Literature-Based Curriculum

Moving Beyond the Page (MBTP) is a complete secular curriculum utilizing research-based educational strategies to bring the best out in each student.  This curriculum fosters critical thinking and encourages children to develop their creativity.  Challenging and engaging projects allow students to benefit from the integration of science, social studies and language arts.   Students with different learning styles find the accommodations in MBTP make learning easy for them.  Parents who are concerned about meeting national and state standards can rest easy.   All the appropriate material is covered in each level.

Kindergarten Through Eighth Grade

Moving Beyond the Page begins with curriculum for preschool and ends in middle school.  Since MBTP levels its curricula by developmental readiness rather than grade, it begins at the developmental age of four to five and ends at the developmental age of twelve to fourteen.  MBTP Describes the characteristics of students in each  developmental age range, making it easy for parents to accurately place their children.

The earliest level is very hands on, with accommodations made for children who are not yet nimble enough to begin rigorous handwriting lessons.  As children progress through the levels MBTP adjusts to recognize student’s expanding abilities.  At several points in the curriculum students become more independent.  The authors of Moving Beyond the Page recognize independent learners are generally happier and more successful, and MBTP curricula is designed to foster growing independence at developmentally appropriate times.

The Constructivist Theory of Learning is the Foundation

of Moving Beyond the Page.  “What’s that?” you might reasonably ask.  The Constructivists believe we all learn by “constructing knowledge” as we go about the task of understanding the world we experience.  For this reason the students acquire the content of the curriculum in MBTP through active engagement in the tasks of each unit study.  Higher-order thinking is an essential part of each school day, as children perform activities which integrate science, language arts and social studies.

As a practical matter, what this means is that a typical unit of study starts with a good book, with questions and further readings in nonfiction topics relevant to the story.  There are inevitable science and art projects designed to deepen the students’ understanding and enrich their experience.  This style of study best supports

Different Learning Styles,

because students are able to explore the subject of the unit in ways that play to their strengths.  It is also the style of learning best supported by the theory of multiple intelligences.  Within each unit study there are opportunities for students to explore their special abilities and develop their gifts.   While this curriculum was developed with gifted students in mind, it can be beneficial to any student who likes to read, question, explore new ideas and engage in hands on learning.

Each Curriculum Set Includes

The parent/teacher’s manual, all materials the child will need and all the literature for the course.  There are options to break this up so that a family can purchase materials only or acquire the literature on their own.  (For a frugal family that doesn’t mind getting their books from the public library system, this last idea has merit.)

I did a little price comparing with regard to those aspects of the curriculum that could be purchased elsewhere – mostly books.  The prices at Moving Beyond the Page are in keeping with the prices on Amazon and Christianbook.com, two sources which tend to be lower than practically everyone else.

I general, when parents buy their curriculum, materials and literature pack from Moving Beyond the Page, the first year with MBTP costs about four hundred and fifty dollars and climbs gently each year after that.  In the late elementary years the price reaches eight hundred seventy dollars, and by the end of middle school the price is one thousand fifteen dollars.  But obviously that’s not all.  As smart parents, you must certainly be asking,

What About Math?

Like a lot of literature-based programs, Moving Beyond the Page outsources math.  They offer three reputable math curricula: Right Start Math, Life of Fred and Singapore Math.  Each of these curricula have their strengths.  Right Start Math is what MBTP suggests for the elementary years.  It is very hands on and engaging.  Life of Fred is what MBTP suggests for the middle school years.  It is multidisciplinary and very good for independent learners and students who like to read.  Singapore Math is a typical homeschool math curriculum, which is to say that it is one among many highly successful mastery-based curricula.  It is neither hands on nor multidiscipline in its approach, but it does have an excellent track record.

