Triple Clicks

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Abeka Curriculum

After choosing to home school, you need to choose what curriculum you are going to use.  Many parents choose to mix things up: social studies from place, math from another, phonics from yet another.  But that's one of the many beauty of homeschooling!!  If something doesn't fit, change it.  Take it slow, go a little faster.  As long as your child is learning, that's the purpose.  

We made the decision to stick with Abeka. Is it going to be easy? No, but I think the fluency by sticking to one curriculum will be best.  

I am keeping my homemade curriculum for preschool, but it's getting tweaked a bit with every kid so far.  One of the biggest warnings I had while we were choosing Abeka was the amount of seat work.  You have to keep in mind that Abeka curriculum is written for their Christian school and then utilized by home-schoolers.  So there is seat work written in to occupy kids while other children in the classroom are finishing their work.  This doesn't mean you need to do it in your home school setting!  The bottoms of the pages are labeled 'classwork, seat work, extra practice' and such along with what lesson they go along with.  After reading another warning that ended up turning a mom against Abeka-which I believe is a GREAT curriculum, I decided to take a picture comparing the amount of work Eva did versus the amount of work Andrew did in a week.  The pile on the left is Eva's.  Her preschool was a combination of one of those books you can get from Walmart and some free printables for extra practice.  Andrew's pile on the right is his worksheets and some money practice sheets off the internet because he is having some issues remembering what coins go where.  I know the picture is blurry, but I think you can tell my homemade curriculum gave Eva at least twice the work in a week as Andrew's. 

Yes, I would agree the amount of books you get when you from Abeka for the year seems very daunting.  But those 180 page workbooks are spread out over 170-175 lessons.  It's really not that bad of a load.  

One of my biggest draws toward Abeka was the ability to get the teacher's books... The guide for teachers to walk through the day to day.  We don't do every.single.thing. that's written in the guides. For example, when we would introduce the new families of math facts, the guide had it as a week to two week long process...  I quickly learned math is Andrew's forte-that wasn't needed.  I could pull out the 1 family flashcards and do a simple explanation and he was set to go.  Will the same go for Eva? We will see. For me, I use the curriculum to make sure we don't miss anything, because that's my fear.  It has been an invaluable source that I am thankful for having.

Another big decision that needs made after you choose your curriculum is whether you will homeschool, or school at home.  Yes, there is a difference!!  School at home is having a formal, 8 hour school day in the home setting.   While that may work some families, it doesn't not work for us.  Yes, for now we all sit at the dining room table and I work my way around the circle of kids and help everybody as I can.  But the kids get their worksheets for the day, then they choose what comes next.  The only time I step in is if they both pick a worksheet they need help with... Then it's "ok, if you want to do that you have to be patient and go a little slower".  I am working on teaching them to work independently until they need help, but that's a process.   Andrew is starting to understand 'ok, mom can't help me right now', so if he needs help he will tell me, then either wait patiently or move on to something he can do alone until I can come.  

On hard days-days where they just weren't in the mood do to school it took close to 2-3 hours because they fought me every step of the way.  But they quickly learned the faster they did school (and did it correctly to the best of their ability), the sooner they got to go play.  When they sit and concentrate and do it, we are there for maybe 30 minutes to an hour.  

I had started off this year with 'oh if they get testy we will stop for a few hours'.  While that might work for some, that simply does not work for us.  No play until school is done, and if that means they are sitting at the table for hours, that's what will happen.  

Eva has been learning quickly if she doesn't TRY with her handwriting, she has to do it again.  And again. And sometimes a 3rd try is needed.  We have been butting heads often.  She begs and begs to learn to read like bubba, but she has to be able to identify and write all the letters and sounds without help.  I know she can, she just has to try.  

I know I'm only in my second year of homeschooling, but one of the biggest lessons I have learned is while flexibility is an awesome thing to have because we are homeschooling...  It is possible to have TOO MUCH flexibility.  It's also different for every family, for every child.  

Be patient, learn your kid's learning style.  Any curriculum can be molded to a way to meet any child's style.  But there are times where you need to mold your child to meet the curriculum.  We are raising and teaching future adults, not future children. 

Have a great week!


No comments:

Post a Comment