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Why A Beka Curriculum Did Not Work for Me

If you are a homeschooler you have probably heard about A Beka. They are one of the longest standing homeschool curriculum providers, and actually what I grew up using as a child. The books are bright and incredibly comprehensive and fill me with a nostalgic sense of comfort. My first year homeschooling I bought all the completely curriculum kits for all my little ones and could hardly wait to get started. Through the years, I have learned the hard way that A Beka absolutely, positively, does not work for our family (despite my love for it and desire to make it work) and thought I would share for those of you who may be considering it.

Why A Beka Didn't Work for Us: A Beka Review | A Beka Curriculum | curriculum review | homeschool review | homeschool tips | homeschool curriculum | homeschool ideas | homeschooling | homeschooling curriculum | Christian curriculum | Christian homeschool curriculum

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My history with A Beka

I was homeschooled nearly all the way through to grade 11 (I went to high school for second term of grade 10 through to graduation). Nearly the entire way through my homeschooling journey, I used A Beka curriculum. I remember when that HUGE box would come in the mail (I had 3 siblings being homeschooled at the same time), I was always the MOST excited to open it. I can smell the new book smell, I loved the bright colors and the pictures and the freshness of a new year. I loved having my very own books and usually got started THAT DAY, no matter what. I would sometimes work through multiple books in a year, I loved that curriculum with every fibre of my being. It was fun, I loved workbooks and it just worked with me. My great aunt is actually a writer and has written numerous books for A Beka, so when I say I love this curriculum, it is coming from a deep sense of nostalgia, connections, and fond memories.

What happened when we tried it

I tried A Beka twice. Once when we first started (I bought their entire preschool package) and again last year. I went and purchased all the curriculum sets, determined to give it another chance and now I have books that are filled in about 2-3 weeks in and otherwise completely blank. I just can’t bear to throw them away but there is no one to sell them to up here. As I was reorganizing my school books and purging what just didn’t work for us (notice the AOP Lifepacs in there as well?) I thought I’d lay it all out for you guys. Check out these four reasons A Beka didn’t work for our family.

    1. It is designed for traditional homeschoolers. While it worked well for me, a classic traditional homeschooler in every sense, it didn’t work for my children, who learn best in a more Charlotte Mason/Unschooling/Eclectic learning environment. The repetition and book after book format just took all the joy out of school for them. They HATED it. “School Time” was met with tears and that was before we even started!
    2. It was too much. For language arts alone, my son had four separate books: Letters and Sounds, Language, Spelling and Poetry, and Writing with Phonics. Each one had full pages of copywork and matching and writing and grammar. Even one of those books was a lot for him, add in using all of them and he was beside himself. The day I packed those up was the happiest day of his life!
    3. It is a bit archaic. Now that I know more about learning styles and how we learn, there are simply better ways to teach. If I wanted to mimic school I could just send my kids to school. There is nothing in this that teaches to an auditory learner or a hands on learner.
    4. It is boring. I must have been a little keener that wanted to play school as a child (who am I kidding, I totally was!) but for my kids, I wasn’t even motivated to pull this stuff out. Read, write, repeat. I want to teach my kids through stories and games and activities, I want to do projects and learn together as a family rather than in our own little dark corner of the school room. I want it to be a living education, that is relatable to them, not random facts and repetitive information that they won’t remember. I wanted a learning experience that was customized to my children, and my kinesthetic learner was dying inside when it was time for aBeka. I was frustrated every day because I had to push it, make it happen, it was just bad. Bad from day one and it never got better.
abeka review

grade 1 subject kit

We literally didn’t make it a month into these books before I called it. One thing I have learned about homeschooling is that you have to be flexible, don’t get so caught up in what you want and expect. Yup, that was a LOT of money, we still have the readers, the rest is sitting in a locker in my basement. But the idea here is that in the beginning I have had to do a bit of trial and error. I have made mistakes. I have bought curriculum (AOP life pacs are the SAME idea, total mistake) that was a recipe for disaster. And the more I learn about myself, the more I learn about my vision for homeschooling and what I want out of it, the more I learn about my kids and how they learn… the better I am becoming at finding curriculum that works for all of us! (yes, it is possible!).

Is school a battle for you?

If you are fighting your kids everyday and feel like you are losing the battle, have you considered that it might be the way you are teaching? The books you are using? The method you are using? I have put together a 5 day course that is designed to help you identify your homeschool vision and teaching style and see if those align or not. Sometimes, like me, we need to change the way we teach because even though it comes naturally to us, it just isn’t accomplishing our goal! It will also help you learn your children’s personalities and learning styles so that you can better tailor their education to them. But the best part? At the end, I will put together a custom curriculum recommendation based on my experience as a homeschooled kid, homeschool mom, and the results of your course. I will send you an email with what I think might work for you and we can discuss those, ask questions, etc. to help you feel confident in what you are using this year! This course is entirely free! All you need to do is head here to sign up!

