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BJU or A BEKA


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I feel the opposite. I think BJU is written "less like a textbook" than Abeka.

 

We hated Abeka and could not even finish the 6th grade history. The 9th grade geography was horrible too.

 

You can see lots of samples of BJU either at thier website or CBD.

 

Abeka for some reason, wont post samples other than one page, and wont sell anywhere else. They charge huge shipping and tax.

 

You can get free shipping with BJU at CBD.

 

I'd choose Bob Jones!

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I disagree with the previous poster who recommended A Beka. I recommend BJU hands down over A Beka. I currently use BJU

for history, literature, composition and geography for my rising 10th grade dgdd. I do not find them dry but very accurate in their presentation of history and literature as well as the other subjects I have used. I don't recommend them for math or spelling. I used Saxon math, Shurley English and Apologia Science. I have been a private Christian school teacher and principal on all levels and have read many of the textbooks cover to cover in order to evaluate and recommend them for adoption in the schools I was working in. I have personally visited the BJU campus and talked with teachers who were or had written the textbooks. They all impressed me with their knowledge of the subject matter and more. They also regularly revise their textbooks to keep them current. I am very picky with history and do not like the revisionist history most secular and other book publishers have adopted. I did not find this to be true with the US or World History or the Heritage Studies. BJU reading program is phonics based in the lower grades and was my favorite by far over A Beka.

 

I find A Beka to be consumed with what we called in private Christian school, memorization and regurgitation. Sorry but the kids coined that phrase and it fits. It is filled with much rote practice (over kill IMO). Please do not take offense if you are an A Beka lover. I saw many a teacher and student become overly frustrated with their appoach. In the lower grades, the bathroom breaks are even scripted for the teachers. I never want a teacher I hire to need a script to tell them when to give an elementary child a bathroom break. This is just one of many examples I could give. A Beka has also used old secular textbooks for their history reseach which have much revised history.

 

Just do your own research and come to your own opinion. Borrow some of both publisher's books on your level and read for yourself before purchase. You will know which one will suit your student or students. I did also like BJU middle school Life Science and HS Biology. Their literature program is my favorite also for over 25 years. I am now retired and teach my grandchildren in their homes. I think that's called homeschooling LOL but I haven't thrown out my knowledge of curricula from years of teaching and being principal.

Edited by Georgia On My Mind
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I prefer BJU in the elementary grades over Abeka, with the exception of math. I do not care for BJU math, but I'm not thrilled with Abeka math either.

 

We used Abeka English 5 last year and I did prefer their content over BJU, but the cute illustrations were distracting to dd.

 

My oldest used BJU science through 6th grade and enjoyed it, but the youngest preferred Abeka science 6 over BJU.

 

Basically, I don't think you would go wrong with either. They are solid programs. They are both written for classroom use, so the TMs can get a bit overwhelming. BJU is easier to obtain. CBD, among others, carry BJU and are sometimes cheaper than the publisher. I think BJU's customer service is better and easier to deal with. BJU has more samples available online.

 

I've used a mixture of both and overall, prefer BJU, but there is much to be said about Abeka. If you can get to a hotel meeting or see some of the books IRL, I think that would help you make up your mind......

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Abeka does charge ridiculous shipping charges and it's a pain that you can only order from them. If you can, however, find a display near you, they will not charge shipping for anything you order that day. Abeka will always hold a special place in my heart; haven't really looked at BJU. :)

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I disagree with the previous poster who recommended A Beka. I recommend BJU hands down over A Beka. I currently use BJU

for history, literature, composition and geography for my rising 10th grade dgdd. I do not find them dry but very accurate in their presentation of history and literature as well as the other subjects I have used. I don't recommend them for math or spelling. I used Saxon math, Shurley English and Apologia Science. I have been a private Christian school teacher and principal on all levels and have read many of the textbooks cover to cover in order to evaluate and recommend them for adoption in the schools I was working in. I have personally visited the BJU campus and talked with teachers who were or had written the textbooks. They all impressed me with their knowledge of the subject matter and more. They also regularly revise their textbooks to keep them current. I am very picky with history and do not like the revisionist history most secular and other book publishers have adopted. I did not find this to be true with the US or World History or the Heritage Studies. BJU reading program is phonics based in the lower grades and was my favorite by far over A Beka.

 

I find A Beka to be consumed with what we called in private Christian school, memorization and regurgitation. Sorry but the kids coined that phrase and it fits. It is filled with much rote practice (over kill IMO). Please do not take offense if you are an A Beka lover. I saw many a teacher and student become overly frustrated with their appoach. In the lower grades, the bathroom breaks are even scripted for the teachers. I never want a teacher I hire to need a script to tell them when to give an elementary child a bathroom break. This is just one of many examples I could give. A Beka has also used old secular textbooks for their history reseach which have much revised history.

