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How Challenging is Kolbe Academy?


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Have any of you used Kolbe Academy (and their lesson plans) for an accelerated learner?


I am considering using their 8th grade plans for my son who will be in 6th grade next year. We will not use their plans for Math, however.


I am interested in having someone else lay out the plans for me next year with essay writing prompts and testing included.


I notice that I can use Science for the 8/9th grade level and I can start with Henle Latin as well. I am hoping that their History lesson plans include essay writing prompts. Also, I plan to supplement with primary source documents for US History. My other thought is to use the Christ the King (World History) high school level lesson plans. Either way I will include Teaching Company DVD's to supplement.


Kolbe has recommended the Junior High Literature program as well. Any experience with that? (DS is taking Lightning Lit 8 with Online G3 this semester. I wish that class included writing. I understand why it doesn't, but we could use that component!)


This year we are using Teaching Company DVD's and high school and intro. to college level texts. However, I do not have any testing included. Frankly, I do not have time to write my own tests.


I need pre-written essay prompts so that I can focus on helping him to grow in his academic writing. He has a very strong writing voice already but can use help in the academic writing arena. I would like the essays to tie into his learning in other subjects and involve critical thinking, not just narration.


We are not interested in transcripts at this point and I do not plan to graduate my son early. I just need work that will be both challenging and prepare him for studying and test-taking. He would learn a great deal if I simply let him read all day but his personality is such that he will be better off in the long run if we continue to develop good study habits now. (This is something we have discussed and DS has acknowledged for himself.) He may end up attending the local high school in a few years. The door is open for him to homeschool all the way through high school, though.:001_smile:


If Kolbe doesn't work out I will likely be asking more questions on how to pull this together without losing my mind.


We will be getting his EXPLORE results in a couple of weeks and I am hoping that will help nail down the academic level of challenge he needs.


My son needs a little nudge once and awhile to tackle challenging work. Right now I am not certain if I am challenging at the right level. I really want a way to test comprehension, thinking skills, etc.


I also have a DS working pretty much at grade level and am considering Kolbe for him, too. He would be doing grade 5 next year. He is content checking off boxes and I sometimes think I am under-challenging him. I am hoping to give him things to think about and not just regurgitate. Does Kolbe provide that?


To give you a fuller picture, I am also blessed with a beautiful toddler DD!


Thanks for reading and for any insights you have to offer.

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I think I posted on the 4real forums to a similar post. :D I have been thinking about this a lot. I am seriously considering using Kolbe starting in 4th grade. I have become a lot more CM in my leanings so I am just not sure because of that. If I wasn't CM, I would do it in a heartbeat. Their materials are very good. If you are concerned about writing, that will not be a problem. There is plenty of writing included in your course plans. In fact, I know many families who cut back on the writing because there is so much.


If you are wanting a textbook approach to history, check this out. Another option for history is RC History. This way, you can get books at your kids' levels and study the same time period in history. All of the books are Catholic acceptable as well.


Anyway, I have always heard great things about Kolbe. I don't think you can go wrong there. You might even be able to spend two years on 9th grade (or even add some additional stuff in to make it last longer) because there is A LOT in 9th grade for Kolbe. I will almost definitely use Kolbe for high school.


I am not sure where you live, but Kolbe participates in the IHM conferences. I know they go to other conferences as well, but that way you could actually look at the books and figure out what you want to do.


As far as religion courses, you might want to do grade level unless you are planning on doing Confirmation early.

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I think I posted on the 4real forums to a similar post. :D


Similar post. Same me!


Thanks for your additional thoughts.


From your friends who use Kolbe, what grade does the subject matter writing start in? I see it with the high school lesson plans but I am not sure about the other grades.


I really like the idea of taking longer with the plans. That may be exactly what we need. We can use high school lesson plans but do them at a pace that allows us to develop writing skills, supplement the information, etc.


(That would also help fill in the next few years before actually starting high school for credit!)

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:bigear: We're thinking about the same thing, but would probably be starting at ~6th grade level.


Something to consider is that Kolbe's high school curriculum is known for having more thematically difficult or controversial reading material than some other programs (such as MODG). For instance, in junior year, students have been expected to read Voltaire along with some Catholic sources, and then write a paper refuting his arguments. This is already pushing the envelope for that level of (im)maturity, IMO. I'm not at all sure that it would be appropriate for a 13 or 14 year old, no matter how bright they are.

Edited by Eleanor
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I know that they have a formal writing program starting in 4th grade. I know that they require other writing in second grade (I am not sure about first grade, but I can ask a friend that uses them for 1st). They require writing in three subjects a week for the very young grades.


They use Classical Composition for writing starting in 4th. I know that they recommend that you start with the Fables for grade 4 even if your child is in grade 5 or 6.

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