Choosing curriculum isn’t easy, but it is one of the most important things we do as homeschool moms. The curriculum we use can make or break our entire year. If you already have your curriculum, run with it! Try it, be open, try to make it work and find a way to make it work for you. But if you have put in the effort and it is just taking all the joy away from homeschooling for your family, don’t be afraid to cut your losses! Be honest with yourself and your kids, ask their input! Do a 1 month evaluation, find out what THEY think of it! I am confident that the more we can view curriculum as a tool and not something we are a slave to, the better our homeschool experience is going to be!

Do you use A Beka? How does it work for you?

Comments

  1. I am so glad to see this. Unless it is in a secure forum, so many don’t want to say that a particular curriculum did not work for them – let alone WHY. I find this post courageous and refreshing.

    I have a kinsthetic and an auditory learner, too. I remember days where my hands-on learner would just cry because she didn’t want copy work OR online curriculum. RE-DO!!

    I’m finding our journey is like writing a book. We know where are we are and we know where we want to be. Week to week and month to month, we track a course to get there. 🙂

    Thanks for posting this!

    • I teach at a Christian School(40yrs) –I have been in administration for many(20)yrs.—–I don’t know your situation, but I have seen many children who have been homeschooled , and when they come to us , they are SO far behind in even the most basic education—I believe homeschooling is fine–but the parents have got to be IN IT for the long ,hard haul-the “eclectic” is often wasted time and so idealistic, they have fun -but don’t connect with challenges, real life–some just do a bad, undisciplined job.Parents need to know WHY they are homeschooling(it shouldn’t be $)—there is a cost-but education is nothing ti be experimented with–it will influence the children for their entire lives,

      • Hi,
        I am a public school teacher who was against homeschooling until we had our son. As a product of public education , I can assure you that the quality is not the same as it was when I was a child. Some of the best teachers are in public schools but after doing the cost-benefit analysis, I do not think I want my child to have some of the harrowing experiences I’ve seen children endure. Now that he’s almost 3, I am terrified to send him out to preschool. I have decided to homeschool. He has never been to daycare so we have been responsible for his development in all domains. I am proud to say that at age 2, he is functioning cognitively at a grade 1 -2 level. I’ve seen parents who have no formal teaching experience do an excellent job with homescing. In many cases, when homeschoolers go to private or public schools, they are many grade levels ahead and due to lack of rigorous or challenging work, the fall behind.

        • I find this really interesting. In all my years of working with children, I have never seen a 2 year old who functions at a grade 1-2 level. That’s pretty impressive! I’m curious what you have been doing with him to get him so far along?

  2. ABeka didn’t work for our family either. I tried in when my oldest was in Kindergarten, but even then I knew it wasn’t going to be a match. My 2 sister-in-laws used it for their homeschooling, so I thought it would be great. Oy. Workbooks suck. And, frankly, even at that age level, there was WAY too much Americana in it for my liking. In fact, ABeka pushed me into searching for Canadian resources and starting my blog! lol. 😀

    I’m glad I didn’t try to stick it out. It would never have worked with my active, hands-on, short-attention boys. our mish-mashed, jumbled approach to school is working much better. 😀

  3. When my boys were in there early elementary years we used Abeka. That’s all I knew. As the homeschooling years passed on we expanded our horizons and realized how many other curriculums and opportunities there were for us. Different learning styles etc. My boys are in high school now and we have returned to the Abeka homeschool academy. I feel like my boys are doing an awesome job with the routine and gaining knowledge that will stick with them every day. The main reason we decided to go back was to get an accredited diploma. For my husband and I this was important.

    • Our oldest just started the 9th grade DVD ABeka Academy program and we are finding the memorizing bible verses very difficult. Our daughter is having a lot of trouble memorizing these long KJV bible verses in the time given. Is there a trick? She is getting very frustrated and it’s stressing her out. Right now we are doing the independent program and plan to do that up till Senior year where she will do the accrediated. Like you, we came to ABeka for her to get accrediated. What are we doing wrong. What do you do to memorize these verses in the little time they give on top of the other home work the other subjects give? We are all very overwhelmed.

      • We have found that our kids memorize verses easily when they are put to music! We just either put them to tunes we already know, or come up with our own (just for us!). We record them on a mobile device and the kids listen to them several times each day. By the end of the week, they know the passage….but best if all, it sticks with them! The memorization of God’s Word cannot be overstressed!

