Well, I’m almost half-way through. We’ve just completed 8 years of homeschooling, and I have 9 years to go. So it is time to give an update on how things have gone with our curriculum choice and what changes we’ve made over the years.
I’ve continued to enjoy the overall format of Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E.). It has worked well with this family’s lifestyle. There have been multiple ways in which I have to “drop everything” to help my pastor-husband. But the self-study format has made it easy for my kids to continue with their studies even if I’m not right there. Having said that, kids will be kids, and there have been times when I have just needed to be in the school room with my kids to keep them on task. Both situations are good for them and for me.
The Three R’s
I’ve been most impressed with A.C.E.’s emphasis on English grammar and literature. The kids are continually asked to read and write. While we do need times of review, the curriculum makes it easy to hearken back to the basic principles that were taught. I loved the literature choices for the kids so far. Christian biographies and easy classics have been a joy for them to read and report on. The titles they’ve read include: Charlotte’s Web, Heidi, Ben-Hur, Swiss Family Robinson, the Little Pilgrim’s Progress, Through Gates of Splendor, D.L. Moody, George Mueller, as well as simple wholesome chapter books for the earliest grades. As I look ahead to my son’s Literature class for high school, I will be integrating the Classical Education Series from BJU that is no longer available through them. I was able to obtain them from a family member. A.C.E. does not seem to have a literature course for the high school years.
The PACEs teach cursive writing, and I’m glad for that. However, it has become a bit of a bear to handle with some of my children, so I’ve not required it of them except to be able to teach them how to do it and how to read it. Neatness and good penmanship is my concern … an on-going process.
The A.C.E. Math course seemed to leave some to be desired. So we made the switch to Saxon Math a couple of years ago. The first year was quite tough for me with the time demand, so we began using Nicole the Math Lady and My Math Assistant (Here’s a discount code: 25OFF18634). These two helps have really saved me a lot of time! Even with a bit of a learning curve, my kids have been able to slowly catch up to their “grade level” and are doing well.
I am also continually impressed with the integration of biblical concepts within each subject. I enjoy not having to undo any worldly philosophies. They are taught from the beginning how each area of learning fits within God’s plan.
I am tempted to switch to the Answers in Genesis courses on Biology because of their colorful and updated videos simply for the sake of keeping up-to-date. The A.C.E. curriculum is on the old-fashioned side.
Local Homeschool Group
Our state is very homeschool friendly, so we take advantage of a great many resources here. Sports, music, art, aviation classes, reading materials, and classroom supplies are just some of the things we are very thankful to be able to do. I know from friends that not every location has a good homeschool co-op. We have a few to choose from, so that’s nice.
Onward and Upward! I have fluctuated from year to year with adding extra things one year and then paring down and focusing on the core curriculum the next year. That is a nice feature of homeschooling! It is flexible for what we need at the time. I do recommend homeschooling in general if you can do it, because I am all for parents being involved with their children’s education as much as possible.
Thank you, to everyone who has asked how it is going. We are doing well, and I hope you are enjoying school too.