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Anyone using ACE for their schooling?


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Hi, It has been a long time since I have posted. I homeschool my two youngest, now aged 13 and 14. A year ago Jan. I started using some ACE(Accelerated Christian Education) with my two and by last Jan I had them totally in it except for Math. I have to say, I fought against this type of school for so many years but do to multiple health issues within my family I felt to give it a try. WE ARE LOVING IT!

 

Just wondering if anyone else is a fan.

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My daughter uses ACE for English, Word Building and Creative Writing. It's not my favorite but it is hers. It totally fits her independent learning style. We use a work box system and she gets to choose which subject to do first and ACE is always her first choice. I was not thrilled with the ACE history and science. We use CLE for math, BJU for history and Apologia for science. We never used ACE math and CLE works well for her so I'm not switching.

 

I want to add that I was hesitant to use ACE at first. I don't know that I have seen so many negative reviews on any other curriculum before. So much so that I decided to have her tested to see where she was academically after using ACE this past year. Honestly, I was kind of looking for a reason to NOT use ACE. As we finished 3rd grade I had her tested for the first time and she scored on a 5th and 6th grade level when it came to LA. So for my daughter, it's working, she is learning and retaining.

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I think some people really love or really hate it!

 

I loved it when we first started it too! When my oldest was 4yrs old. By the time she was 7.5 we switched! In that 3.5yrs her desire to learn had gone. She detested reading and learning, something she had always loved. I didn't know any different then though, we thought that was the only way to school :/

 

For two years now we have been schooling with a totally different approach. I really dislike the workbook type schooling for all subjects. We found the paces to be dry and boring. We now love living books, real literature and real life stories. We love discussions and creative hands on time :) We love our school now :)

 

I can see how the ACE program could work for some, its very structured and you know exactly how much to get done each day/week. It also sets them up to be very independent learners. So mum could potentially have a lot of free time, time to attend to other needs within the house :)

 

I young mum I know is possibly going to begin homeschooling her boy next year with ACE, and I can see how it could work for her. She loves structure, and organisation, and she needs it all planned out for her.

 

Just reread your post, yes I can see how it would be a great option when you have other pressing matters within the family to deal way, great choice :)

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Thanks for your responses.  I have questioned myself so much in using it but when my daughter did her CAT most of her LA scores were in the 13.? I was amazed! My oldest son has had some on going medical needs for the last 4 yrs with multiple surgeries and hospitalizations, and my husband had two surgeries this year. Plus I had to take my daughter to Mayo in Nov. By Christmas I was so glad I had made this change for them as most other years by Christmas I was ready to throw up my hands and quit. 

 

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ACE works WONDERFULLY for some families! I'm a huge fan of it for the right type of student and family. If it is working, do NOT let yourself get distracted. ACE language arts is even stronger long term, than it is for just a single year. Stick with it!

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We use parts of it. My dyslexic gals are able to handle the science. My boys love being independent and even though it isn't "super fun" they complete it and say they like it much better than some other options we have completed it with.

 

My boys are doing sixth grade: english, word building, science and literature and creative writing.

 

girls are at a 2nd grade level word building and english (dyslexic) and 4th grade level Science.

 

We love the ability to customize. Also, my girls for the first time are finding themselves able to do some independent work. They want to be able to do the things their older brothers can do. ACE gives them that. We still do SOTW, R&S Math, RWT, Read alouds, etc.. 

 

 

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My DH was K-12 home educated with ACE. He just completed his ThM, so I'd say he turned out quite well academically (and otherwise!). He did feel his high school math and science could have been stronger, but I think he'd have the same complaint regardless of the curriculum his mom used (in the 90s anyway) because his mom didn't really provide much help in those areas. I also had friends in college who'd used ACE who were well-prepared for college. Even though ACE isn't my choice for my kids, I have seen only good results with those who've used it.

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Anyone using ACE mix and match the science paces? My girls are really wanting more birds/insects/animals this year but they are shown as 3rd grade level subjects and will not be covered in 4th. Any reason why I can't just pick the paces they want to cover? Maybe a mix of 3rd and 4th?