The three math programs vary significantly in cost.  Right Start Math costs between ninety-five and two hundred sixty dollars a year.  Parents who are truly committed to the program can buy the entire elementary curriculum for six hundred forty-five dollars.  This last option does save about two hundred dollars and might be particularly helpful to parents with several children.  Singapore Math runs from seventy-eight to forty dollars.  Life of Fred runs from thirty-two to eighty seven dollars each year.  Both Singapore Math and Life of Fred are readily available on the second-hand market.

Moving Beyond the Page is Unique

All-in-all, this is a curriculum that deserves careful consideration.   Parents looking for a secular program that fulfills national and state standards without once resorting to boring workbooks or mind-numbing exercises should be pleased.  Moving Beyond the Page is a very good fit for children who love learning or fall somewhere on the gifted spectrum.  It is also a good fit for many kids with learning challenges who nonetheless need a challenging hands on program to keep them focused.

An Overview:

Moving Beyond the Page
  • Complete in Scope?
  • Works Well in a Cooperative Setting
  • Multidisciplinary Approach?
  • Support for Different Learning Styles?
  • Homeschool Friendly Design?
  • Good Value?
  • Supports Independent Learning?
4.9

Summary

With its adherence to national and state standards and the addition of any one of three excellent math programs, Moving Beyond the Page (MBTP) is a complete curriculum. It is fully multidisciplinary by design, and its support for different learning styles and multiple intelligences is unsurpassed. MBTP was designed for homeschool families from the start. It is not an institutional model adapted to homeschool use, it is a homeschool program tailored to the needs of homeschool families. MBTP fosters the independent learning model in developmentally appropriate incremental stages. Moving Beyond the Page is used by cooperatives which do unit studies together and has been used successfully for in literature study groups as well.

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In Closing,

Moving Beyond the Page is one of the more intriguing curricula on the market today.  Developed by expert teachers to fulfill the needs of hands-on learners, it is breaking new ground and growing in popularity.  I enjoyed studying this curriculum in depth for this review, because it uses many of the ideas I loved when I developed my own children’s homeschool.  I hope you find it as fascinating as I do.  Please reach out in the comments to let me know how I’m doing.  Rate the curriculum if you’re familiar with it, and ASK QUESTIONS!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE hearing from you and I ALWAYS respond in less than eight hours.

All the Best,

Elizabeth

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Comments

TD Bauer

Interesting program. I recall my years in grade school and how I hated doing homework. Sitting in the classroom was difficult for me. Sitting at a kitchen table at home was irritating. I think a program such as MBTP would have gone a long way in getting me, and other children I grew up with, interested in the curriculum we were being taught. At that age my learning style was very different than it now. Now I want to close myself off in a room with no distractions and pour myself into my work.

I like how this program uses real world applications in the project based instructions. That alone should really ‘connect’ the child doing the program to the world we all live in.

May 01.2017 | 01:14 pm

    Elizabeth

    Learning Focus is hard for kids. Many of us don’t acquire it until adulthood. I know that in my adulthood I have struggled with focus, because much of my adult life has demanded multi-tasking.

    I think focus requires motivation. We will focus if we’re motivated to get a tedious task done and move on to something better. We will also focus if what we’re doing really engages our interest.
    Busy work in education tends to negate a child’s motivation to get tedious work done, and tedious work is hardly engaging.
    A smart homeschooling parent is quick to point out that when the work is done for the day the family can move on to other things. If the parent avoids busy-work and makes sure the curriculum is engaging as possible, the child readily learns focus.

    Focus, as a matter of habit, is a wonderful strength. It is a force-multiplier for intelligence, skill, knowledge and other strengths people commonly try to acquire.

    It can be the missing piece in the puzzle we all try to solve – “How can I succeed.”

    I agree with you whole-heartedly that MBTP is a wonderful curriculum, because it doesn’t just convey the necessary knowledge and skills. Using this kind of curriculum helps children develop focus.

    May 02.2017 | 06:48 am

Brent

This program looks incredibly valuable to any child!! I like the fact that it is geared to the gifted child so there won’t be a child not living up to their potential. Children are a clean slate and should be treated as such so that they have the greatest opportunities possible in their lives.