  4. I used all about reading and Singapore math for kindergarten then switched to Abeka for first and now second grade. I have to be honest, I’m not really liking the lessons and my daughter doesn’t like all the work and repetitive review. It’s a great curriculum but have been thinking about switching again but don’t know what I need. Any suggestions for language arts?

    • Did you ever find anything? My son’s school uses bju for language and abeka for math. I like bju because it has been mainly fill in the blank, with just a few larger essays that are broken up into “steps” that are manageable. This will be our first year homeschooling and we plan on using bju for english for 5th grade.

    • Hey, as a homeschooled kid (k-12) and now a homeschooling mom to four I can recommend Learning Language Arts through Literature

  5. My daughter likes aBeka math, history and uses just the Grammer workbook. She is more of a self learner. This doesn’t work for my hands on autistic son . She hated the literature so we are making our own curriculum . Both love Apologia science and fill in the workbooks.We also take those tests as my daughter is high school. For my son we have pretty much made our own curriculum from various sources , books and off the net. The key is to find your child’s learning style and go with it. The joy of home schooling is you can teach the way your child learns. Mine didn’t fit in the cookie cutter mold so we experiment with what may fit. Good luck in everyone’s journey through learning .

  6. EXACTLY!!! repetitive information that they won’t remember.

    WHEN I realized my 4th grader hadn’t LEARNED the history or gramnar, just memorize n repeat, was when I pulled her out of her private school that used A Beka. We use an eclectic mix, with some of the a beka math n grammar exercises for practice, and kid Lives school again ! Hardest lesson to learn was to take faith n ditch what isn’t working!!

  7. I’m struggling with this. My 7-year-old has a late birthday and so we decided to start her in kindergarten at 6. She’s advanced pretty quickly this year and is ready to move into second grade stuff. I only bought Abeka to have the scope and sequence to make sure we were hitting everything she needed to learn. Now I’m ready to start exploring more ways of teaching but I still want to make sure I’m teaching everything she needs. Help! I don’t know where to find consolidated info about what to teach!

    • This is also my concern! We have a few years before my oldest is ready for any type of schooling, but I am already looking at all types of curriculum. I love the idea of not using a specific curriculum, but my main concern with that is not teaching essential information!

    • One source to go to are the books by Hirsch entitled “What Your (1st grader, etc) Needs to Know”. These are not curriculum, but provide a detailed look at skills and concepts you might want to cover at each level.
      I personally used Sunlight, (though didn’t try to do every thing in it), Winston grammar, and Horizons math.

  8. THANK. YOU. I tried, and tried, and TRIED to love Abeka! I used it for three years, and I’m done. I’m in the process of selling it now, and I stumbled upon your blog. It’s not working for us (probably never did), and I’m finally at peace with moving on. I’ve found other curriculums that we’re all in love with, and I’m so thankful. I can relate 100% with your story…for real. Thanks so much!

  9. We school year round and just switched to Abeka for summer school. 30 pages in and we all LOATHE school time. We’re attempting to suffer through it to not waste the books but will be switching back to Rod and Staff as soon as possible! It has worked really well for both my young boys so far and I plan on using it for my daughter too. I should have stayed with what was already working but was guilted into using “the best”. I also add in my own curriculum for added fun and extra practice when needed.

  10. May i ask what curriculum you’re using? I’ve just switched our oldest to Switched on Schoolhouse last year (7th grade), which our son will be able to use this year. Our 2 youngest (going into Grade 1 and 4) I’m welcoming suggestions!!

  11. Hi, I like the abeka video school idea. Is there anything else that might work for a boy who learns auditory way?

    • I would suggest you teach your son. Abeka repeats and repeats. My son is very auditory but became very frustrated with the constant repetition within lessons. It isn’t where you can even just pick and choose lessons here and there either. The repetition is extreme even within individual lessons. Just my two cents.

      • Two of our homeschooled sons are now in college. The repetition back in their school days put things in their longterm memory that have come back to them in college classes and have greatly facilitated learning! We are grateful for the repetition now!

  12. This is going to be my first year to homeschool. I’ve been in prayer for a while and the opportunity to take my 9 year son to clean houses with me came up so I can now do what had been in my heart and his. He has done really well in public school grade wise and made 97% on Staar test results and I’ve been trying all summer to find out what program we should use. I had heard of Abeka but that’s the only one. What do you suggest for a 4th grade boy who does seem to do ok with whatever style public school uses here in Texas. We don’t have a computer or Internet also so was trying to decide if there is a program to use that doesn’t require that but we can get it if needed. Appreciate any advice from those who may can help us make the right choice. Thank you

