Abeka Math Series Review

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[W]ith its step by step approach, ample review and practice and strong emphasis on math facts and drill, Abeka can give students a strong foundation in math and help them solve problems quickly, accurately and effectively.

If you’re looking for an academically rigorous K-12 math curriculum that takes a back to basics approach and integrates biblical values, Abeka might be right for you.

What We Like

Easy to use, open and go math curriculum
Lots of practice and repetition makes for strong math fundamentals and fluency
Combines Christian worldview with strong math learning
Method can help students learn to do math quickly and efficiently
Lots of practice and drill to develop skill fluency
Offline and digital resources available
Rigorous but still approachable math curriculum
Traditional, back to basics approach to understanding math will appeal to many parents
Offers traditional K-12 math curriculum, as well as consumer and business math options
Well made, visually appealing books and materials

But watch out for

Not the most inexpensive curriculum to purchase
Strong emphasis on memorization and drill can be a bit much for some kids
Procedural approach to math not always for every child

What is Abeka Math?

Dating back to the 1970s, Abeka Book is a publisher of Christian curriculum materials for students in pre-K through Grade 12. 

The company produces textbooks and other learning materials that cover Math, Science, History, Bible Study, English and more,  and are designed to be used by both homeschools and Christian educators alike. 

Abeka Math refers to the various math curricula and textbooks offered by Abeka, and covers the K-12 grade levels.

A spiral method, Abeka is a more traditional and procedural math curriculum that combines a step by step approach, incremental skill development, continual review and thorough practice to achieve stronger math results. 

What Grades of Math does Abeka Cover?

Abeka produces math workbooks for students in preschool through grade 12, that is, from simple number recognition to precalculus. 

Broadly speaking, Abeka’s grade coverage breaks down in the following manner:

GradeText
Pre-School (ages 2,3)Learning Numbers with Button Bear & Numbers & Skills with Button Bear
K4ABC-123 Phonics and Numbers, 
K5Number Skills Arithmetic K5
1 to 6Abeka Arithmetic
7Intermediate Mathematics 
8Pre-algebra
9Algebra 1
10 Algebra 2
11Plane Geometry
12 Precalculus with Trigonometry

Abeka also has a parallel track of sorts for high school, where students can study Consumer Math and Business Math, which broadens the curriculum a bit and are designed to be introduced between grades 9-12.

That said, Abeka’s books are designed to be used by homeschooling parents, as well as by Christian schools. The books can, therefore, be used by those studying outside their suggested age ranges. 

Parents of precocious children can, for example, study a grade level ahead, assuming they meet the requisite knowledge and skills for each level.

This is helped by the fact that, outside of the books intended for preschool and kindergarten, there aren’t a lot of obvious references to grade level on the covers of each book that might make it embarrassing or awkward for such children to use.  

When discussing grade coverage, it is important to note that Abeka Math is not common core aligned and does present topics at its own pace and sequence. 

It does move along somewhat quickly and is a bit more of a rigorous curriculum than many other programs out there (and especially compared to most public schools). 

Unfortunately, at time of writing, the company does not provide much in the way of a placement test that those moving into the program can use to easily figure out which grade is appropriate for a student. 

Parents can, of course, examine Abeka’s scope and sequence but this can be a little tricky for new homeschoolers and does require a fair amount of knowledge about a student and their existing skills and knowledge. 

How Abeka Math Works

Abeka Math takes a fairly traditional approach to teaching math. 

There is quite a bit of review, practice and drill built into the program and, at the elementary school level and below, teaching the program often involves a little more than the standard workbook and teacher’s guide. 

At these levels, Abeka math tends to involve the use of supplementary materials and aids designed to be used alongside the workbooks and formal lessons in order to provide critical drill, focused skill development and practice. 

Depending on the grade level in question, these can include a number of so called visuals, such as: 

  • Flashcards of various types
  • Dot Cards
  • Concept Cards
  • Fact Charts, Tables and Games

As well as speed drills, tests and answer keys.