 

Just do your own research and come to your own opinion. Borrow some of both publisher's books on your level and read for yourself before purchase. You will know which one will suit your student or students. I did also like BJU middle school Life Science and HS Biology. Their literature program is my favorite also for over 25 years. I am now retired and teach my grandchildren in their homes. I think that's called homeschooling LOL but I haven't thrown out my knowledge of curricula from years of teaching and being principal.

Thanks Georgia for the excellent description. My 7th grader insists on using Textbooks for history. I can't wait to use the new 8th grade US History. I just make sure she is also reading lots of historical fiction. I use the Sonlight book list as reference. This kid loves taking tests and such! Go figure!

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BJUP. Much more interestingly written, much better teacher editions, more variety in assignments (especially history), no overkill on the grammar. Also, BJUP has always been way more homeschool friendly than ABeka, and that would affect *my* decision.

 

Actually, my choice for textbooks from a single publisher would be Rod and Staff, if my dc were young enough (R&S doesn't yet have anything past 9th grade, except for English, really).

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BJU all the way. In my experience, BJU has much more critical thinking in it. Dd has started their online science for the coming year, and the teacher even says she wants to kids to think and apply more than memorize. Many years ago I had to teach an A Beka 7th grade course. The tests seemed to be all memorization. One test covered 200 pages of material, but there was no depth to it at all, IMHO.

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I went all twelve years to a Christian school that used Abeka almost exclusively. After I became a teacher, I wound up teaching two years in a Christian school using Abeka's high school English materials. This is why I don't use Abeka - it works well with visual learners who test well, but does not encourage real critical thinking skills and has a poor writing program. For students who do not memorize well and are not visually oriented, Abeka can cause frustration. Plus, most students won't be prepared for higher thinking level questions that they'll find in college now. Knowing some of the limitations of Abeka can help you use their textbooks, but tweak it to make it a more well-rounded program if you choose it. I don't have any experience with BJU. I do think that smart, well-motivated students who have access to good books will do well in school no matter the program IMO.

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BJU without a question. Another poster mentioned already that they update their materials on a more regular basis and this is what attracted me as well. Their books just have a far more appealing look. I've only used their elementary Science, but its been a great program with a easily navigable Teacher's manual. I even like the type font in their books more than A Beka.

 

Also, and this is just my opinion, BJU seems to understand and appreciate that their materials will be used by many homeschoolers. They provide online samples of full chapters and TOC of both student and teacher's manuals. A Beka doesn't provide anything to that level. Yes, they have their motel meetings, but that seems so outdated to me - again, just my personal opinion! BJU allows its materials to be sold by 3rd party (R.R) and A Beka doesn't.

 

I tutored high school students who had used A Beka and they were just so overwhelmed with the sheer amount of info and so bored with the videos that they didn't pay attention to them, so were completely lost by the time I met them.

 

Now, I've known a few homeschoolers personally who use and love A Beka and their kids did very well...I just have to say that, because I don't want to sound completely negative about them.

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BJU.. I HATED abeka when my kids did it. My kids dreaded it so bad. Our first year homeschooling I did abeka because everybody told me It was THE BEST :glare: :001_huh: My kids dreaded it. Tears flowing. It was horrible.

 

 

We actually do some BJU. I LOVE their hertiage studies. My oldest did their math (she is switching to CD next year though) I would highly recommend BJU over Abeka

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We used A Beka for about five years. We started with Abeka and now are ending Abeka. We are switching to something totally different! Seeing that you have eight kiddos, maybe you might also think about something that could combine some of them. Maybe MFW or HOD? I understand that option might not be available to you. I'm just putting that out there because I know what the cost of ALL the materials for Abeka would cost---it's a lot! And for eight kids! :001_huh:

 

My personal choice between the two would be BJU although I've never used it. I have heard some really great reviews of their material, especially their heritage studies. We found ABeka to be a lot of sit and read the textbook, memorize this and that, and never a hands-on project of any kind! Very boring-from my experience using it. For almost every subject you needed to buy: the textbook, test book, answer key for tests, and a curriculum/lesson plan book. It seemed like so many books, and sometimes we didn't even need some of them! If you use the curriculum/lesson books (which they highly recommend), they tell you to use many different kinds of flashcards (math and phonics) and other visuals that also cost a lot for what they are. I know many people who LOVE Abeka and have used their material for a long time, and will use it for a long time. If it's working for them-GREAT! But if this format is not what you're looking for, then you should keep looking around. Really check these materials out. Abeka has material displays all through the summer at various places. Give them a call and find out where they are in your area. Go check out their books and then maybe you'll know if it will be a good fit for your family.

