The Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E.) programme is one of the core product offerings of Accelerated Education Enterprises and has been used with great success since 1984 in over 250 private schools and 1500 home schools in South Africa. The A.C.E. programme is also used widely in over 142 countries on seven continents.
It is a programme uniquely suited to home education providing an individualised, self-paced learning experience based on the principle of mastery learning. Fully worked out modules suitable for the South African market, including online educational resources, are available from Grade R-12. Over a period of two decades, A.C.E. home school graduates have gone on to tertiary studies in South Africa and abroad and repeatedly excelled in numerous spheres of life. When thoroughly implemented, the A.C.E. home education programme provides excellent benefits.
This form of education is a legal alternative giving parents the opportunity to take back the responsibility to educate their children the way the Bible teaches. It is the oldest form of education known to man, and the surest way to transfer values, principles and knowledge from one generation to the next.
HOW IT WORKS
This unique methodology is founded on Five Laws of Learning that acknowledges the uniqueness of each student, develops good judgement, and recognises the importance of discipline, motivation and accountability.
The Philosophy of Education
Five Laws of Learning
The following Five Laws of Learning sum up A.C.E.'s academic philosophy as illustrated by the donkey and the cart.
||How heavy is the load?
||A student must be on a level where he can perform.
||How long is the stick?
||A student must set reasonable goals he can achieve in a set period of time.
||How effective are the controls?
||A student must be controlled and motivated.
||How hungry is the donkey?
||A student’s learning must be measurable.
||How big is the carrot?
||A student’s learning must be rewarded.
A.C.E. diverges from the use of conventional textbooks and provides curriculum materials in bite-sized, achievable work texts.
These work texts, called PACEs, include self-instructional lessons and activities. Each level generally consists of 12 PACEs in each subject. Each student begins a PACE by noting the goals, the concepts he will learn, a Bible verse, and a corresponding character trait.
From the beginning of each PACE, the student knows what is expected, and assumes the responsibility for his/her own learning. Explanations and full colour illustrations add excitement to each lesson, and innovative learning activities reinforce the text material.
The A.C.E. individualised curriculum has been carefully compiled to introduce children to concrete and abstract reasoning skills at appropriate age levels. Experienced teachers and editors have meticulously chosen grade level vocabulary and concepts that spiral from simple to complex as well as from concrete to abstract.
All learner and teacher support materials are self-instructional, saving you hours of preparation, and are available from Grade R–12. The system covers the critical outcomes and minimum standards of the National Curriculum Statements as prescribed by the Department of Basic Education in South Africa.
Character traits like kindness, loyalty and honesty are taught within the curriculum, whether it is Math, English, History, or other subjects. The student can observe Godly living in the Christian character illustrations and then apply the lessons to his/her own life.
Students are taught to see life from God’s point of view, to take responsibility for their own learning and to walk in wisdom.
Most tertiary institutions in South Africa accept A.C.E. graduates provided that they meet the requirements set by Higher Education South Africa (now known as Universities South Africa) and the Senate requirements of the particular university.
The National Senior Certificate and Cambridge Qualifications
A.C.E. students can write the National Senior Certificate (NSC) through the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI) or enrol for the Cambridge International Examinations. In both cases the A.C.E. methodology and curriculum materials remain the backbone of these certificate options, in line with our commitment to Christian Education.
The International Certificate of Christian Education
Students following the A.C.E. programme can further earn the International Certificate of Christian Education (comparable to Cambridge A levels), awarded by the ICCEL in the United Kingdom. This foreign qualification presently has limited recognition in South Africa and will be more suitable for students who plan to study in the United Kingdom.
General Education Diploma (GED®)
The GED® test is a U.S.A. high school (12th grade) equivalency test that is delivered in more than 60 countries around the world. In South Africa it is registered as a Level 4 Exit Certificate on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and is recognised by Universities South Africa (USAF) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as a matric equivalent. After completing the A.C.E. curriculum, students would enroll for the GED® which can be achieved in a relatively short period of time, depending on the learner. For some learners this could be as short as a month, although they should plan for three to four. Due to the high standard of the A.C.E. curriculum and based on the exceptional performance of A.C.E. alumni in both South African and international universities, we believe A.C.E. graduates are well equipped to confidently master the GED® examinations and obtain the relevant benchmark scores in order to gain acceptance into tertiary studies.
For more information visit www.aeegroup.co.za
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I'M NOT A QUALIFIED TEACHER. CAN I STILL TEACH MY CHILD AT HOME?
Absolutely! The programme has been designed in such a way that the PACEs (workbooks) serve as the "teacher"; you will merely be facilitating the learning process.
Home school and supervisor training courses are available and recommended for parents who would like to learn more about the programme and procedures.
IS THERE A CUT-OFF AGE FOR ENROLMENT?
