Abeka Homeschool Curriculum – Things to Know

More and more children are being homeschooled these days. Because of this, there is an abundance of resources for homeschooling. There are several types of homeschooling, including Classical, Montessori and Eclectic. You may also have heard of Abeka homeschool. Actually, Abeka is not a type of homeschooling but a curriculum package that parents of homeschooled children can use.

The Abeka homeschool curriculum is one of the most popular Christian homeschooling curriculums. It is a complete learning system that includes a teacher’s guide, suggested lesson plans, templates for testing, and textbooks. The Abeka curriculum is known to be challenging; it is typically one grade level ahead of regular public schools. Thus, a first grade Abeka curriculum is equivalent to second grade public school curriculum.

The Abeka homeschool curriculum covers homeschooling from kindergarten to 12th grade. It is an accredited, faith-based home schooling program used by many Christian schools. Like any curriculum, it has its pros and cons that you must consider before you decide to use it in a homeschooling program for your kids.

Pros

The curriculum includes lesson plans and schedules similar to that used in public schools. New homeschooling families will find it extremely helpful. The materials are advanced and may be used for gifted students.

You can purchase Abeka learning materials individually, or as part of grade-level kits. This way, home schooling families can buy only the specific materials that they want. In addition, Abeka curriculum materials have a high resale value. Many homeschooling parents prefer to buy used Abeka curriculum to save money.

Cons

The homeschooling packages of Abeka are quite expensive and much more costly than public schooling. Abeka also changes their textbooks and curriculum materials frequently, making it difficult to find the right workbooks if you use the same textbooks for your younger children.

Abeka homeschool relies heavily on textbooks and workbooks. It is more time-consuming than other curriculums for homeschooling. Thus, it may not be the ideal curriculum for parents who prefer a more relaxed approach. Also, average students may find the accelerated curriculum too challenging, leading to higher burnout rate.

Abeka homeschooling offers an accredited program for kindergarten up to grade 12 where report cards and transcripts are maintained by Abeka. The program is offered with a video option or traditional parent-directed option. It is a faith-based, accelerated curriculum and it is up to you to decide if Abeka homeschool is suitable for your child.

Choosing the Right Homeschool Curriculum For Your Family

Any first time homeschooler can recount the details of their first homeschool convention. Some may have wonderful experiences, but the many that I have come into contact with, come away feeling hopelessly overwhelmed and confused by the availability of choices. The families who go to homeschool conventions and come away with the right fit or mix of curriculum normally have a well thought out plan.

Perhaps you are the type of homeschooling parent who does not attend homeschool conventions. Possibly you prefer to order your homeschool curriculum from various catalogues that you request by telephone, mail or over the internet. Here you are selectively contacting those curriculum providers that you feel will best suit your needs.

You could possibly be part of a third group – the homeschooler who enjoys surfing the web and sifting through the maze of homeschool curriculum advertised on line. This was where I found myself about 10 years ago. Not being in a country where annual homeschool conventions were the norm all those years ago, I needed a strategy to survive the curriculum hunt.

Here are my top 8 tips for choosing the right curriculum for your family, whether online, via catalogue or at a homeschool convention.

Tip no 1 – Know your children well.

Here I am not talking about learning styles. This is knowing their particular bent – their interests, their heart, their hopes and dreams.

Tip no 2 – Family focus

Here you consider what you as a family are about. Are you a missionary family? Are you a family with special needs children? Perhaps you want to travel more. All these issues need to be taken into account.

Tip no 3 – Learning styles

Knowing your children’s learning styles (and your teaching styles) is an important consideration but it should not be the only thing that you consider when purchasing curriculum.

Tip no 4 – Long term goals

What are your long term goals for your family? What are your children’s goals for their own lives? The answer to this question may only become clearer as your children get older. But if you desire that your children are self employed then you would look for curriculum and resources that aid you in this goal.

