• The new 2021 BookShark Science was designed with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in mind. But why would a homeschool curriculum care about outside standards at all?

    Isn’t the BookShark way of reading great books and doing hands-on exploration enough when it comes to learning science? Yes!

    Aren’t homeschoolers allowed to do school their own way, at their own pace, without worrying about adhering to a strict outline of what should be covered year by year? Absolutely!

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  • Four Reasons to Keep Homeschooling Even After Schools ReopenWhile some of us have known the benefits of learning at home long before Covid19, many people, maybe even you, are unexpectedly homeschooling and unexpectedly loving it. Just the other day, while talking with one of my cousins on Zoom, he told me when I left teaching to homeschool he thought I was crazy. Smiling into the camera, he shook his head and said, “Now I know you were brilliant. This is awesome!”

    More and more, I’m hearing friends and family, who once “could never homeschool” or “would never want to homeschool” change their minds. They are experiencing the many gifts homeschooling offers and now considering homeschooling an option.

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  • You’ve been forced to do school at home because of the pandemic and it’s been a year full of problems and frustration. Is pandemic schooling an accurate picture of homeschooling? Discover why homeschooling is easier, and more rewarding, than pandemic schooling!

    “Wow, this past year has been crazy.” You’ve probably heard that sentiment over and over recently, and we all know it’s an understatement. Crazy, yes—as well as overwhelming, hard, stressful, painful, and unlike anything most of us have ever experienced.

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  • What You’ll Lose if You Stop Homeschooling After CovidYou homeschooled this past year. Thrown into an experience that wasn’t even on your radar, you did the best you could in a difficult situation when you chose to use BookShark’s literature-based curriculum instead of remote pandemic schooling.

    Once again you have a choice to make, and this one isn’t about making the best out of a bad situation. It’s about being proactive instead of reactive in how you will educate your children. It’s about choosing the best instead of the good for your children and your family. Consider what you’ll lose if you stop educating your children at home and envision the experience it can be.

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  • Is Homeschooling Always This Hard? Exactly Why the 2020-2021 School Year Was So ToughLet’s get on the same page right off the bat: Parenting is hard. And parenting during a pandemic was (is) incredibly hard. Covid-19 has made existing challenges ten times worse for everyone in nearly every avenue of life.

    Just like parenting, homeschooling isn’t easy. Parents commit to a job that requires sacrifice, attention, and time—all without a cent of compensation. Newbies had it way worse. Homeschooling during the 2020-2021 school year hasn’t been seamless for longtime homeschoolers. But we all admit that homeschooling was infinitely harder for first-time families who were thrown into this choice ...

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  • You Don’t Have to Do it All: How to Adjust Your Bookshark Curriculum I’ll admit it; the giant blue binder that came with my daughter’s BookShark Reading with History curriculum was a little overwhelming. I remember unboxing day. While my kid flipped through her new books, excited by all the stories she was going to read, I unwrapped a ream of paper—my Instructor’s Guide.

    Never having had success with a boxed curriculum before, I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical. I wanted a curriculum we could do together and enjoy, not one that required a ton of prep on my part. But BookShark felt different. The science curriculum and US Elections Lap Book we had already used were a hit with both my daughter and me, so . . . deep breath . . . I needed to give this history curriculum a chance. I’m so glad we did!

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  • Is Homeschooling Right for My Outgoing Child?There are a lot of things to consider when choosing what school will be best for your child. Factors like location, ratings, size, cost, and type are the first things we determine when narrowing down our choices of school. For us, we also looked at what environment would best foster a love of learning. She is in first grade now and started schooling at just 18 months old. She’s always been excited to go to school to learn and be with her classmates and teachers.

    Each year we re-evaluate how the school year went to see if she needs a change of environment. One year we were forced to make a change because of distance and her newborn baby sister. 

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  • Why Elementary Kids Need History & Science Alongside the 3RsOn social media or while talking to other homeschool moms, new homeschoolers often ask how much time they should expect their school days to take, or what subjects they should cover. Inevitably, some more experienced parents advise them to simply make sure they cover the basics of language arts and math, or tell them they don’t need to do school more than a few hours a morning during the elementary years.

    Although there’s nothing wrong with thinking through a schedule—what you will cover each day and how long it might take—there’s a danger when we seek the opinions of others who may not share our view of homeschooling. We can end up with a focus on doing the minimum required instead of nurturing the natural wonder and curiosity of childhood. 

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  • 3 Things Homeschoolers Need to UnlearnHomeschooling has been on the rise in the last few decades due firstly to the flexibility and freedom it provides and then lately because of a worldwide pandemic. Changing the setting of instruction from classroom to kitchen table doesn’t always change the methods of learning though.

    Whether due to societal pressures, status quo, insecurities, exhaustion, or just being unaware, there are still many obstacles to true freedom in homeschooling. These obstacles aren't the legal kind, the financial aspect, or even the question of who is qualified to teach their own children. (Spoiler: Everyone is qualified.) The obstacles that cause the most stumbles for homeschoolers are commonly centered on what homeschool parents need to unlearn.

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  • Great Books Deserve Great Projects: 7 Alternatives to Book ReportsDo you remember writing book reports as a kid? I do.

    Do you remember what books you wrote about? I don’t.

    Why is that?

    Let’s be perfectly honest: A book report is boring with a capital B. They are boring to write, and I can assure you from a teacher’s point of view, they are boring to read. It’s really a shame, too, because more often than not, the books are wonderful!

    Because a great book deserves a great project, we need alternatives to traditional book reports.

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