Thanks to Moving Beyond The Page, The Whipping Boy was one of the first books that my son got to add to his summer reading list.
There is much more to this curriculum than I realized when I first looked through the website. We reviewed both the online version and the printed version of their units. We have used unit studies before, but never quite like this. I enjoyed both reading the book with my son and the in depth discussions that resulted from the lessons.
|one of the websites about castles|
My son chose the book The Whipping Boy which we received as an online study (he received the physical book and the online curriculum guide available for $18.92.) Links to interesting websites (most of which we had never heard of before) were embedded into the program to continue the student's understanding of the concepts from the book. The Whipping Boy was set in Medieval Times; lessons about that time period included differences in their government and our democracy, recipes from that period, knights and castles, and more. Each lesson/unit is designed to be completed in 1-2 days.
Though classified as a language arts package on the website, art, science, grammar, and history were also incorporated into the units. Activities about relationships (one option was role play) made him think deeply about servants and the ruling class. Printables are also included for spelling and vocabulary practice.
"Because of this integrated approach, your child will become adept at transferring knowledge from one field to another and understand how fields of study are interrelated."
My son has recently discovered how much he enjoys reading comics. One activity had him make his own comic strip type illustrations based on medieval times.
Materials needed for the extra activities are listed for easy reference such as the page below specific to The Whipping Boy:
My 13 year old daughter's choice from Moving Beyond the Page covered the same time in history, but on a different level. She received the physical package which included the spiral bound curriculum guide as well as the book Great Medieval Projects You Can Build Yourself ($32.94). She also learned about castles, such as the fact that instead of glamorous rooms we may associate with them, their purpose was actually safety. The Middle Ages lesson was classified as a Social Studies unit.
Units are organized by grade and by subject. This one was designed for 11-13 year olds.
One of the activities that my daughter enjoyed was designing the miniature tapestry. The hands on activities kept both of my kids interest. Explanations of medieval feasts with plates made of stale bread and no utensils also took away the glamour of the time period. The book further shared that 6,000 people might be fed at a feast with such meats as swans, seals, or peacocks.
One project in Great Medieval Projects You Can Build Yourself that we haven't completed yet but I know will be fun for all of my kids is the marshmallow cannon.
Though we reviewed two individual units, Moving Beyond the Page is designed to be used as a comprehensive curriculum with the addition of one of their recommended math programs.