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ABeka Vs. All About Reading/Spelling

Needing some input on Reading/Phonics/Spelling curriculum. Right now we are using a mix of curriculum for our various subjects. Right now we are using AOP Horizons for Reading and Phonics; All About Spelling for Spelling and Abeka for Math.

Our daughter is in LOVE with ABeka’s math - so we will stay there, but that has made me think about switching over to Abek for Phonics, Language and Spelling this next year. my issues is, we also have thought about going back to All About Reading as my daughter loved it last year, and this year isn’t liking Horizons too much.

My question is there anyone out there who has used both Abeka and AAR/AAS for the lower grades (1st, 2nd ish) and can tell me which you enjoyed more? Why?

I have used Abeka for several years. I have never used All About Reading/Spelling but I follow their website and love their program. I would recommend you to continue with AAS. Abeka’s Spelling is Ok in 1st-2nd grade. Phonics-based word lists, colorful books, some fun exercises, but I dislike that the kids are supposed to copy the list every day (sometimes twice) and their program is based on memorization. Beginning in third grade and up the lists turns longer, difficult, and no more phonics/spelling rules are emphasized.

On the other hand, I highly recommend you the Abeka phonics/reading/language program. AAR is also a great program but I think Abeka has a more accelerated pace and the kids are able to read real books sooner, not just the books included in the program. The Phonics and Language workbooks are great for practice application of phonics rules, and they are beautifully illustrated. Some reading comprehension and writing exercises are covered in the Language workbook.

Hope this helps!

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Thank you! Yes, I think we have decided on doing AAS and AAR, but go ahead and do the Language and continue Math with Abeka. Our daughter is 5 (6 in July) and we would be continuing on with level 2 of AAR, she is already reading beyond her age level, so we aren’t too concerned there. I just worry a lot about SO much “book work” if we do all Abeka, plus all the extras you have to buy to make it more hands on, we save more money with AAR/S and that is a very hands on program…I think no matter which way we go we will have a great program, thank you sooooo much for your input! =)

One more question if you don’t mind…since I will be doing Language with Abeka, is it possible to get away without the TM for it? (1st-2nd)

You don’t need the TM, it is just for the phonics lessons. The Language workbooks have simple explanations when new concepts are taught, enough and perfect for a 5-6yo child. I neither use the answer keys, the books are very easy to check.

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Thank you so much for all your help!!

I was about to post this same question. I’ve been using Abeka with my 3rd child for the last year and a half and I’m having trouble following their TM to teach. I also don’t feel like my daughter is as far along as she would like to be. I am thinking about switching to AAR. The funny thing to me is the review here are saying that Abeka moves faster and gets the kids reading faster but for this child it just doesn’t seem to be the case. It might be because I have 2 4th graders and then a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old so my 5 yr is in the middle of all this chaos. I was thinking that maybe we could follow AAR a little better but I don’t want to go backwards with her. Any advice for from those who have seen both?

I have switched to AAR/AAS from Abeka and I am starting it this next week. From what I have seen going through the teacher manual it does move at a slower pace but it is working towards mastery of phonetic rules and sounds. Abeka does move quickly but my daughter was having trouble decoding words in the readers. I think that if you give them time to master the rules then the reading will come much easier and then you can dive into Abeka. I’m excited to have the hands on approach for her also. She didn’t get much out of just worksheets that Abeka uses. She is excited for AAR whereas she has never been excited about reading. I also like that they recommend capping the reading at 20 minutes so if you don’t get everything accomplished, it is not a big deal.


We are in first grade with Horizons, which I have heard progresses just as fast as Abeka. We used AAR level 1 last year. The difference I have seen between AAR and Horizons (which I am starting to think would be the same with Abeka), AAR has wonderful explanations that make sense and stick, where as Horizons seems to do a one and done, not much review, a quick rule and go…I can’t speak for Abeka, but I think they may be the same. I am hoping someone can speak from the Abeka side. We have decided to go with AAR/AAS. Our daughter was reading SO well after coming off AAR last year and now she seems to be forgetting the basics and I am wondering if because it’s that fast progression. The thing I, as well as our daughter, loved about AAR is she was learning but it was FUN! No worksheets, just fun activities to enforce the rules.

I ordered AAR level 1. It should get here tomorrow. My first two kids did great with Abeka but I was using along with AAS so now I wonder if that is part of the reason they just took off with reading so quickly? They read ALL the time. Which I absolutely love because that is where half their learning comes from! I already have AAS level 1 and 2. I am going to try to somehow do it all! :grinning: She actually likes the Abeka worksheets but I was/am having a hard time keeping up with the teacher’s manual for k5. I am hoping that the structure of AAR will help me to help her better (if that makes sense). I like that they only recommend 20 minutes. It’s like since they recommend that amount of time it makes me feel better.

On another note, I think I am going to try and start my older kids on AAS again. We left it because I had a hard time making the time or finding the quiet time to go through it with them because I have 3 younger kids (5,3,1). They are not the best spellers. Actually, my son is a pretty bad speller so I am going to try and pick up level 2 and see if I can find 20 minutes of quiet time to go over it with them and if so, I will be ordering level 3 soon.

Thanks! This has been such a useful post!!

Do AAR & AAS lessons go together? Example - Lesson 20 AAR focuses on short e words and Lesson 20 AAS focus on short e words?

They can. We are not on the same lesson on the levels because my daughter struggles with spelling even more than reading. The beauty about this curriculum is that you go at the pace the child learns. So we have had to take more time on spelling than reading. But what is nice, if you hit on a concept learned in one subject, and when you come to the concept on the other subject, it seems to be easier for the child to grasp. Hope that helps!

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I have use both Abeka and All about reading. I like Abeka for the K4 grade and then switch to All about reading for level 1. All about reading jumps into 3 letter word combo right from the start with out doing cv blends first. Abeka has alot of CV blend review before cvc words which I prefer.

AAS is not intended to be taught at the same time as AAR. Give the child time to master reading first. If you look on the All About Learning website, I believe at the end of AAR 2 is when AAS is supposed to begin. Someone will have to fact check me. Dinner time here.