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I am a person who from 9-15 years old attended a school that did not have any teachers, you were required to teach yourself every subject from books at your own pace, while sitting in cubicles all day with very little interaction with other students or ex

May 6th 2013 by designtraveler • 25 Questions • 1967 Points

I attended 'normal' school from kindergarten to 3rd grade, and my junior and senior year of high school, transitioning back into public school was pretty difficult at first.

This was my life for along time, and it never really seem weird to me until i became older and started to tell others about my experience.

AMA, it would also be cool to hear if anyone else attended a school with this kind of curriculum as well, and how they felt it shaped their adult life.

**edit: wow this has generated way more interest than i thought, I am currently in Shanghai its 12:37 am and im drinkin so ill try to answer as many questions as i can before i get too tired.

Its really interesting to head everyones thoughts about this,**

edit number two HOLY SHIT front paged!!, and if you are just tuning in, im a girl and my grammar is terrible, blame the teachers, or lack there of

Information on the curriculum provided by someone else, im far too lazy for that, but here you go http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Accelerated_Christian_Education/Archive_1

ok kids its 2:45 AM SHANGHAI TIME, so ill probably be winding down on answering questions soon, this was a great experience,its been really great to see that i wasnt the only one out there who had min informed parents

another edit: again not my resource, but here is a sample 'PACE' the workbooks http://www.aceministries.com/curriculum/samples/science/level_5/

the questions keep coming in, but i gotta be awake for work in 3 hours 3:39am here i will try to answer whatever questions are left over when i get to work in the morn, GOOD NIGHT

i just spent alot of time on my phone responding to people, but it dosnt looks like the responses were attached to the comments.. OOPS.. my bad.... sorry about that

Q:

Was this the ACE curriculum?

A:

YES!


Q:

YES. Two trips to the scoring station! Second trip... 100%!

A:

LOL @ 'scoring station'... our kids will never believe us THIS WAS A THING

Im so glad to see other people out there.. who experienced this same thing


Q:

Was this in Va? I too went to a private school using this same setup and system

A:

no GA


Q:
  1. What was the idea behind this?

  2. Did you get to decorate your cube?

  3. What resources did you have access to? (Books, computers, etc)

  4. Were there state tests?

  5. Did you go to college? Did it affect your learning ability?

A:
  What was the idea behind this? 

I really dont know, they never really spoke about their ideology accept when it came to God, but i think they thought they were giving us a sheltered environment, where learning was at the center of everything, more than social interaction, more than physical fitness and mental health Did you get to decorate your cube? To an extent, approved posters and drawings, nothing that ruined them like stickers are markers

  What resources did you have access to? (Books, computers, etc) 

Only the books provided by the curriculum, im 26 now so the internet wasnt a HUGE thing then, every year each student was suppose to finished at least 60 'paces' these were the name of the books maybe about 35 pages each - at the end of each 'pace' there was a test, and when you finished you got another one in your cube the next day, 15 in each subject a year was considered a "grade" but you could do as many as you wanted, so when i went to public school, it was recorded that i 'skipped' the sixth grade, but really i just did years 5-6 in one year

  Were there state tests? 

Private schools in my state are not subject to standardized testing

  Did you go to college? Did it affect your learning ability? 

I just graduated with an architecture degree, with a minor in web dev i dont think im super smart or a genius or anything because of it, but sitting through college courses was very difficult, most of the time even if i paid attention i couldnt catch what was going on or i would space out, and i would just go home and read the book and get the information that way, I had some structures classes ( teaches you about stresses and concrete loads and how big a beam to use on a house in alaska with lots of snow fall) these courses did not have books, and you just had to pay attention and take notes and i found them very difficult and stressful


Q:

I just graduated with an architecture degree too! it's such a social degree, and studio culture is so big! Was it a weird transition for you to move into an education that is 100% collaboration and socialization?