  13. We have 7 children who started with a little Abeka and have done private school for some also. (Four out of college, one going into college and 2 homeschooled.) Abeka is okay and you can hit hot spots with 1-3rd, 5th, 8th, 10th and skip if needed. (Sing Spell Read and Write for phonics.) Look over the scope and sequence and see what is beneficial for you. You can cover science and history through a Christian perspective by reading the books which is great. You only need to buy answer guides and tests as they get older. A lot of Abeka is busy work and will drive you insane if you do speed tests, reviews, etc. Your spouse may think you are not teaching your children correctly because you do not use all of the curriculum, and it normally causes a huge fight. Be sure to share blogs like this to your spouse to help them understand you are not the only one that thinks there is a better way. There is NO way you can do all that is required by some curriculum programs, especially if you have one trying to learn, with a 2 year old crawling on the table, two older ones picking on each other, while holding an infant. Breathe. Take what you like from Abeka, and find something out there that works for you.

    • Thanks for this comment. I’m interested in knowing more about how you managed the program, skipping grades, etc and still keep it accredited. I wasn’t educated in the US so I’m unfamiliar with most of it. And it’s been hard to find a good homeschool group in California.

  14. My wife taught the ABEKA 3rd grade curriculum for 17 years. She started in 1988. Sadly, it’s essentially the exact same curriculum nearly 30 years later. She would say it has some good parts but has many weaknesses. ABEKA majors or rote memory and is weak on developing critical thinking. The reading program includes piddly little short stories whereas 3rd graders should be reading chapter books. My wife always added several chapter books to the curriculum. Spelling vocabulary often includes many ridiculous words that are not necessary for anyone to use but especially not 3rd graders. We homeschooled our boys, the oldest starting in 6th grade, the youngest starting in 1st grade. Being unhappy with ABEKA after 14 years of experience with it, my wife looked into the Bob Jones University Press curriculum and was blown away by it in comparison to the ABEKA. No curriculum is perfect. However, the Bob Jones University curriculum, as opposed to ABEKA, gets updated regularly and is focused on meeting the testing requirements found in various States. The ABEKA curriculum does not meet those requirements. The Bob Jones Curriculum focuses much more on developing critical thinking skills and actually could use a bit more rote memory but that’s easy for a teacher to add. Overall, my wife would most certainly recommend anyone considering the homeschooling of their children to seriously consider the Bob Jones University Press curriculum especially since it includes video of teachers speaking directly to the student. The ABEKA curriculum can be distracting as it shows behavior of students in the classroom. Again, no curriculum is perfect, but we found that our boys mostly enjoyed the Bob Jones University Press curriculum and the teachers and it certainly prepared them well for college. Simply a FWIW.

    • We are new to homeschooling high school students. Does anyone have a suggestion for the best literature programs? Something that would simulate the a strong collegiate World Literature course? We use AOPS for math, and will look at Apologia Science and Bob Jones for History. What tests do students take to ” prove their knowledge of these topics in 9th thru 12th grade? Do many take the AP ( English, History, Science or Spanish)? Do students focus on the critical reasoning type curriculums and then additionally study for the AP exams using “other rote programs or test books”?

      Would love your inputs! thanks

      • Hi emilyr have you tried the Sonlight Curriculum for language arts? It is very literature orientated. Personally I am not a fan of the Abeka way of working. I am using it at school this year but we have added a STEM projects approach to liven it up. I find the core information to be good and of a high standard but the drip feed and regurgitate method does not work for me or my students at all as it is not building long term knowledge and it bores us to death. I have a renegade pirate approach. We do cool projects and I try to add a wow factor with the delivery of material and then I use the Abeka materials for the kids to go home and read and highlight the imprtant bits for their lesson recap. The lesson plan breakdown into 170 days per year is very useful. I have used Abeka and got great results and kept interest levels high but you have to work the curriculum to the max with many projects.

  15. I used this curriculum and loved it. I just started my 3 yr old son and we are struggling. He is very high energy and repetition works for him but he is still missing key points. I would love some suggestions on alternative curriculum to look at.

  16. I love ABeka but it takes so much time to get through everything. Lots of busy work but I skip problems she definitely knows to move along. They give you more than enough for those that need extra problems, My daughter had it in private grade 3 and 4. Home schooled Abeka 5th through currently 8th. I don’t want to change because I fear she will fall behind especially in Math. It is pricey but I have someone that buys my curriculum for almost half of what I pay for it. I love how each lesson in Math teaches a concept then the next page is reviewing what you have learned for the year so you don’t forget. You can always flip back to see how a problem is done when you forget. I bought 10 hrs of streaming this year for $50 for lessons I feel I need a master teacher and classroom etc…. Can even use the streaming for Spanish class… I would like to check out Bob Jones Univ but I can;t see myself totally changing. ABeka works! Her Terra Nova test scores were 97/98+….

