Although not the cheapest homeschooling option, with its comprehensive learning kits, flexible packages, fun and engaging projects, and high quality scripted lessons, for the right family and student Moving Beyond the Page can be a very convenient and highly effective way to learn at home.
What We Like
But watch out for…
What is Moving Beyond the Page
Founded in 2005 by Kim and Keith Howe, Moving Beyond the Page (MBTP) is an all-in-one secular homeschool curriculum solution designed for gifted students ages 4-14.
Taking a interdisciplinary unit study approach, the company can provide parents with a complete yearly curriculum in science, social science, math and language arts, or provide them with complete units they can use to supplement an existing homeschool program.
Moving Beyond the Page is currently available as both an online and traditional, pen and paper curriculum.
What Grades or Ages does Moving Beyond the Page cover?
Moving Beyond the Page is, unlike many homeschool and educational programs out there, divided by age, rather than grade, and is intended for students 4-14.
Moving Beyond the Page is, however, slowly introducing higher levels of study, with a High School 1 course being introduced. Broadly speaking, however, the course mainly covers pre-K to about Grade 8 or 9.
While many homeschool programs are designed such that both precocious and struggling students can use them at one level or another, the curriculum provided by MBTP is designed for gifted kids, generally about 1 to 2 grades levels ahead.
The materials and lessons provided by the company move at a rather accelerated pace, the concepts presented are more complex and go deeper than many other curricula out there, requiring a fair bit of critical reasoning, and overall there is quite a bit less review and drill than other programs.
Consequently, while the interdisciplinary unit study approach and convenience of a curriculum in a box may be attractive, we don’t feel that Moving Beyond the Page is the most ideal solution for those who are a bit behind in their studies, even if they choose to drop back an age level.
That said, the program does provide what they call differentiated activities, where the provided worksheets and activities have differing levels of challenge and depth.
This scaling of learning difficulty at the activity level makes Moving Beyond the Page a good solution for parents struggling to teach younger, more precocious students, those with advanced students of different ages, as well as gifted students with a jagged learning profile, i.e. those who are advanced in one subject but at level or even behind in another.
This is helped along by the fact that Moving Beyond the Page splits its learning by age range (5-7, 10-12, 11-13, etc), rather than a single year, meaning that students within a couple years of each other can easily use the same material.
One thing we did appreciate with Moving Beyond the Page, as it is something of an advanced curriculum, is that they do offer parents fairly detailed instructions to help find the age level that is appropriate to their student.
The company also helpfully produces placement tests in Language Arts and Math that parents can use to get a better idea of their own students’ readiness before ordering a curriculum set.
The test for math is particularly helpful as the math courses have been designed by the company itself and are not from a third party, so getting a read on its relative appropriateness for a student can be a bit trickier.
Unfortunately, the company requires parents to create an account in order to access these placement tests. Although free to do, it is somewhat annoying.
Generally speaking, however, each assessment is a test of subject level skill and knowledge and takes about 15-30 minutes to complete.
Considering that a full curriculum is a fair investment, they are worth doing for those interested in Moving Beyond the Page.
What Subjects Does Moving Beyond The Page Cover?
Moving Beyond the Page covers pretty much all the subjects one might expect from a program aimed at 4-14 year olds.
The program has complete curriculum options for:
- Language Arts (including literature, grammar, writing and more)
- Social Studies
- and Math
While, overall, MBTP is a pretty complete curriculum solution, especially with their full yearly packages, there are a couple things missing here and there, notably in Language Arts and Math.
To its credit, the company has addressed previous criticism concerning a lack of reading instruction by offering phonics instruction and practice through the ABeCeDarian Reading Program, but Moving Beyond the Page does not teach cursive, and there is a lack of formal grammar at the lower levels (PreK-Grad 1), so parents might have to supplement.
Similarly, in terms of Math, the company has not yet rolled out its curriculum to the higher levels of its program (10+) but it is in the process of doing so.
Overview of Moving Beyond the Page’s Approach to Teaching
As with other homeschool curricula out there, Moving Beyond the Page has its own particular approach to teaching that parents should be aware of.
The curricula provided by Moving Beyond the Page are common core aligned, although at times it does exceed state curriculum standards.
For many parents this shouldn’t be much of an issue, but those that don’t wish to follow a common core curriculum should be aware of this.
