9-11 A house of Tailors ( Immigration)

We are still playing catch up with 9-11 MBTP but are enjoying it big time. This is another Unit she has once again been looking forward to and so have I honestly. The books included with this lesson are incredible.

As a photographer myself, old photographs always enthrall me. Like I said, I enjoyed this unit a lot myself. The first two books go with the social study unit Immigration.

And we also added

And of course this is the main book for the literature unit.

There are also some great video’s suitable for this age range. I added a few to the list.

During one of the lessons you will also visit and tour the Ellis Island museum. Isn’t it amazing what we can do with technology nowadays ? The links are provided in the curriculum.

And you will also get a glimpse of how immigrants lived in the tenements.
So much good stuff on these websites alone.

I sure wish we could take a trip to NY right now and see some of these historic sites, luckily this fun family has taken many trips for us and its always fun watching and exploring with them. If you have amazon prime you can watch this episode for free ( you might find it on youtube as well)

There are also some big writing assignments in this unit and be ready to put aside some time for the the artsy projects, like making a hat pattern and making a quilt at the end of the story !

We ended the unit with an amazing final project, a story quilt about the house of tailors !!



The Cay and Living Seas 9-11 MBTP

These two units (9-11) have been challenging and fun at the same time ( mainly challegning for me because of all the extra time with experiments rofl ). Since I had read a few reviews about the Cay ahead of time, I had decided  to read the novel before my daughter would start it. I had never read it before until now, but thought this story was really great and I’m excited to read it together and share it now with my daughter. I think even though it qualifies as a classic already, it is a book that even in today’s time  would be so valuable to read.

Here is a great little slideshow with some great general info about the book and story line

The story takes place during the beginning of World War II. This lesson only gives a brief introduction into world war II since it will be covered in great detail in level 10-11. There will be a few activities about this and we struggled finding some good material to get a brief introduction, and I wished MBTP would have added a short book to this Unit. Even though my daughter is somewhat familiar with the outlines of the war, a nice overview would have been made things a little easier. This is a subject that has such depth it is hard to just google something without spending days reading. Of course there is always idea share and many of our awesome ” Movingbeyondthepage groups” where many moms have some great links ready to send to you.

For example, this one . ( if it is stuck on the whole playlist, skip ahead to #15 thats about WWII)

Exploring Curacao and the carribean islands was a much more pleasant subject. This was incredible fun, we visited many websites and also got help from our friends ” Travelkids” as they visited the island. I swear they have been to some of the coolest places.

We also enjoyed studying the island art.



In Lesson 2 we explored Curacao even deeper and I found a great website to learn more about import- export, detailed about Curacao ( and many other countries).


More pins related to 9-11 here https://www.pinterest.com/bookwormfamily/moving-beyond-the-page-9-11/

In the literature unit you will work and review some grammar, subject/ verb agreements, comma usage, prepositions and learn to work with different transitions for sentences. I’m glad these came up in this unit, since we have been struggling a little with some of these (transitions for sentence beginning especially).  I always like the mix MBTP offers, a little Grammar here, some science there, it never feels so overwhelming or boring.

We also spent a lot of time studying sharks ! And coral reefs… We still have a great list of movies to watch that are currently on Amazon Prime !


The book provided through MBTP about coral reefs is also a pretty good pick and gives a deep understanding about the ocean world. She had no trouble explaining me everything afterwards, lol.

We finished today with a super fun experiment from the Ocean’s life Science book ( which I have just seen has been replaced to a different one recently 😦 . I hope the experiment is in there as well, it was so simple and worked so well !!

