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Tell me what you like about Abeka Math (esp. 2nd grade)


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We used Abeka for dd's K math and liked it. She learned so much that the 1st grade seemed way too easy, so I sold it and we used Horizons Math 1.


She loved Horizons and always did well. I felt her understanding was good, but that her recall of math facts was a little slow. Several weeks after finishing the 1st grade Horizons math dd seemed to really have to think about those facts.


I'm about to order her 2nd grade math materials (we're getting a delayed start this year due to new baby:)) and I'm not sure if Horizons is the right way to go.


I've seen their 3rd grade math and it's very challenging. I'm not sure if the program is going to be a good fit for dd afterall if she's struggling to retain at this stage.


So I'm thinking about going back to Abeka and staying with it until we perhaps switch to Saxon 5/4. I'm not sure if I can stand Saxon at the lower levels, though, so I'm reluctant to consider it for this year.


I do think dd does best with a spiral program rather than mastery.


If you have had success with Abeka's elementary math I'd like to hear about it. Also, if you have suggestions about how we might have better retention with Horizons I'd love to hear that, too.


Thanks for any feedback!:001_smile:

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Well I cant say I had success with Abeka my dd9 did not retain much from Abeka she used it from k-3 and did fine until 2nd. She started HS this year and I was shocked at how little she had retained with Abeka. She used this at a private school she attended. We have not used Horizons but are using MEP. It is a spiral concept with alot of mental math this seems to really be working. It is free online if you would like to look it over. If you feel like Abeka worked with you dd then maybe you should go with it.

Here is the link for MEP to look at


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We used Abeka K-2 (and I was taught with Abeka math, way back when...); It was working fine for us. Just fine. Not great, not terrible, just fine. We did a page each day and that was that. But when we got to the end of the year, I realized that one of my sons was bored to tears with it (he lived for the coloring pages) and the other one was just filling in the blanks; he had next to no understanding of why he got the answers he did. So we switched to a Singapore/Miquon/MEP combo and both boys are thriving. They both are challenged and their understanding is deepening. Abeka math is fine, really. But my guys needed something else to help them understand and enjoy doing math, and not just completing a page and then they're done.


Abeka math is nice and gradual in K-2; the third grade book really kicks it up a notch and can move quickly through some things. Be aware that this may be frustrating for your child if she is the kind who likes to chew things over for a while...

Edited by Zoo Keeper
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Abeka math is nice and gradual in K-2; the third grade book really kicks it up a notch and can move quickly through some things. Be aware that this may be frustsrating for your child if she is the kind who likes to chew things over for a while...
I have heard this before. I am thinking about switching to Math Mammoth for 3rd grade. It has been compared to Singapore.
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We used ABeka math from K4 through 4th grade with great success.

In the very early grades my kids loved it because it was so colorful and looked fun -- it was motivating for them. It is a traditional math program, it doesn't pretend to be otherwise.


Starting in 4th it loses some visual interest. In 3rd it does start to get more serious, but it's still colorful and fun looking. Second grade is a SUPER year to use ABeka math (as is 1st)! Each year starts out really easy, because they assume you have done nothing for two months in the summer. But it picks up pretty quick and soon it's challenging. You could begin with Test 1 instead of lesson 1, and go from there, or just skip the first 10 or so lessons -- I have done that once or twice, the kids just love that.


My kids learned/progressed well and their retention seemed good. Maybe it makes a difference if you use the curriculum/lesson plans as opposed to just doing the workbook. I don't know, but I did use the curriculum/lesson plans which included some extra review and oral drills, etc. that weren't in the student's book. I always use the teacher books in ABeka's elementary subjects. I found the program incomplete without them. As to Horizons, I'm not sure how to increase retention, but I think that with any program, drill and repetition are key. I never liked Horizons, tried several times to like it, but nope. The teacher book was I think part of the reason I didn't like it (I found ABeka's teacher materials way easier to follow). Also just the overall look of the Horizons student book didn't impress me very much. I guess I'm a visual person, lol. A good friend of mine swears by Horizons for elementary math, and her kids do well with it.