Moving Beyond the Page is a secular curriculum.
As such, its science courses teach concepts like evolution, the geological age of the earth and the universe and so on.
As the program uses many classic books as part of its instruction, Christianity and other religious symbolism do pop up from time to time, but when they do they are examined from a respectful but academic point of view.
Moving Beyond the Page describes its learning approach as rooted in constructivism. This means it approaches learning as a process where kids build (construct) knowledge as they actively attempt to engage and understand the world around them.
In other words, Moving Beyond the Page really focuses more on getting kids to actively explore, understand and apply concepts rather than memorize and regurgitate information.
Consequently, the curricula provided contain a variety of activity sheets that require fairly deep analysis, critical reasoning and other higher order thinking on the part of kids as they explore various topics.
Similarly, the curricula periodically assign projects and papers that sort of capstone the various subjects and units and get kids to synthesize what they’ve learned.
Interdisciplinary Unit Study
Moving Beyond the Page does use unit studies.
The program introduces a theme or topic, and integrates the different year’s subjects into that concept one way or another.
For example, a theme of Environment and Cycles may include language arts lessons with selected readings from the classic children’s book The Wanderer, social studies lessons on geography, and science lessons in geology, weather and environmental science.
Each theme takes a few weeks to complete, generally 3-4 on a five day schedule, although this varies based on age, complexity and, obviously, the homeschooling schedule followed.
Regardless of scheduling, parents should and students expect to dive deeply into a topic for a relatively long length of time.
Much like Charlotte Mason, Moving Beyond the Page is a big believer in learning through literature, i.e. using high quality books to learn and reinforce skills and knowledge.
Each package contains a wide variety of high interest and classic books with stories related to the subject in question, and these are designed to help students explore various concepts in addition to more direct readers.
Moving Beyond the Page integrates a lot of hands-on learning activities, projects and explorations as part of its curriculum, making it quite multisensory and a good option for those with more tactile learners.
Regardless of subject, students will have plenty of opportunity to physically explore what they’re learning, whether this is in the form of creating posters and artwork, using math manipulatives, experimenting with science kits, creating timeline cards for history, directed outdoor activities.
How it Works
Moving Beyond the Page is designed as a complete curriculum in a box.
A walkthrough of one of their age ranges can be seen in the video below.
The company offers parents the convenience of a complete, full year’s curriculum in one package.
Priced at somewhere between $1000-1200, these packages contain all subjects and materials needed to teach a year’s worth of study, plus access to the company’s online learning option, which we will discuss below.
In addition to the full year package, the company does offer parents the ability to buy complete packages for teaching individual subjects, as well as the ability to buy packages of the company’s unit curricula, readers, manipulatives and even consumables as individual items.
By allowing parents to buy single subjects and items piecemeal, Moving Beyond the Page offers a fair bit of flexibility in addition to convenience.
Parents can choose an open and go year’s curriculum or choose to supplement an existing curriculum with some of MBTP’s units and materials.
Further, the ability to purchase extra consumables, readers and more allows them to more easily teach multiple kids at home.
Beyond the physical curriculum option, Moving Beyond the Page also offers parents the ability to subscribe to a digital version of its curricula, available on the web or as an iOS app.
The online MBTP is the same curriculum as the printed version, although it is a little less expensive and much more interactive, with students able to click and access learning material through hyperlinks and directly type (or draw) into the program on a tablet.
In addition, the online version is a lot easier to share between siblings, and can be accessed anywhere.
On the downside, being a digital product, access to the materials is limited to about a year and a half once learning has started. Although this is a fairly generous amount of time, it is not something parents need to worry about with paper and pen products.
Similarly, using the online curriculum and enjoying its various resources means a lot more screen time, although a lot of the material can be printed out ahead of time.
Interestingly, while parents can buy only the online version and save money, those that purchase a pen and paper curriculum get access by default to the relevant online version as well.
Each package from Moving Beyond the Page contains everything needed to teach a unit of study, a subject or even a full year of study.
Overall, there is a lot included in each box.
The company produces and includes its own instructional books for each unit in Science, Math, Social Studies and Language Arts, as well as teacher’s guides and student manuals, which form the teaching curriculum aspect of the company’s offerings.
In addition, each box contains a variety of books related to various different subjects and the units introduced in that year.
