How I homeschooled with Abeka

How I homeschooled with Abeka

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How I homeschooled often becomes hours-long discussions with moms considering homeschooling or beginning their homeschooling journey. Today and next week, I will share parts of one conversation in hopes that it will answer some of your questions too.

While homeschooling, I primarily used the Abeka curriculum, but I did use other curriculums to supplement or replace certain subjects at times.

How I homeschooled

Did you use Abeka for every subject and continue through with it all the years? 

I primarily used Abeka for consistency, K-8. I had looked at Bob Jones and some others early on, but since they all build on their curriculums year after year, it is good to choose one. Many of the homeschooling moms in my community were using Abeka with excellent results, so that weighed into my decision.

I did use some books from Answers in Genesis such as Ancient Civilization, The Young Explorer series with the notebook journaling, the What We Believe series from Apologia, Rosetta Stone for Spanish and another Spanish audio program that I got from Alpha Omega Publications to supplement what we were learning. I used Saxon Math after third grade; however, I didn’t like the books in 7th and 8th grade and grew frustrated so ended up using Math U See Algebra for those who were ready for it in eighth grade.

What were some of the books you read for literature?

I used Abeka to teach my kids to read, but then I used reading lists and the library for some books throughout the years. For example, one year, we used the Chronicles of Narnia for our literature lessons. The kids loved the series. I used a book I got from Focus on the Family as a guide. It had Scripture references to read and questions to go along with each chapter in each book. It was quite valuable, in my opinion. I understand there is a curriculum for the Lord of the Rings for high schoolers, which my daughter, Kaitlyn, would have loved had I discovered it then.

We also read E.B. White’s books, Charlotte’s Web, The Trumpeter Swan, Stuart Little and all of Elizabeth George Speare’s books: The Witch of Blackbird Pond (about a young girl from Barbados in Puritan New England during the awful witch hunt times. My kids love this book. The heroine saves an elderly Quaker woman falsely accused), The Bronze Bow (a moving story that includes Jesus), Calico Captive (based on a true story when English settlers were kidnapped by Indians and ransomed from Quebec), and The Sign of the Beaver, all of which you can find at the library. My kids also read all of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. They read Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, and many other books.

I included a half hour of reading aloud to my kids also, which was a favorite time. I read them classics, such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Aesop’s Fables, Ben-Hur, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, In His Steps by Charles Monroe Sheldon, among others. We listened to some Shakespeare also.

Include Bible and memorization

The point is to introduce them to good, clean, wholesome fiction that teaches the values and faith you want them to have. Also, read the Bible with your kids every day at the start of school and pray. That’s the most important thing you could do. Hearing the Word of God gets into their hearts. They can memorize verses each week too. My kids memorized the Christmas story verses one year, and they still can recite it from memory. Abeka includes poem memorization and historical document memorization (Preamble, parts of the Constitution, etc.) which came in handy for my kids when they went to public school. 

I’m not particularly great at memorization, but as a child I didn’t have that opportunity. My kids are amazing at it. They still can recite stuff from fourth grade. They also learned all the presidents in a song. There are some history and grammar songs I learned about that I wish I had known about when I was homeschooling. I think it is Schoolhouse Rocks that does the history ones.)  If you can find them, that would be a great way to help them learn. Maybe you could even try learning spelling by writing a ditty? I also think it is important for kids to learn the national anthem and songs like that. Christian Books Distributors (CBD) has those. Our kids really need to know what the constitution says because some people are distorting it.

I used Abeka for history, science, reading, early math (K-3), some spelling. Yes, I purchased some of the reading books from Abeka. Some years, I have all their reading materials. Others I used the library, as I mentioned.

Purchasing advice for curriculums

Several excellent curriculums exist. This is just what I used. To find the curriculums best for your family, check out the Christian Books Distributors catalog and try some books that you are interested in, then stick with the ones that fit your family’s style of learning. It’s important that the kids learn the spelling rules and the math and grammar rules. One grammar supplement I loved was the Winston Grammar program. I had my kids use index card notebooks to write down the rules (for spelling, grammar, math) so that they made their own little style/rule books for easy access when they couldn’t remember a rule.

For more information about Abeka, please visit

Don’t fret. You’ll find what you like. Please, readers, share what curriculums you liked. Next week, I will continue this discussion. I hope to see you then!

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