Grades We’ve Used: 2nd, 3rd, 4th
Each grade we’ve used has a series of readers the size and thickness of a normal chapter book. Most have multiple short stories and poems, some are actual chapter books. Many of them are about key historical events and figures written from a Christian viewpoint. Discussion questions are sprinkled throughout. In 4th grade new vocabulary is also introduced, with the definition of the word printed at the bottom of the page it’s used on. These words are in addition to the vocab in the Spelling curriculum.
Starting in 4th grade, there are extra chapter books for book reports.
3rd and 4th grades have Read and Think Skill Sheets, which are timed reading with multiple choice questions at the end to test comprehension.
An answer key has answers to the questions, or teacher’s editions are available for each reader.
Marie’s Review (Mom):
In A Nutshell:
Even I enjoy most of the stories in the readers, and the discussion questions are well thought out. Like any curriculum though, this will work well with some kids and not for others, depending on their personality and learning style.
Unfortunately, A Beka is missing a key part of what I feel is a must in any reading curriculum.
Some More Detail:
While I really do like A Beka’s readers, I feel there is a BIG hole in their curriculum. A Beka does not discuss concepts such as character, plot, main idea, setting, details… I could not find them ANYWHERE in the scope and sequence, and I looked all the way through 8th grade. I’ve yet to encounter them in the grades we’ve used. Grace, having only ever used A Beka, has NO IDEA what a plot is. Yet she is an avid reader, testing at an 11th grade level. Below I copied a small portion of BJU’s 2015 2nd grade scope and sequence:
Main character; character development, motives, traits
Setting; plot; point of view; fanciful elements; idioms; imagery; similes; figurative language
If I have missed this somewhere in A Beka, someone please let me know!
We have continued to use A Beka for Grace’s reading program, although she finished all the readers shortly after Christmas. I chose to use books from Sonlight’s* list rather than the others provided by A Beka. We may go back and read them at another time.
We used A Beka for Lainey for 2nd grade and for the beginning of 3rd grade, but it just wasn’t working so we switched to BJU and repeated 2nd grade reading. She has done extremely well with BJU and I don’t think we’ll go back to A Beka with her.
Grace’s Review (4th grade): Some of the stories are really interesting, some are just okay. I’m glad there aren’t more readers for each grade. I like reading regular books better.
Lainey’s Review (3rd grade): I like the stories better than BJU’s. I’m looking forward to reading the 3rd grade ones that Grace read last year. They were way too hard though at the beginning of the year.
Christian Friendly: Yes.
Sensitive Readers: Green Light – Although I haven’t read every single page, I think they are pretty well sanitized. I haven’t come across anything I think would cause a problem for sensitive children.
*The Family Book List is an affiliate of Christian Book Distributors and receives a fee from purchases made through the links provided. We also are part of Sonlight’s rewards program, and receive a reward when we refer new customers through the links provided.