Because 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.
1. BookShark Versus Private School
First, I compare BookShark’s cost to private school. When my oldest child was nearing school age, we immediately ruled out public schools because of an inferior school system in our local area. Instead, he attended a private school through third grade.
Since we qualified for tuition assistance at the private school, our monthly tuition payment was $258. Without financial aid, the payment would have been almost $600 a month! Annually, we were paying $3,096 a year for tuition with financial aid! On top of the base costs, we also had to pay for school supplies, uniforms, and fund raisers. With all those additional expenses, the yearly total was closer to $3,500 a year. Without financial aid, we would have paid $7,200 a year.
Yes, compared to private school, BookShark’s full grade curriculum packages of approximately $700 to $800 a year are a bargain! Plus, I find BookShark’s curriculum far superior to the education my son received in private school.
Better learning for less money? Yes! Sign me up.
2. BookShark Versus DIY Curriculum
Next, I compare BookShark to piecing together your own program. Most moms who tell me BookShark is too expensive are frugal with their money and like to make smart financial choices. They usually prefer to piece together their children’s curriculum by buying used novels and second-hand Instructor's Guides. This can be a great way to go. I tried it myself during the early years of homeschooling.
What I found, though, is that when buying used, I spent more money than I anticipated over the course of the year. Some of the books I purchased weren’t as described —filled with highlighting and pencil marks, for example, so I’d have to spend more money buying the product again, hopefully in better condition.
What's worse, I spent far too much of my valuable time searching for the items I needed, corresponding with sellers, and tracking down sellers who didn’t send my product in a timely manner. For me, the few hundred dollars I saved buying used wasn’t worth the hassle, frustration, and time. Now I prefer to buy my BookShark curriculum new, in pristine condition, ready for my child.
3. BookShark Versus Single Use Curriculum
If you homeschool more than one child, the cost of using BookShark curriculum goes down each time you use it with your next child. I have a seventh grader who has used Levels 3 and 4 and is currently in Level 5. I also have two younger children who are currently in Level 1. When they get to Level 3, which I already own, I’ll only need to buy the consumables for them, making my yearly cost approximately $200! You really can’t beat that price for a year of quality instruction. Then, when my younger children are done with the material, I’ll sell it used and recoup some of the money I originally spent, lowering my overall cost even further.
While on the surface some may think BookShark curriculum is expensive, when you compare it to the expense of private school, the time spent to piece together used books, and the savings from reusing a particular curriculum package, BookShark can be seen for what it is—a quality education at a very affordable price.
About the Author
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 Moms Plans.