When we first started homeschooling, I knew I wanted a curriculum focused on quality books that I could reuse with my younger daughter. Even though we only have two kids, reusing curriculum is still a fantastic way to save money. I didn’t want to repurchase subscriptions or a lot of consumables when my youngest was ready to go through the program. Soon after I had decided on Sonlight, BookShark was released. To help me decide between the two curricula, I compared their book lists and the schedule options. Back then, I compared Sonlight’s A and BookShark’s A history and science levels and I continue to do these comparisons each year. It’s time to do the the Sonlight D vs BookShark D homeschool curriculum comparison. This is current as of May 2021.
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Sonlight vs BookShark Homeschool Curriculum
When BookShark was first released, many considered it the secular version of Sonlight. From BookShark’s website, they describe themselves as faith-neutral. And yes, if you hang around secular homeschool groups online, you’ll quickly find out that there is a difference. However, that simple comparison isn’t as black and white when you look at their book lists. Some people believe that BookShark is simply Sonlight’s 4 day program without the religious books, but that’s not the case. There are other changes.
Sonlight offers this level as either a 5 or a 4 day a week package. BookShark’s program is a 4 day program. Each offers regular readers or advanced readers for this level. The advanced readers include the regular readers plus additional books so the readers are scheduled at a faster pace with the advanced level. Even if you know the advance level would be too much for your child, the additional books can be used as summer readers.
The 5 day Sonlight program has the most books in each category, so I’ll show which of those books are missing from the 4 day Sonlight program and/or BookShark’s program. I’ll also note any books added to BookShark that aren’t found in Sonlight. All pictures are of the BookShark materials from 2018, which I own.
Related Post – Sonlight A vs BookShark A Curriculum Comparison
The book list is the same in both Sonlight programs. BookShark, being faith neutral, doesn’t include these books.
Sonlight and BookShark History Books
Incans, Aztecs and Mayans – not in Sonlight 4 day or BookShark
Pedro’s Journal – not in Sonlight 4 day
Read Aloud Books
Secret of the Andes – not in Sonlight 4 day or BookShark, is a read aloud in BookShark level H
The Journeyman – not in Sonlight 4 day or BookShark
Winter Danger – not in Sonlight 4 day
Adoniram Judson: Bound for Burma – not in BookShark (religious)
Secret of the Sealed Room – BookShark read aloud but listed as an advanced reader in both Sonlight programs
And Then What Happened Paul Revere? – not in Sonlight 4 day or BookShark
The Cabin Faced West – not in Sonlight 4 day
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain – not in Sonlight 4 day
Sarah Whitcher’s Story – not in BookShark (religious)
A Lion to Guard Us – not in Sonlight 4 day
Skippack School – not in BookShark
The Thanksgiving Story – advanced reader in BookShark
Timmy O’Dowd and the Big Ditch – not in BookShark
The Matchlock Gun – only in BookShark
Meet Thomas Jefferson – only in BookShark
Meet George Washington – only in BookShark
For kids who are advanced readers, you can get additional books and a schedule that is faster paced than just the regular readers. These are the differences in books you’ll get in addition to regular readers if you order the Advanced Reader Collection.
Secret of the Sealed Room – read aloud in BookShark
Jericho’s Journey – not in Sonlight 4 day or BookShark
Vostaas: White Buffalo’s Story of Plains Indian Life – not in Sonlight 4 day or BookShark
Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia – not in Sonlight 4 day
Mr. Revere and I – only in BookShark
Sonlight and BookShark Science Books
This year both companies made major updates to their science programs for the lower levels. Sonlight’s updates stopped with Science C but BookShark updated their science curriculum through level F. The updates are similar for the lower levels but past level C the science offerings are very different. There is only one similarity between Sonlight and BookShark’s science at this level. It will be interesting to see if Sonlight continues to update their science levels next year.
The Usborne First Encyclopedia of Seas and Oceans – not in Sonlight 4 day
As you can see, it’s not just a simple deletion of religious books between these two companies. There are other differences between their book lists and even a few extra books in BookShark that Sonlight doesn’t offer. You can use this list to find additional books to share with your kids that aren’t in the program you’re using. I hope this curriculum comparison has helped you find the best option for your family. Enjoy!