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http://www.homeschoolreviews.com/reviews/curriculum/reviews.aspx?id=351New homeschool mom - homeschool2akmReviewed on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 Grades Used: 6th Dates used: 2008
I am a new homeschool mom. I started this year with at the time 10 almost 11 year old daughter, I am using ACE and it is wonderful and a God send. Its self taught and great to use. I plan to use this until the end of 8th grade and then enroll her in a correspondence high school.
I am thinking of Penn Foster. Thank You ACE! You have made homeschooling a great start. I never thought homeschooling possible especially being single mom. I strongly recommend it.
supermomReviewed on Friday, February 15, 2008 Grades Used: Kindergarten to 2nd Dates used: 2005-present
I really enjoy using ACE curriculum. I was first introduced to ACE when my youngest brother was pulled from public school because he had fallen so far behind. Before using ACE, he read at a grade 4 level (was in public school grade6) and when he returned to school in grade 9, he was reading and doing Math at a grade 11-12 level.
I started my daughter right off in Kindergarten. The use of Animal Songs to introduce phonics worked really well for her. When reading, I would remind her of the Animal sound and she would continue. It has excellent drilling reviews as well.
We made it through Grade 1 OK with this program, but I found she was having trouble reading and spelling in Grade 2 and the vocabulary spiked in difficulty from grade 1 to Grade 2.
Also, my daughter began to be bored with the "read the page" then fill in the blank. Every lesson is the same for all the paces (workbooks) except for Math. After a very frustrating start to the grade 2 year I had to toss my ACE curriculum and look for a review of grade one.
We have yet to start Grade 2 work but are looking for new a new language arts program. We are enjoying great success with the ACE math. My daughter can learn and practice a new concept and loves the confidence booster when she obtains 100% on her test.
All the paces in ACE are set up so that the child should master the concept before taking the pace. There is lots of review and we do, on occasion, cross out a page because we know she has mastered it and we can move on to the self-test.
ACE is excellent if you hate lesson planning - there is none! I really enjoy that part, since I am a working homeschool mom. I am Canadian and ACE offers a Social Studies with Canadian content and math and science are taught with the metric and empiric systems.
I will start my younger child with ACE but my eldest is only continuing with ACE for Math.
As a side note, we found two excellent resources for reading through the HomeSchool Inc web store: "Fantastic Phonics Food Factory" which introduces all the sounds associated to a food and includes great, fun reinforcers, such as eating and making clay characters; "You Can Teach Someone to Read" was an excellent resource for me, especially since it laid out the "rules" of the English language in a way I could teach my daughter. waitleysReviewed on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 Grades Used: 1st, 7th Dates used: current
I thought I would put my review on here for ACE as it seems to get a bad rap from lots of people. ACE has been a God send for our homeschooling journey. Our kids used ACE in a private school and it kind of left a bad taste in our mouth for ACE but what I failed to realize was that it was the school setting not the curriculum.
Ds is doing 7th grade paces for math, science, and word building. He has never been thrilled about school work and has always felt "dumb" when it came to school. He has had more success with ACE than with any other curriculum.
It isn't because it is easy but because he actually understands what is being taught. There isn't a bunch of info that doesn't pertain to what he is learning and the info that is there is solid. He is remembering more info from his science paces than he has with any other curriculum.
Word building is ACE spelling and vocabulary. At the 7th grade level there is a good review of which phonograms say what sounds, etc. and it has improved his spelling greatly.
Ds is in 1st and is using math, science, and social studies with ACE. She loves all of her work. She is mastering concepts in math that she had a hard time with in Saxon. The social studies and science are interesting to her and she looks forward to them.
Even though ACE is a self-instructional curriculum it doesn't mean a parent can leave and never do anything with the child. Dd and I just had a great discussion on the digestive system after he learned about it in his pace.
If you are willing to spend the time asking your child what they just read/learned you will end up having some great discussion time and cement it even more in their brain!
ACE isn't an easy curriculum as so many people suggest. It is a mastery based program so things may seem like they go a little slower in the beginning as opposed to a spiral based program.
It is a successful solid curriculum. A good education doesn't mean it has to be so hard that you feel like you are always struggling. There are some paces that may seem easier than others in each grade but every child needs a boost of confidence and needs to feel like they are good at their school work.
