A Beka Vocabulary, Spelling & Poetry

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  • Reviewed on Tuesday, September 6, 2016
  • Grades Used: 6th
  • Dates used: 2016
I came across their Grade 6 Spelling/Poetry book, and their definition of "condescend" is "to come down to another's mental or social level" vs "showing you believe you are more intelligent or better than other people." Well if that doesn't say it all I don't know what will. I'm interested in my child learning academics not some patronizing indoctrination. BTW, this is the most overt of their "we-are-better-than-everyone-outside-a-southern-church" mindset I have seen, but this is enough. Get your kid a real education that they can use outside the missionary field to the heathen city folk. Stay away from ABeka!


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, June 12, 2013
  • Grades Used: 1st-4th
  • Dates used: 2009-2013
I have used and continue to use ABEKA Spelling / Vocabulary for my 3 kids: ages 7, 10, 12. I think it's a great curriculum. I also use ABEKA for Language Arts, Math, History, and Science.

ABEKA is set up for the classroom, so it takes a bit of discernment when trying to figure out exactly how much you need to do. With that being said, I feel the key to ABEKA is using the TEACHER's Manual. This is true for all ABEKA subjects.

For 1st and 2nd grade, I feel that you really should do the whole Language Arts curriculum if you expect the child to follow what's going on with the spelling lists. I know they sell the spelling separately, but truly it is part of the language arts program and works better that way. In the Language Arts program TM , you get daily review of special sounds and spelling practice. So that by the time your child gets the spelling list, these sounds and endings are review. This turns the spelling lists into more of an exercise in application of the special sounds and endings they have been studying.

In the higher grades, the teacher's manual, again, is key. You have daily lesson plans that re enforce spelling and vocabulary. My kids write out their words 2-5 times each when they first start a new list because they have found it helps them remember them. ABEKA's TM has you review each word out loud using the say-spell-say method. Also, the TM has you dictate sentences to the child to help with context. I am not a teacher, and I'm not creative. I rely on the TM to know what to say and what to teach and how to teach it. Also, what and how to review.

When I first started homeschooling with ABEKA, I didn't realize how vital using the TM was. And my kids suffered for it. They couldn't keep up, we were all frustrated. Once I started using the TM and doing more or less what it says for each lesson, I found my kids were learning and retaining better, because they were getting the right amount of review.

I know some people swear they just hand the worksheets to their kids or hand them a list and the kids do fine. Well, that never worked for my kids. Come to think of it, I don't think it would work for me either.

I don't do the Poetry part. In the past, I have had them memorize some of the poems, but honestly, it's too much. Since I also do the ABEKA Reading program, I find that some of the poems are found in the reading. So, they do get exposed to the poetry, they just don't have to memorize it.

One more thing: the TM has spelling tests scheduled for Wednesdays for all elementary grades. In the higher grades, they get a mock test on Tues. and then they have to write the words and definitions they missed 10 times each. By having new spelling lists start on Thursdays, the kids get two extra days to review the material as opposed to getting them on Mon. and learning them by Fri. This is an example of how using the TM is a real plus. Especially for someone like me, who does not have a teaching background.


  • Reviewed on Sunday, March 25, 2012
  • Grades Used: 6
  • Dates used: 2011-2012
Wow - hard! The word's they're expected to spell are crazy! And every week is exactly the same. I don't recommend unless your child is a spelling/vocab lover


  • Reviewed on Monday, August 31, 2009
  • Grades Used: 1st, 2nd, about to use 3rd
  • Dates used: 2007-present
You know, I was almost considering going with a less expensive spelling program, until I came here to read the reviews of Abeka's spelling program. Clearly, we have chosen the right program for us, and it actually isn't "expensive" after all (after looking at some other programs). The examples given from those saying that it is "too hard"--first of all, special sounds are introduced in KINDERGARTEN, so if you didn't start with Abeka in Kindergarten, or skipped over that thinking it was useless, well.....it might be challenging for you. Please do not blame the program when the instruction has been there for you to use.

Also, someone else asked who uses the words on their spelling lists. Educated people with a good vocabulary, that's who.

Yes, looking at some of the other programs, I was going to have to go a grade level or two HIGHER, just to continue challenging my children, but we'll stick with Abeka.