When my oldest child said recently that he was considering transitioning to public high school when the time comes, I knew right away that one subject we’d need to brush up on is science. I love reading about science with my kids. Both of my kids have their own natural interests in various science topics. We talk about science a lot, generally. We do a lot of nature study, loads of documentaries, and plenty of science-related reading. We’ve dabbled in a few science curricula in the past, but mostly we tend towards a very interest-based approach to elementary grades science.
Regardless of whether we homeschool high school or if he goes to public school, one year of covering a broad range of topics in science in a structured way, is a good idea. Finding an upper middle school level science, for a sciencey kid, was proving to be a little difficult. I wanted secular, I wanted everything I needed to come all together, and I wanted it to cover a broad range of science topics. Enter – Moving Beyond The Page 12-14 Complete Science Package.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you purchase something from my link, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. As well, I received some materials from Moving Beyond The Page in exchange for my honest thoughts and experiences. All of the opinions expressed in this review are my own. You can read more in my disclosure policy.
What Is Moving Beyond The Page?
Moving Beyond The Page is a literature-based, hands on curriculum that is geared to gifted and creative learners. It’s crafted in such a way that the activities and projects appeal to a wide variety of learning styles.
While it is designed to be a complete curriculum, it can also be used for individual subjects. You can order complete packages that include science, language arts, math, and social studies. Each subject is designed in units, each taking a few weeks to complete. These units are also available individually, as well as by subject. Each unit contains the teaching instruction, reading assignments, and student worksheets. You can purchase additional student pages from the Moving Beyond The Page website, for use with multiple children.
Moving Beyond The Page is leveled by age range, as opposed to single grades. This makes it a bit easier to judge which level your children need, and makes it much easier to combine multiple children ‘in the middle’.
MBTP 12-14 Science Complete Package Overview
I decided to go ahead and try the Age 12-14 Full-Year Science Complete Package from Moving Beyond The Page. Most appealing for my family right now was the broad range of topics that would be covered in the units. This package would give my son a good, solid year of science covering many of the topics he wanted to study this year.
Included in the Age 12-14 Science set was:
- 10 Unit Guides (Atoms, Chemical Reactions, Energy & Matter, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Cell Theory, Genetics and DNA, Living Organisms, A Dynamic Planet, Human Body Systems, and Health & Nutrition)
- All reading materials needed to complete the year
- Manipulatives and materials for all of the demonstrations and activities (two boxes of materials, they were even separated by unit and lesson number!)
- Microbiology and Cell Theory Colouring Book
- Periodic Table of Elements
I was impressed when I unpacked my boxes. The selections for reading materials were great, and the book list was not as overwhelming as you find with other literature-based curricula. My son loves science, and he’s always glad to have some good non-fiction to read. However, he gets easily stressed when he has a mountain of extra reading material to work through. The reading list for this curriculum is manageable, but thorough.
The manipulatives are individually packaged by unit and by lesson number, which makes me deliriously happy. I am NOT a big fan of science programs that require me to go hunting all over the house for random bits and bobs. With Moving Beyond The Page, I received everything I need all in one box. I definitely appreciate the folks at MBTP doing all the gathering-of-things for me!
One thing I particularly like about this curriculum is that the units can be worked through in any order. While they do technically have an order (Semester One, Unit One is Atoms, for instance) – there is total freedom to work the units in whatever order you think is best. This will allow my 8th grade son to have some freedom and choice over which topics he wants to study and I am reassured that over the course of the year all of the necessary topics will be completed.
The Pros & Cons of Moving Beyond The Page
As with any curriculum, there are upsides and downsides. Not every resource that works for me or my family will be guaranteed to work for the next family.
Here are the pros/cons of the Age 12-14 Full Year Science Package from Moving Beyond The Page:
- Science content is solid AND secular
- Everything you need comes in the box
- Units are individually bound
- Units can be completed in any order
- The activities vary, and are easy to implement
- All of the materials for science demonstrations comes individually packaged and labelled for specific activities/lessons
- The learning is multi sensory and hands-on
- Book list is not overwhelming, but still thorough
- Available as a complete curriculum, individual subjects, OR individual units so you are not stuck to one boxed grade level
- Not leveled by grade but instead by age range
- Price point is high, especially for those of us who are not located in the United States
- The pages can be busy for some students
- For 12-14 year old students, I would like to see more ‘writing to the student’ and less reliance on everything being contained in the teacher’s guide
- Student pages are consumable and located in the main unit book, it would be awesome to instead have a separate student book
- The design of the student pages and unit guides are ‘dated’ and could use an update (but this is just more of a personal pickiness, and doesn’t affect the actual content)
While there are a few things I’d prefer to see done differently, overall this box of science goodies is going to do the job for us this year. It covers the topics we wanted to cover, it’s not limiting in terms of content or activities, it’s secular, and it’s open and go.
I’m really looking forward to digging in to this curriculum, and will definitely keep you all posted as we work through it – so look for more posts later in the school year!