Two of my kids were in private school using ABeka math from 4th through 6th, and I must say that their standardized test scores were sky high.


Wanted to say that after ABeka 4 last year, my son is doing Saxon 65 this year and it is going very well. You had mentioned you were thinking of doing that....I think it's a good idea. Working well for us. I wasn't completely sure if 65 was going to be too easy a level, but when I looked toward the middle and end of the book it seemed like the right level. The beginning was pretty easy, but we did it anyway, lesson by lesson. I think one reason the Saxon is working so well is that it was a bit easy for him, but I wanted it that way, because he's having to get used to a totally different style. The way they word things is different, they way they do things is different -- the whole thing is different, and I wanted the transition to be NOT traumatic. I think I did the right thing, it's going well, and it gave him confidence from the start.


Overall we were very pleased with our experience and results with ABeka.

Blessings to you as you figure out what's going to work best for you!

Edited by DianeJM
wanted to add a sentence about switching to Saxon after ABeka
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We used both Abeka and Horizons with different kids. Abeka was colorful and fun for dd until third grade when it started moving too fast for her. She also had a hard time getting those facts down as the concepts started compounding very quickly. My dd using Horizons 2 naturally has an easier time with math, and since it's working for her I will stick with it but I can't say I'm crazy about it. It also has limited instruction for teaching as concepts get more difficult so I don't know what to expect in the future.


With my next child I think I may start out with CLE. We went to CLE from Abeka and have been using for a year. I really love everything about it. Have you looked at CLE yet? I ask because it seems that quite a lot of kids run into difficulty with both Abeka and Horizons at some point. CLE is a strong math curriculum, but it's gently incremental with great instructions and drill right in the workbook. It really helps with fact mastery.

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I have/am using ABeka with 6 of my 7 dc.


What I like:

- Colorful

- Convenient, not lots of "stuff" like the Saxon elementary books.

- Lots of drill

- Lots of Word Problems

- Excellent coverage of the topics I feel are important: Arithmetic, measurement, time, graphs, beginning algebra, a bit of mapwork & scale drawings - in one book!

- The way problems are presented in many different ways - this encourages conceptual learning

- I've had two dc finish the 6th grade book. Both were ready to move right into Algebra I, and did so with no problems (skipped Prealgebra)


What I don't like:

- ABeka's method of teaching some Arithmetic concepts, such as borrowing, carrying, and especially long division. I don't think these are taught conceptually; it's just memorizing procedures, then drill until the process becomes automatic. After a while, the concept does sink in because of all the drill, though. I end up teaching the concepts using MUS methods, with the blocks and fraction overlays. I learned MUS techniques with my 1st child, who used the MUS arithmetic books before going straight into Alg. I. Also, I've found the book Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics by Liping Ma helpful. That book was a popular discussion topic on these boards years ago, but I haven't seen it mentioned in a while.




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Abeka math is nice and gradual in K-2; the third grade book really kicks it up a notch and can move quickly through some things. Be aware that this may be frustsrating for your child if she is the kind who likes to chew things over for a while...


:iagree:I'm using 3rd grade Abeka math for my guy who wants math to "get harder". I've kept my Horizons books around for a few of the things in there that aren't in the Abeka books - mostly elementary geometry. I have some Singapore on the shelves that I keep wanting to dig into with them, but you can only do so much. I've just come to the conclusion that no matter which math program I land on, I'll always find something that can be added. If I were in a situation where I could only use ONE, Abeka or Singapore would be my choice; both for totally different reasons.


I switched from Horizons (mostly) to Abeka for the logical progession in the introduction/memorization of the math facts - they keep them together in "families" and the TM tells you exactly what to have kiddo go over in flashcards daily. Horizons TM just says "do addition flashcards 1-9 for 5 min." That leaves me wondering which flashcards - the ones that have answers of 1-9 or ones that begin with 1-9 or what? The content and approach of Horizons & Abeka are so similar that I had no problem switching.

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