A Beka Phonics

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SharonG

  • Reviewed on Tuesday, October 20, 2015
  • Grades Used: First
  • Dates used: 2015
I was a teacher of the primary grades and used two different curricula, one I loved and another I did not. However, it didn't matter because when children are between 5 and 7 years of age, they just become developmentally ready to read and MOST children will learn to read if you teach methodically and with a method to decode. I say that because I do not like A Beka Phonics/Reading curriculum, but that is not to say that it doesn't teach children to read. It is all about my preferences and my daughter's dislike for the method. A Beka does some things well, such as:
1. The readers have practice pages in them to prep the child for skills needed in the stories. Plus, I like that writing in the book's practice pages encourages writing in the stories as well to mark difficult words. (downside to this: the pages are glossy and so difficult to mark.)
2. The work book pages are good practice for marking and reading words.
3. The rules for phonics is directly taught and that is quite helpful.
4. Marking words for vowel sounds and "special" sounds is quite helpful, although I taught my daughter a bit differently since I do not agree that consonant blends are "special" and should be marked differently.
I bought the curriculum because of #3 and 4 above, and I do like that aspect of the curriculum. However, I find the drawbacks to the curriculum to be too burdensome, so will not be using it anymore. Here are the drawbacks, in my opinion:
1. The curriculum is not cohesive. Phonics in the front of the book, reading in the back. You have to check the spelling book each day to see if there is a work book page for that phonics lesson instead of it being listed in the TM. The second reader, Tiptoes, has a story in it that clearly should be 2 different stories, but is listed as one. Also, the HS edition has not been adequately edited to eliminate calling for materials only available in the classroom edition.
2. This curriculum has many parts. Charts, flashcards, blend practice A cards, blend practice B cards, and so on. Each night you have to figure out what you need for the next day and they become out of order as you use them so you have to sort through them to pull out what you need.
3. This curriculum teaches 132 special sounds! Each special sound has its own clue word and picture. That's a LOT of memorizing and requires a LOT of drill. (Here is where my daughter would start to gaze out the window...) Considering the English language only has 43 sounds, this seems unnecessary. They get 132 by including consonant blends, which really aren't that "special."
4. Phonemic awareness is very important for the reading/spelling process. A Beka phonics touches it only minimally. If you have a child who is struggling with reading, I do NOT recommend using this curriculum for this reason and #3 above.
5. Where I really gave up on the curriculum was on concluding my search for the questions one is to ask on the phonics tests with a call to A Beka. (The tests are just a page full of blanks. I had no idea what I was sounds I was supposed to ask for.) I found out the questions are NOT included in the TM (as oral combinations ARE in the math curriculum). You have to buy a test key in order to know the question!

While I really do not agree with, nor do I like the labor intensive style of this curriculum, your child can learn to read with it if you are ready for all the parts to keep up with, adding phonemic awareness to the lessons, and lots of drill.

Lucyfan70

  • Reviewed on Saturday, August 27, 2011
  • Grades Used: K4-4th
  • Dates used: 2005 to present
I love abeka phonics!!!! When I first started hs I didn't know much but Abeka helped me teach my girls how to read. It's very user friendly. The teacher guides even tell you what you are suppose to say. My girls are excellent readers because of Abeka phonics!!!!

Homeschool Child

  • Reviewed on Friday, September 10, 2010
  • Grades Used: all
  • Dates used: ?
My mom is a reading teacher and hates this curriculem. She says the approch it uses is not the way children should learn

mvilla

  • Reviewed on Friday, April 16, 2010
  • Grades Used: K-2
  • Dates used: 2007 to present
I have used Abeka so far for dd who is currently in 2nd grade. While some may not like how everything is all laid out for you, I for one loved that aspect my very first year of hsing. Now that I've got 3 years under my belt, I feel I can bend the program to work for us. In the beginning I thought dd had to do EVERYTHING that was listed! That made her miserable and myself as well. Then I finally got a clue and realized I can do this however I feel is best for dd. Ever since I've had that mentality it has been smooth sailing...

Abeka Phonics is an excellent, let me repeat an excellent, program. My dd is a wonderful reader! Although in 2nd grade she is now ready chapter books (Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, American Girl etc) with absolute ease.

My ds wanted to go to "real" school for Kinder this year. I allowed him to. We are now weeks away from the end of our school year and he is still just reading CVC words only! By the time dd was done w/Kinder she was reading bigger and harder words than that! Needless to say I am keeping ds home next year for 1st grade and we are doing Abeka. He's frustrated he can't read more, I told him not to worry, he will be an excellent reader next school year!

Yes, Abeka can be repetitive but who says you have to do all the worksheets? If your child gets the concept, rip out the pages and move on! That's what I have learned to do. dd doesn't always just sit and do worksheets, sometimes I use those unused worksheets as a guide to play games. So although she isn't actually working on the problems we are still reviewing, but she is having a blast playing some game we have made up.

Bottom line, if you use Abeka, your child will be an excellent reader. MHO.

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