I start my home school curriculum reviews with A Beka because it is one of the original programs. Original is not always good, but in this case, I give credit to A Beka for keeping current with the needs, times, and plethora of materials. Just read a current issue of Homeschooling Today and you will be bogged down with materials available to homeschoolers. Much of it is good; much of it is a “Buyer Beware” catch-all. The positives of A Beka include a solid, phonetics-based elementary program proven by years of successful students. A Beka also has a tremendous web site, complete with interactives. They are current on legal issues, state regulations, and college admissions. Anything you might need, they can link. They even offer free samples! A Beka’s curriculum relies on Classic and Canon works of science, history, and literature. No re-written history, bogus science, or postmodern philosophy infused as fact. The negatives in A Beka are ones I see, but which may not be negatives for you. There is an excess of repetition in homework assignments. Repetition is a tried and true method of learning, but is also unnecessary once the task is learned and often creates boredom if the student is truly ready to move on. A Beka also works so hard to incorporate Bible verses into every sentence of its curriculum that meanings are sometimes stretched in order to find a verse that fits. Lastly, critical thinking skills (CTS) take a second seat to the dogma of Christian doctrine. The texts do too little work in CTS and the work given is shallow. It seems to me that they shy from those skills for fear of losing ground, and they don’t need to. My approach is, if you have taught your student well, critical thinking will not undo but will enforce the doctrines as well as to give credence to them.