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I’ve spent May through this past Friday planning Bookworm’s curriculum.  He’s an excellent reader but just so-so at math, so I wanted a program that would help him become an even stronger reader as well as help him with his math skills.

Because he’s leaving a private Catholic school, I initially searched Catholic homeschool curriculum.  If homeschooling doesn’t work out for us (though I’m now planning on doing it for the long haul) and he had to return to private school, I wanted his transition to be seamless.

Kolbe Academy

We decided on Kolbe Academy, which is an accredited Catholic homeschool program.  There are certainly bigger Catholic homeschool programs out there, but we liked Kolbe because it’s flexible (I can sub out books and curriculum) and because it’s rigorous and provides a good foundation for entering college.  They even offer two different high school tracks–a basic one and one for those who want to get college credit while in high school.

During the week, Bookworm will have the following subjects:

  • Religion
  • Reading/Literature
  • English Gramar
  • Spelling & Vocabulary
  • History
  • Math
  • Japanese
  • Science
  • Geography
  • Handwriting
  • Art
  • Music

What We Substituted

Language:  Kolbe also starts students on one foreign language in 5th grade and another foreign language in 6th grade.  Their chosen languages are Latin and Greek, but we are a bit more practical, so we are subbing those languages out for Japanese and Spanish.  Since Bookworm is coming from a 7 week brush up of his Japanese at Japanese school, we’re starting him on Japanese this year.  We’ll be using Rosetta Stone’s program.

Religion:  I was fine with using Kolbe’s religion materials, but when I called our church to see if Bookworm would still have to go to religious education classes (required of all Catholic children not attending a Catholic school), they said that Kolbe’s books didn’t meet their requirement.

Since I’ll be teaching religion to Bookworm 4 days a week for 30 minutes each day, I see no point in also sending him to religious education, especially since it costs $300 a year.  Instead, I just substituted Kolbe’s book for the book the religious education classes use at our church.

History & Literature:  While I like the majority of Kolbe’s materials, the history book was last published in 1962.  I also looked at a sample, and it was VERY dry.  I love both history and reading, as does Bookworm, and I don’t want to extinguish that joy with dry materials.  I initially thought we’d use The Story of the World, but we’ve since decided to focus on American History.

We’ll be using Sonlight’s Core D for history and literature.  I’m so excited about this!  (Though I do think we’ll use The Story of the World in 6th grade after we finish Sonlight’s Core E in 5th grade, assuming we like the curriculum.)

Additional Materials We’ll Use

We’re still using K5 Learning to help Bookworm with math.  We’ll also use it this year for his vocabulary and spelling study.

I also subscribed to Netflix to add supplemental materials to the subjects we are studying, especially history.

Kolbe estimates it will take 4 hours a day to get the work done.

The girls will tag along and do some of the history activities with us.

Those of you who homeschool, what do you think of these choices?

Those of you who don’t homeschool, would you be interested in seeing an occasional post on homeschooling and how it’s working at our house?


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