Many families are happy to fully commit to homeschooling with a BookShark All-Subject Package. Besides that nifty 20% off retail discount, having all your curriculum come in a single order is incredibly convenient. It saves parents untold time and energy in planning a school year full of high-interest learning.
But BookShark also offers opportunities for families who want to take advantage of the literature-based, spiral goodness in a smaller way, without committing to the full package.
For several years, I poured over the BookShark website, wondering if it was as easy as it looked and curious if my kids would actually make academic progress by reading a bunch of hand-selected fiction. But most of our existing curriculum was a good fit, and I didn’t want to switch everything. Here’s how we dipped our toes into the BookShark ocean without scrapping the subjects that were working well for us.
#1 Try a Science Set
We started out on our homeschooling journey with a grade-specific science textbooks. Unfortunately there seemed to be a disconnect between my kids' love of nature, space, and online experiment videos and how they approached our science curriculum.
Switching to BookShark science filled a need for our family and offered me a chance to see how a literature-based program would play out in our real life. Spoiler alert: the kids thought it was great!
#2 Enjoy a Read-Aloud Package
We are already a family who loves reading aloud. However, as our family has grown, I have less time to research The Next Perfect Read. Receiving a set of books to read aloud throughout the whole year makes life much easier.
The BookShark Read-Alouds do double duty. Not only are these books perfect for promoting family togetherness, they also serve to teach history through stories.
To find the Read-Alouds for each level, click on the What's Included tab of any Reading with History program. Or use this comprehensive list of every individual product.
#3 Get the Regular Readers
Our latest BookShark package arrived right as the world was shutting down for the pandemic. Facing life with bookworms without library access was bleak, and those Readers in the BookShark box saved the day.
The Readers aren’t the dry, forced stories I remember from my school days. BookShark Regular Readers are living books which make the history come alive. The Regular Readers compliment the Read-Alouds at each level, making me feel oh-so-smart for having added the Level G Readers to our school year.
Again, to find the Readers for each level, click on the What's Included tab of any Reading with History program. Or use this comprehensive list of every individual product.
#4 Follow the Blog
Have you read through the BookShark blog? From general tips any homeschooler could use to BookShark-specific ideas, there’s something for everyone. Wondering about how BookShark works
The blog has a post for that! As a bonus, you can also subscribe to emails for bite-sized tips on homeschooling.
#5 Try a Freebie
Request one of the free unit studies from BookShark to try out the book-based learning style and see if it will work for you. If you're used to workbooks or textbooks, you will probably find reading great books and then discussing them a welcome relief!
A Final Thought
While BookShark is a one-stop shop for many families, it's also possible to use BookShark to enhance the school year of any family, just like we did. Regardless of homeschool philosophy or experience, choosing to include something from BookShark is a winning choice. I only wished we had tested the BookShark waters sooner!
About the Author
Alicia Schonhardt lives in Iowa with her husband and five homeschooled kids. She loves reading aloud with all the right voices and pretending to be crafty. She is not-so-great at planning and organization but dabbles in minimalism, so it isn’t quite so tricky.
With two medically needy kids, Alicia strives to choose happiness even when things are hard. She blogs at Sweeping Up Joy about finding beauty and humor in life right now—even when it’s hidden behind piles of laundry and chewed up books.