Tip no 5 – Cost

This is an important factor. While there are many homeschooling families who feel alright with photocopying and borrowing material, I have never thought it fair to “rob” others of their income. This does not mean that buying a homeschool curriculum need to bankrupt you, but planning in advance can make all the difference if you know what your budget is.

Tip no 6 – Philosophy

Research what homeschool philosophy appeals to you. There are a large number of differing schools of thought. Briefly they are: Literature Based, Unit Study, Textbook, Unschooling, Accelerated, Catholic, Classical, Delight Directed and Charlotte Mason.

Tip no 7 – Time available to mom

This is an important factor to take into consideration. Do you have lots of children? Perhaps you work part time? Do your children pursue lots of activities and have other co-op classes? These need to be thought through as you prepare to purchase any curriculum.

Tip no 8 – Know your child’s preferences and weaknesses

Part of choosing curriculum is finding the right tools to build up your children in their weaknesses so that they achieve an acceptable standard. It is also good to have a general knowledge of all scholarly disciplines, but this is not necessarily the only goal. Make sure you also choose things in which your child can delight in.

Finally before starting out to the homeschool convention, surfing the net or sending out catalogue request, be sure that you have prayed about your choices, sought your husbands counsel and that you have your guidelines in place. Happy curriculum hunting.

What to Look For in a Homeschool Curriculum

Making the decision to homeschool a child is never an easy one for a parent to make. For some, the decision to homeschool a child is based on the fact that they were homeschooled themselves, or oftentimes the result of a negative experience or disillusionment with the local public or private school curriculum. Whatever the reason, it is imperative that parents take the time to consider the curriculum that is best for the needs of their child. In order to find the program or approach the will best serve the academic needs of their child, parents have to consider everything from the individual learning style of their child to specific topics covered as part of the curriculum,

Choosing the right homeschool curriculum doesn’t require an advanced degree, but it does require careful thought and consideration. Homeschoolers should exercise patience and avoid becoming overwhelmed with the multitude of choices. Parents should consider factors such as learning and teaching styles, grade level, number of students being taught, religious affiliation, topics covered, and cost and overall value, among other things, when selecting a homeschool curriculum.

o Consider the needs of the child – It can be very difficult for parents to separate their own needs from the needs of their child. Remember to keep the child’s needs first when selecting a curriculum. Understand how the child’s likes, dislikes, learning style(s), cognitive levels will affect the curriculum you select.

o What teaching style do you prefer – There is room in homeschooling for the parents too. Since parents will be the one’s doing the teaching and putting the curriculum into effect, it is important to consider the individual teaching style that a parent prefers. Parents should consider the amount of involvement and control that they want to have over their child’s instruction. Does a parent want the program to do the teaching for them, or do they want to be able to exercise more control and have more input into the style of teaching that is used?

o What is the child’s cognitive level – A child’s cognitive levels should also be taken into account when selecting a homeschooling curriculum. If the program selected is too advanced or to easy, it may prove ineffective to a parent’s efforts in educating their child.

o What topics should the curriculum cover – The specific approach that a curriculum program takes is also an important factor for parents to consider. What topics does the program cover and do those topics fit in with a parent’s individual academic philosophy? In addition, parents should consider if a curriculum has a religious skew to it, if it is relevant to the issues of the day, and whether or not the curriculum can be used over time and with more than one student.

o Cost and value – By far the biggest consideration that parents have to make when selecting a homeschooling curriculum is the cost and value of the program. Is the program a simple guide, or is it more extensive. An extensive curriculum may require the purchase of additional materials. Does the program include consumables or can many of the items be reproduced? If the program or curriculum ends up not fitting in with the needs of a child, can it be re-sold?

o Is the curriculum aligned – Parents should take great care to determine if the curriculum they are choosing is aligned with state or government agencies and whether or not is was developed by an accredited agency. This can prove to be very beneficial when a child begins to apply for admission into colleges and universities.