These extra activities tend to be an important component of Abeka lessons as, being more of a straightforward and procedural program, they help students memorize math facts and improve the speed and accuracy of their responses, especially when it comes to test taking and drills. 

With all these moving parts, Abeka Math tends to be sold in separate kits as well as individual items – one for students with relevant consumables (workbooks, drill books, etc), and one for parents (curriculum guide, lesson plans, flashcards, answer keys, etc). 

As students progress through the program and into middle school and beyond, however, Abeka tends to become more streamlined and similar to other programs, with students mostly working with workbooks and test guides, and parents needing to purchase a teacher’s guide, answer key and drill/test book.

As a result, Abeka can be considered quite a full and expansive curriculum option. It integrates lessons, workbook exercises, games, drills and flashcards to provide students with ample opportunity for practice and concept review that can lead to strong skill fluency and the ability to eventually do math quickly and effectively.

On the downside, for many grade levels Abeka isn’t exactly what we might call a compact curriculum. 

With books, cards, drills, tests and more, there’s a lot going on and a lot for parents to keep track of, organize and find a place for at home. 

Abeka Digital Learning Options

As with many other at home programs, Abeka has started offering digital materials to help parents teach the material in an easier, more modern manner. 

Digital textbooks

Abeka offers digital versions of some of its math textbooks, which allow them to be accessed on tablets and computers. 

These are generally are more interactive and interesting versions of its printed textbooks, allowing students to:

  • Save their place
  • Take notes and highlight things
  • Use text-to-speech and other accessibility functions
  • Immediately access the internet to look up definitions and alternative explanations
  • And more

Abeka’s digital textbooks can be an interesting alternative to traditional paper books, especially for those who prefer working digitally or who are running out of storage space. 

On the downside, they are (as of writing) available for a select few courses in Abeka’s high school program (Algebra 1, 2 and Precalculus) and are digitally licensed, meaning access is limited to 12 months at a time. 

Abeka also offers a selection of its teaching aids ( teaching charts and games, for example) in digital format, allowing them to be used as something of a PowerPoint presentation or to be printed out and used in a more conventional manner.

Video Instruction

Abeka math has also begun offering pre-recorded video instruction for its math courses. 

Taught by highly-qualified  Abeka Academy teachers, the videos go through the math courses lesson by lesson and cover the main concepts of a lesson in a fair amount of detail. 

We feel these videos do a pretty good job at teaching the material and can be very helpful as they give students tips for success while pointing out common mistakes and pitfalls. 

These videos are available for every grade level of Abeka and can be purchased lesson by lesson, in packs of 10 videos, as a half semester or as a complete set for an entire year’s course. 

They can also be purchased alone or as a package with digital versions of the coursepacks. 

Overall, Abeka’s math videos are a pretty flexible option that can allow Abeka math to become a little more of an independent learning program, especially for K-6 as far as teaching goes. 

They can also be extremely helpful for parents who are uncertain about or uncomfortable teaching math themselves or for those with busy homeschools who are short on time. 

Abeka’s videos can get quite expensive however, with an hour lesson costing about $11.25, a block of 10 hours costing $56.45 and full year’s courses costing $300+.

Abeka Math Methodology: How Abeka’s Math Books Teach Math

Spiral Learning

Abeka Math is a spiral curriculum, which means that math topics are broken into chunks and students will encounter them again and again, in increasing depth, throughout their studies. 

Practically speaking, this means that students are presented with smaller amounts of new information at one time, move on to another topic and then reviewing that first topic in more detail later, deepening their knowledge.

A more traditional approach to learning, with a spiral curriculum students are exposed to a wider variety of math topics in a given amount of time and their learning isn’t “bogged down” by spending too much time on one concept. 

It also means that concepts tend to be reviewed, repeated and practiced more frequently, which is good for kids who have a tendency to forget what they’ve learned after a while. 

This spiral approach is in contrast to mastery math programs that tend to dive very deeply into one topic at a time, spending perhaps weeks exploring it completely until a student develops a sufficient level of proficiency, and then moving on without coming back to it later (having assumed the student has developed mastery of it, hence the name). 

