This week I started my 5yo on Abeka K4 program. Now, I used this program with my older son when he was the same age. It really gave him a strong foundation to build on in phonics and math. When I had started it with my first son, I went by the book and did all the daily lesson plans. After about a month, we were both bored. Abeka seems to have all of the right stuff but they drag it out. There is a lot of boring repetition. There is also a lot of coloring. Now my 5yo doesn't mind coloring. Sometimes he just loves to sit down and color his worksheet after he has completed it. He doesn't do that everyday and for EVERY worksheet though. I guess it is a nice option that they can color the page if they want but I don't force it.
He worked on writing the number 2. It took a lot of practice. After a frustrating first few tries on the worksheet, it not coming out well, getting erased, trying it again. I just pulled out the dry erase boards. I slid the worksheet under the board and he happily traced 2s until he could copy their form. He was SO proud of himself when he was done and I was quick to point that out. Some of the greatest praise we can find is in our own works. Self satisfaction is a great incentive. I gave him a hug and said, "Are you proud of yourself. I am proud of you. I knew you could make a beautiful 2 and you did." He nodded with an ear to ear grin!
In phonics, he completed some pages where he matched the vowel sound to the word. I did not expect him to do so well. He really surprised me. The first page he did was matching the vowel to the beginning letter sound. Like, 'a' for apple and ax but not girl. On Thursday, his worksheet was to listen for the vowel sound in a word. I was not sure how or if he could do it. He had to hear the 'a' sound in hand, the 'e' sound in bed and tent. When we said the words together and I was sure to draw them out, he would say "I HEARD IT!!!" and he did! I am so proud of him.
He even sounded out his first blend ladder this week. It was slow of course because this is a totally new and foreign concept but I am so proud of the effort. He sounded out "ta", "te", "ti", "to", and "tu", I got my blend ladders from Abeka but here is a link for you to download some for free. They are a part of Confession of a Homeschooler's amazing K4 curriculum. Which BTW I would be using if I did not already have a copy of Abeka K4 and I do use as a supplement.
I guess that leaves me with my Math review. For the sake of ease I grabbed some samples from Abeka's Arithmetic 1. I admit that this is the only curriculum that I did not get a full lesson sample. All I was able to get from their site was one lesson (#21) and 6 student work pages. The work pages did not correlate with the lesson plan so I had to improvise and use my own common sense. I was able to work through the lesson with some tweaking. Maybe it is just me but it felt disingenuous. It felt forced, which of course it was. I am not sure what I am looking for but I know that is not it.
My 7yo said that he liked the worksheets but he was coming to me for every new problem, wanting me to walk him through it step by step. Now it may be user error. I did not have the lessons that matched up with the work pages. I realize this was probably not the most fair review. I wish that Abeks had a better sample available. Maybe I would have gotten a better feel for the curriculum. I know people who use Abeka and in their family, it fits perfect. It was not the math I am looking for and so the search goes on.