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Grades We’ve Used: 2nd, 3rd and 4th
A Beka’s language program uses a workbook for each grade. The teacher’s guide has different activities to reinforce concepts. Many of these are geared towards classroom use but are easily adapted to a home school environment. Grammar is covered as well as how to use an encyclopedia and dictionary. Students are also taught to write reports. Oral exercise books are also available which are a brilliant way to teach auditory learners, especially if the every day grammar your child is surrounded by isn’t the best.
Items can be purchased individually or in grade packages.
Marie’s Review (Mom):
In A Nutshell: Can’t be beat for grammar and punctuation skills, but if you value a heavy writing curriculum, it needs to be supplemented.
At first I loved this language program. The drills and instruction are excellent, and Grace especially is getting a superb grasp on grammar. I don’t know if any other curriculum can beat it for learning grammar, punctuation, parts of speech, etc.
It can be, at times, overwhelming for Lainey, but I think that’s her and not necessarily the program. I took her to a tutor last October to get extensive testing done, since she was struggling so much with school. When I went in for the conference, a comment was made that she was well behind expected grade level in that she had no idea how to write a paragraph. No topic sentence, no logical layout… I wanted to say, “But we completed the curriculum – and that stuff wasn’t in there!”
And it’s not. At least not that we’ve encountered so far.
I went home and immediately flipped through the books, then checked out the scope and sequence online. Where’s the creative writing? The character webs, plot diagrams, limerick layouts…? I didn’t find it in the reading program, either. I finally found some listed under cursive writing (which I admit we abandoned in favor of more history and science). I flipped through the cursive writing book but I couldn’t find anything that fit my definition of creative writing.
Yes, there are activities such as “write a sentence using it’s” but to me that’s not enough. The section on how to write reports left Grace scratching her head and she still had no idea how to plan a report out (and FYI, we couldn’t find a good, old fashioned encyclopedia anywhere, not even at our huge local library). Maybe my kids are just more visual than most and need the bubble worksheets that I had as a kid. These are notably absent from A Beka (and yes, originally we all hated worksheets, but now I realize Lainey needs them, and with some subjects, Grace does too).
The fill in the blank worksheets really help solidify concepts, but I also think kids will learn best when they are creating their own sentences. In order to do that, they need to write, write, write.
We tried Writing Strands, and I really liked it and wanted to continue with it, but I feel like they’re still missing something. We may go back to it next year. I’ve just purchased BJU’s 3rd grade English and so far it looks like exactly what I was looking for. No, the grammar doesn’t look as strong as A Beka’s, but it has the visual layout worksheets and the character webs and everything else I expect from a language program.
Again, I know families that do extremely well with A Beka and some that just don’t want heavy writing, but the language program left me disappointed. So will we use A Beka Language next year? Probably not, despite its excellent grammar instruction, unless I find a writing program I really like to go with it.
Grace’s Review (4th Grade): I liked learning how to write a letter. I love to write. I like the exercises and think they do a good job teaching me proper grammar.
Lainey’s Review (3rd Grade): It’s medium hard. I like alphabetizing, but hate addressing envelopes.
Christian Friendly: Yes ~ A Beka is a Christian based curriculum
Sensitive Readers: N/A