Response to all the negativity about ACE

Recently, on a FaceBook forum for homeschooling families who use ACE, a mom asked why there was so much negativity about ACE. A general internet search or YouTube search will turn up many harsh rants, making anyone who is considering using ACE – or even using it currently – to second guess that choice. Over 30 thoughtful comments from moms who are using ACE were posted in response. These positive reviews need a more permanent home on the web. Here they are – read and be encouraged!

(Note: several comments below reference Abeka just as a point of reference and comparison, not bashing or criticizing this godly curriculum).

Comments posted online by real users of ACE

“Yes, the dislike for ACE is all over the place. It’s incredibly sad. I saw a post in a homeschooling group of Abeka vs ACE. 8 out of 10 downed ACE. I don’t understand it because we’re rocking it over here. I found Abeka too difficult in some areas. I just don’t understand knocking a curriculum. I mean, just support each other in our homeschooling journey no matter the curriculum. “What works for my child may not work for yours. Keep your negativity to yourself.” Can I get an Amen?!

~Janessa R.

“I have noticed while reviewing ACE that there is a lot of bad hype from previous ACE private school kids so I was very hesitant at first. But, I felt the Lord tugging my heart to give ACE a try and I’m so thankful I did!! My oldest daughter loves it and we will be using ACE as well with my other child next school year.

~Amanda A.

“Yes , my homeschool group had a few negative things about it, but it was mainly due to the religion content in it and they felt that maybe the curriculum wasn’t enough for their child. We are in our second year and doing well in it. Some curriculum may not work for others and that is fine. It doesn’t mean ACE is bad, it just isn’t right for them. That doesn’t mean they have to spread rumors around everywhere saying ACE is awful. I agree, we should all support each other and raise each other up.

~Christina C.

“That’s sad. I love ACE as a whole…I don’t love every single aspect of it, but no curriculum is perfect. Plus it’s the first curriculum we’ve tried that our ADHD 12 year old does not hate!  Sad to see it get such negative reviews from some.

~Brandi D.

“ACE is a tool – not the answer to people’s problems .. Curriculum is a tool .. not the end all be all answer to people’s problems.

~Sandra C

“ACE requires and teaches goal setting as well as being a self-starter. Both are necessary skills to develop before college. I don’t know many curriculums that offer that.

~Traci M.

“I was also hesitant for so long because of some of the negativity, but I needed help and kept feeling like the Lord was leading me to ACE for my kiddos. I can’t tell you how much of a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. In just one week I have noticed the kids like knowing what to expect. They like knowing how much to complete. And I LOVE the goal setting aspect of it because they are learning accountability. The way that scripture is in every subject brings joy to my heart. And guess what else? Because we are not so bogged down with curriculum that takes so long to complete, my kids have time to explore their interests, I have time to read aloud to them, and do other things with them that we couldn’t do when the joy was sucked out by the overwhelming feeling of being so behind because we failed to complete everything.

~Jenni C.

“We just came from using Abeka. I still have to help my son just as much as I did with Abeka, but my son understands it now. ACE has it laid out so much easier for him (and me) to understand and actually get a grasp on it. I also saw where they were bashing ACE and I felt sorry for the snobbery that the parents were caught up in. I know I made the right decision with ACE and for my son.

~Shelly F.

“My kids actually pass the pace tests without much effort compared to Abeka that they were failing constantly! I’ve had to make each child redo one pace in the 2 years since we started using ACE. It saves me so much time, helps me stay organized, and my kids succeed with it! I’ll never go back to something else.

~Sarah O.

“Personally I think that any negativity from people comes from the fact that ACE is so different from what they know. This is the only curriculum that I have ever seen that integrates the Bible into every subject so thoroughly. I think that it is also the workbook format curriculum that has been available the longest. Often people who speak the most negativity are either not Christians, don’t understand why the Bible is such a great focus for ancient history, or have seen a very small piece of the curriculum and not learned about the progression that it makes in covering various levels of learning/thinking.

~Anna C.

“ACE has been around for 40+ years. There are approximately 7000 schools around the world using it. Countless homeschoolers. I believe some people really just are bothered with the way it challenges everyone to do right and put on the character of Christ. I do think poorly run schools hurt the program. It works for anyone who uses it correctly. The quality controls make it top notch.

~Paula S.

