Danette and her husband, David, live in the Sacramento area of California. They have six children, ages 3 to 17; the oldest 2 and youngest 2 are girls, and the middle 2 are boys. In the log below she includes each child’s age beside their initial. Both Danette and David grew up using the Accelerated Christian Education PACES for their schooling and Danette even attended ACE’s International Institute (college) after high school. It was an easy decision for them to use the ACE program when they began homeschooling their own children.
Danette likes several things about homeschooling with ACE.
- Flexibility. She can juggle five students schooling at different grade levels, while caring for a preschooler and babysitting for a toddler. She knows that even when mom gets busy, the basics are getting covered and no one has to wait for mom. She shared a recent incident: “I was detained in the back of the house the other day and came out to find my 13 year old son (who had finished early for the day) helping the 5 year old with her PACE work. She had read to him and he’d even signed the supervisor initial box!”
- Flow from year to year. Danette shared that she has friends who wonder each summer, “What curriculum should I use for Math this year?” or “I wonder if this English curriculum is really working?” By using the PACES from one year to the next, Danette knows that all the foundations will be laid and reinforced, and her children will not have gaps. It takes all the stress out of comparing options and making decisions about changes. It also saves money as she can reuse scorekeys and resources.
- Familiarity. Since she used ACE herself growing up, and her husband and both sets of grandparents have worked with PACES, it makes it very comfortable for any of them to step in and help with the homeschooling. Danette also knows which courses and topics might be challenging for her children. For some of the upper level math she has been utilizing tutoring help from a friend who was a former math teacher. For physical science and some other topics she and her teens have found resources here at PACESuccess.net that they found helpful.
Following is a blow-by-blow log of a recent typical day for Danette and her family homeschooling with PACES. You might be able to identify with the variety of demands and interruptions, and it is encouraging to know that the schooling stayed on track for everyone.
Log of a recent “typical day” homeschooling
I remind L10 (initial & age) to get started on school work while I finish getting myself ready and dressing J3.
I find L10 still in his room. I remind him to go NOW to the school room and get started. He says, “Dad told me to put away my baseball cards.” I clarify, “Dad said to put them away, not to sort them right now. Dad wouldn’t want you to not to do your school work. You can finish putting them away on your break.”
Eat my oatmeal while listening to L10 read the goal page in 4 subjects. It’s the 1st week of the 3rd quarter so we had tested on several paces on Thursday and Friday.
Help J3 put her shoes on.
Look for C13. I find him sick in bed. No school for him today. Make N5’s oatmeal. She eats while watching a Winnie the Pooh with J3.
L17 and A16 are working at their desks.
S2 (the little boy I babysit) arrives. I give him a snack and he joins in watching Winnie the Pooh.
I sit with L10 as he works a page of nouns and pronouns. He goes to score at the kitchen table then brings me four score keys that he’s finished with. I get the test keys out of my binder and go to the garage to my file cabinet. I file the old keys and pull his new ones. Brrr it’s cold out there. I give him his new score keys and put the test keys in my binder.
I clear and wipe the counters and table from breakfast while L10 is working on Science and calling out facts about Benjamin Franklin and electricity. “How does a lightening rod work?” “My pace says to NEVER try the kite and key experiment.” J
Check on C13. He’s reading Swiss Family Robinson in bed.
Made myself some hot tea and set goals for N5.
A16 is humming a choir song at her desk.
S2 comes in wanting a drink. I discover the refrigerator water is frozen up again. I’ll have to defrost it later.
L10 is scoring his Science Pace. He’s done with that goal and is back to English. The dog is sleeping between the desks.
Fold the laundry in the dryer and start a new load. On my way back to the kitchen I met L10 who needs help with adjectives. Before I answer J3 needs help folding her baby blanket. She is obsessed with folding right now. I help L10 with his question then J3 needs help going potty. While there I check on C13 who has moved on to a bird watching book.
Back to the kitchen/school room and L10 is crossing off his English goal and pulling out his Literature Pace.
Where is A16? I find her in her room working on a writing project.
Wipe up water on the floor from S2’s spilled sippy cup.
Sit by L10 and answer text from Sister-in-law and check email on phone.
L10 scores and crosses off Literature goal and takes a bathroom break.
L17 working on Civics Self Test.
C5, J3, and S2 are still watching Winnie the Pooh.
L10 pulls out Bible Reading and I encourage him to do a Math page first.
N5 wanders in and I snag her to start her Pace work. She chooses Social Studies first. I move over by her desk to listen to her read.
J3 brings me a dog leash. Ok?
S2 is crawling under A16’s desk with a crochet hook. Then he crawls along under N5, C13, and L10’s desks.
L10 is fussing with S2 who runs to me and pushes the binder off my lap so I can hold him. He cuddles for a minute while I listen to N5 read. She thinks “Baba” is a good name for a little sheep. She is still in her jammies.
