A.C.E. Curriculum Review: Social Studies PACES and Supplementation Ideas
|Social Studies Pace 51 Objectives, 5th Grade Level|
|2nd page of S.S. Pace 51 Self Test|
|S.S. Pace 51 Self Test|
ACE Social Studies is great and is a true social studies course in that it covers a lot more than just history and geography. The best thing about the social studies PACES is that they instill a biblical perspective. I love how there is so much Bible in the PACES and how timelines are used to demonstrate where biblical accounts correspond with other events in ancient history.
The curriculum starts out a little light when first and second graders are mainly just getting reading practice. It picks up in third grade and touches on a wide variety of topics each year. In addition to the typical history and geography, A.C.E. goes pretty deep into Christian subjects such as church history and missions. Overall, A.C.E. provides a well-rounded sampling of information, which is probably more important than alternatively drilling the most well known facts of U.S. and world history year after year.
|3rd grade level Social Studies, Pace 26|
|Social Studies Pace 26|
That said, I like to supplement the PACES with a few other materials during the younger grades. People tend to judge the quality of your education based on your knowledge of U.S. history (among other things.) For this reason, I like my kids to start learning about our country a little earlier.
We usually have a first or second grade Abeka history book around the house, and I have used those as readers for younger students. When kids are in first, second, and third grade, they are reading books to you anyway so you might as well be teaching them history while they practice their reading. Another way we incorporate history into reading time is with leveled readers, which I find on Amazon. One of my favorites is George Washington and the General’s Dog, which is a level 3 Random House reader. The First Thanksgiving is another example of a historical Level 3 book in our family’s library. In addition to good books, a globe is a must in every homeschool. Finding places on the globe is one of my five year old's favorite pastimes.
Our favorite supplemental history activity is watching the PBS cartoon, Liberty’s Kids. The boys especially start enjoying that series at as early as four years of age. I can’t say enough good things about it, and we watch it together every few years. Liberty’s Kids can be watched for free on Youtube, but I am planning to eventually order the DVD set from Christianbook.com.
|Liberty's Kids: The Complete Series, 4-DVD Set |
By Mill Creek Entertainment
Travel back in time with Benjamin Franklin's teenage reporters as they confront the dangers of the American Revolution! Can their friendship survive when they find themselves on opposing sides of the battle? Your kids will enjoy 40 animated episodes featuring the voices of Walter Cronkite, Annette Bening, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, and many others. Four DVDs, approx. 14.5 hours total.
Last year we watched several episodes of Liberty’s Kids on Youtube, but we didn’t end up finishing because we shut off our internet in preparation for an out of state move. Even if you drop the ball and don’t end up emphasizing history in your homeschool, just relax because the A.C.E. curriculum does eventually cover everything. Did I mention I love PACES!?