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Not exactly. I used ACE myself as a kid, starting in 5th grade. By 7th I swore I'd never, ever do that to my own kids. :P

 

You're not missing anything by not using their math, IMO. It had wretched instructions. They may have well been explaining technical schematics. (Putting my dinky flag up to ask for help just got an adult to read the instructions aloud to me, as if I hadn't thought of that.)

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ACE was used inappropriately by some schools. I wonder what would have happened if those same schools had tried to use something "better". Honesty, I think that would have been worse in THOSE schools.

 

I've seen some really good results with students that were properly placed and stuck with ACE long term, compared to similar situations where the school/family tried to do something "better" and failed/hopped.

 

ACE has often been used in some pretty desperate situations, and I think ACE gets blamed, instead of praised, for what it did accomplish in those desperate conditions.

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We are ACE fans here.  I have used all subjects for one of my sons except BIble and it has been really a great curriculum for him.

 

Next year I will be using for *both* my sons who are working at roughly between 4th-6th  grade levels.

 

Literature and Creative Writing.........4th and 6th grade, respectively

Word Building....................................6th grade for both

English..............................................5th grade for both

Math..................................................6th grade for both (I also supplement with Teahing Textbooks for fun as it is enjoyable and helps with extra practice and explains concepts in another way)

 

They will be taking Science at a homeschool outsource class (to get the hands on labs in), but I will be supplementing with AHA Science which is online and wonderful.

If we did not have the outsource class available I wold do ACE Science without hesitation.

 

I did ACE Social Studies for 3rd grade but wont be continuing social studies with ACE as there is a heavy Baptist/Protesant slant which gets more and more obvious with the upper grades and we are Catholic and I'dd rather a neutral or Catholic persepective (to balance things out a bit as ACE is aleady pretty fundamentalist even in the other subjects).  We are likely going to use Land of Our Lady (Founders of Frredom) for Social Studies or just do a Geography course (My World of Neighbors thru OLVS) or CLE's Into All the World.  I am leaning toward the latter for both kids.

 

Overall I am very happy with our choices.

 

I guess you could say we are a workbook/online program kind of family.  It leaves room for other things in life (extracurricular classes, chores, cooking, sports, coops) and besides there is plenty to discuss with literature and history anyways (ie plenty of mom involvement as it is).

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  • 1 year later...
Guest Lubis00

Hi,

My son is moving from an ACE church-school to a Christian school with the Cambridge curriculum, I heard that the Maths on ACE is less challenging than other curriculums. I was hoping to get some comparisons on the maths

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We have been happy with ACE Math but still supplement with Teaching Textbooks - this has worked out very well.

 

I will not be continuing ACE for Literature.  Beginning in 6th grade it gets quite hostilely anti Catholic, so much so, that we stopped using it.  I will be switching it out to a Catholic based literature and history curriculum.

 

 

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No, the math was not challenging. It's a 1) Memorize this algorithm with instructions that read like computer programming 2) Plug it into a big pile of problems - type of curriculum.

 

If you want your kids to actually *understand* the math, I would look elsewhere. Horizons elementary math has been a great fit for my younger ones. The workbooks teach in a spiral method, and the concepts are built on stealthily. There are small sets of several different concepts in each lesson. Rod and Staff is a super easy to teach, traditional course that's more mastery style (ACE is mastery). There are about a billion options out there for homeschool math curricula. These are just two I have a lot of experience with and would absolutely use again.

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  • 3 weeks later...

SilverMoon,

 

I am wondering if ACE Math has changed A LOT since you used it as a child.  I would bet it has based on your impressions.   Both my sons really enjoy and are doing really well with ACE Math (they are presently doing ACE Math 7, but started with ACE Math 5). I have found the instructions to be very clear and I rarely need to reexplain concepts.  My boys need mastery not spiral.  I think the diagrams, color and examples in ACE MAth are done really well.  If you get a chance, look at their current materials - 6th grade math was revised in 2006 and 7th grade math was revised in 2013.

 

My youngest was realy struggling with Math when I began homeschooling him after 5th grade.  ACE has made him a much stronger math student.  He finally has mastered concepts and facts that were weak after coming from the public school ( a good public school mind you).