While we do not like to turn anybody away, students who are not transferring from A.C.E. schools and are already in grade 11 (or 18 years of age) are cautioned not to register with A.C.E. for home schooling. The reason for this is that A.C.E. is a different programme to what students are used to and they may find it difficult to adjust at this level. Furthermore, these students still need to complete a minimum of 18 credits on the A.C.E. programme, which effectively constitutes three years of PACE work. This means that they will most likely have to start again from grade 9 or 10. Students aged 16/17 who wish to come onto the programme need to be prepared to work hard in order to complete the necessary PACEs before graduation.
OUR FAMILY TRAVELS A LOT. WILL THE PROGRAMME WORK FOR US?
Absolutely! One of the benefits of home schooling through A.C.E. is that the programme is individualised and unique, and students work at their own speed. You can create a timetable that works around your family's schedule.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES HOME SCHOOLING TAKE?
This may vary from one family to another, but in general at primary school level, 3 – 4 hours per day is sufficient and at high school level about 4 – 5 hours should be sufficient for formal academic activities. This leaves a lot of time for other activities, many of which are also learning activities that develop a child's experience or character – such as hobbies, reading, outings, extra-curricular activities and helping in the home.
CAN I START HOME SCHOOLING HALF WAY THROUGH THE SCHOOL YEAR?
With A.C.E., you have the liberty to start at any time of the year. Students work at their own speed and can start at any time. Once they have completed a grade level they simply move onto the next one, regardless of the time of year.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN MY CHILD IS READY TO START GRADE 1?
The A.C.E. Preschool programme (grade R) is an excellent programme that will prepare your child for the ABCs when he/she starts grade 1. It is recommended that the Pre-school programme be introduced in the year that they turn six. The reason for this is that the programme is intensive and a child must be emotionally and physically mature enough to keep up.
Prior to starting grade 1 (ABCs programme), children must write the Reading Readiness test in which they must score a minimum of 80%.
CAN I HOME SCHOOL MY LEARNING DISABLED OR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD?
Yes! Because the programme is individualised, it can be adapted if necessary to suit their needs.
Experience has shown that most of the problems that manifest themselves in a school setting, virtually disappear when the child is brought home. Learning difficulties seem to be alleviated in the absence of stress, competition and the pressure of having to perform to a schedule. Where learning difficulties remain, moms report that one-on-one teaching is the best way to help their children make real progress. At home you can do things differently and take the pressure off the child.
In some cases help from professionals, such as occupational therapists, will be required in conjunction with using the A.C.E. programme.
WHAT IF MY CHILD HAS AN ACADEMIC QUESTION THAT I CAN'T ANSWER?
The A.C.E. curriculum has been designed to be used by parents and students who are not familiar with the subject matter. The PACEs (workbooks) contain comprehensive explanations and examples, and are therefore self-explanatory. However, if there are concepts that require additional attention you are welcome to find a qualified or experienced tutor to teach a specific subject – for example, friends, relatives, neighbours, community clubs, a teacher from your child's previous school, etc. A.C.E. also has subject experts whom you may contact for specific academic queries. In the higher grades, additional resources are available in the form of DVDs for the more challenging subjects.
A.C.E. is also excited about the development of AcePlus! AcePlus is an e-Platform that allows students to view short lessons and ask questions about the work they are doing in their PACEs. To access LearnCloud, go to www.learncloud.aeegroup.co.za.
HOW DO I KNOW THAT MY CHILD IS ON TRACK?
You will be able to follow a sequence which clearly shows what work your child should ideally be doing for his/her grade level. You will also be required to send your child's work to your academy on a quarterly basis, so they can monitor your child/ren's progress and ensure he/she is on track. We also provide testing that will measure your child/ren's abilities, identify areas of potential, as well as areas that may need extra attention.
WHAT SORT OF SUPPORT WILL MY FAMILY RECEIVE FROM THE HOME EDUCATION ACADEMY?
Home school families registered with an Academy receive the full support services of a school administration office. The Academy is there to provide ongoing academic assistance and advice at any time of the year. Parents are empowered and trained to fully utilise the strengths of the ACE programme.
You will be required to send in your child/ren's work on a quarterly basis so that their academic progress can be monitored. Academies also promote and encourage socialising by encouraging home schools to join support groups and participate in outings and sport.
HOME SCHOOL TESTIMONIES
After more than three decades numerous testimonies have confirmed the fact that the A.C.E. system not only prepares students academically, but also lets them stand out as well-rounded adults ready to take on the world at large.
Here are just a few of these testimonies received from satisfied home school parents.
I would like to thank you for your continuous support, encouragement and the constant programme development during the time we home schooled our three children.
The A.C.E. programme is in no way inferior. I believe it has prepared our children intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Intellectually in their academic preparation for further studies, emotionally in the character-building sections within the PACEs, as well as the system that teaches honesty, hard work and perseverance, and spiritually as I truly believe this programme to be composed by the Holy Spirit.
Our eldest daughter is a good example of the system’s emotional development worth. She started work at an auditing firm directly after completing school and stated that learning new concepts and skills came easily to her, and I believe she has the ability to do problem solving and work independently (not needing constant supervision and guidance) as a direct result of the A.C.E. school system. Today she is married and working as a bookkeeper at a business.