The info in a pace that may seem easier may just come more naturally to a child. Doesn't mean the pace is easy or the info lacks anything. Just means they "got it" quicker!
Next year we will be going with ACE for all subjects for both kids and we plan on using it with the two little ones when they hit school age also. Ds is feeling successful for the first time in his education and dd is building a solid foundation for higher learning. What more could you ask for?!?!?
mommy22boysReviewed on Tuesday, February 05, 2008 Grades Used: K-12 Dates used: long time ago
When My husband and I looked at homeschooling our two children who are in Preschool and Kindergarten we looked at ACE because it was what I did when I was in School.
It was so expensive for the Preschool material and Kindergarten work that we could not do it. We found LandMark's Freedom Baptist and we were able to afford it for both of our boys.
LandMark is on the same line as ACE but the kindergarten is teacher orientated but it has a step by step teachers manual.Sarah
Annie SmithReviewed on Friday, December 26, 2008 Grades Used: 5-7, 9-12 Dates used: 1994-1997, 1998-2001
I used the ACE program at a private school starting in fifth grade and continued through seventh grade, went to public school for eighth, and then completed high school using ACE.
When I began using ACE, I was doing everything at my appropriate grade level, and I remember being very happy with the format for the first couple of years. However, in seventh grade, I felt that I wasn’t learning as much as my friends who were in public school. This turned out to be true in certain subjects—Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts.
I taught math to my fellow students in public school, but this is because I was put in a basic math class instead of the Algebra class, where I actually belonged. Science and Social Studies were a different story.
This is partly because when I was in seventh grade, I was doing high school-level PACEs, and the School of Tomorrow apparently thought I should learn about vocations for half a year instead of, you know, history.
When I was finished with eighth grade, I begged to go back to private school because I preferred the learning environment of the ACE-school. I think it’s much more conducive to education than a public school atmosphere.
I had my problems with it, but obviously, the ACE program is doing something right. I graduated from an intense English program with my bachelor of arts degree magna cum laude, managed the editorial department of a national magazine, and am now in law school.
In general, I don’t think I actually learned very much with ACE at the high levels. However, I did help the younger kids with their PACEs, and it seems like the first few years, up until about the sixth-grade level, the students receive a good foundation in most subjects.
Even the ADD kids were able to focus on their school work and seemed to make great strides using ACE. I think the grammar lessons are very well-done. I’ve never had a hard time with grammar and always found it enjoyable, but even those who did not like grammar received a much better understanding in it.
Personally, I liked setting my own schedule and deciding when I was going to study what. I wasn’t too bright at 8 a.m., so I started with something easy for me, like Etymology, and did Chemistry and Geometry later.
I liked that I was able to go as fast or as slow as I wanted, and because of that, I was able to complete high school in three years. It also taught me to set goals, and I still like writing down what I want to accomplish and then crossing it off the list, which is something I learned from ACE.I didn’t like memorizing Bible verses at the time, but I think it helped me grow in my relationship with Christ.
I also liked learning about the virtues that each PACE focuses on.
At the school I attended, we had an award program at the end of every year and everyone received an award for a Christian virtue that the administration had recognized in each student. This reinforced the idea of godliness and made character traits more concrete.
That being said, the upper levels of ACE do have problems in Science and Math particularly.
Some people are just not “math people,” and this is probably my case. I can barely do any math outside of basic math anymore, even though in high school I tutored Calculus and Trig.
This is probably due to the fact that I never use math anymore, but I never felt like I really understood geometry. I don’t know very much about education, but in my experience, there are some subjects that students learn better by hearing and seeing someone else do it.
ERROR:ACE does not include that type of learning. Not every subject can be learned by reading, and I think Math is one of those subjects.
My school’s supervisor was very good at math, so I at least had help from her, but I don’t know what would have happened if I homeschooled and didn’t have someone knowledgeable.
The Science curriculum was also disappointing, although I enjoy the subject. I made efforts to learn it on my own, outside of school, but I still missed out on a lot.
I attribute what I did learn to my “supervisor.” She purchased frogs, sharks, and pig fetuses for me to dissect on my own because I liked science so much and did not get much out of the PACES.
