Do you want to raise thinkers instead of students? Do you want your children to love learning and connect their knowledge with the real world, too? Then you need to check out BookShark Science, the perfect solution for cross-curricular learning.
This post was sponsored by BookShark. Please see my disclosure policy for details.
Want to know the best thing about homeschooling?
It’s not the flexibility, though I must admit that’s awesome.
It’s not that I can tailor my children’s education to meet their needs, though I do love being able to do that.
It’s not that I can let my kids sleep in the morning, though I don’t miss that crazy morning rush.
The best thing about homeschooling is that I’m raising thinkers. For me, that’s what education is all about.
Raising Thinkers with Learning Across the Curriculum
As a former educator who now homeschools her kids, I love that my children will grow up in an environment in which education is a lifelong experience. My kids aren’t confined to compartmentalized subjects. They are able to make connections between the topics and ideas they are learning without a lot of extra effort to make it work.
What do I mean by extra effort? When I was a classroom teacher, my fellow faculty members and I spent a lot of time focusing on cross-curricular learning. We wanted our students to see how skills learned in one class could be applicable to another. In other words, just because they were learning writing skills in English didn’t mean they wouldn’t use those skills in science, history, or math.
Believe it or not, that was a complicated undertaking – and not just for the kids. Even my colleauges had a hard time seeing how their individual subjects could dovetail with other disciplines. It wasn’t their fault, to be honest: they were educated in the traditional manner. They didn’t know anything else.
I didn’t really, either, at least not until I started to homeschool. Now, it is so much easier to help my children connect ideas and concepts within our homeschool environment. Thanks to our eclectic approach and the curriculum resources we’ve chosen, I’m raising educated, critical thinkers able to synthesize information and apply that knowledge elsewhere on their own.
BookShark Science: The Perfect Solution for Learning Across the Curriculum
One of the ways I’ve been able to acheive this is our literature-based curriculum. We spend most of our day reading, thinking, and trying different activities inspired by the books we’ve read. Some of our resources make this easier than others; as far as cross-curriculuar engagement is concerned, BookShark takes the top spot. Our science curriculum not only offers a variety of stellar nonfiction resources – those resources in conjunction with the weekly lesson guide make connecting concepts a breeze.
One of my daughter’s biology books, Mysteries and Marvels of Nature, is internet-linked courtesy of Usborne. All we have to do is navigate to the QuickLinks site, choose our title, and select the page numbers we would like to view. Once we select our page numbers, we are able to click a link for a related resource (like a video or site with additional information).
On the day we were studying the difference between amphibians, and reptiles, we checked out the QuickLinks for pages 94 and 95 of Mysteries and Marvels. We got to watch Coyote Peterson and his daughter, Pup, search for and catch salamanders in their own backyard.
Of course, we had do to do it, too:
Every time we’ve used a Quicklink in our Usborne Books we’ve found a new flight of fancy or adventure. The girls have been able to apply the concepts learned in their books (in the case of the salamander, learning about and exploring their habitat) without me having to suggest it at all.
Compatibility with Outside Resources
For as long as I can remember, both girls have loved Dragons and mythology. The girls have been supplementing their study of biology and chemistry with comparative resources: specifically, the book Dragonology.
My chemistry kiddo is reading up on chemical reactions, learning the different types and how they work. She was able to pull out the Dragonology book and speculate what sort of reaction took place in order for a dragon to breathe fire: a pretty cool cross-curricular connection I was excited to see.
For my biology kiddo, Dragonology has been handy when it comes to reptilian anatomy. She’s been able to compare the characteristics of the Thorny Lizard with the scaly armor of a dragon.
Activities in the Weekly Lesson Guide
Every BookShark subject package comes with an instructor’s guide. The guide is broken down by week with a helpful overview of the suggested readings and activities. When we were learning about birds of prey in Biology, the guide suggested we study the sport of falconry. I was able to pull out a beautiful book called The Hawk of the Castle: a storybook depiction of medieval falconry. At BookShark’s suggestion, we got a science, history, and literature connection all in one fell swoop.
Because BookShark lends itself so beautifully to cross-curricular learning, it’s brought a great deal of joy back into our homeschool life.
It’s helped my daughters see the purpose of their education as something beyond just a book to read or an essay to write. They see it as a life skill, and an enjoyable one.
I’m glad we chose this path.
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