In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the four core English & Language Arts, Arithmetic & Mathematics, Science, History, and Bible—the subjects your child needs to learn. We also mentioned some of the other options available, like art, foreign language, and music. Now it’s time to think about the resources your children will need to learn.
First, let’s consider what goes into a formal education, whether in a homeschool or in a traditional classroom setting. Without going into too many details, it all really boils down to this:
- Learn new concepts, information, or skills.
- Practice skills, review and apply concepts, and think critically about new information.
- Assess progress.
Three basic steps. Children are exposed to the material they need to learn. Children engage with the the material they need to learn. Then the teacher (that’s you, mom and dad) evaluate how well they’ve learned the material. With these activities in mind, there are three kinds of resources a child needs.
First, there are textbooks. While it’s true that there are different ways to learn—especially for younger children who need lots of activities to help them practice new concepts—by and large, there’s no substitute for well-written books that present the subject matter. These may be more narrative (as when learning about the American Revolution), factual (as when learning grammar rules), or more conceptual (as when learning how to tell time). Sometimes, it’s a little bit of all three.
Next, children need learning aids that give them the opportunity to engage with what they’ve learned, to think about it, to review it, to apply their new skills, and in some subjects, to memorize material. All these activities help seeds of knowledge grow into roots of comprehension.
The resources your child needs will include worksheets and homework assignments. (Yes, there is homework in homeschool.) For subjects like reading and literature, there will be short stories, novels, and biographies. For science, lab manuals and project guides will play an important role.
The point is, education is more than textbooks and instruction.
Finally, there are quizzes, tests, exams, and writing assignments.
It’s all well and good to focus on learning instead of tests. After all, we want our children to understand the subject matter, not just know how to pass a quiz. But assessments allow you, as the educator, to gain a firm understanding of your child’s progress.
Do they comprehend what they’re learning well enough to tackle a new set of concepts?
Have they mastered a certain skill?
Are they applying what they’ve learned?
If the answer is “yes,” that’s great. But what if they’re not? One of the great things about homeschool is that you don’t have to “rush” to the next chapter. By using quizzes, tests, and other assessment tools, you’ll know when a little extra review is appropriate and when it’s time to move on.
What Abeka Offers
For over 40 years, Abeka has been helping parents teach their children. That’s why books, hands-on activities, and assessment tools are a part of each and every Abeka child kit. For instance:
- Each beautifully illustrated textbook is written in an easy-to-read style that conveys facts, concepts, and information.
- Kits also include some combination of activity books, seatwork, flashcards, readers, and writing tablets (in early grades), as well as novels, project guides, and lab manuals (in upper grades).
- Finally, there are Speed Drills, Quiz Books, Test Books, and other assessment tools.
While all these items are sold individually, Abeka offers them in easy-to-order full-grade bundles called Child Kits for K4–Grade 6 and Homeschool Student Kits for Grade 7–Grade 12. If you’re only using Abeka for certain subjects, Subject Kits for children are available for Grade 4–Grade 6.
If you plan on homeschooling with Abeka, take a look at some of the products we have for children. (PRO TIP: Check out the kit contents for each Child Kit. It’s a quick way to find all the products that come in each kit.)
In our next article, we’ll talk about the different options that homeschool parents have for communicating lessons to their kids.