Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I Ordered Bookshark!

 I placed my first BookShark order over the weekend, the first day the company opened their site to web orders. The website is very basic right now, and not nearly as "pretty" as Sonlight's, but I imagine that will improve over time. It was still easy to navigate, find what I needed, and place my order.  If you go to the BookShark website and create an account you can get a coupon for $10 off orders placed in June, which was a very nice plus.  I was afraid I would have to pay shipping, but I found a note in the FAQ that orders of $300 + receive free delivery. So, even though I had only planned to order for Rose, I also got what I needed to update our Sonlight Core D. I have a thing about free shipping!

It isn't made terribly obvious on the BookShark website, but you can order separate items by clicking on the "See All BookShark Products" link on most of the site's pages. They do not yet have the separate items linked in each grade level package, so you need to click that "see all" link to add them to your cart if you aren't buying them as part of the package.

Luckily, I already own many of the books Rose needs for the "K" Level, so I did not need to order the whole package.  I ordered instructor guide K with a binder, the timeline book and timeline figures, "Create a Calendar", and a new laminated map. We have an older Sonlight black and white map, but I think the color looks much more user-friendly.  I also ordered the ten books I didn't already own from the reading list.

I do not like how BookShark (or Sonlight now, for that matter) has all their levels numbered by grade, because in most cases I am not using the "proper" grade level- so I can't help but feel "behind" even though I know we are not. The whole idea behind Sonlight/BookShark is that a range of ages can share a level. However, if you look at the BookShark FAQ they state that this is only to make it easier for new homeschoolers to choose their curriculum and that the instructor guides themselves are labeled with the range of ages they are intended for. So I can live with that. 

For James, I decided to order the American History Part 1 instructor guide. I had initially planned on upgrading my current Core D American History IG with Sonlight, because it was a bit cheaper than buying from Bookshark. But since I will re-do this Core with Rose and I don't  own Core E-American History Part 2- it made more sense to switch to BookShark now. I also don't need the SL language arts, which made the decision a bit easier. SL includes language arts in the instructor guide for this level, while BookShark sells theirs separately.  I had to purchase just two new read-alouds- Secret of the Sealed Room and Winter Danger-along with the new Landmark History, Beginner's American History, and the Children's Encyclopedia of American History.

I am really looking forward to getting my order and checking everything out! 

Till Next Time!


  1. I placed our BookShark order, too! I agree with you about them listing it by grade level. We're using "1st grade" for second. Those of us who have used Sonlight understand the levels are for a range of ages, but new customers might not understand that. Maybe, they'll make it clearer later. Have a happy Box Day!

  2. Thank you both for commentating about the grade/age level. For the past two years I've pieced together my sons curriculum, but this year I'm looking at something pre-organized for me. He is turning 8 this month and will be on the books as a second grader. I would really like for him to start with the history and science books for 1st grade, but was having a hard time with the idea that I somehow let him "get behind" his grade level.

  3. Lisa, I actually prefer to use the level where my kids are on the older end of the age range. My oldest is 13 and is doing Sonlight's Core F this year-that's the "5th grade" level of Bookshark/SL. But she can do most of it independently and I think gets more out of it than her brother working at the same level who actually is in 5th grade.

  4. Thank you. I just heard back from BookShark today and they actually recommended that I place him in their 3rd grade package! I was really surprised by that. I'm still not sure if I'm going to use them or not, if I do I'll probably end up using the 1st grade package. My son really wants to focus on learning about Rome and that begins in 1st.


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