A:

No because before i got into architecture school i did two years at a party school, and modeled in New York for a year.. so I had worked through any strangeness by that point...

i really loved architecture school, and aside from staying up several days in a row all the time.. I really miss it, and the people I met


Q:

What kind of modelling?

A:

commercial


Q:

What architecture school did you go to? I'm an arch student so I'm just curious :)

A:

i dont wanna get to specific, about my personal information but a university in GA, theres not that many other offer architecture degree 2 i think


Q:

I went to one of these schools the spring of my 7th grade year in 1972. It was called Accelerated Christian Education. It was a joke in terms of learning. We had "packets" for each course. I finished the last half of my 7th grade year and all of the 8th grade packets in one semester. I had a 98% average. I did not learn diddly.

At my school one had to earn privilege levels each week - one either had an A, and AC or an ACE (the initials standing for Accelerated Christian Education). Privileges were earned based on how many packets you finished, books you read and special projects.

The instructors were just glorified baby sitters. Not one had a teaching certificate.

We had (sometimes quite long) chapel worships every day. Basically like a full church service each day.

P.E. was held three times a week by driving out to a public park where we played. Rain or shine, get out of the bus and go do something kid. No supervision. I got into several fights with no punishment. We threw a kid over an embankment once, he fell into a creek and almost drowned.

I have never been able to forgive my parents for sending me to that hellhole.

(edit for additional info on "P.E. class".)

A:

yes we also had the A AC and ACE status, you earned them by memorizing LONG bible passages and doing community service and other things, and you held the status for a week, and got extra privileges, like longer breaks and you could listen to your walkman while you were doing your work, (but only approved cds, i would bring christian CDs in to be approved and then , put Eminem in my walkmen with my Jars of Clay CD on top, bc they would come around and check sometimes and ask you to open the CD player


Q:

What are your superpowers?

A:

I can stay awake for 5 days straight with no stimulants , architecture school taught me that, and i'm a pretty good juggler, that's all I got


Q:

Villain, hero or antihero?

A:

depends on how long ive been awake


Q:

Did this have an impact on your ability to work in a group setting later on? Such as leadership skills, etc

A:

I think when i first transitioned into high school it was strange and i kinda just wanted to do my own thing but after the first part of the year i started making friends and joining sports teams, and i even joined future business leaders of america, I think long term it has affected me socially a bit, because i really like to hang out with people and laugh, but i also like to be left alone when im getting things done.. like study groups were always the worse for me, a big waste of time.


Q:

Oh my god, I'm glad to hear from you. I went to through this too. I now collect survivor stories from people who went through it. There are more than 20 indexed on my blog.

A:

HOLY SHIT, your're not joking,.. i know at least 20 that im still friends with


Q:

What are your views on the American education system? Since you've had an alternative way of education, do you consider yourself to be better taught than other people your age?

A:

sorry forgot to answer the last part, i dont consider myself better educated, just more of a self starter, and i seek out information instead of just waiting for someone to tell me things


Q:

Sounds interesting, thanks for your time man ! Cheers :)

A:

no problem.. i know my username is nondescript, .. but im a girl :)


Q:

I did PACE, at least I think it was PACE, it was years ago and I don't remember. But we had no teachers, we had monitors, we taught ourselves, graded our own work, and it was highly religious.....the school I attended was attached to the church I attended, so very small and everyone knew each other and attended the same church. I was moved to public school my 7th grade year. I loved every minute of not being at the private school anymore. For one thing, no more uniforms. I think it shaped me because I am a very slow reader and I didn't enjoy reading books until I was in HS and someone started introducing me to books I was interested in. The school I attended would only allow us to read approved christian material, I read about horrific deaths of christian martyrs in 4th grade. That is not really something I wanted to be reading =) I also have everyone I know now tell me I grew up in a box because I get no cultural references from when we were kids because I went to this school/church and had no TV and was only allowed to listen to certain types of music and watch certain movies and blah blah blah. Was it the same for you?