“I was not keen on ACE in the beginning, but can not deny after changing to it, the immense measurable improvement in many areas for my children!

~Jen L.

“I love ACE. We have tried 3 different styles of learning and they all had their good points but not for us for the long haul. The thing that I just love about ACE is it puts the responsibility on my kiddos. And that in itself is a valuable life lesson!

~Traci C.

“Oh, I totally ignore [the negativity]. My husband and his siblings did ACE K-12. They all went to University and have had successful careers. It gives me confidence in it.

~Holly A.

“My son took a pace test in English and made a 100!!! This pace was on action verbs, state of being verbs, helping verbs, etc…… the EXACT same thing he could not, for the life of him, get a grasp on with Abeka. I am so proud of him and I am so thankful for the way ACE has it laid out for him to understand and retain. Other curriculums might work for other children, but this one is the right fit for my son and that is all that matters to me.

~Andrea C.

“I graduated from an ACE school, became an R.N. and have homeschooled since my youngest was in 4th grade. He scores post high school on every achievement test he takes. We are in 9th grade this year and he is doing great, enrolled in the honors program through Lighthouse, and I do not feel lazy or regret any of it.

~Tamera S.

“I think that too many moms feel like they have to be mini Charlotte Masons, and submerge their children in great books and whatever else that is alternative to standard learning. Just because you homeschool does not mean that you can’t use “workbooks” or “textbooks.” Just because it is not over the top expensive, does not mean it is substandard. The Eclectic Approach often leaves gaps. Let us be prayerful and rest easy in knowing that we use what is best for OUR children, and that ACE provides a wonderful Christian base of learning. Chin up, and move forward boldly for what is good.

~Martha L.

“I was one of the naysayers because I listened to all of the bad comments and reviews about ACE. I hadn’t even seen a pace myself, but listened to all the garbage. It wasn’t until a dear friend suggested ACE that I really started looking into it. We are in our second year with ACE now and our kids have learned a lot. God works in mysterious ways. Due to unforeseen health issues that crept up last year our kids needed something that they could do pretty independently. Enter ACE. He knows what we need before we even do. I am amazed at His provision as I say this for the first time. Follow His leading, He will not lead you astray!

~Jodi I.

“When looking for a curriculum (this is our first year homeschooling) I honestly heard almost all negative things about ACE and couldn’t understand why. Then I’d hear former homeschool students who loved it. I feel like people love it or hate it. Like someone else said, I don’t understand bashing a curriculum. From what I understand ACE is very thorough and encourages self-starters, which is a great thing. We are considering it for next year.

~Jennifer S.

In summary, I think there are a handful of reasons why people vent and spew their negativity about ACE:

1.     They had a bad experience with it as a student, probably due to being in a school that didn’t use the curriculum correctly or didn’t have staff to give adequate help when students struggled.

2.     They are unbelievers and despise a curriculum that teaches from a decidedly Christian world-view perspective.

3.     They have only heard and read negative reviews and just repeat what they’ve heard.

4.     For some reason, we as humans are much more prone to vent and complain to a large audience than to share our positive reviews. We should use the Philippians 4:8 filter for what we write and say as well as think.

5.     They have a different curriculum or approach they are loyal to (which is fine) but feel they need to put down everything else (which is not fine). Criticism and contention are rooted in pride. From what I have observed of ACE users, they tend to graciously recommend that friends consider using ACE, but don’t bash other curriculum choices.

6.     In our modern online culture, people tend to think they can be much more abrasive and opinionated than they would be in face to face encounters. We see this when other political or hot-button issues are discussed in social media. We need to show more grace, humility, and love and simply share our testimonies.

7.   Suzanne has  worked in an ACE school and been an ACE homeschool mom. She observes that “when homeschooling started, there was a trend to unschool and to get away from school boredom by not using textbooks.  It was more popular to be a self driven genius who spent hours researching in the library and inventing in the garage.  So big pioneers such as Mary Pride who wrote the popular huge homeschooling review book and Cathy Duffy were against ACE because they claimed that it was rote learning and did not cover any analytical reasoning.  Publishers capitalized on promoting analytical thinking claiming that they were better because they didn’t just fill in a blank like some curricula.  Of course fear always helps to sell a product.  Anyway, ACE was bashed because of being a textbook and workbook based.

