Abeka homeschool curriculum is one of the most popular homeschooling programs available, especially for Christian homeschoolers. Get an overview of the curriculum and Abeka samples, along with pros and cons to consider before buying this program.
Abeka Homeschooling Curriculum
Abeka is a homeschooling program that takes a traditional approach to learning designed for grades K-12. Abeka offers two different ways that you can teach online students. You can enroll in the Abeka Academy Video Homeschool or use the FlexTeach option.Related Articles
In the FlexTeach option, you will buy kits for specific grade levels covering all the core subjects. These include books, readers and worksheets. Parent kits will give you access to lesson plans, quizzes, tests and more. You might also purchase Bible kits. These self-study options are completed at your own pace and are not accredited. However, the kits will provide you with timelines and Abeka sample schedules for your home learning. Despite the lesson plans, unless you purchase the videos, the teaching is done mostly by the parent.
Abeka Academy Video Homeschool
The Abeka Academy Video Homeschool is an accredited program through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education and the Florida Association of Christian College and Schools that offers students access to a diploma. Students will take standardized tests, get transcripts and complete 170 days of lessons per year from master teachers in pre-recorded video lessons. The parent materials are also included in the kit. While you will ensure that your child completes the lessons, the videos take some of the pressure off of the parent for being the sole teacher.
How Is Learning Approached
All programs approach learning through a traditional, Christian-based structure. Faith and learning are intermixed with the master lessons provided by the Pensacola Christian Academy. Full programs and the academy includes Bible classes in addition to covering language arts, arithmetic, science, history, geography and health. To see their approach, you can find Abeka sample videos. These provide you with an overview of what you and your child can expect in the program. The videos showcase a real classroom and give you a school atmosphere. They also include sample tests if you want to give them your email and name.
Cost of the Abeka Program
The cost of the Abeka program varies widely depending on the approach and materials that you choose to purchase. The FlexTeach kits can range from $150 - $900 dollars for one grade level of the program. The academy can be purchased based on a semester or year. And you might purchase the materials or tuition only. To get the year of tuition and materials for the program, it can cost about $900 a year. Looking at your budget, how much time you can dedicate to the program and if you are looking for an accredited program can help you to decide which program to complete and how to pay. While the cost does give a bit of sticker shock, Abeka does offer monthly payment plans.
Reviewer Pros of the Curriculum
Abeka is a complete program with a heavy focus on phonics and language development. It also uses an accelerated approach that many parents enjoy. Other pros that are discussed from actual users of the program include:
- If you buy a kit, it is a onetime cost per year.
- The program offers you everything you need from videos to teaching materials in the kits.
- Parents have control over learning.
- The plans are easy to follow, and everything is scheduled.
- Strong Christian material and leadership is integrated into the classes.
- High resell value once you have completed the program.
Cons of the Abeka Program
While the onetime cost can be seen as a pro, some people found the program to be too expensive. Additionally, it was noted by a reviewer on Successful Homeschooling that Abeka had a high burn out rate since the accelerated materials, homework and tests can get overwhelming. Other cons seen with the program included:
- Heavy focus on religion
- High reliance on textbooks and workbooks
- Manual recording of students can be time consuming
- Lack of an online component
- Lesson style can be dry to some students
Abeka is a popular homeschool curriculum that utilizes videos, books and worksheets to teach children K-12 in all subjects. While you can do an independent approach, the academy is accredited and offers a diploma for students. Exploring the curriculum pros and cons can be a great way to decide if this is the right program for your homeschooler.
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Why A Beka Curriculum Did Not Work for Me
I had the Beka curriculum as a child until 6th grade and I didn’t mind it at all. I can only hope my children whenever/if I ever eventually have them have a curriculum as good. I wasn’t homeschooled, but went to a private Christian school with fairly small class sizes, usually under 20 people children per grade (it’s my understanding some homeschool groups are this big.) After that I went to public school in 7th grade, and it was mostly hell, but that’s besides the point.
I’m not sure if Beka is *really* meant for homeschooling, I only recently became aware people even use it for homeschooling. A problem we always ran into was we almost never actually finished a book in class by the end of the school year. Some years we’d have 50+ pages left, and a lot of times we’d skip pages, etc. There were only six hours in a school day, and while we had homework we never really had enormous amounts that I could remember, many days recess was a whole hour as well, which was awesome. It just required a lot of flexibility and kind of knowing by feel on the teacher’s end what was best. Besides public schools being hellish, academically it was a problem/shock to me in public school, as public school was much more rigid as far as scheduling learning, and the need to get extra help from the teacher after school, along with a diminished ability (once a week for a half hour at best for extra help after school.) In our Christian school, if even just 1-2 kids in the class were having problems with the math lesson, and math was usually from 8:30-9:30AM, if math class had to go right until 11:30 lunch time, we’d do it, then cut say, cursive practice short, or sometimes (sadly to us kids) music or art class, but then we’d switch back another day and emphasize the things we missed in the days or weeks before, like cursive class, art class, etc. So in this setting I found it fine, as there was a trained teacher there who used the books for whatever number of years. Siting down and thinking about this now, I actually would find homeschooling with only the books hard, as you’d need to gauge how to manage time appropriately and know what was essential and what wasn’t. Occasionally our teachers would use outside resources to help, and we’d not use strictly only Beka books, we’d have movies, some math worksheets or flash cards not related to Beka, etc. Also, the teachers of course had other teachers to ask for advice, or that taught a grade above or below before and knew what was most important for the next grade/life in general.