A:

at school it was the same, minus the graphic literature, but at home I could listen to whatever music i wanted to within reason, and watch whatever I wanted to within reason of course, so i didnt miss out on any culture things, except Harry Potter my mom wouldnt let me read the books cause of the witch craft thats about it. I was 'normal' once I left the school for the day


Q:

Did you ever get detention?

A:

there was a merit and demerit system.. everyday you started off with like 50 merits, and you could loss them alll, and if you did you got detention, if you saved them, then at the end of the month, we would have a merit sale where you could buy things that parents had donated to the merit store, like water guns and playstation games

Detention was never served after school instead of getting your normal stretch breaks you would have to stay inside for the day and copy from the dictionary or the Bible.


Q:

What country?

A:

USA


Q:

Sounds like the biggest scam in history.

A:

I dont think it was a scam, the kids there were doing real learning, one of my classmates was on jeopardy last year, but then again maybe you're right, because the school is no longer in operation.


Q:

How do you know if you were doing something incorrectly without a teacher there to point out mistakes or areas that could use improvement?

A:

We graded our own work with answer keys, so we would do some pages in the work book and then put up a flag on top of our cube, and the monitor would come over, there was a scoring station where you stood in public view with the answer key marking what was wrong with a red pen, and then you would go back to your cube and try to figure out what you got wrong and why, and then, when you thought you had it right , you would ask to go score again... and repeat.. until everything was right.


Q:

That sounds horribly tedious

A:

it definitely was, and you kinda had no choice, but to eventually have the information click in your head, because there was no one there to help you, the 'monitors' were not qualified teachers at all, i think they may have had degrees in religious studies, they served mostly as chaperons to our learning


Q:

Did the school have their own reasons for doing this? Why did your parents send you to this school? Do you feel it has made you different from the average person who attended a 'normal' school?

A:

HONESTLY, i think its a very cheap way to run a private school under the guise of some new way of learning, bc they didnt have to pay real teachers,..

My parents are both in the miliary and we had to move from Maryland to the south in a hurry, and i was already enrolled in private school ( i was getting picked on alot in public school)... so my mom just enrolled me in the closest private school to our new house, and thats where i stayed.. my parents thought i was good cause no one picked on me there and i was learning alot, i dont think they thought too much about the long term effects that it might have.. just they never wanted me to go back to public school, the reason i went back was because my dad died, and my mom worked far away, and there was no one to take me to school anymore ( they didnt have a bus) ... i dont think im that different than others .... i like to teach myself things.. ANYTHING languages, instruments, coding... knitting.. im kinda obsessive.. but thats about it...


Q:

ACE teaches that evolution is absurd, and, in one book, that the Loch Ness Monster disproves evolution.

What are your views on Creationism now?

A:

i dont spent too much time thinking about this shit honestly, i work alot and im just concern myself with real life goals and dreams, tangible things that i can control... i have no articulate views on Creationism


Q:

Sorry to break it to you but you weren't in school...your mom dumped you at the library for free babysitting.

A:

it certainly was FAR from free, this was a private school


Q:

That's really interesting - you seem to be implying that it was quite expensive, but if there was really no teacher involvement in anything you did (even grading tests as you mentioned further down), what on earth were you paying for? I know there must have been expenses like books etc. but surely not enough to warrant really high tuition fees. (I'm not doubting your honesty or anything, it just seems like a huge money grab on the school's part.)

A:

money grab i agree, cheaper than most private schools but still expensive considering, about $10,000 a year, I guess you payed for the 'good wholesome Christian environment'


Q:

How was the transition from self taught to being taught?

A:

i liked some aspects, like in regular school there were alot of varied tasks, like make a video, or do an experiment, or something like that instead of always just in a book, but other aspects i found very boring, like taking almost a month to get through and analyze Lord of the Flies, .. .. because the class is reading on the same pace, a couple chapters at a time