Procedural Math 

Abeka takes a very traditional, back-to-basics approach to math that might be familiar to many parents.

It is, by and large, a procedural math program.

This means that Abeka tends to emphasize how to do math quickly, accurately and in a step-by-step manner, rather than spending a great amount of time on theory and concepts, i.e. exploring the why.

example of Abeka procedural appraoch

This approach means that students learning Abeka learn to take a more systematic approach to math, learning forumas, facts, equations, and procedures that they can apply to analyze, understand and then quickly solve different math problems. 

A good example of this is in Abeka’s Arithmetic books, where students learn to approach a word problem (or story problem, as they call it) in an organized and step by step manner by asking themselves:

  • What the problem is saying 
  • What the question is
  • What keywords (clue words) are important or can help figure out what to do
  • What information is logically missing
  • What information is extraneous
  • And finally, what is the procedure that will best solve this problem and how can it be applied

While some parents prefer a conceptual math program’s more flexible and creative approach to problem solving, where multiple approaches are often explored, a systematic and procedural approach to math can give students a consistent set of tools they can fall back on and use to figure out and answer math problems more easily.

and can be particularly beneficial to students who are more results-oriented in math or have a hard time grasping math concepts and putting them into action.

To help students get their heads around all these procedures and to help them become better at using them properly and accurately, Abeka involves quite a bit of memorizing facts, doing drills and getting a lot of practice doing computational math exercises. 

And there can be a lot of drill, repetition and practice with Abeka Math. 

Throughout the workbooks, students will spend a good deal of time doing calculations, exercises, problem sets and word problems, repeatedly putting what they’ve learned into practice in different ways and developing fairly strong math skill fluency (the ability to do math quickly and accurately). 

example of Abeka math drills and exercises

In addition to the workbooks, at the lower grades at least, students are expected to spend time honing and testing their familiarity with math facts through charts and flashcards, and further train their speed and accuracy at computation with assorted speed drills – simple math exercises where students do as many problems  as they can in a short, set time (1-5 min). 

example of abeka speed drill

In fact, as the program goes on, students are even expected to perform fairly complex calculations without a calculator, which honestly can be quite impressive for parents to see. 

Interestingly, this approach is laid out in the program’s core philosophy, with Abeka stating its belief in:

“Learning to see [math] facts as part of the truth and order that God has built into reality….knowing there is a right answer.”

This is in contrast to more conceptual programs, like Singapore Math and Math U See, where the curriculum places a stronger importance on understanding math concepts, getting kids to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, and exploring different approaches to solving problems.

Overall, Abeka’s procedural approach is a great way to develop solid math fluency, helping students become very efficient and effective at solving math problems quickly and correctly, which can serve them quite well on math tests and assessments.  

Similarly, with lots of practice and drill on learning tables, algorithms, formulas and charts, a procedural approach can really help students who don’t intuitively pick up math ideas and need to put in a little more work to absorb things. 

This is actually an area in which many more popular conceptual programs tend to be weaker, with parents complaining that their greater emphasis on understanding often comes at the cost of dedicated practice and skill fluency, leading to issues on timed tests and similar assessments if not supplemented by additional work.

Finally, it also should be a fairly familiar and easy to teach approach to most parents, with a clearer and more straightforward emphasis on learning important math facts and getting correct answers for problems, rather than spending more time understanding math concepts and figuring out creative approaches to problems. 

As a result, there shouldn’t be too much of a learning curve or prep time required with Abeka as there might be with programs like Singapore, Math U See or Miquon. 

On the downside, it does mean that while Abeka does mix in word problems and complex problem solving with its computational problems (especially with pre-Algebra and Algebra courses), it perhaps has proportionally fewer of these in each lesson at lower levels than conceptual programs might.

Additionally, while the strong emphasis on memorization, drill and practice can be a boon for many students, others may become burned out by it over time and parents may need to slow things down and modify the program a bit, depending on how their student is progressing. 

Christian Curriculum

Finally, Abeka is a Christian math curriculum and is in fact affiliated with the Pensacola Christian College. 

