Literature-Based Learning With Moving Beyond the Page

Literature-based learning is my favorite way to learn, and I’ve always preferred to teach using unit studies. The best way to do both us to find unit studies that are literature based. Several years ago I had the opportunity to review an awesome Homeschool curricula resource that has a wide variety of literature-based learning unit studies for ages 4/5 through a year of high school.

Literature-based learning moving beyond the page

Disclosure: I received free curricula for this post and am using affiliate links. All opinions are always my own.

Literature-Based Learning With Moving Beyond the Page

I had never heard of Moving Beyond the Page before this review, but I was very excited to receive a set of unit studies from them to use with my kids this summer.

I received Immigration as a hard copy, and I received all of the books that go with it. The spiral bound curriculum, If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island, and Immigrant Kids was included with the set.

Literature-based learning with moving beyond the page

I received Poetry as an online version, and I received all of the books that go with it. The online version sells for $61.86 and includes access to the curriculum online, Love That Dog, My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States, and R is for Rhyme: A Poetry Alphabet.

Moving beyond the page poetry curricula

You can purchase independent components of the unit studies separately. The online access is activated when you first access the curriculum and access is only available for a certain length of time. But you can request additional access to the curriculum.

Moving Beyond the Page can be a complete curriculum- except for math. They have units for ages 5-7, 6-8, 7-9, 8-10, 9-11, 10-12, and 11-13. The site says material is coming soon for ages 4-5 and 12-14. Prices for the complete curriculum range from about $400 to $900 depending on whether you choose online or hard copies and what grade level you are purchasing. There are science, social studies, and language arts units, and the site recommends several different math programs. You can choose an age group and find a page that allows you to buy a complete curriculum- including the literature- for online or hard copy. Or you can choose to check out the supplemental page where you can purchase any unit for any grade individually.

I like that you have the option to choose either the complete curriculum or the supplemental units. I’m not sure I would use this as my complete curriculum. It isn’t a specifically Christian worldview curriculum, and that matters to me- especially with science. But I did really like the social studies and language arts curriculum I used, so I would love to use some other units to supplement.

Using Moving Beyond the Page

The curriculum sets include the books you’ll need. For the unit studies we reviewed, the poetry unit included three books, and two were very nice anthologies.

The immigrants unit included two books, and they were both well-written nonfiction books.

The hard copy curriculum included an overview with description and a list of the skills covered in the unit, daily lesson plans, and the worksheets needed for the activities. The online version had exactly the same information, including printable activity sheets. The only thing I really didn’t like about the online version was that I had to read it off of the computer. If you had an ipad that could access the full web site easily, this might be okay. I could pull up the site on my Kindle, but the size was not great.

Moving beyond the page curricula

The website is set up to help you make the most of the curriculum. There is a sample center, so that you can choose what to buy since the grade levels overlap. And the is “Getting Started” section has videos showing how to get started with each age group’s materials.

Older students could easily work independently on the studies. I chose to do the lessons with my kids instead since I wanted to see how it worked for the review. I did the lessons with a 7, 9, and 12 year old. My 7 year old was slightly young, and my 12 year old was just over the age, but I like to do whole family teaching, and I’m using this as a supplemental summer unit. There are guidelines on the site for figuring out which age levels to choose.

According to the curriculum design, you do one science or social studies lesson per day and one language arts lesson per day. The book breaks up some lessons into multiple days and shows you where to stop and where to pick up each day.

We did a lesson from each unit each day. Some of our lessons took tow days. Most of the lessons started with reading some of one of the literature books included. Because we were doing this together, I read aloud; but the site gives a guide for reading level expected for the different units. The reading was very age appropriate. I think my nine year old would have had trouble reading some of it independently, but she is not a strong reader.

Literature-based learning

After the reading, each day’s lesson had multiple activities. These were not just answering comprehension questions. The student kept a journal for answering some questions, but there were other activities as well. Some were hands on. For example in our Immigration unit, one activity had us set up a pretend examination room to “inspect” the immigrants coming in. Some activities involved using the vocabulary words that were introduced at the beginning of each unit.

The activities were also mostly age appropriate for my kids. Sometimes there were alternate activities to chose from- easier or harder. My nine year old needed a good bit of guidance on some of the activities. She isn’t a very strong reader, and she’s also a perfectionist, so if she thinks she doesn’t know what to do, she gets frustrated. My almost eight year old really struggled, and I had to walk her through each activity. The activities that involved writing were too much for her.

Moving beyond the page
Literature-based learning with Moving Beyond the Page
Literature-based learning

Some activities involved looking up particular websites. One of our favorite was a virtual tour of the immigration station at Ellis Island.

Immigrants unit from moving beyond the page

I really liked these literature units. I could definitely see looking at some others as supplemental units later on.

Moving beyond the page

Summary Thoughts About the Literature-Based Learning Unit Studies from Moving Beyond the Page

1. The curriculum is not specifically from a Christian worldview. This may or may not matter but is something to consider if you are going to use the complete curriculum.

2. The website particularly states in several places that the units conform to state and national standards but to reach beyond each standard. Again this is a personal choice. Some homeschoolers want curricula that meets the standards. Some don’t.

3. The materials can be purchased separately and not just as a package. This makes it nice for using with another child later.

4. There is so much information on the site for getting started and using the units in the right way. I really liked this because I felt like I could get the most out of the material.

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