( the experiment is #18 on the playlist , sorry sometimes the links give me trouble and it just adds the whole playlist 😉 )



Here are a few more examples from this Unit. Please don’t mind the few spelling mistakes on her paper 😉 We try not to nitpick around her too much 😉


Hope you enjoyed out glimpse into the Cay and ocean life 🙂



Questions and answers for using Moving beyond the page



We have been using MBTP for quite some time now ( we did all of of 5-7, working on 6-8, some of 7-9, all of 8-10, and working on 9-11 with my oldest) and I often find myself answering a lot of questions and helping people with choosing if the curriculum is right for them. In the end I tell most people, unless you try it, you will probably not find out. But there are a few things to consider in making the first steps of figuring out if the curriculum is worth considering.  Now is a good time to consider buying a test unit. The spring fling will be happening more than likely in early spring time again and maybe, just maybe you have might up your mind by then if you want to order a whole year set and will be able to take advantage of the 10%. We would greatly appreciate if you order through our blog , it will not cost you anything extra, you are only helping another homeschool family out continuing our adventure of learning.

  • What is a literature based curriculum ?

A literature-based curriculum uses mainly “living books”. Books that are fun, engage your child in a real story instead of a textbook. You might find that you already own a lot of these books, a lot of classics are included in the wonderful selection for each level as well as many fun, historical fiction books.

(Historical fiction tells a story that is set in the past. That setting is usually real and drawn from history, and often contains actual historical persons, but the principal characters tend to be fictional. Writers of stories in this genre, while penning fiction, attempt to capture the manners and social conditions of the persons or time(s) presented in the story, with due attention paid to period detail and fidelity.)
My kids are bookworms and have been independent readers from early on, so this curriculum fits our needs very well and we have truly enjoyed just about every book. After all it is still a box curriculum though. A box curriculum is designed for many, many children all at the same time. It will not suit everybody and just because it is right for us does not mean it will be right for you.

You can find more about what  a literature based curriculum is here.


  • My child is still a slow reader ? Will this mean this curriculum will be a bad fit for us ?

Not at all. In the younger levels most often you are still encouraged to read the books with your child. Read aloud, talk and answer questions about the book together, simply share time together while learning. This way you also encourage and teach your child to study independently in the later levels, starting 9-11 the curriculum is directly addressed towards the student. Some parents still choose to read aloud during many of the later studies just because it is fun and builds a great connection between you and your children,it works wonderfully too, when you have multiple children doing the same level.

  • The daily lesson plan seems too much ! How can we make this work with all our extra activities ?

Even though Moving beyond the page offers a lesson plan for the whole year level I have talked to many people that just feel overwhelmed by it and have to tweak it. When I first opened the curriculum books, i felt overwhelmed myself and it took me a little while to make it right for us.  I have found that with most “box curriculum” you have to tweak it a little here or there, after all it was ” mass designed ” by someone else for many other people. I now plan once a week, read through the next 5-6 lessons ahead and see what activities seem right for us, and which we might just skip.  I have found that MBTP offers a good variety of different activities in each lesson, but not each one is a must and there is sometimes a bit too much repetition for us.

Then there is another way. You simply do not have to choose the whole years worth. The curriculum works well as a supplemental curriculum, or simply unit studies. You could easily pick and choose a few units ( even let your children pick) and just do those. Remember the beauty of homeschooling is that you can pick and choose. You can make it right for your family. Every one is different so there is never a one fits all solution.

  • Can I do levels with multiple, different aged children ?

Absolutely. Each level has a suggested age range, like 6-8, 8-10 and so on. Most often kids  will fit into the suggested  level. Reading can easily be done together in a group and many activities are enagging and fun for younger kids as well.  Most often if you follow the guided age suggestion and possibly do the placement test you will figure out if it will work .
Also many activities in the lessons have options. You can make it easier or harder. You can have your younger child work on an easier version than your older one, but they will still both have the benefit of learning from each other.

  • I see a lot writing activities , worksheets and worry my child will not enjoy it ?

