Personal Recommendations

My all time favorite homeschool program is A Beka. I taught in a public school (grades K-9th) for over thirty years so feel as though I know what needs to be covered during a school year.

A Beka is probably the easiest method to teach because it is so well planned. One concept builds on another with frequent reteaching skills. I do find the A Beka program to be one of the most challenging for the child. There is a huge difference between the word challenging and impossible. If your child starts in A Beka in kindergarten or first grade than he will always be at the head of any class. However, if he has been in public school for several years before you decide to home school, I would choose the lower grade for him to start off in, in math. Let me explain. If he is in fifth grade in a typical public school then start him off in A Beka in the fourth grade book for math.

I was once teaching in a public school sixth grade math. The principal realized that their testing scores were below norm. I asked if he would agree to the students purchasing a workbook from A Beka. We bought fifth grade workbooks and they were a challenge to the vast majority of the students. By the end of February, we started in the sixth grade A Beka workbook and were able to zoom through it because the students had gained such a tremendous foundation in math. My principal and the parents were thrilled with the results at the end of the school year.

Some parents do not like A Beka because the A Beka philosophy seems to be "teach" and "reteach." In reality, that is their biggest plus. Once the typical child completes any section of math, the tendency is to forget what he learned in just a matter of weeks or months, if the information doesn't stay fresh in his mind. An emphasis on "reteaching" allows the student to remember what he's learned and is never allowed to forget it.

Junior High and High School students are challenged by the A Beka curriculum. Many parents choose the CD's or videos for the major subjects. Yes, they are expensive but remember the statement I made about completing school without the skills that you need. The videos allow the student to fast-forward a skill he may know and to rerun any section that he needs to review.

If you are frustrated that a math teacher is not challenging your child, just take a look at the material that A Beka has for that respective grade level and experiment by teaching it to your child at night on the side. You'll be impressed with the results. Teachers in a regular classroom must gear their teaching to the majority of the class. Many parents need to wake up and smell the roses. The classroom teacher has a state mandated curriculum to teach. No longer is the teacher able to stress the 3 R's. If you do not think that you can homeschool, why don't you consider supplementing their reading and math skills?

If you are only interested in the math curriculum, John Saxon is also an outstanding choice. I am familiar with his junior high and high school math lessons.

There are members in our family that are totally sold on the Bob Jones curriculum. It is geared to the average student. Once again, I must state that the parent must be realistic about their child's ability and the parents desire to guide the student. There is very little instant success in any form of teaching. Rome was not built in a day.

Last Updated: 05/24/2014

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