Wednesday, March 23, 2011
We just recently got our new curriculum. It's the first curriculum we've actually bought in over 2 years. I was trying to make do with what we already had, but it wasn't working too well. I like my stuff lined out for me. I want to know that they're getting a good education. I want it to be easy to do, but still challenging. I want them to learn values along with it too. (In addition to what we're teaching them outside of school) I also know that others are either getting new curriculum or looking into what they'll be using this next year. So, I thought I'd do a series about what curriculum's I've used. How they worked and how we liked them. I would like to see a lot of comments on these too. Tell us what you've used and how they worked and how you liked them!
So first up...
So first I guess I should say that I grew up homeschooled. I went to kindergarten and part of 1st grade and was at home the rest of my schooling years. Because that was a LONG time ago (not really cause I'm not that old) there wasn't much in the way of choices. My mom used a few different things, but mainly Abeka. We used Rod and Staff for a few things for a while. Then we ended up doing Abeka with Bob Jones for Bible and Spelling.
As you can guess I was pretty confident in Abeka. I knew how to do it from doing it myself. I started my first year of homeschooling with Abeka. I also tried to use a reading program that bombed. I had a baby half way through the year so by first years end my son had learned 2 letter sounds and done all his Abeka books, but not really learned much. I had him tutored over the summer (he was reading in 2 weeks) and then put him in a private school. We moved after the first semester. So I again did Abeka. This time we used the videos. At the time I only had 2 kids doing school and it worked great! They watched their videos. Did their work and liked it, but I wasn't doing anything more than checking work. So after another move and another baby we again enrolled them in a school (using a curriculum I hate which I'll explain about in another post).
When I had only 3 kids doing school we did awesome with Abeka. I would get all their papers out the night before, and put them in their folders. I would give a quick explanation to my oldest and get the other two started on doing what they could do by themselves. I would then take turns helping them with what they couldn't. I was doing school work with them so I knew what was right or wrong for the most part so correcting was very easy. All done at night. It worked so well at the time. Unfortunately we moved halfway through the year and I got pregnant again. During the moving process all my teachers books got lost. Being so exhausted from the pregnancy and move I couldn't keep up with school. So again we put them in a school.
Finally 3 years ago we started at home with Abeka. I had tried another curriculum in there too, but since this post is about Abeka I'll talk about that one later too. So my kids, while changing schools and curriculum frequently, had actually learned quite a lot and were testing really well on the STAR testing. I was sure after all the flops that I could do Abeka. I had a baby, but not a newborn. I wasn't moving again. I was very confident when we started. By this time I had 4 kids who needed to be doing school and 3 that were too little. We started out very excited. By the end of the first day I wanted to scream and throw the books in the fire. I spent the entire day trying to help each person do their work. They couldn't do anything without my help. There was so much work to do and so many books to do it from we were confused about what to do. We kept it up for a few months. My kids would cry everyday. I wanted to also. While I think Abeka videos were great, we couldn't/can't afford them. Abeka is made for and geared towards a private school. There is so much work to be done, because at school they need something to do to fill all those hours they're there. We didn't need that. The work is meant to be taught to them. They can't read it and do it without lots of in depth instruction in most subjects. While I think they're great academically, I don't think they're extremely homeschool friendly when you have more than 2-3 kids doing them. If you have a smaller size family, and you like an extremely in depth teaching type curriculum then this would work for you. If you have lots of children or children close together, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the level of involvement necessary for them to learn the subjects. We quit and I'm now in the process of trying to sell the curriculum and curriculum guides.
If you have any experiences with this or other curriculum please give us your insight! No nasty, rude or hateful comments will be published :) Thank you!