It all depends on you and how you will use the curriculum. Each lesson has a wide option of activities, some that might just be suggestions or little task for your area, like go outside to the park and find different types of habitats. Another day the activity will encourage you to go to the zoo, or go interview somebody in the community. Then there will be “worksheets” that go  along with the subjects, but they are often different than your average worksheets. They often require a little talk, additional discussion and inspiration to get your child started.  Also you will train your child towards independent research online. Many of these things were a big change for us at the beginning of homeschooling in general  (especially for my child that spend two years in public school) , but over time and a bit of guidance she learnt to work more fluently and independent on her own.

During some units you will come upon some really big activities (go to the Zoo, go to the beach, go to the museum )  that might just require a day of ” vacation”. Often this might not fit into your schedule at all, but it has opened us up to do more ” fun stuff” in general and we try to just make time. Some activities seemed ordinary at first and I thought about skipping them, but then when I thought about it a bit more I found that we so often do not pay attention to the little things and this activity will actually , really let us focus on THAT particular thing we are trying to learn, like going to the zoo and just watch one certain type of animals or even try to arrange a meeting with a zookeeper and have a long discussion.
Back in Texas we went to the Zoo every few months ,going to just see the birds for example seemed “ordinary” but how often do we end up at the zoo, try to do it all and are not able to give each animal its special attention ? How often do you go and really just watch the “hawks” for 30 minutes and try to study just them  ?

Sometimes there will be activities when you  are supposed to literally “interview” people. I am a shy person myself and honestly  often would just rather avoid conversation with strangers. These activities have gotten us out of our little bubble. They have brought us closer to our community and let my children even be in charge. We have not always been able to interview people for every subject suggested of course, but so often once we thought about finding the right person we were surprised who we found that could participate and have great information.  For example, when my little one asked one of our librarians back in Texas what he did in his job, if he enjoyed , what made him become a librarian etc…. She had the biggest and proudest smile on her face and still often talks about this little activity.

When we don’t find a matching person, there are always options. There are many books that describe people with different jobs, cultural backgrounds or experiences. Sometimes we even get lucky and find a great video on YouTube about it.

There are many ways you can make the curriculum flexible and very hands on.

  • My child is still struggling with writing in general. Can we make it work ?

Many studies show that especially for younger children, narrating and dictation are great tools for learning. If your child struggles at the beginning to form her own stories try to come up with ideas on how to make it easier. We use a white board or chalk board and often brain storm. Some activities in the younger levels only require a few words, while others might encourage your child to come up with a whole story. When we struggle with ideas we grab our pencils and colors and just try to make the lesson fun.


If you are ever curious about the curriculum, feel free to write me or the company itself, directly. I am only an affiliate with them and do not work  for them and do not necessarily earn much for anything I write about the curriculum, unless you click on the little links and actually order something.  But we have honestly enjoyed most of our time with it and I feel good about sharing our adventure and telling others about the curriculum itself. Everyone is different though and just like homeschooling itself, not everyone will like it. In the end you know your child and family best and can make the decision. I am only another homeschool mom, sharing our time of learning and living. If you are a little more curious about trying it, you can always order a test unit, try it and see if this will work out at all, instead of spending your money on a whole year level !

So long and as always, 

Happy Homeschooling



Making a dream catcher MBTP Unit 3 (9 to 11)



We are so excited for this unit to start. I stopped at our local book store to see if they had any other books that would fit this unit. Since we are still fairly new to this place, it was only our second visit. But on our first I swore I had seen that red book and was so upset I nearly missed my chance getting it.

Luckily after asking the lady at the counter, she looked it up and they still had a copy. It was a bit pricier than i expected but supporting the local store with a local book, just seemed right. I love small book stores, and could imagine the girls growing up here and this being their favorite place. One of those stores and places where they know your name, your favorite authors and must reads.

So, we just started with Lesson 2 and are working on our dream catcher from the 9-11 Level.

