Using the Accelerated Christian Education Curriculum or PACEs

April 18, 2009

in Accelerated Christian Education (ACE)

For my 10yr ds, we use ACE (Accelerated Christian Education), otherwise known as School of Tomorrow.  It is a self-paced, self-study type of program.  The subjects include Math, English, Social Studies, Science, Word Building.  We are also doing two electives including Bible Reading and Literature & Creative Writing.  For each year of school, the student completes 12 workbooks (known as PACEs) in each subject.  For instance, in 4th grade, there are 12 Math PACEs to complete for the school year, 12 English, 12 Science, etc.  He sets goals each day for the number of pages he does in each workbook with a target of four pages per workbook per day.

At first, I did not think I would like using a “boxed” curriculum for every subject.  I was really nervous that I would not be able to teach my son to “think outside the box” and be creative.  I also did not want him to be bored or hassled with “busy work”.  But, as we have learned more about the program and have used it more (this is our third year) I am really enjoying it and am so glad we decided to go with ACE for this particular child.

One thing that I realized is that I really need to prepare him to live an adult life.  Not that he needs to be an adult NOW, but that he needs to be ready when adult life sets in.  Sometimes, our jobs are boring but the job still needs to be done.  Folding the laundry is boring!  But I still need to be disciplined enough to do it or we all walk around looking like a wrinkled mess.  When I worked outside the home, I was blessed to have a job that I truly enjoyed performing.  There were still parts of that job that were boring and tedious and even “busy work” by my estimation at times.  I still needed to get those jobs done too and then get on with the fun stuff.  I want my son to have a fun and exciting job where he is never bored.  But, if he has to take any job that comes his way in order to put food on the table, I want him to have learned how to “suck it up”, be a man, and just do it.  I want him to be equipped to do whatever is thrown at him in his dream job.  In order to have that happen, sometimes he might be bored with his work.  Not always, but sometimes.

I say all that, not to say that ACE is boring – I really don’t think that it is, overall.  But, I can see why some home school families shy away from the workbook method because they are concerned about boring the kids.  This was just one of the mental obstacles that I had to break through as we used this curriculum for our son.  There are days he is excited about what he is learning and days that he is not and he is okay with both feelings!  I think that’s a very mature characteristic.  He knows how to sit in a seat for longer than 30 minutes.  That’s something he’ll need to do as he grows!

Another reason ACE works very well for us is because it is based on the King James Bible.  There is verse memorization in every workbook (or PACE), there are character traits taught in each PACE, there are life lessons in each PACE.  Each and every day, good and right morals and values are being taught and upheld as he reads each page.  I can’t tell you what a blessing that is and what peace it brings to my heart!

I have a large age gap between my 10yr ds and the next child – my 4yr dd.  ACE helps me to make sure ds always gets a full school day in no matter what is going on in our lives.  We have four children altogether and sometimes one is sick or crying.  Sometimes, we need to take unexpected trips out of the home.  We can always take the PACEs with us and get school done for the day.  I have peace of mind knowing that he is getting the education he needs and deserves even if life is trying its hardest to get in the way.

Overall, I really love ACE and it is working very well for our family!  Here is the link to their website if you’d like to take a look.  Otherwise, I would be more than happy to answer any questions or just talk more about the program and our experiences!

If you would like to order ACE for your family, you would be supporting our family by doing so through this link! (Or, any of the other times you click on the words “Accelerated Christian Education” or “ACE” on my site!)


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie Stone September 7, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Thank you so much for this blog. I was trying to get our school year organized and was feeling overwhelmed by ACE, and was sorry I had bought it. Once I read your blog, I felt my blood pressure dropping immediately. I will stick with it and give it a shot.
Thanks for the encouragement.
Carrie Stone

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HomeGrown Mommy September 7, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Thank you so much for stopping by Carrie! I am so glad I could help! That is my favorite thing about this website – helping other moms! I’ve had so many ladies in my life that have guided me along that I am so happy to be able to pass that along to others!

I love that ACE can be student-directed. As long as you get them in a good habit of doing their work each day, things run so smoothly and you can be confident they are getting a good education.

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Desiree November 5, 2009 at 7:19 pm

These article on ACE have been awesome and so helpful. We have just ordered and are waiting for the materials (grade 1) and your articles have given me some good tools to keep the ‘freaking out’ moments to a minimum :o ) So thank you!

I also wanted to ask… you mentioned in another article listing your 1st grader’s curriculum that she’s also learning German. Do you have any suggestions for materials to teach German to a 6 year old? I do not know German at all, but want to learn as well as teach her, as we have German friends.

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HomeGrown Mommy November 7, 2009 at 10:02 am

Thanks so much for stopping by!! I am so glad you were helped!

As for learning German, you and I are in the same boat – I knew NOTHING before I started!! But, if you take the right tools and add in a little determination, you will be utterly surprised at how much you can accomplish! We set aside 30 minutes out of each day to sit on the couch together and learn German because repetition is key. There are quite a few websites with free information, I’ll link to them here …

http://www.disknet.com/indiana_biolab/ger.htm
http://webgerman.com/germlinks/ (You can get sort of lost in this one – you’ll have to look at it before you sit down with your child(ren) and make sure you know where you want to go just so you don’t waste your time and their interest as you look around for what you wanted – learned that by experience unfortunately!)
http://www.ukgermanconnection.org/kids/?location_id=868 (fun cartoon style website with games to play!)
http://www.mamalisa.com/?p=235&t=ec&c=38 (Kids songs in German, some have a video, some have an audio file to play)

My mother-in-law still lives in Germany and she picks up lots of really really easy books (think baby board books with about one sentence per page and only 10 pages total) for us to read. Now, this one requires some translation from someone who already knows German. Maybe your German friends live close enough to help you out with that? They may know where you can obtain the books as well – I haven’t had to look around to purchase those so I’m not sure where to start. If they don’t know, I can look at the back of my books and find the company name and see if they have a website.

