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Which of these is more doable - K12 VA, MODG, Kolbe?


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I could really use some frank advice from veteran homeschool moms.

I have 4 kids in grades 8, 6, 3, and 1. Until now they have attended a Catholic private school where we have been happy, but it's pricey and proving a financial burden. I have always felt called to homeschool, but I also work full-time, mostly from home (I go in 2x a week). Hubby has a flexible schedule and is involved. We are comfortable and familiar with learning online. A Catholic education is important to me, but so is maintaining sanity. Currently I am looking at enrolling the kids in the Virginia Virtual Academy through K12. I am also considering Mother of Divine Grace or Kolbe Academy. I can devote about 3-4 hours of time to instructing during the day, and then more in the evenings and weekends. The kids are used to busy lives constantly on the go - to and from school, after-school activities like scouts and taekwondo, birthday parties on the weekend. I don't quite want that pace, but I also don't want a huge change for them either.


The 8th grader will most likely be going to public high school next year, so I want something that will be easy for him to transition to. He is an advanced learner with lots of good credentials on his record already. I'm petrified of doing something that will set him back in 9th grade (real or perceived). His passion is science but he is gifted in language arts as well.


The 6th grader is born organized and achieves high grades, but her vocabulary and comprehension is really lacking. I don't think that the method of instruction in her school has been a good fit for her, but you wouldn't be able to tell it from her grades. She has a great group of friends at school whom she would miss, but she is positive and open about homeschooling.


The 3rd grader is not challenged or reaching her potential at school. She is almost paralyzed by competition and so falls into the background many times, content to goof around with the "fun" kids. Yet her report card was perfect high A's, with very minimal effort.


The 1st grader seems to be an average achiever, at least in kindergarten. She loves math, science, and art. She's pretty content to be at home.


Do any of these curriculums - K12, MODG, or Kolbe - seem to be well-suited to a mom with limited time for these kids? Or is this a pipe dream that can't be achieved with what I have to work with? Would we be better off skirting financial ruin (a little kidding but not really) to keep them where they are doing OK but life is sane, or jump off into the deep end? I have read TWTM many times and researched so many different curricula that my head is spinning. Thanks for your advice!



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I personally really like Kolbe. I've looked a lot of complete programs and it seems to be laid out in a traditional format and uses a lot of excellent resources. Your older students could be enrolled with Kolbe and have a teacher and earn credits but they'd have to send some school work to Kolbe for review.


K12 is a decent option but it isn't Catholic. I know a woman who used MoDG very successfully for years and I've heard a lot of good things about it. But Kolbe just seems so much more streamlined to me and user friendly. You can also sub out curricula if you like something that they do not use for a specific subject.


Where are you in VA? I participate in a Catholic homeschool group in NoVA and there are also co-op class options for middle and high school. You might be able to outsource a couple classes for a reasonable price if you still want to keep your children in a classroom environment since you plan on public high school. I'd look around your area and see what the local Catholic homeschooling community has to offer as well.

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I am in the Fredericksburg area and grew up in Northern VA (we visit grandma/grandpa often).

I have found groups at both nearby parishes with class or co-ops...just not sure how that dovetails with a packaged curriculum. Thanks for the suggestion!

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MODG and Kolbe are both classical, but they have some differences.


Do you like Charlotte Mason? You need to do some reading on her and her methods before you choose MODG, if you have not. MODG leans pretty heavily CM up until 6th grade, and even after, it tends to be heavy on creative writing. MODG is also teacher-intensive, although until 4th grade, the time commitment per grade is still fairly low. And MODG relies heavily of historical fiction, more so than great books.


Kolbe is more of a textbook approach, but the do add in the good books, beginning in 4th grade with their literature programs. Kolbe high school is Great Books. The textbooks are decent, if you are looking for a textbook approach. The science is secular, modern and up-to-date, and Catholic teaching is included in the lesson plans.


They are both good programs. If I had to pick one for you, I would say Kolbe is less teacher-intensive and more set up for independent work, it is probably a lot more like the good parts of what you are used to, and k-8 using textbooks and secular science will probably make for a more seamless transition to a brick and mortar high school, if you are going that route.

Edited by Asenik
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