The Kit is a small one,  I wish MBTP would sometimes spend a little bit more money on better kits. ( or I wish i’d take time to just research those before and order my own) both obviously has it’s benefits. With getting the KIT you get everything and hardly have to buy anything in between for the projects. Less time preparing and planning. At least with this you get a neat introduction and if they really enjoy an activity you can decide to spend more time and money on a project and do it again, or maybe in a group with friends. Great co-op idea…

Anyways, at first making the web seemed really confusing to her, but then we found this great little tutorial and she was able to make the whole web on her own. She even added the beads in the middle.  In the end I was surprised how cute it actually turned out and once we were into it, we could have made a dozen 😉



The View from Saturday Level 9 to 11 Concept 1 Unit 2

We just finished the second unit of the 9-11 unit with MBTP  “The view from Saturday”. Most times I quickly research the book before we start a new unit or I just happen to know it ahead of time. There are many great sites out there that give you a good idea what the book is about.
For example https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/the-view-from-saturday is always a great place to start, although I do not always agree with their opinion.

http://www.sparknotes.com/ is another good one but they do not have a wide range of books.

Also http://www.shmoop.com/ might be of help for quick research.

The easiest way to research a book quickly is of course to just read some reviews on Amazon.

A big goal of mine  this year is to read all the books together again or, which works better with the 9-11 level, to read them ahead of time by myself.  A great goal for working together  and also a great addition to my personal reading challenge of at least 50 books for the year.

I must say I was a little confused about the book at first but my confusion quickly turned into curiosity. What probably makes the book hard to read ,and maybe this is the reason it isn’t liked as much by some students ,is that it is written out of the perspective of different people, the actual main characters. Once you figure that out, or better your child figures that out, the story is not as hard to follow as it first seems.  I am glad I read the story ahead of time though as I now know the story plot and it is so much easier to  guide  her through the book.

The added turtle research was a lot of fun. I googled for a few extra pictures, videos and fun facts. Unfortunately our small library did not have many books about Loggerhead turtles but maybe you get lucky and find some of these.

Far, far out at sea lives one of the world’s most mysterious creatures, the loggerhead turtle. For thirty years she swims the oceans, wandering thousands of miles as she searches for food. Then, one summer night, she lands on a beach to lay her eggs — the very same beach where she herself was born. Nicola Davies’s lyrical text offers fascinating information about the journey of the tiny, endangered loggerhead, while charming paintings by Jane Chapman vividly illustrate one turtle’s odyssey.

If you are really looking for more info about sea turtles, this will be a great addition. I know Moving beyond the page will cover ocean life etc a bit more later on, but I am not sure how much it will cover about turtles.

This series is also wonderful for younger kids, but provides quick info even for the older ones that don’t want to read 100 pages 😉


Of course the turtles are just a side study in this unit, but it is a fun one and the wonderful thing with Moving beyond the page is that you can stop and hang out at this subject for a bit, if your kids are super interested in it.



Another completely different subject the book mentions is Calligraphy. One of the main characters learns how to write and use a calligraphy ink pen and naturally one of the activities was to try out the same. Now there are tons of different calligraphy sets out there from cheap to expensive. I did some  calligraphy as a child myself, i remember going to the local office/ art store and they had all the calligraphy nibs in a large set up and you could buy each one individually. So fun. They are a little harder to come by now but I did get lucky at our local MICHAELS and we purchased this Calligraphy
set. At home she could not wait to try it out. Of course I really should have bought some proper paper. I forgot how messy it can be and how much ink can leak through the other pages in a book or notepad. Oh well. It was fun and got me inspired to try it out as well again.



Overall this unit was once again tons of fun. Our final project ” the tea party ” has not been able to take place yet, since we really wanted to bake some lovely scones to go along with our tea and our oven has been broken for nearly two weeks now.. so it will have to wait.

Anyways, hope this review of the unit has been of help.

Happy homeschooling !




9 to 11 Moving beyond the page addtional resources

These cards are a  wonderful addition for the units of 9 to 11 for Moving beyond the page.