Our son is proof of the academic standard. He write an Access Assessment Battery Test as part of the admission process to NMMU and scored: Reading Comprehension 77,93%, Arithmetic 94.51% and Elementary Algebra 97.68%. He also received the Rabbie Maphakela Top first year programming student prize in 2013. He is currently in his last year of study for an NDip in Software Development and has been accepted for an additional year of study for a BTech degree next year.
Our last daughter is, in part, evidence of the spiritual value of this programme. She is compassionate, kind and hates injustice. She believes the Lord has called her within the construction business to develop people and serve Him.
Noeth Home School
I am very glad to report that we are truly succeeding with the A.C.E. programme. I love the biblical side of it, the fact that my son gets to read and hear about God everyday. I pray with him every morning before he starts school and explain the scriptures and meanings of words like contentment, faithfulness, honesty, etc. So A.C.E. really helps us to start our day with God and to instil Godly values in our lives.
I love how A.C.E. uses examples of people who have done things for God, sacrificed their lives to go into other areas, countries, nations to do God's will, as this is close to our hearts.
I thank God for leading us to A.C.E. and I thank you all so much for helping us parents to be able to do this. To give our children an awesome start in life — something some of us never had...
Light-on-the-Hill Home School
As a young mother, I was naive as to how important it was to have Christian–based education, and I am truly grateful that God put us on the path to A.C.E. With Lyndi and Bradley now in tertiary education, my husband and I repeatedly express how blessed we were to instill a firm Christian foundation in our children with huge help from A.C.E.
Lyndi is now 22 and preparing to write her final examinations for her UNISA degree in English and Communication. Her love for English developed through her PACEs and all the good books she had to read. Bradley is 20 and has begun his third year at Harding Christian University in Arkansas, USA. He is majoring in Economics and Information Technology. His A.C.E. certificate and SAT tests were readily accepted. He is having the most amazing time over there and has continued to set daily goals and achieve like A.C.E. taught him.
Thank you for offering the parents of South Africa an excellent way to school their children with a high standard of Godly education and sporting opportunities.
Homeward Bound Home School
I have been home schooling my children for almost three years now and I can see the incredible difference in my children. All I can say is that it is worth every minute of effort and sacrifice.
The best part for me is to see the growth in my children developing right in front of my eyes. I am sure that it is the way the Lord intended our lives to be. I am very grateful to all the people involved for the brilliant A.C.E. system.
T&K’s Tree of Knowledge Home School
All I can say is "Thank You Lord that you have put people in our paths who care with Your love for the well–being and complete education of our children."
Your support and guidance gave me confidence to get out of the world’s “box” and into God’s purpose for my child.
Thank you and may God lead many, many more of his lost sheep to grow in your fold.
Ephesians 6:4 Home School
I have heard criticisms that the A.C.E. system does not lead to lasting education. I am an ex-principal of 20 years and have been involved in several educational systems including Look and Say reading, introduction of new maths, introduction of computers, and the introduction of OBE system. I have found that the best educational system is what works for you and your family. A.C.E. has worked for ours.
Homewise Home School
HOME SCHOOL ARTICLES
HOME SCHOOLING - A CREDIBLE ALTERNATIVE TO FORMAL SCHOOLING?
We live in a society that is generally sceptical about home schooling as a credible alternative to formal schooling. Concerns often raised revolve around lack of socialisation, parents who are often not subject specialists and the perception that home school children are being isolated from the "real world".
It is however significant that home education was the model of education given by God to the Jewish nation and as such the oldest form of education known to man. In our modern society parents are globally rediscovering this form of education as the surest way to transfer values, principles and knowledge from one generation to the next.
Based on my experience as educator and administrator in the formal and home education sector, there is no doubt in my mind that home education provides the best environment to address the unique academic and personal needs of children. No other model of education enables children to receive one-on-one teaching, guidance and encouragement from their parents who know them intimately and can respond to their individual talents and needs. It also allows for flexible time management as students are able to work at their own pace in every subject within the limitations of each child's concentration span or physical ability. Add to the above a caring and accepting home environment and you have a winning formula to maximise the potential of children to learn and grow a healthy self-esteem. Research has shown that home educated students typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardised academic achievement tests regardless of their parents' level of formal education or their family's household income.
When looking at the concern about proper socialisation this can in my opinion be ascribed to an incorrect understanding of what the nature of healthy socialisation entails. The contrast is between group socialisation on the one hand, which teaches how to respond and move with the group; and individual socialisation on the other hand, which teaches how to deal with other people. You do not develop character in a group. You develop character through one-on-one relationships, which again are best facilitated within the home.
Through biblical home education God can use parents to mentor their children to become strong in their Christian faith, and to not only profess to a biblical worldview, but to become productive Christian adults who actively impact the world for Christ.
AEE HOME EDUCATION MANAGER