Overcoming Weaknesses in A.C.E.

**Note: It has been brought to my attention that this post sounds as though I’m “blaming” A.C.E. for these weaknesses. I apologize. That is not at all how I intended this to sound. In this post, I am simply sharing my experience with A.C.E. Each curriculum has weaknesses. Since I am currently using A.C.E., I am writing about it. As a home schooling mom, I want to give my children the best possible education. Whatever curriculum I use, I want to enjoy the privilege of tweaking it to fit my family. Here are a few ways I have adjusted A.C.E. for us. I thought these suggestions might help someone else who is using A.C.E., but would like to add to it. That is all. Thank you for your understanding. 


The Management :]

I attended a Christian school which used A.C.E. for ten years of my education. I home schooled for the last three years using Abeka materials. When I made the transition from A.C.E. to Abeka, I found that I had several gaps in my education. I would like to address these gaps and the ways I’m striving to overcome them as I use A.C.E. with my own children.



Weakness #1: I did not have addition or subtraction facts memorized. I knew my times tables, but that was it.

Remedy: Have students use the Math Builder program on the A.C.E. Readmaster Plus software, or use some other method of practice, such as flash cards.

Weakness #2: I had not read a single book for literature, nor had I had learned any literary terms in my entire A.C.E. experience. I read the material in the PACE’s and I read books on my own, but no outside reading was assigned to me via the curriculum.

Remedy: Purchase the Creative Writing/ Literature PACE’s from A.C.E. (which were not available to me), or use another literature program.

Weakness #3: I was not a good note taker because A.C.E. is a program in which the student works independently – no note taking required!

Remedy: Have your child take notes in church, then ask them key questions from the sermon as a “test”. Enroll your child in a co-op class where they need to take notes and study from the notes.

Weakness #4: I had never written a research paper, and only a few book reports.

Remedy: Many good books are available online or in your library that explain how to write a research paper. Assign a topic and have your child complete a research paper each year beginning in fourth or fifth grade. Also, assign four-six book reports each year beginning in third grade. Two of these should be oral book reports.

Weakness #5: I had never memorized a poem.

Remedy: Assign a poem each month to memorize. This is fun for the whole family!! Also, be sure your child memorizes The Gettysburg Address, the preamble to the Constitution, etc.

No curriculum is perfect. Even a good curriculum that seems perfect might need to be adjusted to meet the specific needs of a child. These are just a few ways we are adjusting a good curriculum to make it even better for our family.

Happy home schooling!
Valerie

8 thoughts on “Overcoming Weaknesses in A.C.E.

  1. I thought your post was very well thought out. I totally get that you are speaking from your experience. I have never used ACE before. If I were going to use it I would find your information very useful. 🙂

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  2. Wow, it's so great to finally find someone else who uses ACE. . we are the only family from our area who uses it and it's our first year so I'm glad to see that someone else is using it and enjoying it.

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  3. I found this while searching for reviews of the ACE Readmaster Plus Software. I have been homeschooling for over 15 years and this is the first year we've completely used ACE for all subjects, so I found this post VERY helpful!

    We do a lot of outside activities and supplement a lot as well, but I must say I actually am enjoying ACE quite a bit. ARe you using it again this year? Just curious.

    My brother went to an ACE school, and graduated a year early. He was a very self motivated learner and did a lot of extra reading and research on his own, but honestly, I feel he got a MUCH better education at the ACE school than I did in the public school system.
    Tara B

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  4. Hi Tara! Thanks for commenting. I'm so glad the post was helpful. Yes, I'm using some ACE along with some ABeka, Math-U-See, and living books. ACE has been a blessing. It has enabled me to homeschool AND keep my sanity! 🙂 I love that the kids can get started on their own each day and progress even if I'm chasing my one year old. 🙂

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  5. I attended an ACE school K-12, my daughter is also attending an ACE school. While I love it and the independence it teaches I agree there are some gaps. My daughter is struggling with math, she has the same gap you mentioned, she never memorized her math facts. Now in 3rd grade and working on multiplication she is getting very discouraged. I saw mention of Math Builder in her PACE and was wondering if it would be worth the investment for the program… Her teacher said it’s basically just flash cards. Is that the case? If so, I’m wondering if I should save my money and just stick with flash cards, although they don’t seem to work well for her 😦 I just don’t know where to go from here to help her.

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    • Keep using the flash cards but introduce everyday maths too – how many trees in the garden, how many steps to the front door etc. You can use cutlery and other common objects to teach simple addition and subtraction this can teach her that she can add and subtract both similar and dissimilar objects and hence that arithmetic can be done with numbers alone. She should soon master this level of abstraction.
      Introducing times tables as rote is still, in my opinion, worth while they can be recited while doing other things like going shopping or even playing. Turning them into songs can help, there are a few websites and other resources for ‘sung’ tables.This website (although British) sets out some suggestions about which tables to concentrate on at various stages.
      Test the recall of tables learnt, you probably do this with Bible verses now!
      Once a few tables are learnt introduce multiplication as successive (multiple) addition, since that is what it basically is. In the same way simple (and long division) cna be taught as successive subtraction. Finally you can use the tables knowledge to provide quick recall of simple division.

      Hope that helps.

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    • I recommend math mammoth for arithmetic concepts and basic facts. I taught my older two in the summer, and my younger two before enrolling them in a school that uses ACE. We still do math mammoth in summer and when they are struggling with a topic.

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