A photo of BookShark Homeschool Curriculum

BookShark Homeschool Curriculum

You chose to homeschool so you can have the family life you imagine—full of good books, interesting discussions, laughter, and inside jokes. You want a flexible lifestyle that lets you sleep to a reasonable hour, sneak in some me-time, and still have energy to get the kids to their clubs, rehearsals, and co-ops. 

BookShark’s 4-day, literature-rich curriculum allows for this lifestyle while giving your kids a top-notch education so they can accomplish their dreams. 

Use it as scheduled in the 36-week Instructor’s Guide, or do your own thing and skip around, enjoying the books and hands-on Science activities whenever and however you like! Learn more: download samples or request a catalog.

Six Simple Ways to Savor Nature Walks

muddy blue boots trudge through a muddy area outdoors

When you take a nature walk, you’re purposely slowing down, getting quiet, and taking time to look closely at whatever you see around you in nature. Besides looking, you are using your other senses to feel, smell, and hear what nature offers you. 

You can keep it simple by taking a walk around your neighborhood or heading to a local park to explore. If you’re feeling adventurous, go on a trip to a state park, nature preserve, or botanical garden. The more land you cover, the wider variety of things you’ll observe.  

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Using a Book-Based Curriculum for Kids with ADHD

a boy sits with his back against a library bookcase, reading a book with a yellow cover

Using a Book-Based Curriculum for Kids with ADHD

If you have children with ADHD, reading may not be their strong suit. Or if you’re fortunate enough to have an ADHD child who is a bookworm, that child might struggle to recall information or answer questions about the work afterward. For active kids, sitting down and reading can pose a challenge. With a few tweaks, though, a book-based curriculum can be perfect for ADHD kids.

Some of the suggestions for teaching kids with ADHD include using video games, computer software, and active play as outlets for their mental and physical energy. As a result, parents might wonder about the value of using a book-based curriculum for children who have ADHD.

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BookShark's Guide to Homeschool Organization

school supplies sit in a row on a wooden background

Head over to Pinterest and type in the word homeschooling to see what other related words come up. Would it surprise you to know that the word organization comes up alongside other more obvious heavy hitters such as curriculum and schedule? It probably doesn't surprise you if you are a homeschool mom. When we decide to educate our kids at home, there's a list of concerns we all have to work through. We may start with our perspective—secular homeschooling for example—and then move on to curriculum and scheduling our day. But eventually, we all have to grapple with how to get and stay organized.

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BookShark's Guide to Secular Homeschooling

an insect crawls along the back of a child's hand. An adult holds a magnifying class for inspection

After you decide to homeschool, the next consideration is what kind of homeschooler you will be so you can choose your curriculum and plan your style of teaching.

Are you a religious homeschooler who desires to infuse all of your teaching with the principles of your faith? Or are you a secular homeschooler who prefers not to teach matters of religion or at least keep them separate from your academic pursuits?

Your answer to those questions will influence what kind of curriculum you consider and ultimately buy.

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Day by Day Homeschooling: A Doable Approach to Fight Overwhelm

Day by Day Homeschooling: A Doable Approach to Fight Overwhelm"Just have one good day. Then repeat." —James Clear

In the writing classes I teach to adults, we often use Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. This hysterical handbook has an illustration I have applied many times to my role of a writer, a mother, and a homeschooler.

Lamott recounts a memory from her childhood where her younger brother put off a research paper on birds until the last minute. Her father, seeing her brother frustrated and overwhelmed, sat down with him and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

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Yes, It's Okay to Take a Break

Yes, It's Okay to Take a BreakDo you ever find yourself questioning if it’s okay to take a break from homeschooling? We can feel a longing for a break and rationally see the need for a break, but for whatever reason taking a break can feel wrong.

In our eight years of homeschooling, my kids and I have taken a number of unplanned breaks. Whether the pause from lessons lasted a day or a week, I’ve never once regretted taking a rest from our homeschool routine. I have, however, regretted not taking a break sooner.

Taking a break is not a sign of failure or weakness. More often than not, it's exactly what our kids or we need in order to let our brains process, refuel, and learn. Below are some of the times it is absolutely okay and necessary to take a homeschool break.

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How to Find Audiobooks for BookShark Curriculum

How to Find Audiobooks for BookShark Curriculum Many BookShark parents love to outsource some of the scheduled reading aloud to audiobooks. This hack gives them a bit more time, saves their voice, and even allows the entire family to enjoy the listening experience together while traveling or doing chores.

Another big use of audiobooks in homeschooling is by children who struggle with reading independently. Whether it’s due to dyslexia or just learning at a slower pace, these students benefit from hearing their Readers delivered in audiobook form.

Due to licensing challenges, BookShark itself does not provide audiobooks alongside its literature-based curriculum. But with a touch of resourcefulness, you can piece together what you need. Here are our recommendations to get you started with your search of audiobooks for BookShark.

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5 Ways to Manage Your Big BookShark Binder without Lugging It Around

The BookShark binder is huge.

It has to be to fit all of the information, lessons, and activity sheets included in the 36 weeks of curriculum. We need the Instructor's Guide that goes in the binder, but thankfully we don’t need to lug it around.

There are several ways we can keep our BookShark materials organized and accessible without wrangling a 4-inch notebook. If you’re like me and prefer to keep the big binder on the shelf, all you have to do is choose one of these five solutions.

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Top 10 Reasons to Love BookShark Reading with History

Top 10 Reasons to Love BookShark Reading with HistoryAs I was writing down my reasons for loving BookShark Reading with History, I kept thinking, “That’s my favorite” and then “No, this is my number one.” And while I wanted to rank them from top to bottom, I just couldn’t narrow down what was my tenth choice versus my number one choice.

I love BookShark for so many reasons!

So these ten features are a mixed list, in no particular order, of why our family of six children loves BookShark.

Number one, I love that BookShark is an open and go program. There is not a lot, if any, prep work that I have to do as the homeschool teacher. We can literally just open it up and start our history. I’m a huge fan of how easy BookShark makes teaching! BookShark is really simple for the first time homeschooler. And of course even experienced homeschoolers appreciate the detailed lessons. Anybody can open it up and easily understand exactly what to do and how to do it. It's amazing.

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