As with its other subjects, Abeka does approach its math learning from a biblical perspective and does include biblical quotes in the teacher’s guide and may touch on Christian themes and topics in its various word problems. 

Although math is really the main focus with Abeka Math, it can be a welcome addition to many Christian-based homeschools who are looking for a solid math program with a touch of faith. 

What are lessons like?

Abeka Math books tend to be made up of 170 lessons and they generally follow a pattern, making them pretty straightforward and easy to teach. 

With Abeka Arithmetic, In keeping with Abeka’s emphasis on practice and revision, lessons typically start with parents taking a few minutes to review skills and do some drills. 

Just before the lesson starts, Abeka provides a short section called Preparation that gives parents an example/overview of the concepts that will be reviewed and the precise drills and visuals that will be used in the lesson, as well as where to find them.

Immediately following this, the lesson begins. Students tend to start off by doing some quick math calculations orally, using the visual aids (flashcards, tables, concept cards) to do some quick math fact reviews and even play some of Abeka’s learning games. 

After doing some review of concepts, parents and students go through the lesson, using the teacher’s guide, concept cards and workbook as students learn about a topic and then do practice problems. 

Some practice problems are part of the lesson, while others are optional and can help students further sharpen their understanding of certain math concepts, should they need to. 

As might be expected, the practice problems tend to increase in difficulty and lessons tend to integrate problems (called story problems), multi-step problems, graphing and the like. 

After the formal lesson and practice are complete, students do some review and then are assigned homework. 

At the older levels, in Algebra, Geometry and Precalculus, students take more of an initiative in their learning, with parents managing pace, helping the student through explanations, helping with corrections, providing answers and assessments and generally taking a step back and managing things, as might be expected with older students. 

Broadly speaking, students (and parents) start off by reading up on certain concepts, studying and drilling certain facts and formulas if necessary, go through practice problems to reinforce learning and then do assignment problems. 

As can be seen, lessons in Abeka tend to involve a lot of review, repetition and drill.

The review sections at the beginning of each lesson can be beneficial in helping get students in a math frame of mind, as well as refresh relevant operations and math facts. 

The in lesson practice, while perhaps not every student’s favorite part of math, does help immediately reinforce and thereby solidify what students have learned and help start the process of developing skill fluency. 

Despite the fact that there is a lot of practice and work involved in these lessons, Abeka does a good job at making things fairly gentle and approachable for kids. 

Problem sets gradually increase in difficulty, letting students build familiarity with the concept and the steps involved in solving problems (and giving them ample review of relevant math facts and skills) before throwing them in the proverbial deep end. 

Another thing to note is that Abeka lessons are, for the most part, interactive between parents and students. There are discussions and dialogue to be had within each lesson about the learning, which can be quite nice and help students engage with the material and concepts a little deeper. 

The main downside of this approach, of course, is that all this practice can be a bit much for some students. With so much drill, review and practice each week, some students can feel burned out after a while and parents need to be mindful of how their student is reacting to their lessons, perhaps taking breaks, adding different activities or slowing things down a bit. 

How easy is Abeka Math to teach?

Overall, Abeka Math is a well-structured and well-scripted math program.

The teaching manuals for the teacher-led K-series and Arithmetic courses do a pretty good job at laying lessons out clearly and logically and provide parents with ample direction and information to carry out lessons from start to finish. 

For the most part parents are given fairly detailed instructions on what to do, what materials to introduce, how to do it (at times, even for how long) and where to find things.

example of abeka lesson plan

This means that these Abeka Math courses are essentially open and go, with very little prep time, background knowledge or lesson planning required by the parent, and can be very helpful for parents new to homeschooling or those who are uncertain about their own math skills. 

As students’ ability to read and learn on their own develops, Abeka student books do begin to introduce information for the student to read and absorb on their own, gradually shifting students to more independent learning, which we like. 

This trend continues to the upper level math courses (algebra, geometry and precalculus), the texts are designed to be able to be used by students more independently with parents shifting into more of an oversight role.