But, by far, the most beneficial thing we have used has been an audio course online! My husband just said to me yesterday that he is quite amazed at how much I have learned since I started using it! :D It’s called RocketGerman – Here is a link to their order page that includes 10 freebies when you order.

ACE uses the Rosetta Stone program which you could also purchase from their website – I’ve never had the chance to use it but I have heard great things about the program. Here’s a link to the ACE German page – https://aceweb.schooloftomorrow.com/store/dept.asp?dept_id=70001&elite_category=M1&elite_subject=602

I hope that helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions!

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Michelle Perez May 6, 2011 at 11:09 am

I’m so glad for all the posts about ace. I have a nine year old that sounds just like your son. I am going to try this program for him next year. Thank you for your blogs about it.

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Jamie June 12, 2011 at 10:13 pm

I love your blog! It has been a great help. I am considering ace, but my friend, a been a mentor to me for homeschooling has me concerned because apparently she used ace with her son and it failed to teach him to read. It doesn’t introduce word blending till second grade? She only used it for kintergarten, can you tell me if you had any problems or have heard of these concerns. Thanks so much for your time.

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debby August 8, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Word blending actual is taught in the k/1st grade I grew up going to Ace school and have taught my 4 kids through it the ABC with ace & Christi is really good but kids don’t teach themselves you have to work with them.

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mrs.mjustic November 10, 2011 at 7:25 pm

hi,
i am considering the ACE program next year for kindergarten, and decided to google it. Much to my dismay, there are a lot of negative reviews about it making children unable to think for them selves and use thinking skills. Do you see any of this ? Most of the reviews I saw were students that attended an ACE school, so maybe that had a lot to do with it. I like the idea of them being taught from a biblical stand point, but want to make sure they are getting all the real world learning they need also. Do you supplement the ACE program, what are your thoughts on this?

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Nthabiseng Magongo January 23, 2012 at 5:21 am

Blessings Woman of God!

Your blog have come of great help to me. I am a first time homeschool parent, I just recieved my daughter’s grade 1 pace and we will be starting tomorrow. However, I looked at the materials and I really don’t know where to start. It’s 4 subjects (Math, Word buiding, Animal Science and Bible reading).

I would like to know, where do I start, with which subject first, how many minutes per subject, any breakes in between and how long should the breaks be? Do I sit with her to do the work or I just read her the instructions and keep coming too check on her?

I am really excited about this curriculum, I wish I can be ablee to follow it the way itt is designed to be followed.

Thanks for being a blessing to us.

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Jennifer Cates April 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Thank you for your series of blogs on ACE. I am the wife of an Army chaplain and a Mom to two little boys. Ethan is seven years old and Evan will soon be five. God has burdened us in the last couple months to take our boys out of public school and home school them. Ethan has mild-moderate cerebral palsy. He has many needs, but has been able to keep up with mainstream kindergarten work in the classroom with the help of a one-on-one. This is his second year in kindergarten and he should be in first grade next year. Evan will be in kindergarten this fall. Have you run across families that use ACE with children with mild-moderate special needs? From your perspective, Is this curriculum to difficult to use for those children with special needs. I have come across some special needs curriculum that isn’t Bible based, and I have felt that my son can do more than animated schooling, but I don’t want to jump into something that would cause him to be discouraged and overwhelmed. Thanks so much

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HomeGrown Mommy May 30, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Thank you for stopping by Jennifer!

First, congratulations on the decision to homeschool your precious children – it isn’t always an easy decision or an easy road, but one well-worth all that it takes to make it happen. My heart goes out to you as you do your best to minister to both your children and deal appropriately with Ethan’s cerebral palsy. I feel so unqualified to answer your question because I have never dealt with such a situation nor have I ever known another family in the same scenario. In my opinion, I think ACE would be a good fit because things are laid out very consistently and colorfully, but I’m not sure what special requirements cerebral palsy might bring with it.

Are you hooked up with any homeschool groups in your area? Or maybe the United Cerebral Palsy group? Maybe there are groups of people who have the same situation as you do that you could draw support from?

I did a bit of research online and found a few websites that might help you to that end:

http://specialneedshomeschooling.com/?cat=9
http://www.christianhomeschoolers.com/hs_special_needs.html
http://www.homeschoolcentral.com/special.htm

I hope these resources can help you in some way!

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sindisiwe February 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Hi there,

Thanks so much for these blogs. I’m looking at enrolling my 9 year old daughter at a christian school that uses this programme. I also feel anxious as the internet is full of negatives. It makes it worse that all these comments are by people who supposedly were raised using it. My daughter is in grade 3 at a normal school. I’m anxious how she will cope. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
Thanks.

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HomeGrown Mommy February 20, 2013 at 6:44 pm

I wouldn’t worry about the other comments that you hear around the internet. Only you know your child and what she will do the best with – so go with your gut feeling, mama! Every single curriculum has people who have used it and didn’t like it whether they are homeschooled or in public school and everywhere in between. I’m glad for the wealth of information we can get online so we can hear what others are saying but it’s possible that the complaints are really about the administration, not so much the curriculum itself. Each child is so different with so many different learning styles, ACE isn’t for everyone but it can be a great solution for many. :) I hope that helps a bit!

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