  17. I went to a private school that used Abeka from 1-7th grade. I LOVED the books! The whole syllabus was exciting for me, learning it was fun. I read my textbooks from cover to back before my teacher even go there and I read every single extra literature book we had in the class. Even thinking about it now, I wish I could go back. I don’t remember doing hectic drills or anything, we had a weekly spelling test and I think daily/ weekly math drills as well as answering sheets for literature and such. I think the worksheet part of the syllabus is designed for you to pick and choose what to use and not necessarily use all of it? Although I learn best from the traditional teaching methods (command/ practice) I know that might not be the best methods for other students. I would suggest maybe trying all 8 teaching styles incorporated into their school work and see which your child responds to best to?

  18. Thank you for this. I too was an Abeka kid in a private school. Now that I’m in my first year of preschool/homeschool, I’m looking for curriculum for K5. This first year I’ve been ive keeping things low key. We’re learning letter and numbers but focus a lot of our time on imaginative play and just enjoying life my first year as a stay at home mom. As I look into Abekas K5 curriculum I feel a rise of panic on my chest. It’s so far advanced from where we are. I Want to keep learning fun and explorative but also feel like some sort of curriculum would help me keep my daughter where she needs to be academically. It’s so overwhelming!

  19. We use Abeka for a third year now. I really like it . It’s a high level of education, and I’m also didn’t want for my daughter to fall behind or get less knowledge that’s why I chose the Abeka. It was working ok for us for a while through 7th and 8th and now we are in 9th. Sometimes it was to much and overwhelming , even for me when I was checking homework and all requirement verses , current evens, poems and books reports, also because I was worried that she wouldn’t finish on time. The amount of work is huge and she started to hate it because it was to stressful. She loves History , Bible and Science, she can do great even without watching a lesson. Most struggles is Math and English. I choose Abeka also for the accredited school and for higher education, but I would love to find out if there is a way I can find different curuculam for English and Math. I would be appreciate if anybody can give some advice about it. Thank you

  20. I am going to start homeschooling in two weeks. I was going to purchase Abeka because my husband did it when he was growing up. I would love to take those books off your hands if you are giving them away or selling them. I would like to see if it will work out for my family. Please let me know! Thanks for this article.

  21. We love Abeka and especially love the videos because of the singing and the stand up sit down exceevides aim English and other subjects. I love the Americana, I don’t feel like patriotism is being encouraged anymore. On days that we have other activities we skip the videos and just do the book work but I feel like the videos add so much to the experience that I don’t.

  22. I loved your article and your insight! I am a teacher, by degree and at heart, for 20 years, a home school teacher for 15 and am very familiar with Abeka. I went to Abeka headquarters, aka Pensacola Christian Academy in Florida for training and workshops. I am a big fan of Abeka, but I also know first hand it does not work for every child or every home school family. It is overwhelmingly thorough and I had to learn to make it work for us by cutting things out. You see I first learned to use Abeka as it was first made, for a school with many kids. There is a lot of busy work for a few purposes. To keep kids busy so the teacher can have time to go around the room and help kids individually and for reading groups and it is for kids who can stay on task easily without too much supervision. I have read and seen that it is comparable to college prep or advanced learning. When I first started teaching 20 years ago, my Abeka students were typically 1-2 years ahead of their peers in most subjects compared to public school education in my district. Abeka moves fast as well in my opinion. It doesn’t seem to be for hands on learners unless you use the games in younger grades, which I did in my traditional private school classroom. I kept my kids up and moving as much as possible. While doing my training at Pensacola Christian Academy I observed real time classrooms and I thought the kids moved, acted and responded like robots at times. I could not replicate some of the things they taught me in my own classroom. It just did not seem realistic, but I did add a lot of classroom management techniques to my tool belt that did work from their training. My kids just rarely ever responded like perfect angels every.single.time. Abeka has a strong name behind them and a good history, but I had a very poor experience this year with their Customer Service, over and over again for months, so I abandoned their help in December, threw out geometry for my 11th grader and transitioned to Khan Academy. We leave Abeka this year as my girls transition to public school after 11 years. Their choice, my approval. Abeka offers quality in material. The phonics for preschoolers and elementary is top notch and I will always recommend it. It took me years to adapt the curriculum from how I used it in a classroom to how I used it at home. And indeed it is a more classical learning approach.

