew members checked out many of their other units, so please click the banner below to find out more!