Saturday, May 28, 2016

Preventing the "summer slide" with over 100 things to do this summer!

If you're like me, you're going to continue with schoolbooks right on through the summer. There are two main reasons for this:
  1. We didn't meet all of our learning goals for the year and summer is a great time for playing catch up. 
  2. Learning never really stops anyway. However, we had goals and failed to meet them so we're using this slower season to catch ourselves up. 

If you're not like me and you DID meet your goals (or even if you didn't meet all of your goals but would like something less "traditional" for the summer months), check out's "101 Things To Do This Summer"! This list has some of the most unique ideas I've ever seen. I don't know how the owner never runs out of ideas, but she's full of creativity! Some of my favorites include... 

6.  Lie outside at night and watch the sky for shooting stars. Find out why shooting stars aren't really stars at all.

12. Make your own sidewalk chalk! Then make a work of art in your driveway!

13. Learn about cotton candy. There's not nearly as much sugar in cotton candy as you might think.  

31. Make a nail polish masterpiece (it's really cool and very unique)!  The website offers interesting and thorough video tutorials for this and much more! The site also offers online and self-study art classes free tutorialsand  instructional books

43. Write a children's book – maybe one you can share with your siblings and friends. The Easy Writing products from can help.  They even offer blank books.69. Make a Tic -Tac -Towel. Great fun for the pool or beach! 

78. Barter your services. Want to ride a horse? Offer to clean out stalls in return for riding time. Want to take guitar lessons? Offer to mow the instructor's lawn in return for lessons. Get your parent's permission and then make sure you follow through on your end.

85. Find out how hot air balloons work. Depending on where you live, you might be able to go on one or at least watch one take off. Did you know they make quite a bit of noise? 

....and more! There are just too many to list, but I plan for us to accomplish at least these things plus several others I didn't list. I've already discussed (individually) each child's summer learning goals and have typed two copies--one for the child to keep in a visible place he or she will see it often and one for myself.

Do you know that if you made it a goal to get through just three things (each week) on the "101 Things" list, you'd still have plennnnty of fun activities to do when the new school year begins? If you want to get through the entire list, you'll need to do at least 2 things each day. Given that some of the things take longer periods of time than others, this isn't entirely impossible to do! You'll stay super busy, but you'll have FUN making memories your children will never forget. And that's always worth it. ♥ ♥


Monday, May 16, 2016

Our Journey With ACE PACEs

Image courtesy:
If you're like me, you're using the ACE curriculum. Also if you're like me, you had to get past the naysayers and negative reviews and find those who LOVE ACE before you felt comfortable using it. Furthermore, you had to put your hands on the PACEs themselves and look through them at various levels to see the "big picture" and how this program progresses. If this describes you, then you'll understand our journey to finding ACE PACEs about 5 years ago!

Accelerated Christian Education

When we first discovered ACE, I remember the "Why didn't we do this sooner?" feeling. Unfortunately, we left ACE for an eclectic route and some unschooling. While we enjoyed our time, I do wish I would've been as dedicated to ACE then as I am now. NOW, it would take lightning bolts from God to get me to change because now I see the disadvantages to changing programs and always being in "limbo" mode.

I also see the HUGE advantage of giving it to GOD and letting HIM lead you in your curriculum choices. I didn't even *want* to do ACE! I truly didn't want to do it.

At all.

But God (and our children, who begged to return to PACEs) had bigger plans. I remember praying, "Lord, I feel like you're telling me to go with ACE and if that's the case, you know I'm going to need a change of heart on this because I don't want to do it Lord." Boy has he answered that prayer!

He has shown me how to make ACE work for all of our children, regardless of their learning styles and individual needs. He has provided the financial means to afford the PACEs I didn't foresee being able to buy, and overall, He has given me a true sense of PEACE about ACE. More than peace, He has made me into a dyed-in-the-wool ACE user. To HIM be the glory--not me!

Below is a fantastic video put out by ACE that explains the ACE program more in-depth. It's about 26 minutes long but is well worth watching!

