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kduprat



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 20

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This is my second week teaching my son with Kolbe, and I have to say it has been a big change from where we come from. We did Seton for 3rd and 4th grade, and especially for me Kolbe has been a big, huge change. I feel like I have to get used to the new method of teaching, everything is more oral, my son loves it, I feel exhausted. I also feel confused with the lesson plans, with what I'm supposed to do etc...Has anyone here felt this way before? or is it me? I also have a little one (3 years old) who I need to keep entertain, wow, am I feeling overwhelm and this is only my second week?

Any suggestions/comments are greatly appreciated
Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:51 am View user's profile Send private message
sharonh



Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 572

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I rewrite the next week's assignment in planner for each child on Saturday, then I can see at glance what needs to get done each day instead of having to flip in a binder . (I have each child's syllabi in a separate binder which I have tabbed to find each subject quickly.)

You don't need to do things orally, but it can be quicker for both you (no need to later sit down and check) and your child.

Do have more specific questions as to how the course plans/syllabi confuse you?

I am sure there are many parents here who can offer advice if you can be more specific.

(Kolbe in CA is in bit of a shock/turmoil with the death of the Judy Friedlander, and accountant and daughter of one of Kolbe's founding families. We can try to help you here if you are not able to speak to someone directly at Kolbe. )

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Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:34 am View user's profile Send private message
sharonh



Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 572

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This is from a private message exchange we started but since it is not really private, I have reposted here and will continue when time allows.

"I guess, where I'm feeling confused, is the fact that I can do my son's work orally. I am new to this, he had to write and write before, so the orally method has me thinking: will he be learning the same way, (he's in 5th grade) yes, one of the reasons we switched to Kolbe, is because he's a good reader, and because of the flexibility.
So, what subjects are okay with being oral, he needs to learn to write as well, right? "
**Well personally,

Religion: I do St Joseph Baltimore Catechism orally (I do record a grade in my grade book for all oral work, by the way). I had my husband buy up enough 1st edition Faith and Life Activity books that all my children would need since my oldest had used the 1st edition. There is not as much "activity" in them as in the newer ones. I know someone commented once on the forum about all the work in the activity book. Someone who works at Kolbe said you don't need to actually assign everything. If you know you have a busy week on the horizon, assign only a few exercises from it. On the other hand, if the kids are fighting and you need a breather, make them do the whole thing! Laughing


"I'm doing Saxon Math, is it okay, if I only do the Test that Kolbe sent me? I though they would send me all the test for Saxon, to later realize, that I need to buy the Test and Exercise Book, if I want to do that."
**Again I have the old books. If you do not have the timed math tests in the materials you currently own, definitely buy the test package because you really need timed math tests (Son#3 has a math teacher for a godfather and I asked once). Otherwise you can skip the tests that come after every 5th lesson. In fact, before the new edition of Saxon came out, Kolbe didn't have the children do the tests after every 5th lesson. Kolbe "saved" those to be assigned for the quarterly tests. Three tests of those that should have been done during the quarter were assigned as the quarterly test.

I will write more later. I need to bake a birthday cake for my daughter and there doesn't appear to be a "save as a draft" button

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Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:46 pm View user's profile Send private message
sharonh



Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 572

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Reading: I never had the kids do more than ten reading comprehension questions in a day. I devised a system now that for 1st quarter, I assign the same number of questions to be written out as the grade they are in ie 3rd grade 3 questions. I increase the number written out by one each quarter. Hmm, I just realized that my younger kids will max out at nine questions using this new method! Anyway anything over the required written is done orally. I still record whether or not these oral questions are correct as part of the reading grade for the day. I also make them answer in complete sentences even when done orally.

Literature: It is not necessary to do both Reading and Literature. I did not start my older kids on literature until 7th grade when they were done with the readers. I did give my current 6th grader the option of switching to the literature program, but being a reluctant reader, he thought the CNR would be less work. Don't feel you need to stay with recommended amount of weeks for literature. You may go longer, but spending 6 weeks on a two week book would mean something is not working quite right.

Word Study: I don't know how Kolbe feels about this (!), but I didn't have older two do Word Study past 4th grade. They are both stronger readers. I will likely do this with Child#4, however son#3 has always struggled with reading (my reluctant reader above) so I did make him do Word Study in 5th and he will do it in 6th.

Voyages in English: Grammatically speaking is not much of a problem in our house, so I do most of Voyages orally (recording the grade). Punctuation and letter writing sections are written out. I usually have 10 punctuation written out.

