Moving Beyond the Page: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry & Civil Rights {TOS review}


We reviewed the Moving Beyond the Page online language arts package study Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and the physical social studies package study Civil Rights.

Moving Beyond the Page (MBTP) is a unit study-based curriculum that offers a unique literature experience for a student. Curriculum for a full year of study includes language arts, science and social studies with suggestions for math curriculum. It was created specifically for the gifted learner, which doesn’t necessarily mean your child must be gifted to use the curriculum, but rather suggests that your child may be challenged by the material. That is a good thing.

Gifted kids need to be challenged to think at higher levels. MBTP encourages kids to move beyond the facts and into higher levels of thinking.” ~ Moving Beyond the Page

The authors are all college-educated and homeschool moms, so they know the audience for which they are writing, which is homeschooled children ages four to 14 years-old.

The material is broken up into different age groups to accommodate the different learning levels of students: ages four to five; five to seven; six to eight; seven to nine; eight to 10; nine to 11; 10 to 12; 11 to 13; and 12 to 14.

Moving Beyond the Page creates a comprehensive learning experience where all of those subjects are combined showing how learning intersects across subjects and is not just a bunch of different subjects that work independently.

We were given the opportunity to review the online language arts study for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and the physical social studies Civil Rights.

The online study version of Roll of thunder, Hear My Cry study comes with a physical copy of the book. If you already own or have access to the book, then you may just purchase the online curriculum minus the book.


The physical study version of Civil Rights comes with physical copies of Civil Rights by Kathryn Walbert, Ph.D.; If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King by Ellen Levine; and Nobody Gonna Turn Me ‘Round: Stories and Songs of the Civil Rights Movement by Doreen Rappaport.

There are prerequisites for both units:

• Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 6th or 7th grade reading level
• Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
• Familiar with the five paragraph essay
• Usually used by children in the fifth or sixth grade

The prerequisites are not meant to dictate, but rather to provide a guide as to the competency level of the student who completes the unit. I found that helpful and I also like that the units cross close to ages (ex: six, seven and eight and seven, eight and nine) rather than six to seven and eight to nine. Because of that, there are a lot of selections from which to choose. That also enables you to use the curriculum with children in varying grades and levels (ex: elementary and middle schools).

Each child must have his own physical workbook, but if you purchase the online version, then you may print as many copies of the worksheets as needed for use by your family.

All of the units from MBTP may be purchased and used separately, but MBTP has written most of their material to compliment each other.

mbtp02If you’re at all familiar with Mildred D. Taylor’s novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, then you know that there are some heavy topics covered in the story like racism, discrimination and other tough issues. Many of these topics are ones I would like to push aside, but know at sometime, they will have to be addressed.

River is 12 and Lily is 10, with them falling right in the target age of the program. After perusing the MBTP website, you will see that there are many selections from which to choose. if you need direction, then refer to this helpful chart to better assist you in deciding where your child should begin.

The Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry unit has 11 lessons, a reading and materials list, student activity pages, a writing and grammar guide for the student to refer to, how to use guide, review sheet and a list of skills the student will be presented with in the Moving Beyond the Page language arts curriculum. There is also a unit test and final project included in the unit.

The online unit can be used independently by the student, who may access the units online or print the material according to use. The student may write answers on paper or enter their answers online. I chose to work with them on this unit, because of the subject. I read the book to River and Lily, so that we could discuss the content.

I like the attention to writing that MBTP presents. For some, I believe the amount of writing that is required may be intense, especially if you have a child who is not a fan of writing. Both River and Lily (Lily more) were fine with the amount of writing You may always adjust the amount of writing you require from your child, but I think to really benefit from the curriculum, that you should encourage your child to work through the writing assignments. They cover a wide range of writing exercises/topics. After all, it is language arts.

MBTP also introduces the student to editing symbols. The units also include vocabulary words that the student will come across in the book they are studying.

The Civil Rights unit has nine lessons, vocabulary words and activities for the student to complete. There is also a final project included in the unit.

We used MBTP five days a week. Each lesson is organized where all you or your student has to do is follow the directions. We followed a schedule like this for each lesson in language arts:

Monday – Read the “Ideas to Think About” and “Things to Know” sections, the chapter and answer thembtp03 questions.
Tuesday – Choose and complete an activity.
Wednesday – Choose a second activity and wrapped up with the conclusion.

We followed a schedule like this for each lesson in social studies (an additional book was need and we also covered together):

Tuesday – Read the “Getting Started,” completed the readings and answered the questions.
Wednesday – Choose and complete an activity.
Thursday – Choose a second activity and wrapped up with the conclusion.
Friday – Complete another activity if preferred and review the lessons.

Yes, there is a lot of writing and for this study, because of the subject, I didn’t want to leave anything not completed. We’re probably taking longer than usually required on this study.

I really love how Moving Beyond the Page takes a regular book reading experience and enhances it with the activities and writing assignments. In the past, I haven’t had the patience to do more than just read through a book. Sometimes, one just wants to read and enjoy without having to do all of the extras.

As my children are getting older, I see the benefits of going a little bit deeper (moving beyond the page) in a book to see it as more than a words on a page that make up a story. I will be using this type of study with my youngest this fall as he enters the second grade. Covering a book in this manner isn’t necessary for every book they read, but taking the time with some of their assigned school books this year will make a difference. MBTP takes a book from a silent read and gives it an opportunity to be more than just a book.

The beauty of the curriculum (unit studies) is that you get to see how different subjects work together.

I appreciate unit studies, but have yet to really get a rhythm to include them in our school. You don’t have to be a lover of unit studies to use the curriculum. MBTP offers individual studies, so if you want to learn about Although we are not a unit study kind of family, I love the exercises in the literature studies. I love writing and the amount of writing that is included in the As a writer, they had never heard of Moving Beyond the Page and am glad that I was finally introduced to the curriculum. Although, I will probably not use it as a full curriculum, I will definitely take advantage of it by using the literature units and individual studies on topics, because I found the state government study very helpful.

You may see the goals of the ages 10 to 12 curriculum, samples of the curriculum and how to get started with the curriculum.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry online curriculum is available for $20.92 and Civil Rights physical is available for $33.97.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

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