Abeka Homeschool Curriculum – An Honest Look at the Pros and Cons

Abeka homeschool curriculum is a K-12, accredited, Christian based homeschooling program that uses teaching techniques that are similar to those used in traditional schools. A Beka Book was founded in 1954 and is a still a favorite among Christian schools. The company’s use of textbooks and workbooks makes it a popular choice among parents who want to make sure their children remain on par with their peers in Christian and public schools.

Abeka homeschooling materials are colorful, thorough and easy to use, making it a good fit for families who are new to homeschooling. The company provides workbook pages that children can use independently, and teacher’s manuals that tell parents exactly what to say and do during instruction time. Parents can also purchase flashcards, charts and games that are scheduled in the lesson plans, along with answer keys for checking workbooks and tests. The company offers a full range of academic subjects. Materials can be purchased separately or as part of a kit.

Although A Beka is more expensive than similar programs on the market, it provides a high-quality education that usually places children a grade level above their public school peers. The company’s lesson plans and other materials can be saved and reused with younger siblings. Because Abeka is a popular program, materials that are well kept can usually be easily resold.

Some homeschoolers have complained that Abeka is too structured, too time-consuming, and too much like having school at home. However, as with any curricula, the program can be adapted to meet a family’s needs. In our home, we only use Abeka for math, phonics and language arts. We slow down or speed up as needed, and eliminate unnecessary activities. We also add in books, projects and field trips to make our program more fun.

Abeka generally works well for children with visual and auditory learning styles who learn in a traditional manner. It may not be a good fit for kinesthetic or hands-on learners. In addition, because the program moves at a rapid pace, it may not be suitable for children with special needs or learning disabilities.

Families who choose to use Abeka homeschool curriculum can use the parent-directed program that allows them to purchase materials to use on their own, or the fully accredited option, where A Beka Academy generates report cards and transcripts for the student. The company also has a DVD program which brings high-quality teaching into the home. In my opinion, the non-accredited, parent-directed option allows more flexibility. Families that live in states that do not have strict homeschooling requirements should have no problem taking this route.

Before purchasing materials from A Beka Book, view samples at the company’s website or attend a hotel meeting at a location near you.

Exploring America – History Curriculum For High School Homeschoolers

Finding a good history curriculum for high school was one of the greatest challenges I faced when I was being homeschooled. It seemed like most of the good history books stop at the Civil War or World War II. What about modern history? It’s hard to find a history book from a Christian perspective about modern history. Have you run into this problem, too? This difficulty has been overcome with a high school history curriculum from Notgrass Company. Exploring America by Ray Notgrass is an amazing curriculum that is exciting as well as educational. It begins with Christopher Columbus and ends at the present time. Each day is broken up into short concise lessons.

Sometimes history books seem to make the exciting events sound like nothing more than boring facts, Mr. Notgrass has an engaging writing style that makes the events come to life. There are also daily assignments that encourage the students to dig deeper. Sometimes they will read a document, speech, or hymn from American Voices, which is a 400+ page companion book that comes with the curriculum. Other times they will look up relevant Bible verses and also memorize verses. Writing assignments (including writing a research paper) are also part of the assignments. Students who finish the course will have three credits, one in history, one in English, and one in Bible. How’s that for hitting 3 birds with one stone?

This book is essential for every high school student and will give them the tools to take an in-depth look at American history from a Biblical perspective. If you are looking for a really good American history high school curriculum look no further. Exploring America has filled a big gap in the history curriculum for homeschoolers. Exploring America is the best high school curriculum for American history I have ever seen! I wish it had been around when I was in high school.

Exploring America by Ray Notgrass

Reviewed by Amy Puetz

Homeschool Curriculum – 3 Keys to Knowing Exactly What You Need

Most people who begin homeschooling think they need a huge amount of curriculum, books and resources. Having too many resources to choose from can be overwhelming. It’s best to keep things simple. Here’s how:

1. A Plan – Before you start buying anything, decide what you want your children to study and learn this year. Do you want them to enjoy learning? Do you want them to complete a certain workbook? Do you want them to know all the Presidents names by heart?

What has worked best for me is to list all the subjects across the top of a sheet of paper. Then list your student(s) names down the left side. Under each column for each student write some ideas of what you want them to study or accomplish for that year. This can be done by you or with your child. Once you have filled all this in, then circle one or two item(s) for each subject and focus on getting resources to support. The other items not circled can be used for another year or if you run out of material for this year.

2. The Basics – Homeschoolers need some basic reading, writing and math materials. No matter what your finances, the internet and libraries provide some incredible resources. Don’t disregard them just because they are free. Your children should spend time doing math and language each day. They should either read on their own or listen to you or some combination of that each day. For writing they can draw if they are younger. If they are over 8 years old they can write a page for you each day. Once children know how to read they should be able to teach themselves with a little guidance.

3. The Supplements – Once you have the basics covered you can add other subjects from your original plan such as science, Bible, foreign language, art, music, etc.

Books can be purchased new or used. Since so many people are homeschooling there are plenty of places you can get what you need from someone who either used the item gently or decided it wasn’t for them and didn’t use it at all.

If you plan what you want to do, cover the basics and supplement subjects that fit in with your plan, you should be able to have a great home school year.