There are many great homeschool curriculum and resources out there. So many are free, some are for minimal cost, some are the complete package. I love that we have so many options to suit our children and our educational needs.
Like with all school years, you actually have 12 months to complete a school year, so it is really up to you as to how you utilize your time.
For me, I am a pick and choose sort of girl when it comes to curriculum. I essentially create my own from what my daughters are interested in. I purchased a math curriculum as that was easier for me, but for everything else I use a bit of this, a bit of that, and a whole lot of tweaking goes on from week to week based on their interest. Being a firm believer in skills based learning, I lean on teaching the skills, not content.
One thing I like to do is to help families work out what is the best curriculum for their children. There are so many out there! It ultimately comes down to what is best for you as a family, your goals for education, and how you feel you can most effectively homeschool your child.
CHRISTIAN CURRICULUM vs SECULAR CURRICULUM
For many years the push into homeschool was the Christian community. That is why there are so many complete homeschool curriculums out there that are Christian. It is harder to find a “secular” curriculum in that there are not as many readily available, but they are there and I will look at some of them in later vlogs/blogs.
Today I want to look at Abeka as a curriculum. I have taught from this curriculum in schools and have assisted families in a tutoring capacity with children who are using the curriculum. But in order to give a review, I have drawn on comments from families and students I know who have used the curriculum, as well as my own experiences. I know that I tend to have a bias and I will try to keep it out as much as possible (but am willing to discuss personally) as I don’t want to cloud people’s opinions, especially those who have had good experiences with it.
Abeka provides a complete line of traditional Christian educational materials that have been developed and refined over a period of 50 years in the classrooms of Pensacola Christian Academy. The resources are available in physical and digital format and include textbooks, workbooks, readers, and videos. All Abeka products can be purchased individually or as grade level kits. It is produced by Pearson Publishing.
- Complete curriculum but can pick and choose
- Flexible options – Whether you want to “do it yourself” or “do it with help,” you can mix and match lesson plans, textbooks, kits, and video lessons to create the perfect plan for each child.
- Goes through all the grade levels
- Great for those families who want to have an all in one curriculum
- Strong on academics
- Organized and structured (though it might feel overwhelming at first when you get your curriculum)
- Lesson plans guide you through each day
- Uses textbooks, workbooks, online, videos, etc. You can do an online only version of the curriculum.
- Flexibility to run the day as you want, with skipping worksheets etc as needed.
- Strong conservative Biblical foundation (if that is what you are looking for).
- Upper grade levels prepare well for SATs, etc.
- A lot less expensive that sending your children to private school
- Abeka Academy (the online version complete package) is accredited
- Too much work for the day
- Too much seat work
- A lot of quizzes and tests throughout the course work
- At times the material is too repetitive
- Videos are getting outdated
- Grading expectations can be very strict (esp with specific answers required)
- Not enough critical thinking needed (if at all)
- Not enough scientific thinking
- Total package cost can be expensive compared to other curricula
- Just using the teach at home curriculum is not accredited (but that honestly is the case for any curriculum you are not using that has teachers teaching online in an “academy” setting).
For more information, you can check out the Abeka website.
Is homeschooling right for you? Here are some pros and cons for you from a previous blog.