Using trial and error, I found a way to use the program in the way it was intended WITHOUT exasperating my child. I hope if our version looks like it would solve a discouragement in your home, that we will save you the time and heartache of trial and error. :-)
A little background... I could put Emily in front of Abeka DVD instruction and she would graduate with honors. She is easy to teach and doesn't mind to learn information that doesn't necessarily matter to her at this point in her life. She is like me; she just likes information. Jbear on the other hand would be perfectly happy to play legos all day everyday. Now, that doesn't mean his is unintelligent, or doesn't learn. It just means learning information on a topic not of his choosing is boring to him. Now, I understand that telling him WHY what he is learning is important. Gotcha... Got that down... but that does not increase interest beyond civil behavior. He is they type of child that has to be tricked into learning with clever ideas, and some fun games. HA! To his future wife: trickery is the key! Works on his dad! Just kidding :-)
I think there is this unspoken pressure we put on ourselves to see
immediate results in home educating our children. People, whether
they admit it or not, are constantly questioning our ability to "pull
off" home educating. We feel that we have to PROVE ourselves, when
the only One who's approval that believers should seek is our Heavenly
Father. He formed our children in the womb. He knows them much
better than we ever will. If we move at a pace that pleases the Lord...
that should be our plan. Now, don't put words in God mouth... what he
wants, he says in His Word. A verse we use often in our home is Ephesians
6:4, Father's don't exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the
training and instruction of the Lord. That is why I often use the word
exasperate. When the Lord laid that passage on my heart, I realized that I
regularly EXASPERATED my children by trying to make them who I wanted them to
be... to prove MY SUCCESS to others. If they are above Grade level then I
will be ACCEPTED AND APPROVED. Wow, sounds like a me monster in
Another way we had to adjust Abeka Arithmetic is this: My children did not learn how to skip count with every number 1-12 during the years they were in public school. The Abeka program teaches at a young age and assumes that your child can already skip count, thus, mastering multiplication fact VERY SWIFTLY! With both children, we elected to take a 10 day break from our traditional math to use Math Wrap-Ups to master multiplication facts. Whether you like it or not, upper level math is much easier if you have basic facts memorized. Don't be afraid to move away from the Teacher's Manual. You seriously don't need a manual to teach basic math, it just eliminates having to plan that subject yourself. I like the prep time that it saves me.
I'm not crazy about all the games listed in the Abeka guide. They seem more group friendly to me. So, we use flashcards, or write on the whiteboard, or use chalk on the sidewalk. Manipulatives are always fun, too. Pinterest always has fun math games. I don't always use "fun" ways to teach Math, but when we need a fun boost then I do. I have a friend who's child panics under timed learning. This method would not be a good idea. She and I think frequent easy games are a great way to make Math enjoyable. A game idea we were just kicking around the other day was to use base 10 blocks (ones block, tens block, etc) to make oral drills more enjoyable. (10+5+23+8=) Let me stress again... Pinterest has more ideas than you could ever imagine.
Hopefully, everyone is finding their groove for this school year. Use the outdoors to your advantage! It's Fall soon, start counting leaves. This Winter, write in the snow with water and food coloring. Next Spring, teach math facts when you plant your garden. 4 rows times 8 columns equals how many plants... Next Summer, who knows!?! Allow yourself to enjoy this time with your children. If it is exasperating... reach out to a trusted homeschool friend... bounce ideas off each other... be honest. The grass is not greener on the other side, you just need to learn how to take care of your own grass. :-) Once again... I refuse to proofread this and it may be evident...