Despite this shift, the teacher’s guides do still provide ample and clear instructions, lesson plans, concept outlines, answer keys and more that make teaching these courses pretty easy, and can be especially important with these more complex math topics as parents themselves may be less than sure about their abilities. 

How Abeka Compares to Other Math Curricula

Abeka is a procedural and computational spiral math program and so takes a more traditional approach to teaching math by focusing more on teaching students how to do math quickly, step by step and without mistakes. 

To do so, it builds a great deal of continuous review, memorization and practice into its curriculum and in that way it is more similar to Saxon Math or Christian Light than it is to more concepts-based programs like Singapore Math or CTCMath

Abeka is also a pretty rigorous and thorough math curriculum, perhaps more so than most traditional math programs. 

It covers the entirety of k-12 math (with the notable exception of calculus 1) and does so in depth. At the younger levels it even includes things that students should know that many math programs don’t strongly emphasize anymore, such as roman numerals and fast measurement conversion.

photo showing abeka teaching roman numerals and conversion exercises

While it may not be advanced or a grade level ahead like Beast Academy or Art of Problem Solving, it does still move at a fairly quick pace and introduces concepts earlier than the common core. 

Further, Abeka’s lessons can have fairly complex exercises, there is a lot of practice built into every lesson. And the program teaches and expects students to practice their math facts and mental math skills through visuals, charts and flashcards. 

This skill fluency  becomes increasingly important as the curriculum progresses and with its speed drills and tests and as a result students can develop stronger computational and procedural math skills with Abeka, being able to solve problems more quickly and accurately than they might otherwise with some conceptual and hybrid programs. 

That said, the amount of practice and drill involved with Abeka can be an issue for students who don’t take well to that type of approach, and parents can risk drill and kill if they’re not careful and paying attention to their student’s cues. 

Parents of students at younger grade levels should note that, compared with Singapore or Math U See, there isn’t as much manipulative or tactile work built into Abeka (there is some used in Arithmetic 1-3 to demonstrate some concepts, however). 

Although Cuisenaire rods and similar products can be integrated into lessons fairly easily, in general it is still something of a reading and writing based program. 

Interestingly, and unlike most homeschool math programs, Abeka also offers a parallel consumer and business math program that parents can add as a math extra curricular for a more practical take on math. 

Look and Feel of Abeka’s Books

Compared to most other math programs out there, who often use simple black and white textbooks, Abeka’s math books feel fairly high quality and well made. 

picture of abeka math workbook showing full color exercises

Abeka books and visuals (flashcards, tables, etc) are full color and, at the lower levels (K-4), tend to include a lot of fun and well-illustrated drawings to help students better understand what they’re doing and enjoy the material they’re working with, which is nice. 

photo showing abeka arithmetic use of pictures and illustrations

Is Abeka Math Common Core Aligned?

Abeka Math is not Common Core aligned. A fairly rigorous math program, it does tend to exceed these standards in math, moving at a quicker pace and introducing topics earlier than a typical standards-aligned  curriculum. 

Abeka Math Pros and Cons

Pros

Easy to use, easy to teach, easy to learn with

Abeka Math is a pretty open and go curriculum as far as math programs go. 

Well-structured and well-scripted, teaching with Abeka doesn’t require a lot in the way of prep time or pre-existing knowledge of math or lesson planning. Instead, the teacher’s guides and student workbooks are pretty self-explanatory, step by step and detailed, doing a good job at carrying both parents and students through each lesson. 

Further, Abeka is pretty easy for students to follow, with consistent lessons that present math as a logical and step by step process that they can work with.

There aren’t a lot of purposefully confusing puzzles or in-depth explorations of theory to work through, and it can make math seem far more straightforward and approachable in this way than many other programs. 

Lots of repetition and practice to develop solid math skills

Abeka Math is a big believer in repetition and practice, with lessons building in a good amount of drill, practice and review to go along with instruction. 

As a result, the program has developed a rather positive reputation for being able to build strong procedural fluency in students, i.e. teaching kids to assess and do math problems quickly, accurately and effectively.