  23. I have to agree that A Beka is not going to work for everyone, but it does work for many. I homeschool 8 children ranging from 14 years old (9th grade this coming school year) to 6 years old entering 1st grade and use A Beka. I do our own reading program using the Library as I have used “Learning to Read in 100 Easy Lesson” in the kindergarten level and they are running away in reading after that. Within the following years of finishing that book, the problem is that their reading level is far above their maturity level, I have a difficult time finding enough books to keep them satisfied! By grade 2, they are into chapter books the size of The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew! Here is where our library comes in. We LOVE the classics, and for the most part, the kids love the old writers. Anyway, all this to say that for anyone with youngsters learning to read, I highly recommend “Learning to Read in 100 Easy Lessons”. Skip Abeka’s reading program, and perhaps cut down the grammar and math to every other problem. I do evens on the even lesson # and odd on the odd lesson #. It works for us. Maybe it can help lessen the load.

  24. Abeka is good guidelines for teachers- I am never for boxed curriculum. Each child has differences what will work for them. Abeka Science was my favorite but like I say it was guideline for me. We used Charlotte Mason type home school.

  25. I am a second year homeschooler and I use Abeka. I have learned to integrate the lessons and book work into our day in a way that works for each child. Although my kids love our arts and crafts, and other activities we do, they are still required to sit and do book work and plenty of learning through repetition. If it helps anyone, my 3 year doesn’t do anything for more than 15 minutes and switches from activities to Abeka and back several times before she needs a break. I’m so proud that her first school year started August 13th and she already knows her vowels and can write them correctly. I think the trick is to create a mix of everything that works.

  26. I’m sorry that it hasn’t worked for so many of you, but I love A Beka! I believe that Curricula (A Beka or other) should be a really be a guide. I believe that the ways in which lessons are delivered, is the responsibility of the teacher. I mean, I love exploration and having fun while learning, but it can’t be solely that. Book work, timed lessons, etc. that are synonymous with A Beka books, help to teach discipline that most of our modern day, unstructured learning do not. And we all learn by gaining clarity and understanding, and repeating things. As a teacher, if I see that my students grasp some concepts quickly, I give them home work or multiple exercises to complete instead of having to carry certain concepts over into weeks ahead. I also make teaching aids, get supporting audio or audiovisual materials to assist those learners, and supporting manipulatives for each lesson; so all learning styles are catered to.

  27. Hi!
    Did anyone ever have an issue with having to go back and try to have your child complete a video lesson that the school says your child didn’t complete, only to find that you cannot access the lesson?
    I am having so much trouble with their customer service and help.

    • Very bad customer service! No offense but if they praised the curriculum which I use by the way their customer service help doesn’t show that they’re very knowledgeable…gives it a bad name.

  28. I thought I might add a different perspective. In my case, my daughter went to a private school (7th and 8th) that used a beka book. On her 9th grade year we relocated for work. I again enrolled her in private school, but withdrew her 30 days later. Compared to this current school, she praised a beks book because of the structure. It seems this school picked lessons at random from different affiliations leaving her feeling all over the place. At the moment I am enrolling her in a larger, extremely advanced, and structured (accordance to accreditation) private Christian School, but am having trouble. Some of the classes she has already taken, in 8th grade did not come with hs credits (according to a beka) other classes she should have taken already, she has not. It makes for a VERY hard transition. I suppose it life is so secure and mapped out that change will never occur, it seems this curriculum does what it needs to. On the other hand going from homeschool or switching private schools may leave your child behind.

  29. I grew up on Abeka for elementary and then my Mom went eclectic grade 7-12. I loved Abeka in the early years (k-3) so I knew i wanted to start with them.
    I did not purchase the kit but i’m doing k5 letters and sounds, cursive writing & number skills. We do more Charlotte Mason approach for bible and science/social (which is pretty chill in k). So far so good! My boy loves the workbook approach and checkmarks etc. I plan to keep an open mind and an eclectic style in future years!

  30. Hi, I am researching private Christian Preschools and schools for my grandsons age 2 and 4 that are moving. One school I found uses A Beka, so I started researching. It looks to me like they only teach cursive handwriting? Even at age 4? That really surprised me. Maybe I am wrong. Please let me know. I would hope they teach manuscript as well. Also, I saw a lot of whole group teaching in the videos I watched. I am wondering if they use smaller group instruction at all. I am a recently retired 2nd grade teacher and I know this site is about homeschooling. If anyone can help me with my questions I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much.

    • Hi
      One of my boys started abeka in 1st grade and did use alot of cursive but i made him do a small amount ..just enough to undestand and as an art..develop his brain. I encouraged him to write manuscript all the other times. They overdue penmanship but my kids can read it and its paid off! You as the parent should decide what to take out..too much at that age. Now i have a K writing in cursive…i feel like its an art too so its good for them. Its impressive 🙂 my daughter stopped using it in 7th grade cirr. Hope that helps

  31. I’ve been using Abel’s since 1982. I love , I do streaming now where i don’t have to teach as much. My last one is in 11th grade and will graduate using it.

