Why I'm Choosing BookShark as Our American History Curriculum

Over the last 13 years of homeschooling three boys of different ages with different personalities and learning styles, you can imagine that I’ve used loads of methods and curriculum choices. The variety and continual adjusting has been a good decision because coordinating my teaching style and our materials with their learning style helps us have a successful year.

As I weighed our options for this most recent year, I kept coming back to BookShark for American history because I knew it would be a great fit for my 10-year-old son. After showing him some of the books and lessons from the website and catalog, we settled these picks:

Here are six reasons why we’re choosing BookShark this year.

1. The Schedule Fits Our Family Well

One of the things we love most about homeschooling is the flexibility of our schedule! We do a lot of activities, and family time is a priority. BookShark's 4-day schedule leaves time for co-ops, classes, lessons, etc. It works perfectly for us so that we can get all the school work done and have time for our other activities!

2. My Son Loves to Read

My youngest is definitely the biggest reader of my three boys. He always wants to start his homeschool day with reading and then he quickly devours books. So choosing a program that is book based was a no-brainer! I knew he’d love getting to read so many different stories throughout the school year.

3. BookShark is Faith-Neutral

As a secular homeschooler, I'm often disappointed to find that a curriculum I'm interested in teaches from a certain faith or worldview and therefore isn't a great fit for our family. It is great to find a program where all the materials work well for us! Because BookShark is faith-neutral, I don't have to edit on the fly, spend a lot of time explaining religious beliefs, or worry about indoctrination.

4. We Love Interconnected Learning

Why I'm Choosing BookShark as Our American History CurriculumWith BookShark, history, language arts, and geography are all interconnected to allow for a great learning experience. The information scaffolds, concept on concept and provides just the right amount of repetition to improve retention (without being overkill that leads to boredom).

I’ve always tried teach in a way that ties ideas and concepts together, and the BookShark program makes that easy! What we learn in History Level 3 will be paralleled in our Languge Arts Level 3. Can you imagine how hard it would be to create that kind of continuity on my own? No thanks! I'll let BookShark do the heavy lifting for me. 

5. There is a Huge Variety

I’ll be honest; I’ve never liked teaching from textbooks! They can be dry, boring, and hard to get through. With the variety of books that come with the BookShark curriculum, there’s no way to be bored!

I love that the stories in Level 3 American History  

  • offer multiple perspectives
  • excite us with adventure
  • entertain as they educate

It is so important to bring history to life, and the books that we’ll be reading this year do just that!

Bonus! Level 3 Intro to American History, Year 1 of 2 has an add-on Lap Book Kit. We've never used Lap Books before, so I'm honestly not sure if my son will even like this approach of making interactive papercrafts. But in keeping with my style of switching things up and trying new methods, we are going to give the Lap Book a whirl this year! It's another way to reinforce the events, geography, and people of American history, all the while creating a beautiful portfolio of work.

6. It is Simple to Use

When you are a busy homeschool mom, having your lessons planned for you makes life so much easier! The BookShark Instructor's Guide delivers! The layout makes it easy to see what you’re doing each day and week, so planning is a breeze. (See samples here.)

We are looking forward to this year, all the places and people we’ll learn about through all of the amazing books that BookShark has curated into an amazing curriculum!

See BookShark Reading with History Programs


About the Author

Krista RomanoKrista is the homeschooling mom of 3 boys. After 13 years she has learned the value of chilling out, going with the flow and keeping homeschooling fun! She is the blogger behind Far From Normal where she hopes to encourage parents and homeschoolers, and inspire a life lived happily outside the box!