Offline and some online options available

Abeka Math is available as a series of pen and paper books and related visual materials, such as charts, tables, flashcards and more, which is great for homeschoolers trying to limit screen time. 

For those interested in a more digital experience, the program has also developed digital options for tablets and computers, including instructional videos that can help parents teach math concepts, digital textbooks and some digital versions of its visuals. 

Christian curriculum with strong math learning

Associated with the Pensacola Christian College, Abeka Math is a faith-based curriculum with a strong Christian component, not shying away from including biblical quotes and references in its learning, as well as having strong Christian values as part of its guiding philosophy. 

It is also a fairly rigorous and thorough K-12 math program that frequently exceeds common core math standards, and can be a solid option for those interested in faith-based teaching.

Rigorous but approachable math curriculum

Abeka Math is fairly rigorous, introducing topics ahead of most other programs, delving deeply into math topics with lots of challenging exercises and a strong focus on drill and math fact memorization.

Despite its rigor, it can be quite approachable and usable by most students. 

Overall, Abeka does a good job at explaining math ideas, gradually introduces complexity into its problem sets, provides students with step by step strategies to tackle math and gives them ample opportunity to work on their skills before offering any assessments. 

Back to basics approach to math can be appealing to many parents

With its stronger emphasis on drill, practice, step by step problem solving and math fact memorization, Abeka Math is a very traditional math program. 

It doesn’t delve as deeply into math theory, concepts and alternative approaches as some other programs, focusing more on how to do math quickly, easily and accurately, especially when the pressure is on. 

As a result it is a very understandable and familiar program to many parents, which can make it far easier and more intuitive to teach and may align better with their high school’s overall philosophy and goals.

Offers most math courses for K-12, including consumer and business

Although it doesn’t offer Calculus 1, Abeka math does cover the most important components of a K-12 math curriculum, including Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Plane Geometry and Precalculus, and can therefore carry students all the way through the end of high school. 

In addition, unlike many other curricula, it does offer specific courses in consumer and business math for students in grades 9-12, which can be used to expose students to more practical applications of math. 

Can teach kids to be quick, accurate and confident in solving math problems

With a systemic, step by step approach to teaching, strong emphasis on drill and practice, as well as ample review of math facts and lots of speed drills, Abeka Math can help students become better and more confident at solving math problems quickly and accurately, especially when under time or stress pressures such as with exams and tests.

Colorful, visually appealing learning materials at younger grades

Abeka Math books are well designed and well made. They are full color, which is not always the case with homeschool math curricula, and frequently use graphics and designs to help improve learning and clarify points, especially in their books aimed at grade 4 and below. 

As a result, Abeka books aren’t just effective at teaching math, but can be pleasant to look at as well.

Cons

Isn’t the cheapest math curriculum around, all told

Although not the most expensive math curriculum out there, Abeka certainly isn’t cheap. 

There are a lot of moving parts to this curriculum, with workbooks, teacher’s guides and a variety of visual aids, and the cost can add up, especially when you consider that some of the workbooks (depending on grade level) are consumable. 

While there are complete packages available for both parents and students, they are often sold separately and can cost upwards of $150 each.  

The focus on drill and memorization can be a bit much for some kids

Not every student responds well to lessons filled with drill and exercises, and may need a break or alternative activities to prevent them from burning or tuning out. 

It’s approach to teaching math isn’t for every child

Some students do better if taught through a more concepts-driven approach, exploring why math is the way it is and alternative approaches to problem solving with less drill.  

Other students may be more tactile learners and prefer to deal with math’s more abstract concepts with hands-on learning. 

Abeka Math is a fairly traditional program. It does not use much of a multisensory approach to teaching math and emphasizes a step by step approach with straightforward, written math exercises and practice.

 As a result, its approach may not be ideal and may even frustrate such students.

Who are Abeka Math Books Ideal For?

Students who enjoy learning a variety of different math topics as part of a spiral approach

Students who tend to get bored studying one topic for weeks on end will have a lot to like about Abeka. As a spiral approach, it breaks math topics into smaller chunks, teaches several in a given period of time and periodically comes back to review them later, which can keep the curriculum feeling fresh and more dynamic. 

