- Reviewed on Monday, June 20, 2016
- Grades Used: Kindergarten
- Dates used: 2016
I switched from MFW to A Beka in the middle of my son's K school year and am much happier. I just didn't feel MFW was challenging enough and A Beka covers much more than MFW. I will say there are a lot of "drill and kill" type worksheets but that's exactly what my son needs to learn so it works fine for us. Learning to read was difficult for my son with A Beka so we stopped the phonics lessons and are currently using "How to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" which is working well. It just wasn't clicking before but I will say A Beka gave him a good foundation and we will finish the phonics book after he can read well. Some people are commenting that it is rather dry learning, which is a fair point, but I think you can easily add your own projects, YouTube videos, etc. while making sure your child learns the basics.
- Reviewed on Thursday, March 19, 2015
- Grades Used: 3-12
- Dates used: 2016 -2015
I have used the full A Beka curriculum with my three children and I think it is excellent. My oldest just completed the video accredited program, tested ACT composite of 30, and was accepted to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo for pre-vet. This program delivered these excellent results one step at a time, each lesson building on the previous lesson. The best part is that the lessons are thorough and organized so there is NEVER a question asked in the HW or on exams for which the student who has faithfully done their work is unprepared. I know some people find the step-by-step methodology slow, but it pays off in the long run because when a more difficult concept comes along - as it does in every subject area eventually- the student who has been diligent up to that point will not be unable to "get it." Mom does not have to step in and fill in gaps in understanding. The key with A Beka is faithfulness. Steady, diligent faithfulness. If you do each school day what they ask you and your student to do, the result will be a well-educated student with a God-centered worldview. Their method isn't always exciting, but it works. Great value for the money too. Also, when you call these folks they answer the phone and they answer your question. They are strict about how things are done, but they likewise hold themselves to a high standard of service. If I had it to do over again with my 3 children, I'd happily choose A Beka again. One last point- my middle child is a boy on the autism spectrum and my third is a gifted child. All three of my children are/ were educated with A Beka and have tested well above grade level on the IOWA standardized tests.
- Reviewed on Friday, February 13, 2015
- Grades Used: 5th
- Dates used: 2014-2015
This year, we pulled dd out of public school because of the negative peer influences and enrolled her in a Christian program that provides two days of classroom work and three days of homeschooling. We initially chose the program because it employed the A.C.E. curriculum, which my husband used from 7th-12th grade and loved. However, they switched to A Beka this school year. I feel like I can safely say that this curriculum is not working out.
In public school, dd was a straight-A student and tested above grade level in all subjects except reading, where she was exactly at grade level. She is struggling tremendously with A Beka, however. Most days she's in tears, particularly over math, which was formerly one of her best subjects. She's lost all of her enthusiasm for learning under this curriculum.
The amount of "desk work" every day is just too much. For a hands-on learner who appreciates creativity, this curriculum is both boring and exhausting. The assignments miss the mark on critical thinking, as well, in my opinion.
The general quality of the materials is good, however. The Biblical messages are well integrated and the difficulty of the work is appropriate--neither too simple nor too challenging, at least in terms of core facts.
I think A Beka would be great for some students; it's just not working for us as a stand-alone curriculum.
- Reviewed on Monday, September 29, 2014
- Grades Used: 2nd Grade
- Dates used: 2013-2014
My daughter attended public school for Kinder and 1st grade. She was an advanced reader and excelled in all subjects as well as conduct wise. We purchased the complete set of A Beka for 2nd grade on DVD for our first year of homeschool.
She enjoyed the new journey until about 3-4 weeks in. She quickly be came bored of the screen and frustrated at the work. I stepped in and began to teach traditionally at this point.
I quickly began to find what I consider to be problems with this entire curriculum.
Here are some reasons why:
The phonics is OVERBOARD. It butchers and chops and dissects words to a point of annoyance. Maybe for a reader who really struggles, this is necessary? If she can read a word and she can spell a word, do we really need to study every aspect of it and do a worksheet per day (front and back) over this? Phonics exposure IMO is much better mixed into actual reading, spelling lists and even actual English. NOT as an actual daily subject UNLESS you have a child really struggling to sound out words and read.
The English has no real rhyme or reason for the order the material is presented IMO. It teaches suffixes in one lesson, and about 5-8 lessons later it presented prefixes. Something to that affect, I maybe a little off, but I recall creating our own overview of each subject to make a binder and realizing that the order made no sense! Like the objectives were put into a hat and then ordered based on random draw. (Dramatic but really, I was astounded!)
The spelling is WEAK. It provides nothing more then a page of work for each week's words.
The history is WEAK. Just read a chapter and have about 5 questions. No worksheets or anything to help reinforce the learning or test or quiz or review. Just plain WEAK.
Science is the same story as history. WEAK- read a chapter and answer about 5 questions. That's it!
The math was another one I had issue with. I believe the methodology used for it is the "spiral" method. I think this is definitely up to each individual kid- but I will say, unless your child just really enjoys the subject- its not a pleasant curriculum to teach with. I say this because it never really allows for practice and learning. It introduces new concepts, allows for a few problems of work and mixes them in with all other concepts and just keeps growing and growing (spiral). It NEVER allows them to get comfortable in an area and basically asks their brain switch many different gears daily by doing different things that they never got the hang of to begin with. It's like a daily "cumulative review"- which would be fine if any of the work really allowed them to grasp concepts........
I found myself doing lots and lots and lots of supplementing to make sure my daughter got a quality education.
I'd like to point out that my daughter made a 90 or above on each and every test (and I promise I don't rescue or aid!). So it's not like she has any learning problems- but she didn't enjoy learning one bit.