These might be genre classics, award winning historical fiction or high-interest, engaging and highly informative books like the Science of Living things series.
As Moving Beyond the Page is a hands-on program, the company ships out a variety of reusable physical items and manipulatives to help with learning.
These might be science kits, math manipulatives, interactive books, various hard to find items and even yard sticks and kites.
Finally, there are a variety of consumables, such as student activity sheets, coloring books, arts and crafts items and more.
What is the teaching material like?
Overall the material produced by or supplied by Moving Beyond the Page are of pretty good quality and, together, offer a comprehensive yearly learning experience.
Language Arts and Social Studies
For Language Arts and Social Studies, MBTP offers a good mix of instructional readers, high interest books and classic literature.
The readers for most subjects are produced by the company itself and we feel they are fairly high quality. Rather than being dense textbooks, they are engagingly written, offer a lot of hands-on activities and questions for deeper analysis and thought.
The readers are fairly well scripted, letting parents (and, later, students) know exactly how to introduce material and teach it effectively, making Moving Beyond the Page pretty open and go.
This is particularly helpful for parents of the younger age groups where it can sometimes be challenging to introduce abstract or complex materials, as well as those new to homeschooling who may not have a great deal of experience.
That said, while the curricula are scripted, we don’t feel they are overly scripted. For example, unlike some other curricula out there, they don’t provide an exact dialogue to follow, leaving it up to parents to engage with their children as naturally as possible.
Complementing the formal instruction is a wide range of literature.
Many are classics of literature and education, such as Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, To Kill a Mockingbird, Charlotte’s Web, Huckleberry Finn and Animal Farm, but most are high interest books and designed to relate to particular topics and be highly engaging and thought provoking for students to read. Some examples are:
- Fields of Fury: The American Civil War (history)
- The Kids’ Book of Weather Forecasting (weather & the environment)
- A Drop Around the World (water cycle)
- If You Made a Million (economic cycles)
- One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote (government and civics)
- And so on
Many other curriculum in a box solutions offer math curricula from established companies, such as Singapore Math or Saxon.
In contrast, Moving Beyond the Page has created its own math curriculum, which it uses as the core of its math programs.
The MBTP math curriculum is aligned to common core math standards and is, we feel, an interesting blend of several math approaches that can be useful for different math learners.
There is a literature component, for example, with high interest books that explore some concepts of math in a way that’s less lecture and drill oriented and can be good for students who are strong at, and prefer, reading and conceptual approaches to math.
Moving Beyond the Page also provides a lot of manipulatives, activities and hands-on resources to help kids and help them transition between concrete and abstract math ideas, and is something that is particularly useful for tactile learners.
Overall, we found MBTP’s math program to be a blended mastery-spiral curriculum, with each unit based around a particular concept and offering students plenty of opportunities for review through their Learning Gates, an adaptive quiz tool that is offered at the end of each subject and tests new and past knowledge.
We also found the math program to be fairly conceptual, with a strong emphasis on helping kids understand the why behind math rather than just learning how to do it.
This can produce a deeper understanding of math, challenging students to hone their problem solving skills more effectively.
Overall, Moving Beyond the Page’s math instruction is fairly comprehensive for the ages it teaches and is fairly engaging and interesting.
It’s true that some parents may prefer the option to choose a math curriculum from a more established math company, such as Singapore, as competitors like Bookshark offer, but overall we feel that MBTP’s math program should serve parents well and acts as a pretty rigorous, standards aligned math curriculum.
That said, for parents of exceptionally talented math students, we didn’t feel it to be quite as challenging as some programs, such as Beast Academy, which offers students the chance to take on competition level word math word problems and puzzles and might be a better fit.
Overall, we found that Moving Beyond the Page offers parents fairly solid science learning.
As with Social Studies, teaching is done with a mixture of readers and fun, living books about science.
The Science taught by MBTP is common core aligned and offers students a lot of opportunity for hands-on activities.
‘To do so, the company includes a variety of topical science kits to be used as labs and experiments.
The kits provide parents with some of the more difficult or annoying to find supplies that labs typically require, such as thermometers, gravel, copper wire, beakers and flasks and more. They also supply a good deal of the everyday equipment and supplies required, meaning that parents don’t have to worry about using up or ruining their own kitchen and hardware supplies.
