Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Why I Chose ACE For Our Homeschool Curriculum

As I mentioned here a few weeks ago, I was very reluctant to switch entirely to ACE for our homeschool curriculum.  I attended an ACE Christian school, and although I loved it, I have always felt my education was lacking.  I believe the school did the best that they could with what that had, but realistically, I was left on my own to learn, and sadly the score key was more of a teacher than the actual teachers were.  For example, only the pastor at the school knew Algebra, so when he was away, the supervisor (teacher) would stand at my desk with a score key "helping me".   After I graduated I attended Bible College, and again, I'm sorry to say, was a bit of a joke.  I look back at the papers I turned it and can't believe they passed them.  Our level of expectation and excellency in education is seriously lacking in Christian circles.  Sorry, but you know it's true.

I guess my main reasoning behind my reluctance was "what will other homeschool moms says?".   ACE doesn't have the best reputation.  As one blogger commented on a previous post, "Sometimes curriculum choices can feel like "keeping up with the joneses" when all we really need to do is keep up with our kids interests, abilities and processes."  Yes! Someone gets it!

After doing a great Bible Study last year, I was so convicted and overwhelmed with my sin of pride.  I didn't realize how much this was affecting different areas of my life.  One night while I was sitting here thinking and praying about what curriculum to use for the year, and tossing around the idea of using ACE then pushing the idea away, the Lord spoke to my heart, and I instantly knew that I was to swallow my pride and use ACE. 

I thought I would share a list of my pros and cons to ACE.  Obviously, my pros are why I chose the curriculum. 

  • They aren't on par with other curriculum, so I've heard.
  • It's the lazy way out, so I've heard.
  • It's too easy to cheat.  (Don't ask me how I know.)
  • What will people say?

  • The Scripture Memory Verse in every PACE.  They learn approximately 60 Bible verses each year.  I have a great amount of Bible verses memorized, and I attribute that to 12 years of doing PACE's.
  • The Character Traits taught in each PACE.
  • Finishing a PACE and getting a new one, rather than one large book for the entire year.
  • They have been revised and updated.
  • We have friends in our town that use the same curriculum.
  • We used ACE Math last year to help supplement because my daughter was struggling, and for her ACE explained the rules and instructions in a way that was easier for her to understand than Abeka.  (Which by the way, grade 5 ACE Math and grade 5 Abeka Math were teaching the same problems.)
  • My daughter wanted to use ACE.  And I value her preferences, opinions, and ideas.
Obviously, my cons list wasn't very long.  Overall, I feel ACE is a good match for us right now.  We are almost finished with week 4 and the kids are doing well.  I still sit with them at the table and am there when they need help.  I do all the scoring right now.  I plan to eventually have Autumn score her own work, but right now this is working for us.  I have decided to just take it year to year.  I am not sure if we will continue to use ACE through high school.  Maybe we will mix and match, we shall see!

Please know I am not saying ACE is for everyone.  Sometimes the homeschool community can be very judgmental.  We moms are doing our best for our kids, and we often get the "my way is the best way".  We get excited about a new curriculum we find and want to show it to others, but we need to remember the beauty of homeschooling is that we are individual families and need to make decisions that work best for our family.  And we need to be very careful not to pass judgement, even silent judgement, on the curriculum choices of others.

Thanks for letting me share, and thank you for all the positive comments and emails you all have sent regarding our curriculum choice!  Hope you all have a wonderful school year!


Pastor Kruppa said...

Thank you for your thoughts and courage to post them to the public. Having been involved in Christian and public education at several aggressive academic programs, you expressed something I felt but could never put to words. So much of the Bible speaks training them at home--almost always in reference to the Bible not academia! Follow what you know God wants for you to do-- Galatians 1:10

Hannah Corner said...

Thank you for writing this! :)

Unknown said...

Whatever works for you! So long as you're not unschooling. ;) My husband went to an ACE school K-12, and ACE is huge for homeschoolers and private schools here in South Africa. We haven't chosen to use it, but it's not unimaginable. My husband praises the verse memory as well. :)

Chris and Carole said...

Thank you for this post. You have shared exactly how I feel.

Eric P said...

I love this post! I absolutely love ACE, and am also a grad. I was also a principal of an ACE Christian school for a couple of years. The things I love most about ACE, and yes it also has its cons, are the Bible memory, character traits, and one that I didn't recognize until a few years after graduation, Bible integration!

I actually enjoyed the character traits so much that I emailed ACE and they sent me a .pdf of the traits.

As I was examining curriculum I noticed how much Bible was in the various subjects. As you're breaking down sentences in English a story is being told (whether Bible lesson, missions story, etc.). There is also quite a bit in the Social Studies (History) and Science (from what I recall). I remember the English most because it kept me motivated - desiring to continue reading the account :-)

Thanks again! I appreciate this post because I've been scrutinized for my love of this curriculum as well.

Unknown said...

Our Christian school experiences were identical, and I balked at the idea of using ACE for the same reasons! I have used it in the past, and will probably use it again. I changed my attitude when I realized that anyone can have an inferior education using anything, if they don't work. So, we work, no matter what curriculum we are using. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it's nice to know I'm not alone. :)

Tiffany Young said...

I know this is an old post,but I love it! We've used ACE for 5 years now and it's been great for us. I also score my kids work, and work to make sure that I understand what they are learning so that I can help them. It's great learning for us all. I also love that it provides great structure,but allows me to be flexible when we need it. Are you still using it now?