Students who don’t mind doing drill and practice

Some students enjoy putting what they learn into practice and get a lot of satisfaction out of solving problems and demonstrating their math skills. As a result, they tend not to mind doing more math drills and practice and will likely do well with Abeka’s approach. 

Students who need a lot of review and practice 

Similarly, some students may not particularly enjoy doing math drill but will tend to forget what they’ve learned or develop skill gaps if not given enough time and opportunity to solidify their learning through targeted practice. 

For these students, Abeka’s integration of ample drill and practice into lessons can be very helpful and produce positive results. 

Students who want a systematic, direct and to the point math program

Some students don’t really enjoy learning more conceptual math and may become frustrated by its greater focus on why rather than how. 

Such students may prefer a more direct approach, where math is certainly explained but where they are specifically taught a step by step approach to dealing with different math programs and given more opportunity to hone their practical math skills so they can produce results quickly and accurately and then move on.  

Such students may feel more comfortable and productive learning math facts, formulas and specific methods, and as a result may do well with  Abeka. 

Parents looking for an easy to teach, easy to learn open and go math curriculum

Abeka is quite easy to teach from. With highly detailed lesson plans and instructions, it doesn’t take a lot of time or prepwork or a lot of experience in teaching math to get right. 

As a result, it can be a great option for parents with limited time, parents who are new to homeschooling or parents who are unsure of their own math skills. 

Parents and students who would like to get good at learning to solve math problems 

With its ample drill and practice, Abeka Math students are well-known for their familiarity with math facts and their ability to rapidly and accurately solve various math problems when put to the test. 

Parents looking for a traditional, back to basics approach to math

With its emphasis on rote memorization of math facts, speed drills, practical exercises and ample practice and review, Abeka takes a very traditional approach to math that should be more familiar and intuitive to parents compared to more conceptual math programs. 

Parents looking for a solid Christian homeschool math program

Finally, Abeka is a Christian math program with a rigorous curriculum that can be an attractive option for those interested in building a faith-based homeschool with a strong emphasis on mathematics. 

Who are they less than ideal for?

Students who prefer a tactile, hands-on approach to learning math

Although it does use some manipulatives at the lower levels, by and large Abeka math isn’t a very hands-on program and is much more of a straightforward reading and writing-based curriculum. 

There isn’t as much  hands-on learning, manipulative work or get-up-and-go explorational activities in this program as there are in some others and, as a result, more tactile students may not appreciate using it to the same degree as others. 

Students who enjoy spending time understanding why math does what it does

Some students do enjoy or benefit from a math program that dives deeper and more thoroughly into math concepts, spending explaining important math ideas in detail and a way that touches on why they’re important, why they are being used to solve a problem, and perhaps even the different ways they can be used to get to an answer.

Such students may not enjoy or appreciate Abeka’s more step by step procedural approach to teaching math and its stronger emphasis on applying algorithms and math facts. 

Students who hate memorizing math facts or doing repetitive drill

Abeka math does involve a good deal of math fact memorization and drill, and while the program does try to make it approachable and usable for kids (through games, flashcards and the like), this approach isn’t always preferred or received well by every child. 

Parents on a strict budget

Abeka’s materials can add up in price and those on a very strict budget may find each year’s learning to be more on the expensive side.

Parents looking for a secular homeschool curriculum

Abeka is a strongly Christian math curriculum that directly and openly references the Bible, Christian concepts and morals in its materials. 

As a result, although it is solid with a lot going for it, Abeka may not be an ideal curriculum for those seeking a strictly secular math program.

Price 

Note: Prices current as of writing and can be subject to change. All prices in USD. 

As we mentioned previously, a full Abeka Math curriculum does require a few components. 

For the most part, students require a workbook for their exercises and a workbook for their tests and drills, while parents typically need a teacher’s edition, an answer key, tests, drills and so on. 

While these components can be purchased individually, it is generally a lot easier to buy premade student and parent kits that the company sells for each level. 

