Anyone use Abeka?

Discuss the pros and cons of various curriculums, or get help on which to choose!

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Anyone use Abeka?

Postby mom2threeboys » Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:27 pm

This is our first year of homeschooling. Our boys have been in a private Christian school in the past. We are using Abeka and I am in the process of buying everything. My oldest son will be in 6th grade and my twins will be in 2nd.

I am wondering if anyone has used Abeka before and what your thoughts are on the Parent/Teacher Lesson Plan/Curriculum guides.

Did you purchase them? did you use them?

Were the guides helpful in planning your lessons or was it just as easy to just work lesson by lesson through the student texts?

Did you find they were geared more for a classroom teacher?

If you didn't purchase or use them, do you wish you had?

Just wanting some feedback and input before I go out and buy all the teacher/parent guides. I'm finding most of them at the local used curriculum store and on ebay, so they aren't that spendy, just don't want to buy a bunch of stuff I won't end up using.

Thanks in advance! :)

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Postby GraceRules » Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:46 pm

I've only used Abeka for our math program. I used it for part of kindergarten, all of first, and have just purchased it for 2nd grade. For both kindy and 1st I did not purchase the teacher manual thinking this is easy enough stuff and didnt really need it. However I did buy it for 2nd grade. Although the material is easy for me, I found I had difficulty explaining things in such a way that my daughter could learn it. Looking through the teacher manual, it outlines what to say for each lesson when teaching, place value, for example. This just makes life a little easier, IMHO.


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6th grade ABEKA

Postby terrihay » Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:49 pm

I homeschooled my son for the 1st time last year, which was 6th grade. We used the ABEKA DVD program, so I got all the manuals with the program. I did do a little of the teaching myself. The only teacher's manual that was the same as the student book was the math, spelling, and the language. They pretty much just gave the answers to the problems, but in math, I needed it. I knew most of the info, but it came in handy for reinfocement and things I didn't know. THe spelling did give some suggestions for the teacher. I received a "video manual" with my order that had lesson plans for the entire year, as well as information for each class, such as written papers, special projects, etc. This book was a wonderful tool.

I did like the ABEKA curriculum. We didn't like the fact that sooo much work was involved. We did what we wanted and cut out some things all together. We did have an unusual year, like a hurricane and a broken arm, but on his standardized Iowa test, he was above average, so we were pleased with the end results.

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Postby Rinata » Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:17 pm

At the high school level I would be lost without the curriculum guides, teachers guides and what have. When my daughter used Abeka in 2nd grade it was easy without the guides. Abeka has actually come a long way since she was in the 2nd grade. The curriculum guides are more geared for the homeschool parent not to mention the grade sheets to record everything on. It eliminates the need for me to purchase a lesson planner since I know what is to be done each day and it is already written out for me.
Birth daughter, C, 14yo, 9th grade.
Foster son, E, 2 months.

Janet Tatman
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Postby Janet Tatman » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:37 pm

The teachers guides are a blend of material you can use and information geared to a classroom situtation. However, I found you could take even the classroom information and adapt the method to teaching your individual child. Also, I needed the help in understanding phonics to teach that subject to my children - since I had never learned it myself. Also, in the high school years it became very helpful to have the teacher's guide to understand more difficult concepts.
Janet T.

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Postby OA » Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:10 pm

Our family used ABeka curriculum for Art, Handwriting and Health. For the core of our curriculum we used Bob Jones University Press materials. We preferred to use ABeka manuscript writing to teach our younger children to print, since BJUP uses the pre-cursive method of printing.

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Postby isamama » Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:04 pm

We used Abeka for 7th grade math, 1st grade health & history, high school World History and Biology. I didn't buy any teacher materials for the 1st grade level, but I did buy the teacher's book for 7th grade math; I only used it to correct dd's work. We have opted to use other curricula for math - Horizons 2nd grade for example

I agree with Tatman on the guides for high school. The Biology and World History both offer addtional lecture material and answers for the text review questions. I thought I could do without them and ended up ordering them. I found the Biology lab videos 2nd hand online - I highly recommend them.
I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow. - Woodrow Wilson.

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Postby OA » Sun Oct 08, 2006 6:41 pm

That sounds great! I neglected to mention that we also used ABeka for teaching phonics to our children when they were younger. I am also using it for our DD6. The "Handbook for Reading" is just EXCELLENT for those who are trying to teach reading for the first time. We purchased the accompanying flash cards, charts, minature alphabet cards, phonics cassette and "Letters and Sounds" workbooks. The strong founding in phonics has created excellent spellers and readers. I highly recommend their phonics program, although we have used Bob Jones University Press curriculum for our readers. Our children preferred the BJU readers over the ABeka readers. We actually purchased both sets of readers for the younger children, but the "real life" stories (ie. the finding of the Dead Sea scrolls), really interested them in the BJU readers.

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Postby HomeschoolCNY » Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:07 am

I used A Beka completely for my freshman year, and a combination of A Beka and ACE for my sophomore year, while attending a private Christian school. When we switched over to homeschooling, we used mostly A Beka for junior year, since by that point I was familiar with using the curriculum and was used to "self-driven work" due to having used ACE from K-8.

However, the more I began to read about other styles of homeschooling, I began to be drawn toward Sonlight's curriculum. I was hoping to do their British Lit. Survey for my senior year, but I was overruled by my mother due to the cost of the course (versus, if we were paying that much for English, it would be to have me take it at the local CC). We did, however, use some of Sonlight instead of A Beka when it came to Bible, and I have to say that I got a lot more from taking books off of Sonlight's Bible courses (Mere Christianity, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?, etc) than I did from "Jesus and His Followers" and ... ehm... I don't even remember what the other A Beka one-semester Bible course that I used for junior year was.

So.... coming from someone who is far more "literature-driven" and who has studied up on classical education and leans in that direction... A Beka is not the wholesale choice that I would make if/when I have a family someday and homeschool them. That's not to say that I wouldn't use a specific course here and there from A Beka, but unless you are looking for a very ordered, stringent "classroom-type education" or "textbook-approach", I wouldn't recommend using completely A Beka. But that's just me. ;)

Oh! I forgot to mention that I did get a lot out of their United/Divided Kingdom courses for Bible, back in freshman year, but a lot of that had to do with our teacher, who had gone to college to be a pastor, fleshing out what little information was actually in the textbook. The textbook itself seemed to be written almost in an outline style.

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Postby OA » Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:45 am

Sounds good! We also used ABeka for Social Studies in the middle grades. They have a wonderful map series!

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Postby whitfield97 » Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:10 am

We use ABEKA MATH and LANGUAGE for our 2nd and 3rd graders. We love it. I don't use teacher manuals but that's a personal preference. The language is self explanatory and I teach multiplication, division,etc. in a more simpler fashion that caters to each child's learning capabilities. I think their teacher manuals are explained in a manner as if all children learn the same. However, you can purchase them and use a little of this and that as well.


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Postby elishajane » Sat Dec 02, 2006 3:14 pm

I've used A beka for two years. My daughter has completed K4 and K5. The lesson plans/ curriculum teach you how to teach, telling you exactly how to introduce new material. I think you would be fine with just buying the student texts, but there is an advantage to having the advice from a pannel of teachers, which has evolved over the past 50 years.
I have enjoyed using the lesson plans and many times my daughter has avoided the struggle of a new concept becuase I introduced it the A beka way.

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