A very big specific plus to Beka in my mind was the reading curriculum and language arts curriculum was top notch. I recently read one of the essays of one of the (I think?) founders of Beka about phonetic reading education and found it 100% right. General literacy was really poor in public school, and children we had from public school that struggled with the curriculum initially actually ended up coming out way better readers and writers even if they only went to our school one year.
The only minus I can think of to the Beka curriculum is really lack of teaching scientific method in science, at least that I can remember. Obviously many people have disagreements about teaching Creationism, which we won’t get into, but lack of teaching this manner of thinking was concerning to me looking back. I think that was my only fluke positive thing from public school, having a science teacher that hammered that in well, and knowing controls, hypothesis, etc, really helps in daily life as an adult. I don’t know if the Beka middle school or high school books get into this better, I hope so. This might just be a fluke to my specific teacher, as seemingly most public school graduates don’t understand these concepts anyway. Beka actually was good as far as practical science, though, by this, showing things like water expansion, how to identify leaves, bugs (some stuff was weirdly specific to Florida back in the 90s, which was odd living up North with snow) all that sort of stuff. I think overall they did a decent job at making that sort of thing interesting.
We actually had no religious teaching books by Beka, for whatever (insane) reason we used Bob Jones University books. -_____- That said, I actually didn’t mind the random religiously influenced story books as a kid. I think in history class as well, though again, religious bend/propaganda (depending on how you put it) some stuff I remember well, like Chiang Kai Shek, the history of Taiwan, Chiang Kai Shek being a Christian, etc, that’s almost never brought up in public school textbooks.
Oh well, hope this is helpful in some manner. I do think you are correct in that Beka favors a more reading focused type of learning style, but that’s my natural learning style, and in my opinion, I think one that more people need in daily life in USA in 2019. Again, this is a perspective of a late 20s person actually educated with the curriculum, hope it’s helpful and God bless.
Abeka Homeschool Curriculum
Abeka homeschool curriculum is used by many of my friends because of the excellent foundation it supplies in their phonics program.
A Beka Book has a complete academic program for nursery (18–24 months) through grade 12. One of the greatest gifts parents can give their children is an excellent education. For many, homeschooling provides the best solution.
My first four children used the Abecka homeschool for least the first 2 years of school; it gave them a great head start in reading. A Beka Book materials work together to give a thorough, enjoyable, and highly teachable phonics approach to reading. Instruction is presented with short vowels, consonants, blends, one-vowel words, long vowels and the two-vowel rule, and special phonics sounds.
Three Programs Available for Abeka Homeschool Curriculum
Online Video Streaming offers high-quality full-screen content without the need for DVD shipments. This is a traditional distance-learning program for students in kindergarten, elementary, and high school taught by quality teachers in your home
DVD format offers high-quality teaching for the entire year with a choice of Kindergarten - 12th grade on DVD. All grades and all subjects are taught to your child on DVD.
Traditional parent directed program gives you with all the A Beka Book student and teacher materials that you will need to teach an entire grade or course including textbooks, workbooks, class and homework assignments, and tests. They will even do report cards.
You are teacher in this option. A Beka book has over 800 textbooks and teaching aids you can use (K4-6th). The bible is used in all subjects. Complete child and parent kits are also available, or you can order items individually.
Pros of A Becka Homeschool Curriculum
The phonics is excellent, the math is well-done and challenging, and several readers use parts from McGuffy's and other older readers.
The daily lesson plans save valuable time in preparation, very structured and laid out for the teacher. They even tells you what to say sometimes. In some cases, it presents the new material in a way the child can more easily understand it.
All the work is done for me. It tells me exactly what to teach on each day, week after week and gives me the option to cut out or add anything I may or may not want to do, depending on our own family's preferences.
literature includes exerpts from classic writers even for the little one's.
Workpages are colorful and interesting.
It is completely centered around the Bible and the Creator in every subject in every thing you do. It teaches that God is the Creater of the universe, and everything in it, is the foundation for learning science.
This curriculum give an Outstanding foundation for phonics and math.
Cons of Abeka Homeschool
A huge problem is that A Beka requires a lot of memorization and recollection of facts and information and is weak on higher level thinking skills.
The provided lesson plans involve some outdated teaching methods. For most of the day, the students are required to sit silently at their desks and listen while the teacher is talking (DVDs) or they are working independently on workbook pages.
This program would not be for someone that wants to be a free spirit. I really think you have to commit yourself and create the classroom experience for your child for them to be successful with this program.
It seems more like a classroom in the home rather than a home learning environment.
Abeka is a very drill intense program.
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