Animal Farm & (Any) State History ~ Moving Beyond The Page #Review
The use of unit studies – in-depth learning about topics of interest – is one of the most common adaptions that separates homeschool learning from traditional public school curricula. One of the difficulties, however, is organizing unit studies so that students cover all subjects necessary over the course of their school career. One curricula provider, Moving Beyond the Page, has solved that challenge by crafting an extensive range of unit studies that cover all grades from K-8 (ages 4-14) and include language arts, science, and social studies.
But wait! Each of the units from Moving Beyond the Page is also available for individual purchase, opening up a whole new world for those that aren’t ready, willing, or interested in committing to an entire year’s worth of curriculum. We received, for Chey and Chris to try, a Language Arts Package – Animal Farm and a Social Studies Package – History of Your State. Both of these studies are designed for ages 12-14.
What’s Included In An Individual Unit Study?
This is actually our second experience with Moving Beyond the Page unit studies – last year, we used Greek Myths and Greece and Rome, so going into this we were already familiar with how they worked. Each unit study has two parts: the instructional material and the accompanying texts. The instructional material is available in either a physical version – a spiral-bound softcover book – or a printable online version.
For the History of Your State unit, we received the physical version, which included:
- History of Your State text that includes both parent instructions and student activities. Spiral-bound, soft-cover, 8 1/2″ x 11″, 153 black-and-white pages.
- We Were There, Too!: Young People in U.S. History by Phillip Hoose; Hard-cover, 10″ x 10″, 264 pages, many black-and-white photos and illustrations.
- America The Story of US video, 9 hours, 12 minutes in length.
- butcher paper (for projects)
For Animal Farm, we received the online version, which includes:
- online History of Your State text, which includes all components that are in the physical book, just organized a tad bit differently – student pages are all printable in PDF format, while the parent overview is viewable in the browser.
- Animal Farm. Paperback, Signet Classic edition, 141 pages in readable text (aka, not too tiny).
How Did We Use Moving Beyond The Page?
Chris primarily used History of Your State, while Chris used Animal Farm, though there was definitely some crossover. (Happens a lot in our house.) Each unit study is intended to take about three weeks; since we had a bit more time, each kid was using one, and it’s SUMMER, as they keep reminding me… we stretched it out just a tad bit more. It’s flexible like that. Moving Beyond The Page studies are ones that, with the age my kids are at, they can do primarily on their own, with my input only when something requires parent involvement. It’s a *really* low-key, low-pressure curricula in our household – reminding them to do it is my typical level of involvement, along with reviewing what they’re learned and just checking in occasionally to make sure they’re on the right track. This is homeschooling at it’s least complicated, except for the project messes that sometimes get left on the table.
What Do The Kids Think About Moving Beyond The Page?
They love it. The projects are interesting and varied, which keeps them engaged, and makes school not feel like quite so much “work”. And that’s when they learn best – I know they’re learning when random facts from schoolwork come up in regular conversation – or just because they *want* to talk about what they accomplished! (The occasional “Did You Know” conversation they start with some adult outside our household can be pretty impressive, too… Chris is the king of doing this, and Moving Beyond The Page definitely feeds it!)
What Do I Think / Would We Use Moving Beyond The Page Again?
Definitely! We’re seriously considering it as Chey’s primary curricula next year; it’s offered by the virtual school that we’ve used it the past. Our indecision is primarily due to the fact that we’d be required (yet another year) to report weekly progress to the virtual school, and whether or not it’s a worthwhile trade-off for free curricula.
Is Moving Beyond The Page a good value?
The complete online Animal Farm package, as described above, is priced at $22.92, while the complete physical History of your State package is $75.72. The pricing per year looks *really* scary to me, a low-income mom. Even the full packages (which include all supporting materials) for individual studies are pretty daunting. However – if you’re on a seriously low budget like me, what I’d recommend as the absolute best way to reduce the cost and make Moving Beyond The Page doable, is this:
- Purchase just the online instructional materials for the unit – most are $12.93 each.
- Borrow as many of the other materials from the library as possible.
- Purchase the remainder used.
What Else Is Available From Moving Beyond The Page?
There are MANY other topics and individual packages available from Moving Beyond The Page – way too many to list – but the Schoolhouse Review Crew has trialed many of them; click the button below to check out dozens more reviews!