TOS Review - Moving Beyond The Page

What Is It?

Moving Beyond The Page is a complete, literature based curriculum.  They offer curriculums for kids ages 4-14.  In the past, these curriculums have been complete year long programs.  Recently they began offering individual units based around great classic books making this company much more accessible to families of all kinds.

For this review, we were sent a language arts unit (online version) and a science unit to go along with the book, Sarah, Plain and Tall.  We were also sent the book and teachers manuals.  These units were recommended for children 7-9.  However, Josie is 6 and was able to do most of the work.  I just read the book to her as a read aloud.  Each lesson gives a few different activity options and every lesson had at least one that she was able to complete.  The story brought us to a 19th century farm in Kansas where we read about a girl that moved to a new place.

For the language arts portion, we studied the elements of a story, the characteristics of historical fiction, the features of persuasive writing, and the steps of the writing process.

For the science portion, we studied all about maps, resources in our environment and ways to conserve, and farming in the US.  All the materials we needed were included which was wonderful.  For this unit that was a Map and Mapping book that we will use for years!

How We Used It:

I have been wanting to try Moving Beyond The Page's products since we started homeschooling.  They offer entire curriculum packages for all ages that are literature based.  I love literature based curriculum! I was so happy to get to try out a product before buying the entire pack.  This one more than meet my expectations.

We got our book and guides right as we finished a different read aloud so we just moved right into using Sarah, Plain and Tall as our book for afternoon reading.  Since Josie doesn't nap anymore, we spend the first 30 minutes of quiet time reading a chapter book so this fit in nicely.  We read the chapter for the assignments and than did the work in the afternoons.

The units are designed to be completed in 2 or 3 weeks.  Since it's Summer and we are going lighter on school, I decided to do our lessons two days a week.  On those days, we discussed what we'd been reading in the book then did that days language arts work and science lesson.

The language arts was a little above where Josie is, but she kept up nicely.  I helped with the writing parts and had her narrate a lot to me.  Even though she wasn't doing all the writing, she for sure picked up all the vocabulary and ideas we were learning.  The material is presented in a fun, easy way that made our lessons feel relaxed.  We loved reading the book together and talking about Sarah.

We both loved the science portion.  Josie is a map lover so learning to read all different kinds was exciting for her.  The Map & Mapping book that came with the unit was age appropriate and a great quality.  All of the activities that are in the book were fun too.  I loved that the worksheets were all right there.  Some lessons we did a writing activity or a map reading activity and sometimes we got to do hands on projects.  All the different ways we were learning really made the lessons stick with Josie.  You'd now be hard pressed to find her out in the yard without a "map" close by.

My Opinion:

I love this program!  A complete literature based curriculum can be extremely expensive when you add up all the books.  Being able to pick books and topics that you're interested in teaching at such an affordable cost was really almost unbelievable.

I was really impressed with how complete these units were.  Josie has learned a ton of really great information, all while enjoying a great book together.  The price is awesome for the amount of topics we were able to cover.  The price also includes all the support materials you need which makes it even better.

I really love that each category spans a few years.  This will be so awesome for us once Gabe is 5 since they will both be able to do the same books.  A lot of the writing material was above Josie's head, but she is under the age range for the unit.  I'm planning to circle back around to this when Gabe is older and have Josie do it again with him.  I will have to order duplicate student materials, but they will be able to work on it together and she will then be able to do the more advanced worksheets.

The list of books and topics available in each age group are awesome.  Most are classics that are worth reading alone and the curriculum helped us get so much more out of the book.  The science portion covered a few topics that she was going to need next year so I loved getting to cross those off.  It also sparked an interest in farming for her which has been fun to nurture.

After using both the online manual (language arts) and the physical manual (science), I think the online manual was just as easy to use.  The online version has links to PDFs for the worksheets in each section so it was easy to pull when they were needed.  I personally like having the physical manual, but if you're looking to save a little money, you'll be fine with the online version.

We will for sure be doing more of these individual units in the future.  I already have plans to do Charlotte's Web in the Spring!

Product Details:

Sarah, Plain & Tall LA Unit: $22.98
Sarah, Plain & Tall Science Unit: $24.98


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Danielle Huddleston said...

Thanks for sharing! I love linking subjects! I will have to tuck this away for later :)

Cristi said...

My daughter is seven (and a half), and these units look like they'd be perfect for us to use next year. Thanks for sharing so many details so that I can see how they'd work for us.