There are always factors that influence what curriculum we choose. Maybe you you want to gather all the children together for as many subjects as possible. Or perhaps you have little ones and need the older kids to work by themselves.
If you’re someone in the “independent learning” camp, then continue reading my ACE curriculum review because it’s a fabulous program for that!
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ACE (Accelerated Christian Education)
ACE by Ace Ministries may seem very simple at first glance, but it has a lot to offer in its basic approach. It’s benefited my homeschool in so many ways.
Benefits of ACE Curriculum
Great for Teaching Independent Learning
When I think about an excellent curriculum to make independent learners, I think of the ACE curriculum. It does a fantastic job of using independent learning strategies, which helps a child take control of his own schedule each week.
Depending on the age of your student, once the groundwork has been established, it’s possible for him to do all his work by himself each day with you only giving some guidance when needed.
When your child’s in charge of his own learning, he has a skill that’s going to transfer into adulthood. It’s a wonderful feeling to watch your child working through his studies each day knowing he’s gaining life skills that will help him be successful.
I know this because I’ve graduated one of mine and watched him use these same skills at his job as an adult. The managers have noticed his ability to handle situations on his own and can count on him to get things done. No doubt it’s a result of his training in school.
Teaches Goal Setting
ACE consists of individual PACEs (Packet of Accelerated Christain Education) the child works through. The idea is similar to a whole textbook being broken down into its individual units.
Each PACE represents one of those units. Every subject has its own set of 12 PACEs, which they recommend being completed in a year. It works out to three per nine weeks. Of course every child is different and this isn’t set in stone. You can adjust this based on your student’s needs and abilities.
Here is a video showing what they look like and how the work is laid out.
Before each PACE is started, count the number of pages in it and divide that by the numbers of days you want your child to be finished (usually around 3 weeks). This determines how many pages your student needs to do each day and also helps with time management.
These page numbers are marked on a weekly chart and checked off by your student when completed each day. This chart is a great way to set short-term goals for each week.
In addition, the student can set a long-term goal for the year for the three PACEs per nine weeks and twelve per year needing to be completed. There’s a separate chart to visualize this. Stickers are placed on it each time a workbook is finished to show progress and help the student have a sense of achievement.
Something to note is that students who complete their work faster may move through the books quicker and move ahead. As I stated before, the goal of 12 books per year is a recommendation because some may be able to do more and others less. These charts will help the student see how they’re doing and adjust in order to meet those goals.
Strengthens Weak Areas and Fills in the Gaps
The beauty of this program is your child can be working at different levels for each subject. He may excel in math but perhaps requires a slower pace in reading. Through a free online diagnostic test, you’ll be able to tell precisely which PACE your child should start in for each subject.
You can also determine if there are learning gaps that need to be closed and use specific PACEs to accomplish this. This makes it easy to go back and reinforce weak or missing skills to get caught up and move on with a stronger foundation.
ACE’s 5 Laws of Learning Explained
Teaches Character and Bible
One of the things I love about this curriculum is the character training and Bible that’s incorporated. Each PACE starts with a verse that will be memorized by the end of the book as well as a character trait that’s introduced and reinforced throughout. Cartoons are used for the illustrations and teach in a fun way.
Perfect for Carschooling
Each PACE has everything the student needs inside. There are no other books required. There are occasionally hands-on activities or experiments to do, but we’ve found these to be mainly in science.
Each workbook is thin and lightweight, and because each subject is self-contained in its own worktext, it’s easy to take school work in the car or to appointments. You just grab your workbooks and a pencil and go!
Helpful When Teaching More Than One Child
I had quite an age range to teach in my house for a few years, and I wasn’t smart when I chose curricula when my third child started school.
I bought materials for each student that I loved but required way too much of my time preparing and teaching, and it became challenging to split myself between the children.
I realized real fast that something needed to change and ACE was the answer!
Once a student has been trained to use this, he can go off on his own and complete his assignments with little to no assistance from you.
Yes, you will need to check in on him to make sure he understands the concepts and is maintaining a certain percentage correct, but that can be done at your convenience throughout the day. Not when another child needs you at the same time.
Cuts Down on Clutter
With homeschooling comes a lot of books and materials. Sometimes we have to dedicate entire bookshelves, corners, or closets to them.
This program is so nice because the ACE PACEs are all you need (other than chapter books starting in level 4 for literature). Paces are thin booklets and don’t take up a lot of space and are easy to stack.
In the high school years there are DVD’s you can purchase to go along with the labs, but those don’t take up much space either.
I found the price of this curriculum to be very reasonable. I purchased the entire year of school, including the chapter books for the literature and creative writing class, for less than it would cost for just a couple of subject with some other companies. The PACEs vary in price depending on the grade level and range from $2.70-$3.50 each. They include all the core subjects:
- Math (K-12)
- English (K-12)
- Literature and Creative Writing (2-8)
- Social Studies (K-12)
- Science (K-12)
- Word Building (which includes spelling and vocabulary) (K-9)
- Bible Reading (1-6)
At the high school level, DVDs can be purchased to help teach specific subjects. This is something parents will appreciate if they don’t feel comfortable teaching certain subjects. They are an added cost but perhaps worth it once you are in subjects like trigonometry and physics.
There also many electives available. The list includes Bible, business, fine arts, government, health, foreign languages, language arts, and college classes.
ACE Curriculum Review Conclusion
This curriculum is meant to be student led and will make a big difference in your day if you find yourself in the same situation I was in or you just want your child to take more responsibility for his work.
We had a great experience with the ACE homeschool curriculum. My daughter loved being able to do her work by herself, and she especially liked not having to wait around for me to finish working with another child. She loved being in control of starting and ending her school day, and felt a sense of satisfaction when she could check off her chart each day.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can find the ACE curriculum at Christian Book Distributors.
If this ACE curriculum review was helpful, check out my other homeschool curriculum reviews and if you’ve used the ACE curriculum, let me know how you liked it in the comments below.