A photo of Melissa Batai

Melissa Batai

Melissa is a homeschool mom to three kids. BookShark is her primary curriculum, and she and her kids love it! When she's not homeschooling, she's either shuttling kids from one activity to another or working from home as a freelance writer. You can read more about Melissa's homeschool journey at her blog Mom's Plans.

How BookShark's Four-day Week Taught Me to Relax into a Flexible Homeschool Schedule

How BookShark's Four-day Week Taught Me to Relax into a Flexible Homeschool ScheduleWhen we first started homeschooling, we picked a classical curriculum that required five days of school work. Since I had just pulled my son out of a parochial school, I took the the five-day school model as an assumed standard. My son must do five full days of schoolwork to learn just as he had in school.

However, that plan didn’t work for long. I quickly discovered that my son was behind in math and couldn’t keep up with the schedule for the classical homeschool curriculum. Soon we were both frustrated.

Read more

Do I Really Have to Read That? Questions About the BookShark Program

a girl wearing hat and glasses reads a hardback book

As homeschooling parents, our time is at a premium. Many of us are homeschooling several kids. In addition, we need to cook meals, grocery shop, clean the house, take kids to activities, and perhaps also work a part-time job.

Life is busy.

To carve out more time in their schedule, parents frequently ask these two questions about BookShark curriculum.

Read more

How to Use BookShark to Teach Multiple Children in Different Grades

two mugs of hot cocoa sit aside an open hardback book

Since he was little, my son has loved books. Whether I was reading to him or he was reading to himself, he just loved stories. When I started homeschooling him in fourth grade, a literature-based curriculum seemed like the perfect choice, and it was.

But by the time he was in 6th grade, his younger sisters were in kindergarten and first grades. I had heard from many parents that this is the time when a literature-based curriculum gets unwieldy.  

Read more

3 Ways BookShark Curriculum Is a Bargain

A woman holds a red credit card while typing on a laptop computer

3 Ways BookShark Curriculum is a BargainBecause I love BookShark curriculum, I tell all of my homeschooling friends about it. During such a discussion, it's not uncommon for a friend to lament that while BookShark looks amazing, it's just too expensive. Although this is a common misconception among many homeschoolers, I find the opposite to be true. The way I see it, BookShark is an affordable way to provide my child with a quality education. First, I compare BookShark

Read more

Why I Returned to BookShark Homeschool Curriculum

If you homeschool for any length of time, you’ll inevitably struggle with the idea that a different curriculum than you’re currently using might be a better for you and your child, even if you’re current curriculum is a good fit!

Why We Chose BookShark Homeschool Curriculum

My oldest loves history and reading, and we chose BookShark for that exact reason. While using BookShark, my son received a strong historical overview of the time period that we were studying, but he also got plenty of excellent historical fiction related to the events he was studying in history.

Read more

Why I Still Homeschool Even After It Became Difficult

My journey of educating my kids has been circuitous to say the least! We've tried and seriously considered nearly every option, and yet we keep coming back to homeschooling because of the flexibility and freedom it affords our family. We started homeschooling for a variety of reasons when our oldest was a fourth grader. For one, we were tired of demanding teachers telling us what was best for our child. For example, one teacher insisted I should be buying my child milk to go with his sack lunch every day. This same teacher admonished me for buying him shoes with laces instead of Velcro. Secondly, we were weary of the emotional and physical toll of the school day. Although my child would behave well in school, he would have a meltdown at home because he was so exhausted from the school day.

Read more

Ancient Egypt: Eight Movies to Stream Online

Studying ancient Egypt is an exciting adventure for both you and your child, especially when you immerse yourself in the period through the help of great books. BookShark covers Ancient Egypt for several weeks in both Level 1 for ages 6-8 and Level 6 for ages 11-13, so your children are exposed to this fascinating period twice during their elementary and middle school years.

To supplement your reading, there are plenty of excellent movies to help you further visualize the ancient Egyptian culture, history, and geography. Below are my top 8 choices for online streaming about this ancient civilization. Take your pick from YouTube, Netflix, or Amazon.

Read more

Choosing Curriculum: Should Your Middle Schooler Have a Say?

a middle schooler uses a microscope

How much freedom do you give your middle school child when it comes to homeschooling? Does your tween get to choose when to wake up, what to wear, and what order to study different subjects? Does he create his own research projects and find extra books to read or documentaries to watch?

It's during these middle grades that most parents begin to foster greater and independence by offering more decision making power to their tweens and teens.

Read more