Planning Your BookShark Homeschool in 3 Steps: From Box Day to Daily Lessons

a stack of books from BookShark middle school world history

So you did it… You placed your order, eagerly stalked your shipment, and finally celebrated your BookShark Box Day! Whether you are new to BookShark or a longtime homeschooler, after happily unpacking your boxes and exploring the piles upon piles of books you just received, you may find yourself feeling a little intimidated. You might even be asking yourself:

  • Where am I going to put all of this?
  • Where do I begin?
  • How will we ever make it through all of these books?

If you find yourself wondering about these things, don’t worry! You are not alone, and I am here to tell you it is not as scary as you might first think. With just a little bit of organization and preparation, you will quickly feel as though you have been using BookShark forever and maybe even have a few of your own tips to share.

Organizing Your BookShark Materials

1. Label

The very first thing I recommend is labeling all the books in in your package. Some people like to put color coded stickers or write with Sharpies on the book binding, but I prefer sticking a mailing label on the inside of the book cover with the level written on it. With this method, if I lend a book out to someone all they have to do is open the book to see who it belongs to.

(Time required: 10 minutes)

2. Assemble

Next I assemble my Instructor’s Guides. BookShark has made assembling your Instructor’s Guide as painless as possible. The bottom of each page of the Instructor’s Guide lists these key parts:

  • Subject (Example: World History, Year 2 of 2)
  • What section the page is part of (Example: Section Two)
  • Week number (Example: Week 2)

For this example, all of the pages with this label will be placed behind the Week 2 tab in the BookShark binder.

(Time required: 10 minutes)

3. Store

Finally it's time to find a place to store your materials. I recommend using two separate shelves for each level—a student shelf and a teacher shelf. If your children are anything like mine, seeing a shelf full of all the materials they will be covering throughout the school year is daunting. I have one student shelf next to our desks that holds the weekly required materials and school supplies (pencils, erasers, dry erase markers, etc.).

Planning Your BookShark Homeschool in 3 Steps: From Box Day to Daily LessonsI store the rest of the materials on a teacher shelf on the other side of the room out of sight. By keeping only the necessary materials close at hand, it is easier to find the books I need and to keep anxiety at bay.

(Time required: 10 minutes)

Phew! That wasn’t so bad was it? It literally took me only 30 minutes to properly label, assemble, and store all of my books away. Now what about weekly preparations? I think you will be surprised by how little time is required to prepare for the upcoming homeschool day or week.

Daily Homeschool Preparations with BookShark

The daily preparations are by far the easiest steps to take. Since BookShark has everything completely scheduled for the week, I just quickly look over the assignments and discussion questions each day. This allows me to have an overview of what we will be learning about that day and to easily reach over and pull the assigned books off the student shelf.

(Time required: 5 minutes)

End-of-the-Week (or Beginning-of-the-Week) Preparations

Since BookShark is planned using a 4-day schedule, I dedicate a few minutes of my Friday end-of-the-week wrap-up with these tasks. Some moms prefer to do these on Sunday night before the week begins. Pick a time that works for you. 

1. Restock the Student Shelf

The end of the week is the perfect time to change out books. I put the books we have completed back on my teacher shelf, and add the new books we will be using in the upcoming week to the student shelf.

2. Add Worksheets to Student Binders

Next I remove all the student activity sheets from the Instructor’s Guide and place them in the student binder.

3. Gather Science Lab Materials

Then I check the Science Instructor’s Guide to see if there are any household items required for the next lab assignment. I gather those plus anything we need from the included Science Kit in one area.

(Time required: 10-15 minutes)

It is as simple as that. At the start of the school year, you organize materials. Each week you do a bit of prep, and then each day you acquaint yourself with the assigned work. Your BookShark Instructor’s Guide carefully guides you through the rest.

See BookShark Reading with History Programs

About the Author

Roxanne Raiche

Roxanne Raiche is a book hoarding, coffee loving, homeschooling mama of three in Iron Mountain, Michigan. She is the voice behind Blushing Bibliophile.