L17 is scoring at the kitchen counter.
L10 needs help on his Math crossword puzzle.
N5 tries to leave but I call her back.
L17 checks on J3 since Winnie the Pooh is over and starts a new show for her. She plays with S2 and his leash for a minute. L10 tries to join in and I send him back to work.
I leave N5 to answer questions and see what L10 is working on.
Answer a text from my husband.
S2 grabs the leash and runs off. L17 asks if there are any test tips for her Civics Pace. I look and tell her it says, “Straightforward Test.”
S2 crawls by with a Minnie Mouse car attached to the dog leash.
L10 is still working on his Math crossword puzzle while humming a choir song.
I remind A16 to start fixing lunch soon.
When I come back N5 has left her desk and joined the toddlers in the living room who are watching Super Why. I call her back to finish last question in Social Studies. I score her work and help her cross off the goal. She picks up her English and is excited to see the cover matches the English L10 is in. She decides to do Math instead.
L10 asks, “When was I observant?” I offer the suggestion of noticing when the dog’s water needed to be refilled.
A16 puts water on to make butter noodles and stands over it reading her library book.
L10 runs out onto the back porch and feeds and waters the dog. Hmmmmm 🙂
N5 “Five take away ‘Free’ is two.” 🙂
L10 finished his 15th page for the day and gets a break.
J3 walks in kitchen with the dog leash. N5, J3 & I start singing our “I Will Obey My Mama” song. J3 crawls up onto my lap.
I remind N5 to start on her next page.
S2 walks in with a play shopping cart. J3 jumps off my lap to claim her property. J2 abandons it and runs to claim my lap.
Check on L10 sorting his baseball cards.
C13 has finished Swiss Family Robison and says he will come out for lunch.
Super Why is playing in the living room with no one in there watching it.
L17 reminds A16 to make a veggie to go with the butter noodles. A16 asks “Broccoli or corn?”
S2 is hovering in the kitchen anxious for his lunch.
N5 finishes her math goal. I score it and she has to correct a couple where she subtracted instead of adding. She crosses off her Math goal and starts on English.
I shut off the TV.
J3 is playing with a Noah’s Ark toy in the hallway.
N5 reads me words in her English with the “a” sound.
S2 is dragging high chair to the table. I think he’s hungry. 🙂 J3 hears the noise and comes to sit in her booster seat.
A16 is slicing bread to have with lunch.
N5 reads another page of words.
A16 sets the table and places my book at my place. For the past six years I read a chapter while the children eat. We call it “Lunchtime Books”. They get a sticker on their Star Chart for each book we finish.
N5 reads a page of silly sentences to me and is done with her English goal.
A16 calls everyone to lunch.
We pray, eat, and read. We finished our book today. I instruct the children where to put the sticker on their star chart.
Everyone goes to take a break while I eat my lunch and read my own book.
I take S2 to take a nap. I have to lay down with him until he falls asleep.
I get up and take J3 potty then return a call to my mom.
My husband comes home unexpectedly. He heats up some lunch then sits at the table to work from home.
N5 reads a Science page to him while I clean the kitchen. It would normally be C13’s job.
L10 is getting back to work. He wanted to work in his room but I asked him to come out and work at his desk.
A16 is studying her Physical Science in the living room.
C13 has moved to the couch.
L17 folds a load of laundry and starts a new one.
N5 finishes her Science goal and is done for the day. She gets her 20 merits out of the “school drawer”.
L17 takes N5 and J3 to her room to make Valentines for their cousins.
S2 wakes up WAY to early. He’s sitting on my lap.
A16 catches J3 writing on the wall.
L10 finishes Math and only has two pages of dictionary work in Word Building left.
I’m sitting near L10 and he tells me about some crazy natural/weather stories he saw on a nature show then gets back to the dictionary.
Meanwhile, S2 is bringing me a beanbag. He wants me to put it on his head then he walks away until it falls off. Repeat several times while reading a couple pages in my book.
I remember to take chicken out of the freezer for dinner.
L10 “Mom, one of the definitions in here for the word ‘grub’ is ‘a type of food.'”
S2 now has the bean bag in the toy grocery cart and is running around the kitchen with it.
Julia knows it is snack time and asks for a yogurt.
C13 comes out and makes himself a banana-berry smoothie.
L10 is done and school wrapped up for the day.
If you found this interesting, you may also enjoy:
- Why Melissa’s boys like PACES
- 12 Reasons Renee Ellison recommends PACES for homeschooling families
- Andrea’s helps (and videos) for great homeschooling success with ACE
- Meet Paige and learn how to succeed using PACES
- The Secret to NOT feeling overwhelmed as a homeschool mom
- Resources for Homeschooling with ACE