I was in A.C.E. schools for eight years from 2nd through 9th grade so I am essentially a product of A.C.E. I got a good education that prepared me for college and other various pursuits so when I decided to start homeschooling my oldest two kids over 11 years ago, A.C.E. was the obvious choice.
A.C.E. is not the latest trend in homeschooling, but it is by far the easiest program to implement. There is no lesson planning, and the A.C.E. workbooks, called “PACES” are designed in such a way that most of the work is done independently. Since each subject is broken down into 12 PACES (workbooks) per subject per year, three weeks of schoolwork fits easily into a one and a half inch binder. This makes the curriculum extremely portable.
|Home schooled 5th Grader Working in PACES|
Another great thing about homeschooling with A.C.E. is that you don’t have to purchase an entire year’s worth of curriculum at once. PACES and “score keys” can be purchased individually if need be, which allows for a low start-up cost. Also, the curriculum isn’t constantly being updated so the score keys can often be re-used with consecutive children.
I like the fact that A.C.E. comes from an independent fundamental Baptist source. That obviously isn’t an issue in subjects like math or spelling, but when it comes to social studies and science it is important to me that the curriculum we use is written from a Christian perspective. Even in an English curriculum, example sentences tend to communicate the agenda of the writers, and for the most part, the message of A.C.E. is in line with our core beliefs.
Not only do I want a curriculum with a fundamental Christian world view, but I want any verses it cites to come from the King James Bible. Modern translations come from corrupted texts, omit entire verses, and clearly have an agenda. If you don’t understand the importance of using the King James Bible or are curious about the history behind it, you may want to watch the documentary, “New World Order Bible Versions” for more information on this important issue.
|Reading the King James Bible|
For most of our family’s homeschooling adventures, I have used a combination of A.C.E. and Abeka, which is another Christian curriculum that meets my criteria. I have four kids still living at home, and they are all being home schooled. Two of them are doing A.C.E. this year, and the other two are doing Abeka. Abeka is a great curriculum to start with because of its state of the art phonics program, but later it can become time consuming, especially if you do their accredited DVD program. For this reason, I am thinking about simplifying things by putting all four of my students in PACES next year.
Other brands of curriculum I’ve used are Alpha Omega Publications and Landmark Freedom Baptist Curriculum, but I always end up going back to the tried and true A.C.E. No curriculum is perfect, and there are a lot of options out there, but I highly recommend PACES, especially for large families or parents who are feeling overwhelmed with homeschooling. Your homeschooling friends might be impressed if you attend every home school convention and constantly try new books and methods, but you could burn out eventually from all the preparation involved in unit studies and what not. Go ahead and throw in something extra now and then, but A.C.E. covers all the bases and is easy to keep up with consistently, year after year.
There is so much more to talk about, but this post is the first of a series I plan to write about the ins and outs of homeschooling with A.C.E. I plan to go into A.C.E.’s strengths and weaknesses and discuss how and when I supplement the A.C.E. curriculum. Hint: Don't throw away your Abeka catalog! I plan to review each subject individually and will be including pictures of some of our PACES. I’ll also show you some practical tips for saving time while getting the most out of A.C.E. in the home school setting…
Click here to see samples of A.C.E. Curriculum.