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Thursday, January 20th
Abeka has been a well-known name in the homeschooling community for many years. In 1954, Dr. Arlin and Beka Horton began a Christian school in northern Florida and created their own materials for instruction. Their offerings expanded to include video instruction in 1985, digital textbooks/assessments/teaching aids in 2014, and today their inventory has more than a thousand educational products for learners in nursery through high school -all written by teachers with classroom experience. For that reason, you'll also find Abeka textbooks and curricula used in Christian schools too.
Well known in Christian schools
One strong reason to choose Abeka for your homeschooling supplies is if you think you may have your child attend a private Christian school in the future. You're likely to encounter Abeka materials and methods there, and it could make for a smoother transition. The reverse is also true: if you're shifting to homeschooling from a Christian school, using Abeka could keep some familiarity and structure as you shift to a learning-at-home routine.
Website easy to use
The easiest way to find the homeschool supplies you need here is to shop by product, grade or subject. For example, if you look at the product list, you'll find Video Single Subjects, Lessons on Demand, Full-Grade Kits, and so on. Similarly, if you know you just want to see everything Abeka offers for your 4th grader, you can click on it and start browsing. Subjects are grouped as Arithmetic/Math, Bible, Electives, History/Geography, Language Arts, and Science/Health - and that might be your best way to shop if you're just looking for a one-off course and not an entire curriculum.
Especially for new homeschoolers, Abeka's kits are really appealing: a grouping of products for a full school year or a subject kit for a particular area of study. If you really like the thought of "one and done" - buy a kit and, presto, no planning necessary - this is a solid choice. It's not cheap, but you'll have everything ready to go. Of course, you can also buy any individual textbook or workbook that Abeka sells. Shipping is free on every order, no matter what or when you make your purchase.
Hands on or hands off
If you're not overly confident in your ability to teach your kids from a curriculum but still want the advantages of learning at home, Abeka Academy is worth checking out. If you want them to take care of all of the record-keeping, including report cards and transcripts, opt for the accredited enrollment. Otherwise, you can take the independent study route. Either one gets you video lessons taught by veteran teachers, textbooks, and more. Plus, for high schoolers, accredited enrollment students can earn dual enrollment college credits through Pensacola Christian College.
Free video lesson samples
Be sure to watch the video lesson samples (free) to get a better idea of how this online format works. Plus, you can get a full week of Abeka Academy at no charge, with full access to their entire video library. You might be surprised at how affordable it is: even at the high school level (the most expensive), you'll pay a one-time fee of $1219 or 10 monthly payments of $129.40 - and that includes all of the books and videos you'll need for a full year of courses! You can break it down further into groups of courses (Language Arts/Bible or Arithmetic/Science/History/Bible), or just purchase a single course at a time.
Abeka is also one of the only homeschool supply sites that gives you options for standardized testing. Why would you need them - after all, you're homeschooling to get away from things like that, right? Not necessarily - and, depending on the requirements in your state, you may be expected to provide such test results to demonstrate annual progress, keep your eligibility as a registered homeschool family, etc. Plus, if you ever decide to put your child (back) into public school, a standardized test could be required to prove grade level achievement or qualify for an honors program. Available tests include the Iowa Form E, Stanford 10, Iowa Algebra Aptitude, CogAT Form 7, and the OLSAT. Abeka makes it really clear what topics are covered, which states may not be included, and any instructions you have to follow for a valid administration of the test.
Fundamentalist Christian teachings
With all of these positive features of what Abeka offers, you might be wondering why they didn't rank at the top of our list. Abeka has taken its share of criticism over the years for its fundamentalist Christian teachings in their materials. If you're not part of that faith tradition, you might not like (or might even be offended by) some of the statements made in their texts. For example, their science texts take a creationist stance on evolution, which likely won't appeal to secular homeschoolers. We encourage you to take a look at Abeka's "What We Believe" page - they definitely don't hide their worldview or try to sneak it past unsuspecting parents.
Good match for target audience
Plus, you won't find any other homeschool supplies on this site: math manipulatives, art gear, musical instruments, etc. Add that to the very specific faith-based curricula offered by Abeka, and you'll see why this site is a fantastic option for a small group of people, and possibly a colossally bad fit for a large swath of homeschool families.
Homeschooling is on the rise in the United States, with an estimated 2.5 million students - and those numbers growing anywhere from 2-8% every year.
Whether you're a seasoned home educator looking for new and innovative curricula and materials to work into your plans, or you're brand-new and need all the help you can get, you'll definitely need a reliable, affordable source of homeschool supplies.
Fortunately, all of the books, worksheets, science equipment and anything else you could possibly want for teaching your child(ren) at home are easily found online. The top retailers of homeschool supplies can help you narrow down what you need - A single curriculum or mix-and-match? Digital platform, parent-taught, or a hybrid? - and get it to you at prices you can afford.
Plus, it can take some trial-and-error as you determine which approach to homeschooling works for your family. What went well in your first year may need to be switched up in the second year, as you get more comfortable or as your learners' ages and needs shift with time. That's normal! While no homeschool supply store is going to let you return used workbooks and art supplies, the best retailers do have generous policies for items you get home, take one look and say "This is NOT what I thought I was getting!"
No two retailers of homeschool supplies are exactly the same. Some sell curricula from just one publisher, while others offer choices across multiple companies. Other stores give you an eclectic array of workbooks, musical instruments and other items, so that you can piece together a custom approach to your kids' studies. Finally, you'll find some sites that only sell online home education programs, from self-paced to remote learning with a certified teacher. The sky's the limit!
So, what should you look for when deciding where to buy your homeschool supplies? Naturally, that will depend on what you're hoping to find, whether that's a new curriculum or just some fun extras to supplement what you're already doing. However, here are a few criteria that can help you choose:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best homeschool supply providers available today. We hope this information helps you find the right curriculum, program, or supplemental materials to confidently educate your children at home!
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