Friday, July 10, 2009

Abeka----Gasp, Curriculum?

My kids have never been pushed to do workbooks and typically never had much interest. For Christmas though, a well meaning relative who knows we home school, bought a gazillion workbooks of every kind for my kids. There are grammar, math, states, fun facts, ABC dot to dot and reading and writing type books. My kids were have been bored a lot since Maddy was born and pulled them out. They have been plowing through them and have been so proud to show me when they finish an entire workbook. They come to me for help with these books often as they are pretty tough books and my kids have never had formal grammar lessons so lets be honest, they are foreign concepts. I asked the kids about this coming school year and whether they want to continue unschooling or if they wanted me to get them curriculum and if so, what kind. CRAZY as it is, they WANTed curriculum. I couldn't believe my ears. They begged me to get them something with lots of fun and interesting WORKBOOKS.....yes I am laughing too. What child asks for curriculum and workbooks at that? They talked about why they wanted it and what types they thought would be fun. I searched the Internet and workbook oriented curriculum's and found Abeka seemed to be almost all workbook type stuff so I ordered them each their own stuff. We spent 650 for the older three kids and Tanner is only 4, but he begged for his own work books too so he will be doing K math and K writing. We will see how we like this curriculum. I have always been super flexible with school, but Nate thrives on structure and I always did as a child, just not as an adult. I am realizing though that the older my kids are getting, the more they create their own structure and I think they enjoy the accomplishment of getting some sort of tangible "school" work done each day. Unschooling has afforded them opportunities to explore and learn through osmosis, but oddly I think they are moving past that and wanting to SEE what they have done and know they are learning. They are still very much in charge of their learning as I am following their leads, their interests and their desires for workbooks. We picked everything out together. It was a long afternoon. I do appreciate the fact that Abeka is all Christian based as well and has neat character building workbooks and things. I think the kids are really going to enjoy it. They already keep asking when it will get here because their current workbooks are almost done. It should be an interesting and fun year, but also a big shift from our unschooling. We have done a little here and there with curriculum's over the past 4 years, but I would say 90% unschooled. This will be a 100% school at home type of situation if they complete all this curriculum we bought. I have no expectations though, just excitement for the kids to get their new stuff.

8 comments:

Sankat said...

How fun!! Growing up I always loved doing workbooks too.
That is great they are so exited. I love that about homeschooling...the kids are so excited to learn.

Stephanie Whitt said...

I have a friend who used Abeka last year for her kids, she had a 6th grader, and 2 4th graders (i think-about that age). Abeka is indeed very very workbook based. not that that is a bad thing. Her only complaint about it was that the grammar part was a very high level, including diagramming for her 4th graders, which was too complicated for them. from what she was saying was just that the grammar was too hard for them, (it may be different for your kids, but just expect it to be different than what, for example, a private school or public school would teach at that level, or what is "typical" for that age range) but other than that they LOVED the program, and how easy it was to use for all 3 kids at the same time. good luck!!

Michelle said...

Good for you Janis in listening to your children's desires in their education! It is obvious they have a love for learning and I fully believe it is because you allow them to play such an important role in deciding their education. My oldest is still only 2 but we plan to unschool until a point then go with a more structure curriculum. I hope that we have the transition as easily as you did.

Elizabeth said...

I was homeschooled through Abeka and loved it. I also had their curriculum at private Christian schools.

It put me far beyond my peers in public school. the teaching is clear and the workbooks are fun!

YouDefiledMyDriveway said...

I was considering using the Robinson curriculum because I heard it's good for larger families, and you only have to purchase one cd, it's K-12. But a lot of homeschooling parents have criticized it as being overwhelming, and the "self-learning" method prevented them from assessing their children's progress.

I know you've tried a lot of different curriculums, but I wanted to know if Robinson's was amongst them?

lilpeasinmypodfrom~God said...

no, I have heard negative about robinson also

Anna said...

Lots of fun! Have you ever heard of TJ Ed? Thomas Jefferson Education. In it the author discusses how kids up til 8 don't need formal schooling, as much as they need to explore and build on their foundation for life- family, God, curiosity,etc. After that age they start to need more structured learning. It's something I really want to look into myself even though I plan on using public schools. It's a great approach to education.

Sandy said...

Oooohhhh! The nerve =P
I'm just kidding Momma. I think that's awesome. No reason why you can't unschool and work curriculum in there.
I lean heavily into the unchooling camp, but still use curriculum, mostly 'cause it's easier to appease the school district that way.
No idea what I'm going to use this year though. Crap.