These student and parent kits are sold separately, which while adding some flexibility and choice to the program also can make it a little expensive to purchase both at once. 

In addition to the convenience of getting everything in one package, they are usually also offered at a slight price break (around 5% or so). 

Student/Child Kits

Typically ContainsStudent Workbook , Workbook for Quizzes, Tests, and Speed Drills
Arithmetic 1-6$31.55
Intermediate Math$37.15
Pre-Algebra$47.60
Algebra 1$54.40
Algebra 2$54.40
Plane Geometry $54.50
PreCalculus $56.85

Parent Kits

Typically ContainsTeacher Edition text (with lesson plans, review materials etc), Solution Key, Quiz and Test Keys
Arithmetic 1-6$77.85-185.95
Intermediate Math$179.90
Pre-Algebra$164.30
Algebra 1$145.70
Algebra 2$145.70
Plane Geometry $79.80
PreCalculus $83.30

Companion Purchases

In addition to the main kits, Abeka does sell what they call companion purchases for their Arithmetic courses, which are sort of practice supplements to the main textbooks that are used here and there in lessons. 

Unlike the books, these aren’t necessarily purchased every year but are reused over a period of a few years. 

These are: 

Flashcards (including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division cards) – $23.45 each

Concept cards – $38.15

Charts – $15.55

PreK and K4/5 learning

In addition to the materials for Arithmetic and upper level math courses, Abeka also provides math books for students K2-5 (preschool to kindergarten).

Pre School (K2,3) 

Learning Numbers – $16.60

Number Skills  – $16.60

Learning Games- $17.70

Concept Flash Cards – $18.30

1-20 number flash cards – $7.45

K ⅘

ABC123 – $20.95

Number cards – $7.20

Charts and Games – $17.70

Learning Games – $17.70

Number Skills K5– $20.55

K5 Concept Cards – $32.20

K5 Flashcards – $34.65

Dot cards – $26.00

Number Writing Tablet K5 – $13.30

Overall, as can be seen, there are a lot of moving parts to Abeka Math. 

Individually, the books offered by the program aren’t really all that more expensive than many competitors, such as Saxon or Singapore, costing somewhere between 20-50 for student textbooks. 

But Abeka is a very comprehensive and thorough math program that includes far more drill, practice and assessment activities and resources than other programs. 

When put together with all the different components needed to fully teach the program (as is contained in the kits, along with companion purchases if necessary), it can add up.

This makes it slightly more expensive than full year curriculum kits for competing programs such as Saxon or even Singapore, although it is important to note these programs don’t usually offer as much learning material as Abeka does, which is something to consider.  

That said, parents should always check online to see the latest prices and offers for Abeka Math. 

Is Abeka Math worth the Price?

Although not the cheapest math curriculum out there, we feel Abeka does offer a lot of value to the right parents. 

Abeka Math’s practical and rigorous approach to mathematics, ease of teaching, and its strong, traditional focus on drill, practice and math facts have helped many students develop strong math skill fluency over the years that has translated to excellent results in mathematics.

Further, it is also Christian curriculum and can therefore be a strong asset to those pursuing a Christian faith-based homeschool approach. Its combination of a Christian worldview with thorough and academically rigorous math learning makes it fairly unique overall, and it can ultimately give Christian students a strong base for future success.

Finally, the quality of Abeka books is very high, as well, being durable and using full color printing and ample use of well-illustrated drawings, diagrams, charts and more that help convey important information and make working through the texts a lot easier on the eyes. 

Bottom Line

It may not be the cheapest curriculum out there, but with its step by step approach, ample review and practice and strong emphasis on math facts and drill, Abeka can give students a strong foundation in math and help them solve problems quickly, accurately and effectively.

If you’re looking for an academically rigorous K-12 math curriculum that takes a back to basics approach and integrates biblical values, Abeka might be right for you. 

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About the Author

David Belenky is a freelance writer, former science and math tutor and a tech enthusiast. When he’s not writing about educational tech, he likes to chill out with his family and dog at home.