These are cute cards with great info about figurative language which comes up quite often throughout MBTP 9-111. It was very helpful for the Poems unit, view from Saturday and as I am getting a quick look for the Tall Tales study ahead, it will be of use for it as well.

I printed these out black and white, let her color them and then laminated them. They turned out to be wonderful as bookmarks which my daughters uses very frequently. Download for free here at teachespayteachers.







|Book list| 50 STATES CONCEPT 1 UNIT 1 9-11

For every Unit with MBTP we check out additional books from the library. Now that we are in a new place it has taken me a little while to get used to the new library etc, but we are starting to finally get along 😉

I miss our big, used book stores, but luckily Amazon and abebooks is always available.. So hunting for new books, we discovered a new series of books through this lesson. I honestly have no clue, how we have never discovered this series before, but maybe we have and I have forgotten 😉  and i just never realized how awesome these were… it happens.

Anyways. With the Unit you will mainly be working with Smart About the Fifty States . Really a fantastic book, easy to understand, read and work with. It answered most of her questions without having to do much extra research, but of course we like to dig a little deeper. Here are just some of the books we checked out in between. I think we had one of the short study books for each state in between, but i have forgotten to take pictures in between.


National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Fifty States is quite a bit older but the information in the book was really good so I agreed to carry the heavy book home. The maps were very detailed, the pictures a bit outdated but overall an awesome book to work with and I am thinking of putting it on the buy as a used book list 😉
There is another newer version out, but im not sure it is as good. But you can decide. Sometimes the older versions are great and so much cheaper.
National Geographic Our Fifty States

What I really wanted to order along with this unit, and had totally forgotten about, was this fun coloring book. I really need to look and work ahead again to have things more ready. This move .. i tell you.. Maybe for the next kiddo. Or an extra fun later one for us.
United States Coloring Book (Dover History Coloring Book)

L Is for Last Frontier: An Alaska Alphabet (Discover America State by State)Now this is the series I was talking about at the beginning. The ” alphabet books”. Wow. We worked with the poetry book that goes along with this unit and absolutely loved it. Then we discovered all the other books in the series. There is one for every state, every country, all kinds of amazing subjects, animals, weather, money, you name it… Some of them have so much information that even my 9 year old can’t read it in one chunk to comprehend it all at once. But all the ones we have read so far, were simply so much fun to read and also very beautiful to look at, so that my younger one caught interest as well. Needless to say we added a couple of these to the wishlist for Christmas. ( I will try to post other favorites in another post ).

Here are a few more of the other states…

L is for Lonestar

B Is for Beaver : An Oregon Alphabet (Alphabet Series)

E is for Evergreen: A Washington State Alphabet (Discover America State by State)

P is for Potato: An Idaho Alphabet (Discover America State by State)

B Is For Bluegrass: A Kentucky Alphabet (Discover America State by State)

Okay so I’m sure you get the idea about the alphabet series.

When we moved to Oregon, Grandma had also sent us this little fun book.O Is for Oregon: Written by Kids for Kids (See My State)

It’s basically the same idea, the alphabet, but a lot simpler. So maybe a fun book for the younger kids to go along with the study if you are trying to teach multiple through the unit. It’s a beautiful book, and I love that it was written by kids for kids. Again they have these for almost every state.

Another treasure from National geographic was National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas: Maps, Games, Activities, and More for Hours of Backseat Fun.We had pruchsed this book before our big roadtrip and it is a fun book to look into for a little inspiration and just quick, fun facts. It doesn’t give you a lot of details, and I was a little dispaointed about the actualy activities it offers, nevertheless for the price this book is great and my daughter has spent hours reading it.