  32. I was a homeschool teacher for my church back in the 80’s and 90’s and I thought Abeka Curriculum was absolutely awesome. My children excelled. I had kindergarteners learning with ease 3rd grade material.

  33. We started our kids with abeka academy (lot easier) and are out of the box homeschoolers so to speak. Haha. Because this curriculum works for me as a mother that’s what we go with. I figure if I can’t handle it that’ll all fall apart and what’s the point of homeschooling. Yes there are hard days but that comes with territory of kids in general (and ive tweeked stuff for each kids personality). I have a couple sisters who homeschool completely different curriculums but it also matches their personality. I have a K, 4th, 7th, and a freshman doing abeka. We’re on our 4th year. Prayed about it and that fell in our laps and we’ve stuck to it. I wanted more of a classroom setting because that keeps us on track and motivated. Still have my kids with me and thats what i really desire in general since i dont necessarily have s teachers heart. They have their teachers on the screen. Thumbs down for their customer service thats the negative.

  34. I could have written this post myself, it’s so similar to my situation. I struggle because I feel like a beka gave me an extremely solid foundation that most of my peers did not have. It gave me a leg up, a step ahead. I still use its scope and sequence as my benchmarks when looking at other curriculum. But with memorization as the basis of learning, I have had more trouble than some in understanding concepts, especially in college math. I actually excelled at math all through high school, and was ahead of most of the kids in my class. But when I reached the upper level math in college, simple memorization just couldn’t cut it anymore. It does teach basic phonics, and I excelled it reading, and early, in that program. But as far as spelling goes, there are more words that break the basic phonics rules in there are that keep them- so I’ve always been a terrible speller. Most importantly, my kids are extremely social/interactive, and kinesthetic. And I remember being bored out of my mind, especially in spelling, in elementary school (even though I love workbooks myself). So my goal is to find curriculums just as comprehensive as abeka, but that make learning fun. I mean why do flash cards if you can play a card game that accomplishes the same thing, that they will beg you to do every day?

  35. I have 9 kids many of whom have had learning disabilities. I ha e been homeschooling for 40 years. We adopted our three youngest after our other six were adults. We are Catholic so some of the religious attitudes in ABeka books don’t work for us. I use Sing, Spell, Read, and Write and do Classical History from a Catholic perspective. I have been homeschooling for so long that when we started ABeka would not sell books to homeschoolers. I have tried many, many different curriculums for all the other subjects especially Catholic ones, but I always end up going back to ABeka because their books are so superior to everything else. I just threw away some science books when my kids begged me. They love ABeka books. The other books did not make sense and did not explain well enough. It is true that ABeka books are very long, but I think the key is to use the books and not key them use you. For example,my kids don’t do memory work and my dyslexic kids need me to read word problems to them. We love the math timed tests, but after talking to an ABeka consultant who told me to have my kids only do the problems they need to do I started picking and choosing problems for them. I use what ever grade level is appropriate for each child and don’t worry about age or grade level.

  36. 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.

    • I agree that historically learning was done from reading and we need to return to that! We are an image focused society! You could argue about the AMOUNT of school done each day though.

  37. I will start by saying I love Abeka. I think the phonics foundation is amazing. The arithmetic is my jam. I also love feeling like my kids are getting the “advanced” education that a private school education would provide. That being said….
    It does not work for us either. My son is (i believe) a kinesthetic learner and he has hated writing utensils for as long as I can recall. {seriously, his idea of coloring is choosing one color, one scribble and done}. So the demands of worksheet after worksheet was just too much. The first year homeschooling we did video and we thought that was the problem. So the following year we decided I would teach him the material, that didn’t work either. A blank sheet of paper is enough to push him into panic (even when he can narrate well, writing is not his favorite thing to do).
    It also doesn’t work for me. I am in the process of unlearning the ways of public school but that aside I am very systematic and list oriented. If you give me a list of instructions and a pile of worksheets, I struggle mentally to skip over things and leave empty spaces. I just CANT.
    I have decided to carry on and try the entire abeka curriculum for my daughter entering 1st grade, in hopes she will do better b/c she highly enjoys writing and coloring but also she is a visual learner. If this year shows the same signs of stress, we will be hanging it up entirely.

  38. We use Abeka and actually enjoy it, but I don’t use every single piece. I don’t understand when people think it’s all or nothing. We use only Abeka through 2nd grade, but pretty much only the math, phonics, and grammar books. In third grade-fifth we change the literature and history (but still don’t do every single book, like the Reading Comprehension, and sometimes we skip handwriting altogether. Sometimes we do IEW’s spelling, but usually do Abeka because I like the poetry.) We usually do Abeka science. Sometimes we don’t science at all, but my kids do enjoy it, especially the 4th grade. I like Abeka math through middle school, but we sometimes do other curriculums to lighten the load. I love Abeka grammar all the way through but don’t feel the need to do it every single year. There’s other curriculums I enjoy adding to the mix.

