Why We Love BookShark’s Read-Alouds

a tween hugs a stack of readers and read-alouds

Why We Love BookShark’s Read-Alouds

My son is in fifth grade this year. He’s at that age where he’s growing up fast but he still loves to snuggle on the couch with his mom occasionally. One of the things he loves the most is reading together.

We have a long-standing tradition of reading a book together each night, usually one that has a movie coming out that we’d like to see.

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Why I Read Books That Make My Children Cry

two children sit on either side of a woman, holding an open book

Why I Read Books That Make My Children CryI'm a homeschool mom of a child living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I take every chance I can to share my love of books and reading with my children. Just like real life, books can be full of sorrow, heartbreak, and devastating tragedy. Some parents may shy away from reading books that make their children cry, but that is not the case for me.

So why do I read books that make my children cry?

If you have known me for any length of time, you know that I am a self-proclaimed book hoarder. My house is living proof that this proclamation is absolutely true. I have eight bookcases stuffed full of books.

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Sneaky Ways to Get Your Child to Read

a mom and daughter enjoy a book with flashlights under a blanket fort

Sneaky Ways to Get Your Child to ReadI think every homeschool mom has visions of children who love to read. Some people have those kids, and some have the opposite. There is a lot of advice out there about encouraging your child to read. Over the years of homeschooling, I’ve found some great ways to sneak in reading without them realizing it.

There are a number of reasons you might want to slip in some extra reading for your kiddo. Maybe they aren't doing enough recreational reading.

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Five Steps for Engaging Your Book-Loving But Reluctant Reader

Five Steps for Engaging Your Book-Loving But Reluctant Reader

If you homeschool a reluctant reader, you’ve probably discovered an undeniable truth: a variety of circumstances can lead to the frustration, and there’s no surefire, works-for-everyone fix.

While the conundrum is a tough situation, it grows more difficult when your reluctant reader loves books. How do you encourage a child who loves stories, but recoils at the thought of reading on her own? The key lies in engaging your book-loving, reluctant reader with four steps that bring literature to life.

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4 Ways to Raise a Reader

A shoe clad in a blue sneaker sits atop a stack of books

4 Ways to Raise a ReaderThere are many benefits of being a reader. Academically, children who are read to, and who love reading tend to have a higher vocabulary, better mental skills, and a longer attention span. Long term, being a reader decreases the chance of dementia, reduces stress, and enhances your analytical thinking skills.

What are some ways we can encourage reading in our children, so they can reap the rewards of being a reader? How do we raise a reader?

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4 Benefits of Reading Aloud to Your Children

a paperback sits open on a mom's lap

4 Benefits of Reading Aloud to Your ChildrenOne of the fondest memories I have of my childhood is my mom reading with me. We read books like Call of the Wild, Little House on the Prairie, and Misty of Chincoteague. Now as a homeschool mom, I am creating those same kinds of memories with my children. But reading aloud to our children provides so much more than memories. It provides long lasting benefits that can carry on throughout childhood and into adulthood.

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Is That Book Fluff or Quality? How to Tell

a stack of books sits on a stool

Is that book fluff or quality? How to tellWe are huge fans of the library and can hardly pass a bookstore without going in. But sometimes I run into issues about what kinds of books the children choose.

I am not a fan of fluffy books in which the characters talk about body fluids or boyfriends. And I have reservations about books with disrespectful characters.

I don’t want to stifle my children's desire to read, so I begin an internal dialogue: "Is reading a fluffy book better than reading nothing at all? If my children read fluff instead of higher quality books, will their education suffer?"

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Benefits of Book-Based Learning

open hardback books

Benefits of Book-Based Learning The weight of textbooks in our backpacks is often more memorable than the textbooks themselves. Not that they aren't chock full of information. On the other hand, books like the fiction and non-fiction literature that make up the BookShark curricula conjure up images, characters and narratives. Certain books are so meaningful and memorable that when recalling their stories, the characters feel more like real people who you knew in your life than constructed characters from lines of text.

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Why I Don't DEAR (Drop Everything and Read)

a girl with long hair and a red and white striped shirt leans around a tall stack of books

Teaching reading was my greatest fear as I contemplated homeschooling. Could I do it? What if I messed it up? What if I turned my kids off of reading forever?

Of course, teaching a child to read is not nearly as difficult as you may expect. And all of my children are proficient readers! What I've found over my years of interacting with my readers is that there is really only one element that is key to helping someone find success in reading — quality time with a mentor.

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