- Reviewed on Thursday, November 19, 2015
- Grades Used: K-12
- Dates used: 1982-1993
My mom home-schooled me from kindergarten all the way up to graduation and she did it with ACE!!!! I excelled at all the tests that I took and I LOVED learning the whole time. I especially loved English, Spelling, and History, and it was ACE that drew me in and enticed me to learn more about American and World history because the little stories and historical facts were written at MY level and they grew right along with me. I never felt bored, confused, or unable to keep up with words/stories/explanations that just were beyond my learning level. I was always able to get my work done quickly and, for the most part, on my own. I didn't have to wait for my mom to be able to lead the way. If she was sick, or needed to go somewhere, or was going through a tough pregnancy, I was still able to get my schoolwork done. I worked through my Paces, and set aside anything that I had questions about and she would sit with me and talk and walk me through it later in the day. This did not happen very often, because it was all so well-written and understandable. It didn't hurt my critical thinking skills either, as I've heard some people insist it will do. In fact, it gave me a desire to learn more about history and science, and because it has such a wonderful phonics foundation, I learned to read at an early age and LOVED to read. I did my studies and then you would often find me lounging around on the couch or my bed in the afternoons reading history books, science books, mystery books, etc. Every genre you can imagine. It was wonderful! I would walk to the library and check out book after book after book, and the nice thing was I could read them any time I wanted. They weren't scheduled into the school day as a "must do" project. I think in some ways that really made it more fun for me. It was my hobby, and not just more school work to be done.
When I was getting ready to graduate just one month after I turned 17, my mom made me take ALL the tests required in our state, and I tested into the third year College level. That's a pretty good testimonial to the long-term benefits of using ACE in my opinion.
Anyway, I am certainly not bashing other more CM curricula. Different methods work for different folks. I just don't want people reading the negative reviews to come away feeling bad if they want to use ACE in their home-school journey. I can attest personally to it's success when used in a home-school environment. In fact, I thought it was FUN, and although sometimes it really was a bit over the top with making everything a "God" or "Salvation" issue, that was educational, too, because it was the launching-pad for many a Bible discussion/study with my Mom, siblings, and myself.
- Reviewed on Friday, March 27, 2015
- Grades Used: 1st -4th
- Dates used: 2013-2015
We are using ACE in our church school and so far so good. Three of my eight children graduated from an ACE school. My oldest went to college and makes more money than I ever did, and he is working from his home. My second son just made 1st sergeant in the US Air Force. My daughter went to college, and could of been anything she wanted, but chose to be a house wife. She is brilliant. These students get a much better education than I ever did. It is not all the fault of the public school system. I just think the ACE school provides a much better learning environment. Of course, this will vary from school to school. We try to offer as much liberty as possible, with plenty of love. We don't run our school by the book, so there is some independent study time, breaks as needed, craft time, and plenty of one on one. Every Friday the students help prepare lunch, so they get some hands on fun in the kitchen. It is my experience that most of the people that hate ACE so much are biased. To me it is a good sign when so many anti-Christs hate ACE so much. All the more reason to use it. There are so many lies out there about ACE. I even read where some twisted person was offended because the main characters in the curriculum are white and upper middle class. I wonder if this twisted liberal simpleton would have felt better if the main characters were black? We have our school open to only members of the church, and try to avoid bringing the nasty spirit of unregenerate people into an environment they will only rebel against.
- Reviewed on Friday, December 5, 2014
- Grades Used: 1-6
- Dates used: 2003-2007
My sister and I attended a small school that utilized the A.C.E curriculum. Essentially, it was a home school program, but at a local church. When I reflect on my education during this time, I'm completely dissatisfied, and rather appalled.
I currently hold an MA degree in secondary English education, and can say that the ACE curriculum does nothing to prepare students for the college or career world. There is valid reasoning behind not accrediting this program.The course work focused primarily on basic character lessons rather than the content area. Content presented was basic, below grade- level, and students were and continue to be held to low standards. Rather than providing rigorous course work that engages students and promotes learning, ACE curriculum forces students to figure concepts out on their own, rather than provide them with quality instruction and practice.
While the character building lessons are sweet and definitely favored in a Christian school setting, I personally found them to be stereotypical, condescending, and in some regards, racist. For example, the best behaved, most well off characters throughout the curriculum are Ace and Christy, the children of white, upper middle class business owners. The characters who tend to make mistakes or sin are the overweight student, Pudge, and the African- American student (whose name escapes me). As a follower of Christ, I found and still do find this offensive. Instead of inviting students who may not yet know Jesus to have a relationship with Him, it discourages them and decreases their self- esteem. Students who do not have the traditional, American Dream-esque family might not feel as readily accepted. Instead of presenting the love and mercy of Christ, I feel this curriculum presents a legalistic template everyone must fit into in order to be accepted.
I was thankful to have been in a Christian school setting, but unfortunately, the ACE curriculum is lacking so much in quality. There is absolutely no evidence of researched pedagogical strategies designed to instruct students and activate their learning. I did have the opportunity to learn with A Beka Books for a few years after I attended the ACE school. A Beka is far superior to the ACE course work, accredited, and well enough aligned with Common Core Standards and researched instructional strategies to ensure students are able to enter professional and academic environments after secondary school.
If you are considering utilizing ACE curriculum with your child or in your school, I encourage you to do thorough research, review samples, and spend much time in prayer before selecting this material to educate your students. Consult teachers who not only love and fear God, but who have credentials in education who can guide you in your decision. As a teacher, as a Christian, I would not recommend this curriculum to anyone.
- Reviewed on Friday, October 10, 2014
- Grades Used: 6th-8th
- Dates used: 1980-1982
I am currently looking to start homeschooling my son who is 13yo in 8th grade. Considering my daughter as well (10yo). Work only p/t as I have had to drop back my hours to help my son 3-4 hours a day by literally re-teaching him schoolwork and in recent educational diagnostic testing ....found out that while he has a very high IQ, he has two learning disabilities related to executive functioning. I am considering Homeschooling as the public schools could no address his needs the way I can as I know him best. Public systems seem to expect to be able to teach every child the same way and get the same results. He is at risk and may fall through the cracks so to speak....if I don't make a change. There are various other reasons as well but this is the one that I CAN CHANGE....his environment.
All this to say....I am currently researching curriculum to make a prayerful decision and know what I am getting into before I do and to get an idea of whats out there. I had to sign up for and into this discussion from my own personal experience as a child.
When I was 12yo my mother moved my sister and I across the country to another state. When enrolling in public school there we were completely bored and felt like we weren't getting a good education. My mother couldn't home school as she was the only provider for our family.
At any rate, she found private christian schooling to be a fit for us. The school used ACE and we were in that curriculum for three years. We then moved back to our home state. I see why people say you can be at different grade levels because you do go at your own pace. My sister and I had the opportunity to excel beyond our expected level in some areas and take our time in areas we found harder to grasp.
My mother could not afford to send us back to private school nor was homeschooling an option for us. But to the folks out there that think that the program is not good enough or under par???? When we got back to Texas, the public school was disappointed that we were at "different levels" and almost scolded my mother for it.... They demanded assessment to see which grade we "fit" into and I really think they expected the worst....
The good news is that BOTH my sister and I tested one grade ahead of our peers at the same age and actually skipped up a grade in public school after only three years of doing Paces!!!! We both graduated public high school a grade ahead of the friends we left to move away three years before! I WILL be considering ACE in my planning. Though Perhaps it isn't a fit for everyone....I am sure there are plenty of other programs I can supplement into my kids education if needed. GOD IS GOOD!