Regardless of your style of homeschooling or curriculum (which I never thought I'd be using again), I want to encourage you to give it to GOD. When you do, you will be less likely to change curriculum programs. Why? Because He led you to the program you chose. Mamas, that makes all the difference in the world. Make sure that you make a prayer-led decision when you choose a program. Of course, I recommend ACE for various reasons, but you have to choose the curriculum or homeschooling method that is right for your family. We have been around the block with homeschooling styles (from very structured to Charlotte Mason to Classical to unschooling) and have tried nearly every curriculum under the sun. In fact, I have a whole closet dedicated to bins for 12 different subjects or categories that are loaded with the curricula we've tried--or bought, realized it wasn't going to work for us, and just never bothered with it). In the end, we returned to ACE PACEs because it's where the Lord led us (and by "us" I do mean my husband and myself).

If you're feeling led to use ACE but are scared at all the negative reviews, don't let that get you down. Read (or re-read) that blog post and notice the commonalities amongst those who are naysayers. Then, join those of us who LOVE ACE on Facebook! We also have a Yahoo group (just go to Yahoo Groups and search for ACE PACEs Support), but it's not nearly as active as the FB group.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day! Here's the Motherload of FREEBIES from Educents!

Just when I thought they couldn't possibly offer a bigger FREEBIE bundle, Educents proved me wrong. {In a very big, very GOOD way!}

K-12th Grade Freebie Bundle!

How would you like over 750 FREE digital lessons for various content areas for K-12th? Whether you're a classroom teacher or a homeschooler, you'll find this resource invaluable! Wanna get it? Head on over to Educents and download it! But hurry! As of today, you only have 11 days left. Grab it while it's available!! :) 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Are ACE PACEs not "advanced"?

In my ACE PACEs Facebook group, someone recently said that another curriculum was more advanced than ACE. Here was my response, which I thought I'd share here for my readers.

It was recently said that CLE is more "advanced" than ACE. I don't know that I'd say CLE is more "advanced" than ACE. It moves at a faster pace but ACE is, to me, more in tune with child development. I don't want a newcomer (to ACE) thinking they're "downgrading" by going with ACE because that just isn't the case.

Take it from someone who has been with ACE for 5 years *on and off*. I emphasize that to say we've tried everything under the sun and yet we're returning to PACEs for a reason. ACE teaches the same stuff other programs teach, so I'd also advise *against* skipping ahead (what's the rush, anyway?) because soon, you'll hit a roadblock. ACE just goes slower and teaches things like we were all taught.

In other words, unlike the public schools, ACE hasn't lost sight of what Kindergarten MEANS, for example. The public schools want them doing what ACE has 2nd graders doing, which is just ridiculous. Kindergarten should be about FUN, coloring, exploring, songs, fun, fun, fun! ACE knows this and has created a fantastic Kindergarten program. No, it's not "rigorous" but should Kindergarten be that way? That's just one example.

Yes, by high school ACE is teaching the same things other programs are teaching and at the same time. The difference is that kids would've developed a much stronger foundation with ACE! Think of it like this: ACE goes a mile deep and an inch wide while other programs tend to go a mile wide and an inch deep....

So what does all of this mean? It means the ACE PACEs are far from "behind" as some people like to say. As someone who does a lot of research and who likes to look for trends, I've noticed trends in the ACE naysayers:

  • They attended an ACE school back in the 80s or 90s. ACE has definitely upgraded its program since then! 
  • If they homeschool, they only tried out a PACE or two for anywhere from a month to one year. ACE was not designed to be used like this. It wasn't designed for you to pop in and out of the program. Rather, they assume you'll stay with the program for all 12 (13 counting Kindy) years. This means that while they may not be teaching the same things in "3rd grade" that other programs teach, they DO get to it. Again, inch wide/mile deep... 
  • They are the type of homeschooler who gets wrapped up in labels like "gifted" (that's a blog post/soapbox of its own) or "advanced." ACE simply doesn't advertise itself like this. 
When you come across negative reviews of ACE, consider the source. Remember that you don't know their situation, their home life, how they're raising their children, the values they're instilling into their children, etc. If ACE lines up with your family's values and you like the PACEs, then use them. Do not be deterred by naysayers! Instead, find the people who are pro-ACE (we're on Yahoo and Facebook, by the way). Talk to those who LOVE ACE--not those who despise it!