Generally speaking, Moving Beyond the Page takes a fairly rigorous and thorough approach to teaching science.
It is a secular science program, so students will be exposed to things like evolution and the concept of old Earth and an old universe.
More than that, the program does not shy away from critical and in-depth explorations of scientific principles and ideas, approaching them with a pace, rigor and vocabulary that fits its intended audience of gifted students.
Customizing Moving Beyond the Page
Compared to some other full curriculum providers out there, there aren’t as many options for package customization possible with Moving Beyond the Page as there might be with competitors such as Bookshark or Timberdoodle.
Parents don’t, for example, have the option of picking and choosing between math curricula to fit their preferred learning style and preferences.
With MBTP, packages are pretty much set, although it is important to note that due to the flexibility of purchasing options, parents can always choose to purchase only the subjects they want and supplement the rest with their own subject curricula.
How much Parental Involvement is Required
Learning and Supervision
Moving Beyond the Page is a program that progressively encourages self-study and independence in learning.
At the younger age ranges (4-8), Moving Beyond the Page starts off with fairly direct instruction, with parents actively teaching material to the child – packages include a parent book with instructions and a student book for kids to essentially follow along.
From ages 7-9, the program begins to move the role of parents back a little bit, with parents beginning to transition away from a direct instruction role and being more in charge of introducing topics, keeping learning on track and reviewing the student’s progress.
At this stage, parents and students work out of a combined curriculum book.
From the ages of 9+, however, Moving Beyond the Page starts to become more of an independent learning program, with the curriculum now addressed to the student and taking on a more self-study style overall.
Parents step back into an oversight role, being given an subject overview and a rubric for evaluations.
Moving Beyond the Page isn’t a true self-study program – at all stages parents are asked (at a minimum) to oversee learning, keep things on track, grade work and answer questions.
That said, the intensity does begin to scale back with older students and it does become less demanding of parents’ time, allowing them to focus on other tasks or homeschooling their other children.
As a result, busier homeschools shouldn’t find teaching the upper age ranges at least particularly demanding or challenging.
Planning and Prep Work
Moving Beyond the Page does a pretty good job at being an open and go curriculum and there shouldn’t be too much prep work required of parents.
Overall, the company provides most of the critical items that parents will need to teach the program, including:
- Lesson plans and schedules
- Hands-on activity supplies
- Activity sheets
- Science kits
- And more
Parents should note that the company doesn’t provide everything, however.
More common and easily found items, such as arts and crafts supplies (glue, poster board, etc) are not included in the boxes, so there will be a little extra shopping involved on the part of parents.
That said, the company does provide a shopping list for each subject and age group and, as a rule of thumb, if something can be hard for families to find it is included in the package.
Pros & Cons of Moving Beyond the Page
Online and offline study methods available
Moving beyond the page is available as a traditional pen and paper curricula, as well as a digital version that is available online.
This makes it a good option for those looking for a highly accessible and flexible online learning option, and for those who want to limit their children’s screen time.
Easy to teach siblings of different ages
With differentiated activities, the ability to freely purchase supplemental kits and consumables as needed, and a curriculum that is geared towards a range of ages at each level, Moving Beyond the Page is surprisingly easy to use to teach siblings or students of slightly different ages.
Full and convenient curriculum option
Purchasing a full year package, or individual subject packages, with Moving Beyond the Page gives parents a simple and convenient homeschool curriculum with all the materials needed to teach it, delivered right to their door or online.
Well-scripted and easy to teach
Moving Beyond the Page’s instructional readers do a good job at outlining how and when to most effectively introduce concepts, as well as set up various activities.
Because of this parents can essentially open the curriculum and start teaching without very much prep work or experience at teaching.
High quality curricula
The teaching materials created or provided by Moving Beyond the Page are all high quality resources, delving deeply into various topics and explaining them in an easy to understand and engaging manner.
Lots of material included in every box
In addition to various subject curricula, Moving Beyond the Page also includes hands on kits, various teaching materials and consumables, manipulative and a strong selection of high interest and classic books at each age group.
Challenging and enriched curriculum
With an accelerated pace, in depth explorations of topics, and questions and projects that challenge and hone students’ critical reasoning skills, Moving Beyond The Page is an enriched curriculum that can be a good solution for those homeschooling gifted students.
