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Returning to Kolbe after a year away

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Returning to Kolbe after a year away
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Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 10

Post Returning to Kolbe after a year away Reply with quote
We are returning to Kolbe after a year away. I learned a lot about our homeschooling dynamic while trying a different 'school' Smile. We are educating 5 children, one with special needs. We are swapping out many of Kolbe's recommended books so I am not registering anyone who is not 6th grade or higher. Our state does not have rigorous requirements. I love the lesson plans that accompany Kolbe's courses. I also like the Ignatius Grammar series. I have a few questions.
1) I have never been able to contact counselors for assistance when I need it. I have used the automated contact form on the website with no response and I have called and not had an answer or a return call. From what I can tell, this is unusual for Kolbe. Have I been contacting the wrong people at the wrong time? How can I communicate better with Kolbe Academy?
2) Is there ever going to be a 3rd grade edition of Ignatius Grammar? I had heard tell of it before but I have not seen any time that it might come out. Is there a substitution for Voyages? My kids really struggle with the extra writing in Voyages.
3) I recently noticed in your forums mention of using Catholic Textbook Project History. Are you developing lesson plans for it this year or should I get the ones from another homeschool provider? What sequence do you suggest for the history texts so that my children will be able to have the background needed for the high school scope and sequence?
4) When is it necessary to include both reading AND Literature for a child? The elementary literature program is great but when compounded with CNR reading, spelling, and vocabulary, it was a bit much.
5) The Latin book terrifies me. I do not know Latin and I could not teach from NML. I use Memoria Press but again, I do not know the sequence of going from their Latin to High School Latin with Kolbe. Any advise?
6) If it turns out to be less expensive to register the younger children with Kolbe than to buy the individual lesson plans I would need for them, to what extent would I need to provide grades and samples?

Do you have any questions that would help you advise me? I was trying to combine some subjects for the children so I would only have to teach one class, such as science, religion, or history, to all the children at the same time with different levels of work required from them, but it did not work. Their personalities and skills are so different and if I did not get to teach the class (because of all the interesting things that go on in a family with 8+ children), they had nothing to do on their own. So, it SEEMED like a good idea, but it did not work for us. We are currently about a quarter behind (and we started in July), have neglected most of the things that were combined or recitation type subjects (science, history, and religion) and I have at least one child who is not challenged enough and has finished several subjects early. And we are having a baby in the next few weeks.

Trying to get my ducks in a row before all the shipping discounts, homeschool conventions, and lent begins.

Thank you for your assistance,

Debbie Z
Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:59 am View user's profile Send private message
Celeste Cuellar

Joined: 11 Aug 2006
Posts: 139

Post Reply with quote
Hi Debbie,

I'm going to try to respond to all your questions, but if I don't cover everything, please feel free to PM me. The best way to contact an advisor is to call us at 707-255-6499x5 or send an email using the auto form or to post here on the forum or to put up a message on Facebook. I'm sorry that hasn't been successful for you in the past, and I'm not sure which one will work better for you in the future, but I do know that I'm on FB all day long now that it's part of my job. Smile

I sent out an email to get the most up-to-date info regarding the 3rd grade Ignatius Grammar and I'm waiting on an answer. Of course, as you know, you don't have to use the Voyages book. As a classroom teacher using Kolbe's curriculum I found that my younger students did just fine with the phonics book only as their grammar book. I was also using Catholic National Reader and they did writing there. Or you could use Voyages, but not do the extra writing.

Course plans have been written for the first two books in the Catholic Textbook series, Sea to Shining Sea and All Ye Lands. They will be available in the fall. They're suggested for 5th and 6th grade, leading into Christ the King Lord of History, and then Christ and the Americas, for 7th and 8th.

When using the Kolbe lit, I used the vocab from there and I also used the vocab words for spelling so it was all combined. Sometimes I used the course plans and had them answer all the questions, and sometimes they wrote a 2-3 sentence summary after reading for 20-30 minutes and then we might discuss the material.

I donít know if this is an option for you, but Latin is now offered through Kolbeís Online Academy, both this summer as an introduction and for a full year in the fall. Itís open to 6th graders. You can read more about this on our website under the Online Academy tab.

It would be easier for me to answer some of your remaining questions, if you PM me and then you can share some of the specifics of your situation and I can help you create a plan for you family.

God bless,
Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:10 pm View user's profile Send private message
Megan Lengyel

Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 2443
Location: Alpharetta, GA; formerly, Napa, CA; originally St. Louis, MO

Post Reply with quote
Just adding in a few more things!

We will also be changing to the Form Latin series by Memoria next year in the homeschool as well. Course plans for First Form, and I believe Second Form will be available for the fall. Latin is NOT a requirement, so if you don't want to homeschool the course, then it is okay to drop it. Or, as Celeste says, we have an Online Course you could use through our Online Academy (using Form Latin by MP). High School Latin 1 starts at the beginning of Latin, so technically, any student could start that course without having taken any Latin in junior high school.

I am VERY sorry that you did not receive a quick reply. If you don't hear back from us within one business day, you should assume that your email went to cyberspace somewhere and never to land on one of our desks. The forum is a great place to ask questions, but you can always email homeinfo at or advisors at

It is often more economical to enroll students to get the lesson plans even if you don't intend on reporting to us. It is up to you to use the transcript service. You pay for it, but that doesn't mean you have to use it. So, don't feel as if you have to send in sample work to us for each child. This only becomes "required" when you are seeking a diploma either in the 8th grade or throughout high school.

Many of our families choose to do either the Lit or Reading program, or a mixed version of both (but rarely full out on both!) They are both great programs, so it can be hard to choose. It's nice to have the materials at hand so that you can implement things as you see fit.

God bless,
Megan Lengye

Megan Lengyel
Kolbe Academy Home School
Online Academy Director
Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:40 am View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

Joined: 30 Apr 2011
Posts: 45

Post Reply with quote
Exciting! Is the Form series replacing NML and still leading up the Henle, then?
Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:25 am View user's profile Send private message
Celeste Cuellar

Joined: 11 Aug 2006
Posts: 139

Post Reply with quote
Yes, the Form series is replacing NML, and we'll be offering all four forms and it will still lead into Henle.

All four forms will be offered through our Online Academy this fall and we're extending enrollment in the first form to 5th and 6th graders. Second form might be an option for a 6th grader who's already completed the first form, but that would be at the discretion of the instructor after the student takes an assessment test.

At this point, almost all the high school courses Kolbe offers and many of the Junior High courses will be available online in the fall.
Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:53 am View user's profile Send private message
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