“It was a dark and stormy night”. That’s the beginning to one of my favorite books of all time. I first read A Wrinkle in Time when I was in the 5th grade, and I have read it many times ever since. I used it in my classroom, and in my homeschool. So I was really excited to find out that I was going to get to review this unit for Moving Beyond the Page. It was so much fun! These units are designed for ages 9-11, but even though my son is 12 they suited him perfectly.
I was looking forward to sharing the story of Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace with my 6th grade son. So when we got our stuff, we logged in and started. The literature unit is internet based. When you log in, you gain access to PDF’s with worksheets, questions, and activity pages. The How to Use Moving Beyond the Page section includes a helpful video and explains how the concepts in each unit are connected. For the Wrinkle in Time unit, we used a Space unit study that coordinated with the story very well.
I really like the way the student activities and worksheets are set up. There is a good mix of literature concepts, vocabulary, and even grammar. When you login, there is a menu at the top for all of the PDF files, making it easy for you to download and print whatever you need. My son is an independent reader, so I had him go through the lessons himself. Usually, I would preview each lesson with the parent overview option set to on. This gives you the answers to the questions and some teaching suggestions.
My son was able to read the lessons easily. They begin with an intro and some ideas to think about that apply to each chapter. He was then assigned to read the chapter, and answer some questions. You can print the questions out if you want. This was followed by some activities. In some cases, I printed out a worksheet for him to do. These were good graphic organizers that focused on story elements, characterization, vocabulary, etc. The directions for all of the activities are very clear, and I really appreciated the vocabulary work. My son struggles in this area, and the practice of breaking words down into their individual parts is an important skill for him to learn.
The lessons include a weekly spelling worksheet, and a suggestion for how to do spelling activities. The units are designed to be completed in around three weeks. I will be honest, we went a little slower. While my son is reading independently, he still does not enjoy reading, so I tend to break things down into smaller chunks for him. The unit ends with a fun final project. In this case, it was using what my son had learned to create his own science fiction story.
The Space science unit can be used completely on its own, but it makes a great tie in for A Wrinkle in Time. For the science unit, we got a hard copy. It is set up in the same way as the online literature unit. It includes a list of necessary materials, and came with the book Leap Into Space. I have to say, the bright, colorful book was great. It didn’t have too much text on one page, and is loaded with information and experiments.
Since he was already familiar with the setup for the units, it was easy for my son to dive into these lessons. The Getting Started section is written directly to the student, and gives them some basic information about what they are going to be studying. There is a reading assignment followed by questions and activities. Many of the activities were easy to complete, with stuff you already have lying around the house. We made an ellipse with some cardboard, thumbtacks, a ruler, and some string. The activities are broken into days, and some have multiple options for ways to complete the projects. These activities were a lot of fun for my hands on boy!The final project was a “space tour” that included taking a quiz, and writing a tour guide script for each planet. We had a lot of fun with this, and my son even used his legos and other toys to set up his own “tour site”.
I think either of these units would be a great addition to your homeschool, but if you really want your child to get into it, do them concurrently. If you have a child that doesn’t enjoy reading so much, but loves science, studying the Space unit with A Wrinkle in Time may help them get hooked on the story. You could also read the book aloud to your child, and just have them complete the activities on their own if you wanted to. A hard copy of the Wrinkle in Time unit costs $23.98 and includes the guide and a copy of the novel. The online version costs $19.92 and gives you online access to the guide and you still receive a copy of the book. Both the online and hard copy versions include parent overviews with notes and answers.
The Space unit costs $29.98 for the hard copy, which includes the guide and the Leap into Space book, and $25.92 for the online package. If you enjoy unit studies, I would highly suggest you check these out. They are well worth the cost!