I love BookShark. You probably know that if you read my BookShark Science review a few months ago. I’m back to tell you that my love for BookShark transcends subjects. We recently got to check out BookShark History Level E Intro to American History, Year 2 of 2, and I know I need to check out the Language Arts curriculum next. BookShark really has made me more confident in homeschooling.
BookShark is a literature-based curriculum and I have realized that this type of learning works really well for both JustaBXgirl and myself. We are both readers. Having a curriculum that is based on reading almost feels like cheating. BookShark’s Level E Reading with History introduces American history beginning in the 1850s and ending in the modern era. It is considered the second part. I chose to start here rather than in Level D which covers American history from the early Native Americans through the 1850s.
I thought after unboxing the BookShark Science curriculum that this one wouldn’t intimidate me. Let me tell you something, I was shook when I took everything out of the box. My first thought was nope, this is too much. I don’t have time. How will I make it work? And write a review? Then I remembered to breathe and that the reason I wanted to review the BookShark History is that they made teaching science simple. Spoiler: they do the same for history! Oh, and the picture doesn’t even have everything that comes in the box!
After freaking out for the moment, I put together my Instructor’s Guide because when you’re drowning in the number of books they send your IG is your life raft. Honestly, the Instructor’s Guide is everything even if you’re not silly like me. When you put together your Instructor’s Guide you know you got this. I also should add that JustaBXgirl walked in as I was unboxing and was screaming with glee over the number of books I pulled out of the box. I love that girl!
And I love this curriculum. I feel like I’m learning right aside her. The curriculum is diverse and complete. I also love that we can make it our own. BookShark designs it as a 4-day curriculum knowing that many families like to dedicate one day a week to field trips. The thing is you don’t have to be locked into that. For us, we might not want to do 4 days of History so I can stretch the lesson into an extra week if need be. And some weeks JustaBXgirl is enjoying the reading so much that she doesn’t want to stop with the chapter or pages set for the day we are on. During those weeks, we get through the lesson faster.
We’re also really enjoying the optional activities that begin with Lesson 2. They’re hands-on activities that allow you to dig a little deeper into history. JustaBXgirl loves them because it makes her feel like she’s doing art. She is building her portfolio piece by piece.
BookShark is like the gift that keeps on giving. I shared that when you pair BookShark print curriculum with a Virtual seat, parents and students get cool online features like assessment, grading, and accountability in the last post I did on BookShark. A lot of our homeschooling is done via online programs. I like that BookShark gives us time to unplug. I also like that the virtual seat option allows me to still have another place to send JustaBXgirl to work when I need to place my attention elsewhere. We can do the reading and I can allow her to do the assessments online to review when I have the time.
I’m here to remind you that the best way to understand BookShark is to try it yourself. BookShark gives you the chance to check out samples of their curriculum before you purchase. I appreciate that. Being able to see how the lessons are laid out can really help you determine if it is the correct fit for your home.
5 Questions Answered About BookShark
- How do children learn using this curriculum? They read. It is a literature-based curriculum so most of the work is done by reading. We do all of the reading together in my home so that I can notice when I think JustaBXgirl is losing focus or becomes confused. The littles also complete timeline and map activities to bring visualization to the people and places they are reading about. Also, you can add the American History II Lap Book Kit. It allows your little to do optional projects that all will fit into the folder that the littles create!
- How can I track what my child is doing? You’re there for the work. You assess how they’re doing based on their responses to the questions you ask. You keep track of the readings completed. You can assist or evaluate the timeline and map entries the littles make.
- What input do I have on what my child is learning? One of my favorite things about BookShark is that even though they lay out perfectly how to deliver the lessons they believe in us as home educators. They believe we know our families best. You can follow the weekly schedule that they have set out in the Instructor’s Guide. They give you the questions to ask at the end of the readings. You can simply teach straight out of the box. OR you can make it your own. You can stretch one week into two. You can cram two weeks into one. You make the call based on your family’s needs.
- What grades does this curriculum cover? BookShark History Level E Intro to American History is designed for children ages 9-12. That means that it can be used for families with multiples. Or you can use it over at different times with your little to guarantee they truly understand and remember the material.
- What does this curriculum cost? Okay, now I want you to breathe when I share the cost because I will admit that it is a bit higher than things I normally recommend around here. The thing is though that you get SO MUCH material included that you will feel like you should have paid more after unboxing your BookShark History Level E Intro to American History. The BookShark History Level E Intro to American History, Year 2 of 2 is normally $554.01 but is currently on sale for $470.91. We also have the optional American History II – Lap Book Kit add-on which you can get for an additional $55.22 and the BookShark Virtual option.