Now if you really want to spend even more time on each state , then I would recommend the Heinemann Study books.
I saw these first in Texas (online) and was always hesitant to order one and no one was able to tell me more. Now i actually found one about California in a used bookstore here and these are pretty awesome. They have quite a few about each state, about the history, plant life, animals, culutre etc… You may not find them all through amazon but will have to check abebooks for maybe older versions as well. Or you might just get lucky to find them in your library.
Texas Plants and Animals (State Studies: Texas)

I think the list of books could be endless for this subject, and honestly I am looking forward to finishing this unit up.  My daughter is still spending lots of time finishing up her big, detailed map and I would have never thought she would enjoy this unit as much as she has, but of course I am thrilled and happy when she enjoys learning. I will update the post with her map soon.






50 states Concept 1 Unit 1 9-11

With the move and everything else that has been going on we are still only in concept 1 9-11 MBTP  . We are nearing the end of Unit 1, the 50 states. It was one of the units she looked really forward to, and with all the recent traveling it really was very enjoyable. I had many people tell me, there were better ways to study the 50 states and I can’t disagree that there are about a million cool ways you can learn about them (traveling probably thee best anyways ) but for bookworms like us, this way was pretty fun, too.

The book Smart About the Fifty States (Smart About History) is used throughout the unit. It is made like a class report and every student reports about a few states or one specific region. So it really feels like reading a class report and like the book was written by kids, which again makes it easy to understand for kids. She was able to pick out information easily and gather facts quickly.
Since we had purchased the complete 9-11 curriculum we also received a a super fun game , the Scrambled States card game. It is such a fun game that we have played it over and over again and  I loved that it was so easy to understand that little sister was even able to join us.  We had some fun family game nights and I am sure this game will be played many more times.

With starting 9-11 we also hit a major milestone and a big change with MBTP. Now we are working with the independent student books, which means all the lessons are completely directed towards the child. No more, tell your child to do this, or that. On the one  part, super cool…. On the other, a lot to get used to !  Luckily ( so far, at least ) this seems to work out well, and she is very happy to work on her own. I am not sure how it will work with the later units, but of course if needed there is always the parent book in the back to refer to. So far, I love that I can send her off with her studies, and she will work through the activities and check mark them when finished.  Both kiddos have also just recently gotten their own laptops so now all the individual research projects are easily taken care off.

Since we are quite a bit behind I feel like we need to skip a little here and there, but since she is in charge, she also gets a bit more to say on what to skip and what not. This was something I really kind of wanted to skip, but after she saw the word cookie and decorating this battle was over and I just agreed to make the cookie for the western US states 😉 What the heck.. it’s Christmas time anyways and I pretty much had the baking stuff still out from the day before. I made a double batch and we had plenty of cookie dough left to make Christmas cookie’s with cookie cutters and little sister was super happy about decorating cookies as well !

Here is a super simple sugar cookie recipe that will work. We simply cut out the state map provided with MBTP and copied it on parchment paper, rolled out the dough and cut it out on the dough. Since it’s a rather large piece we made sure not to roll it out too thin, adjusted the baking time a little and stuck the cookie in the oven. We decorated with food coloring, sprinkles and chocolate chips 🙂

Total Time:
2 hr 25 min
2 hr 15 min
10 min

Yield:approximately 36 2-inch cookie
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (or 1 stick) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 -1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Salt to taste
To decorate: 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
In an electric mixer cream the butter with the brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time, mix well. Sift together the flour and salt, add it to the wet ingredients beating until just incorporated. Place the dough in a 1 gallon size plastic bag. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured board roll the dough to approximately 1/4 inch thick. Remove rolled dough to a lightly floured board and using any shape cookie cutter cut the dough into shapes. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 10 minutes (depending on the size of the cookies). Remove to a rack and cool before decorating. Place the rack with the cookies over another pan to catch the excess chocolate. Put the chocolate in a quart size plastic bag. Place the bag with the chocolate in a saucepan with hot water. Allow the chocolate to melt, squeezing the bag to mix occasionally. Snip one of the corners off and drizzle chocolate over the cookies. Allow chocolate to set before serving.

So much for now, I will post some fun stuff about the Poetry Unit that we are also currently working on, soon !