The high school literature material is beyond ridiculous. I read two of the books in one quarter and told my supervisor that I refused to read any more. She gave me my choice of Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and Nathaniel Hawthorne novels to read for my quarterly literature requirement instead, so I was able to read American and British classics.
When I graduated, I went to a private liberal arts college and majored in English Literature. Reading REAL literature was absolutely essential to my enjoyment of reading and to my college education.
The so-called “literature” provided by ACE was dumbed-down and in no way comparable to the existing canon of English literature. I see no reason why ACE cannot find appropriate novels for high schoolers.
There are so many wonderful novels or even essays by C.S. Lewis. There is no excuse for not having a legitimate literature program. Had I gone into a college English program armed with ACE’s version of “literature,” I probably would have had to switch majors.
Her encouragement and guidance supplemented a lot of what I otherwise would have missed—especially in literature. Our school’s format was that we did our PACEs in the morning and after lunch, we had our “electives,” which included P.E., choir, Creative Writing, Free Enterprise, or a study hall.
Over the several years I was there, we also had the freedom to pick an independent subject. One girl wanted to go to culinary school, so she had Cooking. However, these electives were essential to our education.
I don’t think the PACEs teach anything about essay writing. My year at public school in eighth grade was my first exposure to writing any kind of essay, and there was definitely a learning curve there.
Later, I of course got much more experience writing essays and practicing persuasive writing in college, but without Creative Writing, I would have had no practice creating and supporting a thesis or learning how to argue effectively.
My last problem with ACE was their outdated philosophy of gender roles and what I should with my life based on my gender.
I guess I come from a progressive Christian family, because ACE’s idea of the kind of person I should be is very different than what I learned at home.
My parents both contribute to the household financially and in the home itself, depending on what their gifts are. It’s not unusual for my dad to make dinner or even, gasp!, clean, but ACE adheres to a very old-school notion of “family” (and “hairstyles”).
The semester that I learned about vocations, the PACE said point-blank that I would not be good at certain careers based on my gender.
This is a very unfortunate thing to teach children, and I thank God my parents encouraged me to pursue anything that interests me, whether it’s science, automotives, literature, or law.
Especially in a society that needs women to be self-supporting and that benefits from the contributions women make, even if that contribution has nothing to do with raising a family, children should know that your value to the world and your community has more to do with who you are as a person and nothing to do with your gender.
I was self-aware enough in seventh grade to know better, and my problem with ACE’s idea of gender roles incites me still. One day when I was in high school, a representative from the School of Tomorrow came to visit and spoke to us about the success of students that graduated from the ACE curriculum.
Every success story he shared was about a male student who went on to become a missionary. The missionary field is a noble one, but it is not for everyone. The way it was presented to us though, is that there is no greater success than to be a missionary, or if you’re a woman, to marry a missionary.
The cartoons ingrained these traditional roles even more. The boys take a more active role in the “story lines.” Ace is the star of the cartoon, and he does things like lead Bible studies and prayers and advise his friends in spiritual matters.
Christi is one of the more common secondary characters, but her life seems to revolve around her skirt length, cooking, and clipping coupons. The characters all have names that reflect Christian virtues, except for one unfortunately big-boned boy named “Pudge,” which I still cannot explain.
The cartoon strips are condescending. The best explanation for their nature I ever got was from my supervisor, who pointed out that in such an angry and bitter real world, the cartoons put good and evil into a very black and white world. I guess I’m just too much of a realist to really appreciate it, though.
In short, I think ACE gives a good foundation of education up until the sixth grade. After that, find some new material, or I hope your child has the supervisor I had to make sure she actually learns something.
siman552Reviewed on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 Grades Used: 9-10? Dates used: 2007-2009?
I don't know what it is, but I don't think this is good for 6th grade plus. The books are outdated, and the cartoons in them, in my humble opinion, are condesending to a high schooler. I'm still in it, but I'm afraid I am not going to do as good in collage because I'm already failing to retain things.
Plus the school I'm going through dragged their feet getting me the books, and they expect me to finish the first semester's PACEs by Jan. 1st.That's 5 months of work, in 3... musicmomReviewed on Saturday, November 22, 2008 Grades Used: 4th--12th Dates used: 1992-2000
I wanted to add my own two cents from the perspective of the student. I am a second generation homeschooler. My own parents used ACE, and for them, it was the best choice.