I spoke to an ACE Representative recently and he acknowledged that ACE is aware of all the bad press out there, but they have determined to push ahead producing solid Christ-honoring curriculum and not waste time and energy responding to critics or trying to silence them. They want to stay on the higher ground, Amen!

Share your own stories online. Share a link to this list of good reviews. Be part of the effort to balance the negativity with some “positivity!”

Leave your own comment below to be part of this positive feed!

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16 Comments to “Response to all the negativity about ACE”

  1. Very good positive comments on ACE, I personally agree. ACE is a very good tool to teach so many aspects in every child’s life. I will not change to any other curriculum, because this one, it has proved well for my family. Will continue with it for many years to come, keep on using it, and resist every complain and negativity, if you know for sure that it is the right one for your family. Keep your eyes ahead in the Lord, always. God bless.

    1. My 4 children all attended an ACE School. All 4 graduates were on the deans list at college, one has his Master’s, one an RN, one a pastor, one owns a construction company’s debt the 4th is the preschool director at a large Christian school. I highly recommend!

  2. I am so grateful for ACE and having graduated one who has done well in college, I am reassured in our curriculum choice. Instead of homeschooling, I would prefer to send my children to a Christian school that uses ACE. That is not an option where we live. I am thankful we have the option to homeschool, so my children can still receive a Christian education.

    1. I returned to ACE. I was lead astray by people touting modern programs. It lead to failure, frustration, and difficult record keeping.

      Paces are thorough, do not leave gaps, and organized. It covers the same core concepts required, and it’s a relief to just learn in one simple place without chasing down scattered bits and pieces.

      If I want to try to be eclectic, and creative, there is time left. But at least it’s not a rabbit hole in my kids development.

      Lots of snobbery out there.

  3. I graduated from an ACE school. I started there in the eighth grade. My oldest graduated in 2010 from homeschooling with ACE. She went to an ACE school from second to seventh grade. Then we switched homeschooling. I have one that is a senior this year, who has only done ACE her whole life. I also have two in first grade, and we are using ACE. My goal is that this will be all that they know as well.

  4. Those responses are awesome! I tried Abeka science for a couple years and had a horrible time with it. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad curriculum, but ACE worked best for me. I’m so thankful for the Godly focus of ACE and all of it’s other wonderful aspects. I look forward to being able to someday school my own children with ACE!

  5. A.C.E is a blessing to our family!! I went to public school, but I strongly desired to homeschool my own children. I researched so many curriculums before my first child was school age. I discovered A.C.E and loved everything about it until a friend said something negative about it. I ended up purchasing a different curriculum.

    The first 4.5 months of my first official homeschool year was a struggle! I found out were expecting #4 at the beginning of the year. Homeschool became a huge chore, a burden almost. I had a difficult time getting everything done, I was overwhelmed and not enjoying the experience, neither was my son. He complained every day.

    He loved doing preschool with me and begged to do school each day, not anymore…

    I knew something hag to change. With the pregnancy getting more difficult, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up. I decided to try A.C.E in the middle of the year. We ordered our curriculum with the help of the awesome reps at A.C.E and started the day after it arrived!

    My son and I love it. I wish I had ordered it in the first place!! I’m thankful for the knowledge I have about it and wouldn’t go back. We plan to use it with all 4 of our children.

    My son loves the characters and stories in the Paces and looks forward to them daily. I’ve even overheard him retelling the stories he’s learned about Christ to himself and he learns so many Bible verses! He’s 5.5 now and will get up at about 7 am and go get his school and start working on it right away without prompting. It’s not like that everyday, but I don’t remember it EVER being like that before.

  6. I am on my 7th year in homeschooling. I’ve tried a couple of curriculums before trying ACE. I almost didn’t, but a very smart and well educated friend of mine who was raised on ace herself and who also uses it on her own children, spoke well of it. She was honest in giving me her positive and negative experiences. Armed with that, I decided to give it a try. I went with a combination of ACE and a few different sources for two other subjects, but it is all integrated into my ACE schedule. I have learned to tweak my curriculum for our needs. My children are flourishing with ACE. I am flourishing in organizing and in record keeping. I’m not sure what people are talking about when they say that it is for the lazy. I am busy with my children’s education. Maybe some people just toss the paces out to their children and don’t follow up, record, grade, file, prepare, keep on task and assist? You can use a curriculum right and then again, you can use it wrong. When you handle your curriculum in a productive way, your children will likely flourish.
    P.S. : My Kids LOVE the comic strips weaved throughout the paces!

