Deciding to home educate is a huge choice which, ultimately, will change the way that you and your children live. With this in mind, here are 5 things to do which will help with your peace of mind when making your decision.
It seems obvious, but sometimes we forget.
Just like every other area in our lives, making the decision to home educate will benefit from some prayerful consideration.
Ultimately, God knows what is best for you and your family. He knows your future. He knows which path is right. Initiating your research into home education with a time of prayer will prepare your heart and bring you peace from the get-go.
Make space for the Holy Spirit to influence your thinking as you consider the right course of education for your children.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4: 6-7
2. Have a conversation with someone who has been there.
Talking to someone who has ‘been there, done that, and owns the t-shirt,’ is one of the best ways to find out the nitty-gritty of home education.
Often one of the main doubts about homeschooling is whether you are up to taking on the challenge. Speaking with someone who has been through the fire and made it out the other side can really help to quash those doubts.
We believe that having a conversation with someone who is experienced is really valuable; this is why we organise for all the families considering home educating with TEACH to have a call from our TEACH National Coordinator, Becky.
Becky has home educated both her daughters with ACE, from the early stages right through to graduation, and has great knowledge and advice for anyone who is looking into taking the same path.
Becky has also been hosting regular Zoom meetings for people to join where TEACH families and prospective TEACH families can chat together and share questions and knowledge. These meetings are not only fantastic for getting answers, but also for making connections.
If you want to have a chat with Becky or join one of the upcoming Zoom meetings, click the links below.
3. Research the curriculum. Would it work for your child?
The truth is ACE is not a one-size-fits-all curriculum. There are students who take to it more than others, and that is okay.
Each student is different and therefore needs different styles of learning. Before you invest in ACE, it’s important that you are confident that it will work well for you child.
Some things to know about ACE:
It is highly structured. ACE has a special format and unique procedures that are fantastic IF they are followed. Some families find this structure to be a blessing, because it means no planning is needed—it’s all there to follow. However, other families can find the format overwhelming or restricting.
It is Bible-based. What does Bible-based mean? It means there’s a lot of Biblical text and Christian principles layered throughout. Each PACE (workbook) has its own Bible verse to memorise and also focuses on one of the characteristics of Christ (for example, peaceful). The curriculum also teaches Biblical 6-day Creation as the ultimate explanation of the origins of life (however, all origin theories are presented to students in terms of academic content).
It does not cover EVERYTHING. ACE is a fantastic academic tool and definitely does cover a lot of ground, but there are still extracurricular subjects that you will need to supplement in your homeschool, such as practical studies like sports and the arts. For some, this can be a negative, but for others it means that they can adapt the learning outside of PACE-time to each child in a more personal way.
There are a few ways that we recommend you trying out ACE to see if it is the right fit for you:
Take the free online diagnostic test. This test will give the student a taste of what it is like to work on PACEs. It will give them an idea of how information is presented and what type of questions they will be asked. Having them take the test is a good initial way of seeing if the curriculum will work for the student.
Do a trial run. Set a month aside to trial ACE with your family. When you sign up with TEACH, you will receive the following things:
A Parent Training Course—This short course is provided with the intention of giving parents an initial understanding of the format of ACE and how to administrate it while home educating.
Diagnostic Prescription—We send parents details and instruction on the best way for the student to take the ACE diagnostic test, and once the results are through, we put together a prescription which recommends which workbooks each student needs to start at.
A trial run will give you access to these helpful TEACH services and start you off on a secure footing with ACE. If by the end of the month, you feel like ACE is not working for you, then you can just email us to cancel your membership—it’s that simple—and if it does work for you, fantastic!
Note: It can take some students time to adjust to a different approach to learning, so there are times where you may need to allow more than a month to see if the curriculum and style of the programme are a good fit.
4. Educate yourself about the Time and Financial Cost of Homeschooling with ACE.
There are two important practical elements to consider when looking into home educating.
Do you have the time to supervise your children?
Having time to supervise the students is essential to their education. The presence of a responsible adult while they are working will help them feel supported, take away any temptation to cheat, and give you as the parent a great insight into how they are managing.
It is SO important that there is someone to watch over students as they homeschool. A lack of adult supervision, support, and input is really damaging to students in the long run. If you are unable to be there to home educate your children during the day, we strongly recommend you look for a responsible and trusted adult who can supervise them, or have them attend a school. We understand that many parents need to work during the day and are not able to give time to home educating; it’s 100% okay in these cases to choose not to home educate.
If you are interested in ACE, but cannot home educate, there are ACE schools across the country that you may be able to look into. Click the link below for info on ACE Schools.
2. The financial cost of ACE
Choosing ACE is essentially, choosing private education. In comparison with a lot of other private education options ACE is very reasonable, but it is still an extra financial investment towards education that you have to keep in mind.
On average a family home-educating with ACE will spend £500-£600 per year on curriculum per child. This can vary slightly from child to child as some of the resources can be passed down from older children to younger children.
To make the financial costs of ACE easier to manage the TEACH membership includes a 20% discount for members, and you can buy curriculum from the shop as you need it. (So you can purchase a months’ worth, or a terms worth if you are unable to pay for a years worth of curriculum at once). We also offer rental of the ABC’s kit, and the preschool kit can be purchased in quarters.
We hope that this info clarifies the costs for you, so that you are able to budget accordingly and have peace of mind if you decide to invest in ACE.
5. Make sure that there is a support network
Finally, seek out a support network as soon as you can. Home educating can be a lonely road, but encouragement and strength comes from finding like-minded individuals to take the journey with.
There are lots of home education groups out there to join with. In terms of TEACH, we have our own closed group on Facebook for members, and also we encourage you to partake in our events, which are online at the moment, but hopefully can be in person soon! Attending events gives you opportunity to connect with the larger TEACH community and find new friends and acquaintances along the way. If you become a TEACH member we can also look into connecting you with other TEACH families who live near you, so that you can have fellowship and discussion outside of events too!
TEACH itself is here to provide support for home educators who are using ACE, so you can always come to us for advice and practical help.
You can email us via email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
We hope that you are able to be at peace with whatever decision you make regarding homeschooling with ACE. We know that if you cover these 5 points you will be educated and ready to make a confident decision and please do contact us if you have any questions or need any clarifications along the way.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.