 

I'm sorry I can't give you more info on the BJU, but as I mentioned, I haven't used it at all. Again, this is only my opinion from our experiences with using Abeka. I know that this will not be the case for everyone. But sometimes it helps to hear from others on how it worked/or didn't work for them.

 

Blessings as you decide!

 

~Momtofive

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As a former highschool teacher who has used both A Beka and BJU, I would definitely recommend BJU for the upper grades (7-12). BJU encourages more analysis and critical thinking than A Beka does, particularly in English and History.

 

I am using A Beka with my children for the lower grades (K-3), but plan to switch to other curricula later for the critical thinking skills.

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I would recommend contacting both companies to find out when/if a materials display will be in your area. I have used both companies for different subjects at different grades. It is very subjective as to which grade which subject will be best for your kid. The only way to know for sure is to actually sit and look at the books yourself.

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Do you use DVD's or just textbooks?

 

We use HomeSat (now called DLO, same content as the DVDs). But we don't use it like it was designed. We do a lot of skipping about. I've been totally pleased with the content and the progression.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just read through this thread- Thanks to everyone for your reviews. I have been losing sleep debating over these 2 for my 7th grader. I am still pieceing together for my younger ones, but wanted something more "boxed" for my 7th grader this year. After this, I think I will get some sleep and go with BJU which is whre I was leaning to beging with!

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I just wanted to let you know that BJU is offering free shipping if you order online by the end of July. I know that doesn't give you much time to decide on things, but the savings can be quite significant.

 

You can also purchase from ChristianBook.com, and I think they have a free shipping (with a $35.00 order) code floating around somewhere.

 

If you can afford it, I would highly recommend the DVD (or online or hard drive) option. You can view previews at the BJU website. If you plan to buy a complete BJU curriculum, the price is going to be pretty high, anyway, so definitely compare the costs of "books only" with the full grade DVD package. (The DVDs cost more than the online learning option, but because the DVD kits include printed versions of the teacher's manuals, they are ultimately a better value if you'd planned to get the teacher's books, anyway. The online option does give you access to abridged versions of the TMs, though. I just prefer "real" books!)

 

Cat

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I was leaning towards the online so I don't have to keep up with the DVD's. I guess I could just order the Teacher books for the $100 if I need to.

 

I thought it was going to be a nightmare to keep track of all of the DVDs, but what worked for us was getting one CD case and putting all of the "current" DVDs in it. As we finished a DVD, we put it back in its original packaging and took out the new one and put it in our "current" holder. We used a leather CD wallet, and it worked perfectly.

 

I thought about buying the online version this year, but ended up choosing the DVDs.

 

Cat

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I too was schooled almost exclusively with A Beka. There are many areas in which in feel I got a solid education, however, independent and critical thinking were not two of them. Anything that can called creative is not A Beka's strong suit either. There's a lot of "just follow the rules" which I experienced even more by going to their college for a year and working for A Beka. I do like A Beka's early phonics cirriculum, but truly that company may be the sole reason I started researching schooling any other way but with textbooks and was so anti-textbook for so long.

Lately I have been researching BJU because 12 yo DD is moving up and I still have so many littles. I need her to get a quality education but to be able to be largely independent. I viewed the samples online (can't do with A Beka! It's like they're hiding national security secrets in their books that you can view only if you purchase!), and have a church friend who is letting me take a look at her books. I am impressed! They are definitely textbooks, but there is stuff in there that I believe sparks actual thinking. We will be doing their heritage study and English.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Lets just say you had to switch to a more textbook style of school. You hated the thought of it, but due to unforeseen circumstances, you think you may have to go this route. Which of these two companies would you go with and why?

 

Thanks!:)

 

I'm not going to read the other posts before I write this. :D

 

I would choose BJU. I have friends who use BJU exclusively and I've been able to look through the curriculum. If you're going the textbook route - I would use this one. Their English gets really good ratings and I was impressed with their Reading and Science textbooks, too. The only downside to BJU is its price. Oh, yeah, and their math looked a lot like Singapore to me.

 

On the other hand, I'm not an Abeka fan. We used their K4 last year and it was a total bomb. I've also looked through their older grades to see if there's anything I could use from it... The good thing about Abeka is price. If you're really strapped for cash, Abeka would be a thorough program for the money you're going to spend on it.

 

If money is a factor here, have you looked at CLE? It's a very solid program, too. $3.20 per workbook. I would not use their high school or middle school science/social studies, though. But for elementary school, it's great. I'm not sure what grade level you are shopping around for...

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  • 7 months later...

