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 reading the books in BookShark homeschool curriculum.

1. When Can I Stop Reading Aloud to My Child?

BookShark recommends that you read aloud to your child through the middle school level. There are many reasons to read aloud to your child, but the primary reason is that children can comprehend a story at a higher level when it’s read aloud to them versus when they read it on their own.

Do I Really Have to Read That? Questions About the BookShark ProgramThe more challenging books in the BookShark levels are assigned as Read-Alouds. As Jim Trelease, author of the Read Aloud Handbook, states,

“A child’s reading level doesn’t catch up to his listening level until eighth grade. You can and should be reading seventh grade books to fifth grade kids. . .A fifth grader can enjoy a more complicated plot than she can read herself, and reading aloud is really going to hook her, because when you get to chapter books, you’re getting into the real meat of print—there is really complicated, serious stuff going on that kids are ready to hear and understand, even if they can’t read at that level yet."

In addition, some of the Read-Alouds in a BookShark Reading with History package tackle difficult topics. If you’re reading them aloud together, you can discuss the issues as they’re happening in the story. You can talk about the choices characters make and the situations they face.

2. Do I Have to Read the Books My Child Reads Independently?

In short, no, you don’t. The BookShark Instructor's Guide contains the questions you should ask your child about the Readers as well as the answers, so you’re covered. However, I still recommend reading the readers on your own, especially once your child reaches Level 3 and above. There are some real treasures in the books that are chosen as readers. I’m guessing that most parents did not read many of the books in their own childhood.

Second, if you have a child who gets excited by reading and learning about history, you can share his enthusiasm when you read the Reader, too. You can discuss the story and facts that you learned. Finally, as your child progresses up the higher levels, you will get to read excellent literature that is just as appropriate for older middle school aged children as it is for adults.

BookShark will give your children a quality education, and if you continue to read aloud and read your children’s readers, you will more fully share in that education with your child.

If you have more questions about how BookShark works, reach out to customer service for help! Email or call 1-866-668-0179.

See BookShark Reading with History Programs


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.