A Beka Academy (homeschool)
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 6/13/2012 by very_crafty_2 in NSBR Board
 

very_crafty_2
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Posted: 6/13/2012 4:06:36 PM
Please share your experience with me if you are familiar with their system.
Thanks!


Yamilka

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Nicole in TX
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Posted: 6/13/2012 4:22:03 PM
I have zero homeschool experience but 20 yrs as a public school teacher. I attended Christian school for my entire pre-college experience and we used A Beka. I thought they produced quality materials.



very_crafty_2
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Posted: 6/13/2012 4:37:31 PM
thanks!


Yamilka

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scrap-tag
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Posted: 6/13/2012 4:39:02 PM
My kids attend a private Christian School that uses A Beka in the the early grades. Both have done really well on it.

mamastew
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Posted: 6/13/2012 5:00:26 PM
Both my daughters learned using this curriculum while they attended private school. Loved it!! So many programs are not teaching phonics or emphasizing skills & drill anymore, A Beka does.




2peafaithful
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Posted: 6/13/2012 5:10:18 PM
Abeka is a good solid program for the younger years. Some people hate it because it is very straight forth and is pretty typical "school" type methods and look to the program. That is the exact reason why many people love it. If you want structure, it all laid out and are good with very traditional than you might enjoy it. If you want to add to it you can and do more creative things outside of it. Have fun whatever you pick!!!

very_crafty_2
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Posted: 6/13/2012 5:33:49 PM
Thank you! So far, it seems like the right program for my daugther. Next month they will have a convention at a hotel near us and I will take her to see how she likes it too.


Yamilka

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3kidmama
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Posted: 6/13/2012 7:08:35 PM
We just completed 15yrs of homeschooling our kids with the graduation last month of our youngest dd.

I spent my first 2 yrs of college where the A Beka curriculum is developed and produced. Before we had kids, I taught at a private Christian Jr High/High School and we used A Beka.

A Beka is a classroom curriculum being marketed to homeschoolers. I DID end up using their Language Arts for my kids in High School, because I couldn't find anything better to really ground my kids in Grammar. However, because it's written for classroom teachers, there is TONS of busywork. It's truly overkill for most home educated kids!

In a classroom setting, a teacher will present the concept (gerunds), explain it to the class and then it's helpful if the students have lots of sentences to work on for homework while freeing her up to go around and help those who are still struggling.

When you home school, you will KNOW when you kiddo "gets" gerunds -because it's just the two of you interacting together. You don't need to assign 45 practice sentences. Your kid will probably only need to do 10 to reinforce the concept. You don't need the extra busy work to keep the classroom focused/controlled so the teacher can individually attend to 28 other students who may not yet understand gerunds. Needed in a classroom but plain "busywork" in a home school!

If you are comfortable picking and choosing what your child need from the curriculum while ignoring what is excessive, and you like classroom structured teaching - then you'll probably do fine with A Beka in a homeschooling setting. It uses the King James version of the Bible throughout, and their American History texts IMHO get excessively theocratic. I could expand further, but I leave it there.

If you want to teach reading via phonics, there are much better home school friendly programs. There are MANY options out there that are written specifically FOR the home education setting. For example - I'll be working with a nephew this summer to help him read (newly adopted, new to English) and I'm looking at something simple like Fun Tales . It's written by Sonlight company - specifically for home schooled kiddos! If you want more options - Sonlight carries many more phonics options (and you could buy most of these on Amazon as well!) More Phonics options

(I just re-read the OP and perhaps you aren't interested in phonics at all - not sure of the ages of your children.)

We used Sonlight (literature, history based approach. Great for teaching mult grades at once) for our later -elementary-through High School yrs. Apologia was terrific for science (all three of our kids are focused on science heavy careers). For some yrs we also used a fun Hands-on learning curriculum called KONOS.

My first 3 yrs of Homeschooling we used a curriculum called Calvert. LOVED their math - but they go from K-8th grade only. They are a real private school in Baltimore, secular with HIGH academic standard and they've been around doing home education AND classroom education for over 100yrs. I loved that their curriculum already came with EVERYTHING I needed to teach in the box - even down to the brad fasteners for the art project. I could just open up the teachers manual and begin to teach each day. It was helpful for me when we started because it was like classroom education for me. After we'd been homeschooling for awhile, you get your 'sea legs" and feel more confident in your abilities to teach your own kids without doing it the way it's done in formal classrooms.