  7. I’ve been homeschooled with ACE from Kindegarten through Grade 11 (Grade 12 finished with a local alternative). I graduated with honours far past most of my conventionally schooled peers. I am now a supervisor in an ACE school. I very very highly recommend this curriculum. My three biggest reasons are:
    1. Its achievable workload. It’s not overwhelming; it’s broken down so that achievement is possible. It’s exciting to be able to cross off those goals and put a star on the chart for every PACE completed! It’s motivating!
    2. The way it is so thoroughly Christ centered without being super duper spiritual. ACE has played a huge part in cultivating a love for Jesus and serving people in my life. It makes Christ a part of everything you do and eventually it becomes personal!
    3. Its layout. It is colourful and exciting and those comic strips are so exciting! It appeals to the mind of a student.
    It is not meant to be perfect but it honours God and does its best to raise excellent academic and Christ-following students. I praise God for the ACE curriculum! He is good!!

    1. I’m about to start ACE this year with my son, and I’m encouraged to find out it has good academic lessons that incorporates our Lord. Honestly, this is what I have been looking for for, a “faith based” curriculum that incorporates lessons from the Bible. Thank you for leaving a comment, because I was seeing a lot of negativity through others and it left me feeling uncertain. I can’t wait for my son to experience this curriculum. Blessings to all you homeschool mom’s!

  8. I went to an ACE private school from 1-7th grade. I hated it because my teacher could not help me. One of the schools not using the curriculum correctly. When I started public high school. I realized as hard as ACE was at my school. I was way more educated than my peers in public school. I was given a new respect for ACE. It was the only curriculum I even considered using for my children.
    My friend used Abeka and she had huge books for each subject to carry around. I loved that I had one small boom per subject and just worked the 24 for each grade. Instead of lugging around huge books. ACE also lets you move at your own pace. My 1st grader will be working on 1st and in some areas 2nd grade work since that is how he tested. Love this program!

  9. Hi I have three kids. This year was our first year homeschooling I was completely overwhelmed. They had curriculum from all kinds of places Abeka, Saxon, Christian Liberty Press. I’m glad I checked out ACE. My daughter has ADHD she looked at Paces online and really enjoyed them. She actually answered the questions too. The biggest reason I’m thinking of switching to an Accredited distance Homeschool that uses ACE is seeing how simple it was for her to navigate a pace. I was in a classical homeschool program myself, but I see value in what ACE does! It’s great to navigate and holds interest! I’ve reviewed ACE on YouTube and through searches. I think from what I’ve seen it’s a great program. I wish my mom had used it! Those that try to give ACE a bad reputation don’t seem to understand no child learns exactly the same way. For my daughter creating a learning experience that motivates her and helps her stay motivated to want to achieve goals is what’s important.

  10. I used ACE when I was a kid and now I use it for my children. My 9yr old loves all he learns with ACE he is always telling me about what he read. But the biggest blessing is when I see him every day and nigh pray and read his Bible. He ask questions about what his Sunday school teacher teaches and our pastor preaches because he understands the Bible because of ACE. And that in itself is more important than him acing the SATs.

    A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education. -Theodore Roosevelt

  11. Hello,
    I think I am guilty of doubting ACE due to rote learning and fill in the blanks. I liked the go to the library and learn unschooling methods. I just knew that it would be wise to do both. I think that is a good balance. On free time why not let kids explore the things that they enjoy and are gifted in. Why would a parent allow a child to lead and direct their whole childhood? No way, we need to disciple our children and allow God to help us become disciplined families. I do regret allowing the worlds ways to cause me to doubt and make things harder than they need to be. Praying that we all find that sweet spot resting in God’s ways.

  12. Ponder this: the devil will do anything he can to steer people away from a successful, godly curriculum. Of course he will make sure that it receives negative reviews so that parents will second guess, change their minds and use something else. If it didn’t produce a Christ-centered and successful education, he’d leave it alone.

  13. I love A.C.E. !!!
    Before this, we had used MANY different curriculums. I grew up using ABEKA and I thought they were the ultimate “teach your child to read” curriculum…hands down, this is the best ever! My daughter has learned to read basic sentences in just 4 months. Thank God for A.C.E.!

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