Feb 17, 2014

Kolbe Academy FAQs for Enrollees in the Philippines

1. Are they open to having enrollees that use a different curriculum (e.g. Sonlight, Catholic Heritage, etc.)?

Yes, they are. You as the parent have the right to choose what curriculum to use with your child. The main thing is that you are able to prove to Kolbe, through proper documentation, that your child indeed learned the materials that are contained in the curriculum you used.

2. How do you send in your sample works, grades, etc.?

We scan them and save the whole set in PDF, then we email them to Kolbe. The documentation is arranged per quarter, but we compile all quarters so we can send them in one blast at the end of the year.
For high schoolers, however, it is highly recommended that you send quarterly reports quarterly, not annually.

3. Do you do all subjects?

No. For grades 1 to 3, we only do reading, phonics, grammar, math, science, and religion.

The full Kolbe curriculum includes geography, spelling, and history. We will include geography and history starting grade 4.

If you wish to teach Philippine history and geography, you may do so, but you will have to find your own curriculum and books for them, because Kolbe does not supply such materials.

4. Do you teach Filipino?

No, although I tried on our first year. My problem was the lack of good curriculum and materials for teaching the subject.

If my kids are ever required to take a validating exam in Filipino, they will fare like other children who were schooled using the US curriculum.

I agree that this can be inconvenient. This is why my children are transferring to a Philippine-based homeschool provider this year.

5. Do you buy all their books?

No. I get most of our materials online. You can get cheap or even free digital versions of McGuffey’s readers on Google Play, Project Gutenberg, and Amazon.com.

We subscribe to Starfall.com for my kindergartener. There are online flashcards at Factmonster.com. There are also plenty of printable exercises you can get for a P500 annual fee at Schoolkid.ph.

I sometimes browse the textbooks at National Bookstore for the occasional textbook gem.

The only books I get from Kolbe are their religion books. I used to get them using Johnny Air, but if you order the books right after you enroll online, they can be shipped along with the curriculum.

6. How old was your child when you enrolled her in kindergarten?

My second child was almost six years old when she enrolled in Kolbe’s kindergarten. My eldest was seven when he enrolled in Kolbe for the first time, in first grade. They did not ask if he had gone to kindergarten. But that could have changed, since US schooling policies seem to require kindergarten now too.

7. How much time do you spend homeschooling?

I hesitate to answer this question because you may interpret my answer to mean how much time YOU should spend homeschooling.

The point of homeschooling is that you get to adjust everything to your child’s individual needs. I recommend that you carefully gauge how long your child’s attention stays, and when the child has obviously become tired, don’t push it.

When my eldest was in first grade, he could tolerate two hours of class. When my second child was in first grade, she could only tolerate one hour of class.

You may ask, how was my second child able to finish her lessons in half the time?

Actually, the lessons were short enough to be finished in one hour time. My eldest child took two hours because when he was done with his lessons, his mom made him do extra practice!

Today, we have done away with the clock. I give them their tasks for the day, and if they are able to satisfactorily do their lessons in fifteen minutes (that means no mistakes on the exercises), they can go.

What do they do the rest of the time? They play. They study the things that really interest them.

They have drawing lessons through YouTube. They make their own dragon models out of cardboard and glue stick. They use Android apps to learn French vocabulary. Right now, as I type, they are exploring the properties of reflection and iridescence using flashlights and old CDs.

8. How much does it cost?

Please click here for my complete post on that.

9. How do you find Kolbe Academy so far?

Their curriculum is excellent for busy working mothers who are looking for an affordable curriculum with maximum flexibility. Their religion curriculum is excellent for Catholics. They are loyal to the Magisterium. I love that.

But this year, we are transferring to a Philippine-based homeschool provider because I would sleep better knowing that my children have Filipino and Sibika at Kultura in their curriculum. Also, Kolbe's flexibility is not quite suited to my personality.

Nevertheless, we will continue to buy Kolbe's curriculum and books for religion.

Note: This FAQ list is based on my experience and is not officially sanctioned by Kolbe Academy. To get information straight from them, please visit their website, kolbe.org, and find their contact information there.

Other questions? Please ask them in the comments.

The Nanay Notebook is written by Blessie Adlaon, a work-at-home and homeschooling mom of four. Check out our About page to know more about this blog's author and our policies on advertising, press releases, and reposting.

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