I personally know over 40 families (very well) that have/are home educating their kids and only ONE of them used A Beka. It is just to "rigid" for the way most of us ran our home schools.

I hope this makes sense. I've had to use morphine for my heart today - sorry I've rambled. I just wanted to post my personal experience with A Beka in the classroom and in our homeschool.

MiraNova
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Posted: 6/13/2012 7:21:27 PM
It's too much like public school to me. I also didn't want a seperate bible study but more of a curriculum that weaves God all through the lessons. I'm not so much into the workbook busy work and Abeka seems to have a bunch of that. i know many people who use it and love it, most people that don't like it have felt the same as I do.

Good luck on your homeschool journey!


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snugglebutter
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Posted: 6/13/2012 8:20:11 PM

A Beka is a classroom curriculum being marketed to homeschoolers.


This. It doesn't mean you can't have success using the materials, but I would also read reviews on homeschoolreviews.com and also look at a few other options. I like Cathy Duffy's website for suggestions.




Sara


myshelly
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Posted: 6/13/2012 8:32:53 PM
I think before you buy a curriculum you need to decide what kind of teacher you want to be and what type of learner your child is.

A Beka is very much for "school at home" type of homeschoolers. To me, the point of homeschool is that it is NOT school So their curriculum does not appeal to me at all.

I also think that it is VERY expensive. At a homeschool curriculum fair it would be very easy to pull together materials yourself to emulate the A Beka program for a small fraction of the price.



momocarly
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Posted: 6/13/2012 9:02:01 PM
My kids went to a Christian elementary school that used Abeka. It was awesome in teaching them to read. I felt it was very solid in the younger years. I will admit that we changed schools when dd was going into 5th grade and ds was going into 3rd partially to get away from Abeka. It was too much memorization for dd. She was memorizing, not learning. For ds the science wasn't what I wanted. Ok, I'm an engineer and just didn't feel it was strong enough. Plus he need more.

Younger grades awesome, older, really look at it and make sure it is what you want.

I agree it is more like school at home for homeschoolers but I know some that used it very successfully.


Debbie
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very_crafty_2
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Posted: 6/13/2012 9:05:18 PM
Thanks!
My daugther is going to 4th. I did homeschool her the first semester of 1st grade. That was a disaster! She gets distracted very easily, she definitely needs structure. So my "freer" homeschool didn't help her at all, just set her back. Thank God, for the last 2 years she has had a teacher that was very loving but strict at the same time. She was always working in new materials. That is why I think that this might actually work for her. She needs to be kept busy. Computers are also her thing so I was thinking of getting her the video classes. We are temporarily moving again to Japan and timing would be a no-no with live video streaming.
Still, if with the information I have provided you can suggest something that might work better for my daugther learning skills...I am all ears.
Thanks again,


Yamilka

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3kidmama
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Posted: 6/13/2012 9:19:01 PM
I can't speak for the current A Beka videos. BUT, a few yrs ago, they were basically just a video recording of a teacher (wearing a mic) in an actual classroom. Students would ask questions (you couldn't hear in the video) lots of time wasted as the teacher moved around the room looking at student papers etc. Basically, it meant a homeschooled kid was staring at a video for 4-6hrs/day and then still had more "home work". I never found anyone who was happy with them.

So research it carefully with others who KNOW - it may very well be that A Beka has refilmed their videos and edited them to provide instruction specifically for home schooling. Technology has certainly advanced since the, so perhaps they've adjusted their approach too?


doesitmatter?
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Posted: 6/14/2012 2:01:39 AM
When my kids were small, they went to a private Christian school who used Abeka curriculum and we lived it. Homeschooling friends of ours used it as well and loved it too.


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Mewcat
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Posted: 6/14/2012 12:05:09 PM
I also attended a private Christian school that used A Becka. I like the curriculum and found it easy to use and learn from. As an educator, I would recommend it.


~*Melissa*~

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Posted: 6/14/2012 12:20:46 PM
I used it for math. I really liked the way they blended new stuff with review.


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