I am in Pensacola where Abeka is made, and it seems that is the way to go for most homeschoolers around here, unless you are teaching classically, or charlotte mason. It is OK, we have used some over the years, We have been very eclectic. We were always told that "Boxed" curriculum is bad, need to do other things. Well my daughter going into 6th grade, looked at the samples of all the different styles and curriculum, and guess what she chose????? Bob Jones hands down, and even asked if she could use in every subject. We are in a co-op, so she will use all but history and science, then we do latina christiana. interesting. It is all in the eyes of the

beholder. nancyt. :grouphug:

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I haven't used Abeka but have some of their history books (my sis's kids go to private school and she gives me the books) One complaint my sis had was Abeka would change a word or phrase in a book and therefore they could not use the book with another child (she has 6 kids).

 

With that said, we used Bob Jones this year and plan to use it next year. My dc enjoy Bob Jones Heritage Studies. Next year my two oldest will use BJ for all subjects.

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We use BJU for Science and Abeka for History. I'd select BJU. I like the teacher's manual better for BJU. They have the actual textbook in the manual with a lot of questions off to the side. I do think BJU is a little dry, but my kids are learning and retaining all the information without any problems. I don't know if other subjects would be as dry as science.

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I looked into both programs last summer and liked BJU a good bit more. Many of the reasons have already been mentioned. One big difference (I don't think has been mentioned) is with BJU, the teacher "talks" directly to the child watching the video. With Abeka, there is a class of kids that the teacher teaches and the homeschool child/children are just looking on. May sound silly, but I just liked that format better. Abeka seemed like it would have the propensity to be more dull and drawn out with the classroom setting.

 

Also, I THINK I remember that Abeka's subjects were all on a single disk for the day. BJU's subjects are on separate disks. I much prefer that. On days when we have various activities away from the house, there are a couple subjects we don't get to. We leave the 2 subjects that I feel are the least important until the end of the day and I don't worry that we don't get to them 2 days a week. With Abeka's DVD system, I think it would be really confusing to keep track of which day we are on with the different subjects.

 

I was not keen on going over to a DVD program, but it was what we needed for this year for a variety of reasons. I have really liked BJU.

 

Hope you are pleased with whatever choice you make!

Gloria

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Actually, my choice for textbooks from a single publisher would be Rod and Staff, if my dc were young enough (R&S doesn't yet have anything past 9th grade, except for English, really).

 

I agree!

 

We use Rod and Staff in conjunction with Ambleside Online for dd8, and it works very well for us.

 

Take care,

Suzanne

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As a parent whose children were in a private school that used Abeka, I cannot recommend it. It does not teach children how to think. Higher level thinking skills are absent. If a student can memorize, he will look brilliant using Abeka. After he leaves Abeka and has to actually think or reason out an answer, the gaps in learning begin to show.

 

I've only used BJU's Science but I find it to be excellent.

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I would use BJU, without question. In fact, I do use some of BJU materials now. I've taught A Beka years ago in a private school setting. The differences are amazing. BJU is constantly updating and including newer ideas of teaching. They include critical thinking all the way through. It's a fairly gentle approach to new topics.

 

I don't use the DVD's, but I only have 2 kids. I might consider using the DVD's if I had several children, there were subjects I didn't like to teach, or I had sickness that would inhibit my own teaching.

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this year we used abeka history and absolutely loved it! (truly loved it!!). we also use (and will continue to use) BJU english. i love that too! so i'm not sure which one i'd use (assuming i *had* too). probably BJU. i like their teacher dvd option, and in the high school years i might want to incorporate those. i hear the abeka ones are really awful. anyway - if i had to choose one or the other only, i'd pick BJU.:)

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Do you find it hard to teach two at once with this? Or do you use other programs for diff subjects?

 

 

I'm not finding it difficult with my two, but they are 6 years apart and my dd is very independent at her age. If I had multiple children close in age, I would probably use BJU for the skill subjects (math, English, etc.), but would do more combining in Bible, history, etc. If you do their programs as written, there is a lot of parent-child interaction built into the lessons, which would be difficult to do with many children on different levels. Does that make sense?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like A Beka's phonics much more than BJU, BJU uses a lot of sight words. I've never found a remedial student from A Beka but have had several from BJU. There is a bunch of free stuff on my page and Don Potter's page that I like for phonics, too, and most of them are easier and quicker to use than A Beka or BJU.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you so much everyone for your suggestions and advice...I am needing to use textbooks more this year and have been struggling to decide between BJU and ABeka. Honestly I still don't know what we'll use entirely,but fell like I can now see past the gloss! This is such a switch from our current and past way of educating our children, which has been an eclectic mix of CM and Classical...using lots of Sonlight and MFW additions!

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