Hi. I’m trying to decide on a kindergarten phonics program for my 5 year old. Do you like Abeka phonics or AAR/AAS? Which one and why? Or any other great recommendations for teaching how to read? Thanks!
We use Abeka for K-2nd grade. I find the phonics program works and I really like the reading program. It’s also “open and go,” so that’s great for me. My kids also enjoy the worksheets.
I’ve not done AAS or AAR, so can’t help there.
Hi, I’m not a fan of Abeka, but for no good reason. I feel like Abeka and my kids do not work well together. However, I use AAR and AAS. I use AAR for my son who is severely dyslexic. It is a really good program for him, but I don’t know if I would use it for a regular Ed child. I think your child might find the word lists tedious. That said, I absolutely swear by AAS. My kids were horrible spellers and once I put them in AAS they learned the rules and the whys of spelling and they could think through the spelling process. Plus the lessons are arranged so that you can just work on a short section or work along with the child’s ability. And you can spend as long as necessary in the lesson or work along at their pace. I’ve used countless spelling programs and AAS is the one that really worked for my kids. Hope that helps.
Abeka has worked amazingly with my middle child, he is in 2nd grade now. My youngest son not so much. Xander our middle kiddo is a quick learner and he enjoys the layout of Abeka, worksheets, books, everything. I love how all I have to do is go through the daily lesson plans and we are done. He caught on to reading quickly and is still excelling. Wes, our youngest, however, has had severe issues from the beginning. He could not handle the pace that Abeka moves through. He should be half way through first grade but still struggles with letter sounds and blends (early Kindergarten things) We actually believe there is more going on with him but that is a different story =) We switched over to Learning How to Read in 100 Lessons and he isn’t thriving but is not as frustrated as when he was doing Abeka. Long story short, if your child can easily grasp onto concepts and enjoys readers and worksheets, I think Abeka is amazing. If not, I’ve seen Abeka lead to frustrations for both you and your child. Good luck with your search!! I’ve also learned to go with your gut. So don’t fret if you pick one curriculum and it doesn’t fit, its ok to change =)
I have both Abeka and AAR, but not AAS yet as my son is not quite ready for that. I use mostly Abeka because my son responded to the worksheets very well and the general method they use to teach phonics works well for him. He is not a natural at reading at all but we just waited a bit until he was ready and then started. I like Abeka because the worksheets are in color and have a good amount of variety. I don’t use all the worksheets, especially in the first part of the year when there is a good amount of review. We just did the review until he was comfortable and then just skipped, doing every other or every third lesson. I would just scan the lessons and get the idea of what they wanted taught and teach only what I knew he needed. Now we are starting the second half of the curriculum where the new stuff starts and we go a little slower at times. The things I don’t like is that there is no real outline of what is being taught when. I actually went through every single lesson and made an excel spreadsheet listing the lesson number and what new thing was taught that lesson (a brief note only, not in detail just so I knew what was coming up.) I also don’t really like the teachers manual, I find it not something you can quickly glance at but it is manageable. My only other complaint is that there is too much review in the first have and all the new stuff seems to be crammed into the second half. I have found this to be true with everything I have used of there’s so far (which granted isn’t a ton.) I have AAR too and I find from a teachers perspective I like it better, but my son just really really didn’t have any interest in it because it was in black and white. I think if I was starting again, now that the color versions are available, I would probably have given it a try. I actually use a lot of the concepts that AAR uses and just apply them to Abeka. For example, AAR uses a lot of games and fun ways to review. I have done this Abeka. Instead of doing the review the way they say we just play a game. I have several board games that are basic board games, like candy land, where you just roll the dice and move. But instead, they have to answer a flashcard correctly, and if they get it right they get to take their turn, if not they lose their turn. I have two sets of flashcards so each kid answers from there own pile. This way I get review for two kids done at the same time. It works really well. I also have a game we bought on Amazon called cracker stacker. It has sight words on it that don’t match Abeka or AAR at all but I just covered them up with a white sticker and wrote the words that they are working on on the sticker and we play the game. They just love this kind of learning and get through so many more words in a day instead of just flashcards. I forgot to mention that earlier, Abeka is very flashcard heavy, but I just find variety and it works fine. One last note, I would add another big difference between the two is that Abeka is not a mastery program and I think the worksheets really help them continually do a little of each thing they have been working on so they are always getting practice. I actually like this better. I think the mastery concept of AAR is good because it helps to just stay on a lesson until it is learned but I think my son responds better to always doing just a little of different things. For example, on the last worksheet, he found which word fit best at the end of two sentences, comprehension, spelled three words, and found which vowel went in the middle of the word. A little but of three different things. And if there is something he really gets and doesn’t need to review again we just skip that part. I hope that helps.
This is incredibly helpful - Thank you SO much!