I asked for input from students, teens in particular, on what they liked about the ACE curriculum. Some of the top reasons given are summarized here. Following that I have actual quotes from students and parents so can you hear it in their own words.
Top reasons students (and parents) like the ACE curriculum
- Students like working in smaller workbooks, not big textbooks.
- Students like the consistent format of working through three sections of each PACE, each followed by a Check-Up and then a Self-Test and PACE test.
- Students enjoy the content they are learning about.
- Students like the colorful format and interesting layouts of the PACES.
- Students like being able to set goals and feel the accomplishment of finishing those goals on their own.
- Students like that the curriculum is manageable and not overwhelming.
Here are actual quotes from teens and parents of teens about what they like in the ACE curriculum.
Sarah – “We can work ahead and not have to wait for slower students.”
Branden – “We can get help –when we need it!”
Matthew – “I can learn from the PACEs by paying attention to what I am reading and not be distracted by classmates’ questions and discussions.”
“No pop quizzes!”
“No homework! (since I almost always get my work done at school).”
Hudson – “I like that I can work ahead at home and then when I come to school I don’t feel pressured to get my goals done.”
“I like that I can choose what subject I want to do first each day. Sometimes I do an easy subject just to feel that sense of accomplishment when I cross it off. Other times I tackle my hardest subject first to get it out of the way.”
Matthew – “I like that the check-ups and self-test help me know what I need to study for the PACE test. The final test is not a big mystery or guessing game like it can be for a teacher-taught class.”
Sarah – “I like that even when I fail a PACE test, I can go back and learn that material, and move on. I’m not in danger of failing the whole course.”
One homeschooling mom shared: “We loved the Social Studies for high school especially since he was focusing on math and science. It covered everything he needed to know without a lot of pressure to write tons of papers which he disliked doing. The economics and government courses were great since this mama is a science and math nerd and never took these classes herself, so I didn’t feel like I had to learn all this material just so he could take the class.
Another homeschooling mom, Rachel, wrote: “My son likes knowing what he needs to do. He likes the ease of them. Another reason that I think he liked them was the size – 12 small books. No pressure to finish a HUGE textbook. It was very portable, he could just grab a small book [PACE] and work on it while waiting for basketball practice to start. No carrying around 2 huge backpacks (one for sports and one for books).”
A 16-year-old boy said he likes the PACES, and he likes the topics he is learning about in them.
A 17-year-old girl likes the style – that they are like little workbooks; she also likes the way the workbooks are structured. She likes what she is learning in Social Studies because it helps everything fit together – particularly in Civics. She has learned not just about how our government works, but also about the roots of it.
A 12-year-old girl observed that “[the PACES] are sometimes easy. All the little comic strips are interesting. There are often activities to do in Social Studies and Science PACEs, and I enjoy doing these.”
Two 10-year-old twin sisters shared that they like the stories, what they are learning about, being able to underline, the way the PACES are creatively organized, and that the Check-ups and Tests don’t cover every single fact that was covered – just the important things.
One homeschooling mom, Nina, wrote: “My daughter likes that she finds the work easy to get through and that she can self-manage her program of learning. She likes that there isn’t a lot of writing involved and that her achievement is measurable. She likes that she knows exactly what she needs to do to achieve well and earn credits.”
Pamela said she asked her teens what they like about ACE. The older one (11th grade) likes that they are easy for her. They don’t take long for her to do which allows her time to pursue those areas she’s passionate about, such as European history, culinary classes, and foreign languages. She doesn’t like that the history isn’t as deep as she’d like, but having extra time means she can explore topics of interest to her hearts content. Her younger teen (14 but working in all 8th grade paces) thrives with ACE. She says the structure is its best quality. She loves having the same format in all her subjects…three Check Ups, a Self-Test, then the PACE Test. There are no surprises. She suffers with severe anxiety and ACE is a huge blessing for her.
Dawn wrote that her teens also like that the PACES are predictable with Check Ups and Self Tests. “My son, who particularly was overwhelmed by school, was less intimidated by a small work text rather than seeing this big thick textbook he had to get through. For my daughter, they were fairly time efficient.”
Alyssa’s reflections and observations
Alyssa, a home-school student in her junior year who has used ACE all along, writes: “I found your article, “7 Reasons to use ACE,” to be very informative, clear, and accurate; I enjoyed reading it! The reasons listed are awesome! I’d like to add that I really appreciate the fact that ACE uses the King James Version for the required Scripture memorization and also in their texts. That is definitely something important to me.
“I love how I can do almost all of my work on my own and the freedom ACE gives its students as far as pacing yourself and working ahead, setting your own goals and time frames, and finishing your work early in the day versus being stuck with classes and homework, etc. There is a lot of satisfaction and a wonderful sense of accomplishment when goals are completed! I also love most of the books for required reading…the selections are wonderful! Some of my favorite books have been ones I read for Literature and Creative Writing in school. I appreciate how easy it is to choose electives and to know how many credits you’re earning with them. I know exactly how many electives I need to take to earn the number of credits I need.
Alyssa (who evidently likes to write!) continues, “I would note that the content [of the Wisdom Pacs in English] has definitely made me think about things at times and I’ve really enjoyed certain ones. It’s true that some definitions of wisdom and faith are repeated and that sentences are made simple sometimes. But in my opinion, that emphasizes what’s trying to be taught and helps it to “stick.” Plus, the students in the Pacs are teens, and I think their discussions are relevant to teens today. All the instruction is practical and applicable to teens’ lives.”
Final thoughts from a mom who used ACE for all 12 grades
Sky, who used PACES with her children for many years until they graduated this past year, wrote: “My kids have enjoyed watching the characters in the cartoons and Wisdom Inserts grow up with them from first grade through now twelfth grade. My kids have always had a very positive attitude toward the ACE curriculum all through the years they have used it. In addition, I actually have learned quite a bit from my kids’ curriculum over the years. And my kids have consistently chosen to use all ACE for their homeschool curriculum year after year. The ACE curriculum is colorful, well written, and interesting. Students know what is expected and how to go about their work each day. And students get a strong sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and ownership of their own learning. In closing, as we approach the end of our ACE homeschooling journey, my children and I have been reflecting back over their ACE curriculum through the years. They would choose it again and would choose it for their own children. I think that says it all.”
Do you have more reasons? or want to highlight one with your own story? Add it in the comments below!