  39. Hello, sorry for your experience with Abeka. My girls love Abeka (6 grade and 4 th grade). We are not native speakers of English, we live in Europe and because Abeka is some kind of repetitive ( specially for the first years of hs) , they know a very good English. Yes, it a lot of work, but it s worthy, indeed sometimes we skeep some of the stuff. We also know other hs moms, that used orher curriculas and then switched to A beka, finding it more orgsnized, clear to learn.

  40. Well this was a good read.
    I have used Abeka and I am convinced it is hands down one of the best most advanced curriculums on the market and I have tried a few. However, I do believe Abeka adds a lot of unnecessary review and extra seat work so we just leave it out unless it’s needed. We imporvised some. I do think the history books are intense and we have started learning history our own way to make it fun and memorable. Also, because I have 4 when my oldest got to 9th grade we decided to change things up and used all different types of material and it worked well for us. However, we continued using Abeka Bible and Grammar. My oldest has now graduated and attending a Bible college and I now have a 2nd, 5th, and 9th grader. It has worked wonders for us! Now I am not saying its always fun for them because kids would just rather play but they learn and excell and we stay as flexible as we can. I always recommend Abeka and I know many others who would as well. A side not: I have seen many parents struggle with teaching their kindergarteners to read unless using Abeka. Abeka makes reading so simple and they learn so quick!!! Thanks for the opportunity to share my views on the subject! I love homeschooling! ❤

  41. Abeka is an absolutely wonderful curriculum for Preschool-K. (Not too fond of their school-age program). Yes, they use A LOT of repetition in their methods but it can (and should be) be used in addition to other teaching methods. Also, repetition is great for this age. I taught Abeka in a private school setting for 20+ years. People were breaking down the doors to enroll their children because of our past successes and academic track record and I truly KNOW Abeka was the reason we were (and still are) so successful in teaching little ones. As far as too much ELA, how can there be too many resources of ELA???? Lol anyway, I love Abeka.

  42. I started off using ABeka and the traditional approach with my then 3 yr. 3 mo. old and 4 yr. old both doing K4. Pleased to announce that yes, your 3 yr. old can learn to write cursive at that young age when using ABeka Book as I had used to teach them. (very easy to teach!) They continued using ABeka Book until we became relaxed homeschoolers around 5th grade. (They still write in cursive without having to practice penmanship.) I believe we unschooled intermittently thoughout the past few years as well. Needless to say, every.single.time I try to get back to using ABeka in a traditional way, I am completely overwhelmed. I really feel that it worked well back when I only knew one approach…the traditional way and copied school at home…chalkboard and all. I knew ABeka was used In Christian schools so I felt good about using them. Now that there is a complete smorgasbord of curriculum choices out there, we have ventured and are using other resources like UnLock Math, IEW, Av-stem.com, & others. I am still having a hard time completely giving up ABeka, so we are still using some of their books like History, Bible, some Math, Health, Geography & Science. For the most part, my kids have been practicing self-directed learning the past few years as well. I believe like others have pointed out, that you can pick and choose. I also did not know about the “busywork” until my two oldest were in the 2nd grade. Needless to say, I stopped that right away. Kids truly need to explore and play. To this day, I will never forget the time when I noticed my then 4 yr. old leaning her cheek against her hand as she was doing her boring “schoolwork”. She should have been playing. I did not know what I know now. 🙂 God bless you all.

  43. Our science teacher loves tests just as much as he fails at creating them. I feel like an underpaid detective when trying to unravel what exactly is being asked in a question. Now that I delegated this task to https://royalessays.co.uk service I feel much happier. Sometimes they don’t get it all right too, but generally, my grades are good.

  44. Wow, I have been encouraged by all the comments….now, I will pray and seek God for answers….. I believe He will help us to find a happy medium!

  45. I am so sorry A Beka did not work out well for you! Did you know that you can sell your used curriculum? I have sold almost all of my A Beka books to Second Harvest. They buy old curriculum and sell it at a reduced price to other teachers. It has been to best resource to help me clean out my basement!
    http://www.usedhomeschoolbooks.com

  46. I used a Beka book from 4th grade through 12th grade and the one I hated the most was the math, math is and was my hardest subject and the Beka book curriculum did not make it easy and I had some learning disabilities something I don’t think A Beka book takes in mind. My mom gave up on the curriculum for me though my siblings and two kids my Mom were tutoring were still using it, for me she used Alpha Omega Publications which was much easier for me to navigate through. However I do like their readers so it wasn’t all bad

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