May 01.2017 | 05:02 pm

Julie Fenoglio

I just loved this review. Where was this when I wanted to home school my oldest? There are so many more resources out there now than there were 25 years ago! This seems like a great program that involves the child and immerses them into the learning process. Thank you for your review, I really enjoyed it.

May 01.2017 | 07:09 pm

Craig

Hi Elizabeth,
This is a very intriguing method to use to teach children. I’ve recently been researching home schooling in more detail, but I personally went to a standard public school so my knowledge is quite lacking. One quick question that comes up from my side is what sort of skill base or knowledge the parents must have. Since the program looks primarily geared toward home schooling children, how might it deal with a skill gap from the teacher? Are there accompanying pieces of documentation to help ‘teach the teacher’ if you will? Or is the plan designed so that this isn’t necessary?
Thanks,
Craig

May 02.2017 | 03:38 am

    Elizabeth

    Parent/Teacher Guidance

    Everyone who chooses to homeschool worries about whether they are up to the task. I was certified to teach secondary mathematics, and yet I still worried. I think this anxiety itself is a sign that the parent almost certainly has the most important quality needed – a sincere desire to do right by their child!

    In this case the curriculum is best suited to parents who are literate and possess the equivalent of a GED or better in education. There is sufficient guidance in the parent/teacher manual for the parent to administer the curriculum competently. That being said, if the parent can’t evaluate elementary an middle school level work, the parent should probably look at other curricula.

    Craig, based on your comment alone, I am confident that you can grade your child’s work and follow the directions in the parent/teacher manual! Keep in mind that as the parent you will have all the answer keys! This gives you a real edge when it comes to grading cut and dried material on math tests and the like.

    Now that modern homeschooling is half a century old, we have statistics to evaluate. We have learned that parents who are high school graduates do almost as well in homeschooling their kids as parents who have a high degree of formal education. There is a curriculum plan for every family.

    May 02.2017 | 04:36 am

Shonna

I absolutely love numbers, so how the math is structured really peaks my interest. Happy to know that they are readily available on the market.

I do not have any kids, but I always said that when I did, I would teach them at home. Over the years, I have been a source of homework help for my best friend’s children, so I know for a fact it is something I can do.

I must admit, the kids are learning a new math that I’ve never seen before and a lot of the times I am stumped. Does any of Moving Beyond The Page’s math systems include Common Core Math?

May 02.2017 | 12:16 pm

    Elizabeth

    Common Core Math

    “Common Core Math” is not really as bad as folks think. It’s just a set of pretty reasonable goals for content in the national math curriculum. These GOALS are in MBTP’s unit lessons.

    The problem with common core math has to do with implementation. Teacher education has been rife with fluff and nonsense for a very long time. Some very silly material has been provided by various federally subsidized sources. It purports to be common core, but common core isn’t what makes it silly. What makes it silly is that much of this material is written by very ignorant professional educators who are blissfully unaware that their own educations consisted of indoctrination. They know next to nothing about how and what to teach children at various developmental stages. (They have been taught to believe they know, but what little they’ve been taught is rife with error.) Further, their mathematics, language arts, science and social studies educations are mostly nonsense, so the lessons and study materials they produce are worse than useless.

    The educators who wrote MBTP are very savvy. They have been marketing their products to well-educated homeschooling parents for decades. Yes, MBTP unit studies do follow national and state standards, so they do include “common core” standards. BUT, (Pause for Emphasis) MBTP lessons are put together by well-educated professionals using valid instruction methods and developmentally appropriate materials.

    I hope that answers your question. There are a lot of misunderstandings about what Common Core is and is not. Common Core has become a controversial topic, because parents see the horrifyingly bad materials created by ignorant professional educators, and naturally blame Common Core. Common Core isn’t the cause of the poorly written materials and shockingly bad teaching methodologies. Educational malpractice among the ideologues who teach the teachers IS the problem.

    May 03.2017 | 04:31 am

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