Lots of flexibility with purchasing
Moving Beyond the Page allows parents to purchase a full year’s curriculum package, single subjects or individual texts and resources.
As such it offers parents the flexibility of using MBTP as a full curriculum or as a subject supplement to an existing curriculum.
In addition parents can purchase a pen and paper, a digital version or both, giving them flexibility in how they can teach the course.
Can be expensive
With full curricula costing over $1000 in some cases, and individual subjects costing several hundred dollars (with all materials), Moving Beyond the Page can be expensive for some families in an absolute sense, even if it is convenient.
Not as modular as some competitors
Where some similar curriculum in a box options allow parents to pick and choose the educational resources included in each package, configuring the learning to their preferences, Moving Beyond the Page does not.
Few high school options yet
Although it has recently begun rolling out a high school curriculum, it is limited at this time and the company does not cover all high school years yet.
Math not yet rolled out across all ages
While the math curriculum used by Moving Beyond the Page is interesting and highly useful, it is not offered to all grade levels at the moment.
Who Do We Think Moving Beyond the Page is Best For?
Parents looking for a convenient, ready curriculum solution
Some parents simply don’t have the time, experience or desire to build out a full curriculum themselves.
For these parents, Moving Beyond the Page and it’s ready, curated curriculum can be a valuable and convenient option to consider.
Those who want to homeschool using an interdisciplinary unit studies approach
With tons of fun activities, projects and arts and crafts woven into all their subjects, from Language Arts to Math, Moving Beyond the Page can be a great option for tactile learners and their families.
Parents looking for easy to teach, open and go lessons
With scripted, easy to understand instructional guides and lessons, Moving Beyond the Page can be a great option for those looking for an open and go curriculum, such as novice homeschoolers and those who don’t have the time to do a lot of prep work and lesson planning.
Fans of literature-based curricula
Moving Beyond the Page uses a combination of formal instruction with its instructional readers and related literature to explore concepts.
At each age, parents receive a ton of high quality and highly engaging books to help kids better understand the units they’re learning.
Those looking for a thorough and common core standards aligned curriculum
Unlike many of its competitors, Moving Beyond the Page is aligned with common core standards for Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies.
Those looking for a curriculum for gifted students
Accelerated, comprehensive, in depth and challenging, Moving Beyond the Page is a great option for those looking to homeschool gifted students.
Further, because of its flexible nature and differentiated learning activities, it can be a great way to help gifted students with a jagged learning profile as well.
Who is it not ideal for?
Those looking for a faith based or faith neutral curriculum
Although it treats religion in a respectful and open manner, Moving Beyond the Page is a secular curriculum.
It does not teach from a religious perspective, teaches concepts like evolution and explores the development of earth and the universe as natural phenomena.
Those who don’t want to follow a common core curriculum
Moving Beyond the Page curricula are common core aligned and thus may not be the best option for families who want to follow alternate ways of learning.
Those looking to pick and choose from various texts and teaching options
Although it offers a comprehensive curriculum, Moving Beyond the Page does not offer parents much in the way of choice when it comes to which particular curriculum they can be sent for each subject.
Those with students who are a bit behind in their studies
Moving beyond the page is a curriculum designed for gifted students. With an accelerated pace and challenging activities, it may not be ideal for students who are behind or need slower, more in depth instruction.
Those looking for a complete self study option
Although Moving Beyond the Page progressively encourages kids to become more independent with their studies, gradually shifting from parent-led instruction to parent oversight, it does not really become a true self-study program.
Even at later stages, parents will still need to oversee and manage the process, making sure the work gets done and correcting work as students go.
Parents on a strict budget
At several hundred to a thousand dollars or more for complete packages, Moving Beyond the Page can be a significant investment and a little expensive for some families.
Note: Prices are correct at time of writing. For current pricing check the latest prices with Moving Beyond the Page. All prices are in USD.
As mentioned previously, Moving Beyond the Page offers parents a variety of different curriculum options they can purchase.
- Full year packages
- single subject packages
- Semester packages (individual topics)
- Individual items from the curricula
It’s important to note that, as with other ready curriculum solutions, depending on the year and complexity of the curriculum in question, there can be some variation in pricing.
For example, a full year curriculum for ages 4-5 will be considerably less expensive than a full year package for ages 11-13, largely due to the extra materials required.
