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I enjoyed reading through your site. I am completely new at this homeschooling thing:) I have a 5th grader and also a 1st grader.
I was given both the abeka complete materials for both my children by a friend that has used them ever since her children were in 2nd grade. The publishing dates on them is 2003 and some 2008 materials. Obviously the consumables (workbooks are not included in this because her children wrote on them).
Her children are in 7th now and 4th. She has advised me that some of the materials may have changed but that I could attempt to buy the consumables and adjust and make due.
Do you think this is possible since abeka does update constantly from what I have read online? Would you recommend a new homeschooling mom to do this or attempt to make due with this as it is a used and not updated material? I have read both sides as comments to this curriculum. Any help I can get would be nice.
My Comments: This is a tough one. On one hand you are getting free materials, but on the other hand you will have some money invested in the workbooks and if they don't match up well you might get frustrated.
I don't know your homeschool budget. If purchasing the workbooks and then possibly not using them out of frustration is not too much of a waste of money to you, then I would go ahead and try it.
I think that Abeka can be more of a self teaching curriculum especially for your 5th grader. So I don't think you will really need the teacher manuals all that much.
Another option is to go to homeschoolclassifieds.com or maybe ebay (although you might spend more here) and see if you can find the matching versions of the student workbooks to the teacher manuals that you have. The versions you have should be listed in the front of each book. It might not be very easy to find student workbooks because many people have their children write in the books. You might be able to find someone whose children did Abeka for a week or so and decided not to use it. It's certainly worth a try to get matching editions because that would solve your problem.
I think for a 1st grader you can easily use some simple materials and not stress over Abeka at all. If your child doesn't know how to read fluently yet you can use Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, Explode the Code workbooks, or maybe some Spectrum Math books or other Spectrum workbooks. You can read my lists of picture books to use for homeschool Science and homeschool Social Studies.
Ultimately the decision is up to you. I don't know much about you or your children to know exactly what you want and need to accomplish this year. I really think you would be fine using the materials you have with newer workbooks, but if you're concerned about getting frustrated or burned out on Abeka, there are other options that you can use that would cost about the same as purchasing the Abeka workbooks that you need.
I hope this helped. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
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