My mother was nearly bed-ridden, and my father worked long hours to make ends meet. ACE is largely self-taught, so it worked. That being said, I will not use it for my children past 5th grade(I'm using CLP for K and 1st).
When I was in high school, the last history update was 1989 (I didn't even know the Berlin wall had come down!).
I also do not believe ACE prepares a student for college. I had no understanding of taking notes and studying for a test. In ACE, if you memorize the Checkups (quiz's) and Self-test (comprehensive quiz), you will pass the test.
Then you can move on and do the same in the next book, never retaining anything. When I went to college, it was a major shock to me. I adjusted, but I always struggled for my grades.
Another things with them is you re-take your tests until you pass. That's not going to happen in college!
They also repeat alot. For some students, that's good; for others, it's a total bore.
ACE isn't a bad curriculum. It's good for kids that need a lot of practice reading. Self-motivated kids will breeze through. There were times I'd do a PACE a week.
The "character studies" are lame at best. There's no new memory verses throughout (just longer versions of the same verses). All in all, I'd say, that it's a great way to get started homeschooling, especially if lesson planning scares you.
But from a student who graduated from that curriculum, it leaves large holes. Better for the younger years, but not jr.high and high. raaniReviewed on Wednesday, August 06, 2008 Grades Used: K-9th Dates used: 1979-present
Pros: ACE School of Tomorrow is an easily administered curriculum that is used in many smaller Christian schools. The good thing about this curriculum is that kids really enjoy it and older students can usually do their work independently.
Many curriculum companies claim that the work is "student-driven", but ACE truly is. There are even DVDs available to help explain the advanced math courses. I especially like the computer program that drills math facts and teaches typing.
ACE has fun comic strips and colorful illustrations which kids really enjoy. One of ACE's strong suits is repetition of the fundamentals in math and English to build a strong foundation.
My kids especially enjoy the science Paces. I went to an ACE school from 2nd grade through 9th, and I still remember a lot of what I learned in ACE. One of my main weak points is geography, but ACE now offers a geography course in high school.
Cons: Although ACE School of Tomorrow uses the King James Bible and originates from a fundamental Baptist background, it is marketed as non-denominational and cuts up Bible verses by inserting dots in the middle of key phrases.
This problem with the verses is only in the early elementary grade "PACES". You may also notice that in the comic strips, the characters apparently attend a non-denominational church since the word Baptist is never in the title.
The Paces in the lower grades seem a little bit too repetitious to me which is one reason I would recommend another brand of curriculum for Kindergarten through 3rd or 4th grade. I also feel that the Social Studies “PACES” in some of the grades lack academic content.
For example, ACE Social Studies dedicates a lot of time to things like career choices and the lives of Protestant leaders in 6th and 7th grade. I would rather my kids be immersed in traditional history and geography repeatedly during their school years, since these subjects take a while to master.
The ACE math progresses slowly in the elementary grades, but is fine if you make sure to buy the latest editions. I have found outdated information as well as obvious errors in the junior high Math PACES (workbooks), which can be frustrating.
It is often better to buy your PACES new to ensure that they are the latest editions and that the answer keys correspond with the workbooks. Did I mention how expensive it is to buy ACE materials new?
Be sure to keep the answer keys for your younger children to use later. Again, make sure you purchase the correct editions so that they match up with the keys.
Advice and Recommendations for Homeschooling with ACE: To ensure that my kids are pronouncing new words and names correctly, I require them to read the objective page of each new PACE (workbook) to me aloud.
For grades 6-7, I recommend that another curriculum be used instead of ACE for history and geography. If you live in Florida or Texas, you will want to use the ACE state history course for your state for half of 7th grade.
I also recommend a different creative writing course be used in place of ACE's literature Paces. I recommend ACE for new or overwhelmed homeschooling parents with older kids or for older kids in large families.
I especially recommend it for the junior high and high school years when most kids enjoy working independently. To be honest, one of the main reasons my two older kids use ACE is that they have tried other programs and they prefer the tried and true, ACE. Click here for more information on how to homeschool with ACE
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