As such, rather than provide an exact price we tend to give parents an idea of the price by providing a range or estimate.
It is also important to note that most packages now come with 18 months of access to the online curriculum, meaning it is no longer an either/or choice, which is nice.
Full Year Packages
Full year packages are the most premium item offered by MBTP, as they offer the most material and convenience for parents.
Prices for full year kits range from about $499.38-$1,153.33, depending on the age group.
Moving Beyond the Page also offers full year packages for certain age groups without a Math component, which can offer parents a couple hundred dollars in savings, which is something parents should consider if they would like additional savings.
Similarly, parents can opt to purchase the curriculum, consumables and manipulatives as separate items as well, which tends to be less expensive overall.
Single subject packages
Parents have the option of purchasing a complete year’s curriculum in a single subject.
Much like the full curriculum, prices do vary between ages and subjects.
- A full year of science can run between $193.63 – $415.40.
- A full year of Social studies can typically run between $156.19 – $321.55.
- A full year of Language Arts can run between $258.04 – $358.13.
- And a full year of Math (when available) can run between $183.94 – $266.60.
Much like the full year’s curriculum, parents can purchase the curriculum, consumables and manipulatives for each subject separately and save some money.
Semester packages (individual topics)
In addition to complete subjects and yearly curricula, Moving Beyond the Page offers parents the ability to purchase a complete topical package, or a semester’s (9 weeks) worth of interdisciplinary learning about a topic.
These usually involve 3 complete units in each subject and may cost between $92.90 – $294.19 or so.
The exception to this is at the upper age ranges (11-14), where semesters are sold as complete units and not as interdisciplinary topics.
Due to the greater comprehensiveness (more materials, more units of study), these are significantly more expensive and tend to run between $498.49 – $576.89.
Online Vs Offline Curricula
When it comes to full year and single subject curricula, due to the fact that an online curriculum doesn’t need to be printed or shipped, Moving Beyond the Page does offer a slight discount if users purchase only the online version.
This is usually somewhere between $20-50, which while not the greatest discount can help those on a stricter budget.
Overall, as can be expected for a product based around comprehensiveness and convenience, Moving Beyond the Page isn’t exactly the cheapest option out there.
That said, it is comparable in price to similar full curriculum kit providers, such as Bookshark or Timberdoodle, being roughly competitive with the former and a little less expensive than the latter (depending on kit configuration).
Parents should note that prices do change, and that Moving Beyond the Page does offer frequent discounts and so it is important to check Moving Beyond the Page’s current prices for up to date information before making any decision.
Is It worth the price?
As with other curriculum kits out there, Moving Beyond the Page can be a bit pricey. That said, we do think that it is still well worth the price.
MBTP offers high quality, standards-aligned (and exceeding) curricula designed for advanced learners in Science, Social Studies, Language Arts and Math (for most levels), all of which are comprehensive and ready to use right out of the box, making them great time savers.
Each package contains a wide variety of instructional readers, high quality and engaging literature, hands-on activities and almost all the supplies parents need to get things running, whether that’s a full year of study or a single subject or semester.
In addition, MBTP’s interdisciplinary unit study approach is quite interesting, integrating the various subjects and getting students to see the world and the way it works in a more holistic manner, rather than as disconnected subjects.
Similarly, the activity sheets provided by the company are often rigorous, open-ended, and challenge students to think deeper and more critically about what they’re learning than other competing programs.
Finally, for those who need to, Moving Beyond the Page offers parents a variety of ways to make things more affordable, from highly flexible package options to digital learning-only packages.
Although not the cheapest homeschooling option, with its comprehensive learning kits, flexible packages, fun and engaging projects, and high quality scripted lessons, for the right family and student Moving Beyond the Page can be a very convenient and highly effective way to learn at home.
About the Author
Anne Miller is the editor of The Smarter Learning Guide and is a passionate advocate for education and educational technology. A mom of two, she majored in English Language and Literature and worked as a substitute teacher and tutor for several years. When not writing she continues to root for the Yankees and the Giants.
Jennifer Keenes is a writer and a new mom living in Florida. She studied education and, prior to becoming a freelance writer, worked as a substitute teacher at the elementary and middle school level. She is a big fan of the beach, working out and homeschooling her two daughters.