Diagramming: I do not use Voyages in English to teach diagramming nor do I assign the diagramming exercises from the Voyages course plans. I have used various things over the years. Last year I bought this http://sitecreator.peachtree.com/GlobalServices/CTServices/SearchProduct.asp for use in fifth grade. I basically assigned two diagramming exercises/pages a week. I thought it worked well. For sixth grade, I am using for the second time Rex Barks http://www.amazon.com/Rex-Barks-Diagramming-Sentences-Made/dp/1889439355 Again basically two days per week.
I think for one of the 5th grade tests that I did need to use Voyages to teach how to diagram nouns of direct address.

Vocabulary: I do not use Kolbe course plans since I do not assign the extra words that come from the readers. In a post a few years back, Diane Muth said it was fine not use the words from readers. If your child needs more of a challenge, then go ahead and assign them.

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Last edited by sharonh on Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:22 am; edited 1 time in total
Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:44 pm View user's profile Send private message
sharonh



Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 572

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History (Land of our Lady series): It really depends upon the type of exercise if I assign it to be written out. Matching and timeline exercises are always written out. If the exercise is a simple yes or no answer, all are written out. I have typed out the vocabulary words in OpenOffice document. I print the document at the beginning of the year and have the child write a definition as the words are found when reading the text. (Private message me with your email anyone who wants "Land of Our Lady" word lists for 4th-6th grades. I haven't used the books yet for 7th and 8th.)

Science (Harcourt 1st-6th): I do "check" questions orally as well the five review questions at the end of a lesson orally. The end of the quarter chapter reviews are written out.

If I haven't totally overwhelmed you and you have more questions, feel free to ask.

Other parents, please feel free to add what you do

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Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:58 pm View user's profile Send private message
kduprat



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 20

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Hi, thanks for laying it out for me what you do/have done with your children. I think that is exactly where I get confused, when I hear you say that you didn't start doing Literature until 7th grade. I am doing it, b/c I didn't know I did not have to do it, and the same applies to Word Study and Phonics, I'm doing them, because I though I had to do them. The only thing I'm doing different, is that I change some of the books to the ones Kolbe suggests in their Curriculum. For grammar, I'm doing Rod and Staff, I really like the books, I feel like they're very throughout. Science, we are doing Apologia's Astronomy book, History Men of Rome, Reading CNR, Religion, I'm doing Credo I believe with the Baltimore Catechism, Word Study, I'm doing 6th grade and Vocabulary, we're doing Vocabulary workshop 6th grade as well. We're also doing Latin, because my son wanted to do it this year, and I the Literature program.

Maybe I should of been counsel more before I started to do Kolbe, I don't know, I don't even feel is a lot of work, compare to Seton, because of the fact that one can do the questions to the any subject orally. I like Seton, but my son was not thriving in the program, it is a lot of busy work, it's not flexible with the curriculum like Kolbe is, even though they claim they're. I think Seton works really good with children who can sit still, don't ask a lot of questions, and get their work done. The Curriculum is nice though, Religion is very throughout lots of work though, for reading one has to do the book reports 3 starting in 3rd grade, and 4 starting in fourth grade. It can get very stressful, there are people who are not registered with Seton though, and manage to have a more flexible curriculum. The lower grades are more easy going, but when we got to 4th grade, I was about to jump of a cliff Laughing

For example for Religion, one has a Religion book that you read and answer question every day from that book, then, the BC where you have to answer the T and F, questions for discussion etc, the Quarter exams are base on both the BC and Bible History book, you have to memorize the questions. The lesson plans lay it out for you, one does not have to do absolutely nothing, not even buy any extra books with answer etc, which I've have to do, after receiving my books, because I though the lesson plans provided the answer key to the books, and it doesn't. The same applies to Saxon, I got all the test, worksheets, and answers to it all, I only had to purchase the Math book. In other words, it's school in a box.


Don't get me wrong, I like Kolbe, and the fact I was able to use other books, otherwise, I would of not register with them, I just feel I should of been counsel better, then I would not be so confuse.
Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:56 pm View user's profile Send private message
sharonh



Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 572

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As far as counseling, I think if you wait for a few weeks after getting course plans Kolbe will call and see if you need help ordering etc. I don't believe I ever waited long enough for them to call me in the early going and now I am sure they figure I don't need the help. (I have been helping out as a volunteer in the Kolbe booth at the local conference for at least 3 years, maybe four).

And just so it is not a surprise, Kolbe doesn't grade any tests at the end of quarter unless you buy the Enhance Evaluation Service (EES) and you must stay under your limit of items sent in (I believe it is 11). I am fairly certain Seton did test grading if you were a registered family.

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Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:38 am View user's profile Send private message
kduprat



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 20

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you're 100% correct, Seton does everything for you, including grading your work, for no extra charge.

I am aware Kolbe does not grade the student work unless I have register for EES.


I'll get it all little by little Very Happy


Thanks for your help
Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:27 am View user's profile Send private message
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