 

I use Teaching Textbooks as a supplement and this combo of ACE Math and TT works out really well.  I find TT to be about a half year behind ACE Math, so it is a good review for them when starting both at the same time.

 

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Last time I had the opportunity to glance at one the content itself looked the same. It's not the level of the work compared to other companies but HOW they teach. Those books taught me to memorize an algorithm blindly and quickly without requiring understanding. I could complete large long division problems quickly and correctly, but I never actually understood what I was doing until years down the road when I had to explain it to a friend's DC I was caring for. As I read that little kid's public school math book it dawned on me why that algorithm works the way it does. :blink:

 

My kids on the other hand know long division inside out and backwards, but the only algorithm memorization they have is from repeated usage. They did have to explain WHY it works so many times they groaned at me, but if that algorithm should ever fall out of their heads they understand the concept so thoroughly they could just wing it and get there on their own.

 

Nothing to do with the actual level of the math compared to the number on the cover. TT for example runs about a year behind many curricula. I just glanced at the placement tests for it and my DD/5th would have to skip at least two levels if I were to move her to TT.

 

I'm genuinely glad it's working well for your DS. :001_smile:

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Silver,

 

Our different perspectives are likely due to individual experience and the eye of the beholder.   It all depends on what the learner needs and the stage they are in.  For my son, he came out of public school in 5th grade very weak in math, mostly because he did not have his math facts down cold.  The public school was all about pushing the "new math", with an emphasis on theory and being able to tell why you were using a particular operation and showing 5 different ways you can solve a problem.  Which I think is total nonsense in the elementary grades.   What was lacking was any emphasis on mastery of math facts and lack of proper drill, review and math calculation fluency.   The way that I was taught and all my brothers were taught were drill and review of math facts in elementary grades (oh the flash cards!), so that by late middle school we were finally ready for  the theory.  We all wound up fine with that, all have advanced degrees in science or engineering.  My son desperately needed drill and review of math facts and calculation fluency before he cold feel confident taking on the more abstract ideas of why.  I have to credit ACE Math and their mastery approach to getting him up to speed quickly and giving him the confidence he needs to move into pre algebra and geometry.   Math is becoming one of his better subjects and now with his math fluency up, he is less stressed and better able to reason through word problems and more abstract concepts like algebra.

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Yes, we definitely have different paradigms. What you call total nonsense we call valuable. :001_smile:  And I can't see the logic in teaching a concept separate from teaching the "theory" of it. If a child can perform it they can learn how it works.

 

My kids have all homeschooled from the beginning, and their math skills run the spectrum between struggling one step forward and two steps back learner, to Art of Problem Solving prealg and a math competition team in 5th grade. With my struggler there were a few times I did have to shove him through blindly using an algorithm he didn't understand before I could get him to see the reason it worked. But we never left that concept until he could demonstrate operating it correctly AND understanding. Years of shoving him through algorithms blindly before explaining the why would not have worked, and frankly I've never seen a math program that goes back to explain concepts that should have been mastered years earlier. (This DS was also most successful with a mastery style program.)  My late bloomer used a book that didn't enforce understanding when she was in early elementary. She got really good at doing the problems in that book and we were thrilled with her progress... until we realized she couldn't perform the same math with a slightly different presentation anywhere else. We started over with a different book. :tongue_smilie:

 

"...showing 5 different ways you can solve a problem.  Which I think is total nonsense in the elementary grades." - We call this more tools in the math toolbox. More tools in the math toolbox keeps it more interesting and gives them a far higher chance of being able to conquer unfamiliar problems and problem solve in real life. My more advanced math kids would have been bored to tears without this and just disengaged.

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Every family is different no doubt.  Different strokes for different folks.  The old math (think 1960's style) works Really Well for this family, especially in the elementary years.  The new math was a disaster here.  The new math he struggled through in public school reminds me too much of common core math, of which I am no fan.  Just wanted to speak up for ACE Math which has been a lifesaver for both my boys.  I think there is a time and a place for math theory for sure, but for my boys, they needed their math  facts and calculation down cold. That was the confidence builder, along with their brains maturing to understand and be ready for more theoretical concepts.   That confidence and brain maturity has led them both to greater ease in working with variations on a theme, more complex word problems, algebra and other abstract concepts.  

 

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