Kolbe – episode 2

So we decided to go ahead and register with Kolbe for next year, for the two big kids.  Here’s the beta, for those who are considering a similar plunge:

Glad we registered silly early. Kolbe lets you send in your registration (and tuition, of course) as early as you like, and then you school year still runs for the 12 months you indicate.  So we mailed forms in March, but that is to cover the year running August 2011-July 2012.  Why bother registering so early?

  • Avoid overwhelming the staff during crunch season.  We had a big box of course plans and parent information on our doorstep within a week.   One item was missing, and it was no problem to whip out an e-mail and the registration guy could just pop it in the mail.  You don’t want to be sweating waiting for materials a week before you need to start.
  • Time to look through the course plans, and get an idea of how the recommended books will be used.  So you know whether ________ supplemental text is something your student will really need, maybe want, or can do without.  Handy.
  • Time to bring the kids up to speed on their weak subjects.  Which is why . . .

The Assessment Tests are Gold.  Get them. These are the tests that measure how much of the current year’s work your student has mastered.   And here’s the secret that nervous, overwhelmed parents need to know: You don’t have to administer the test. If you’ve been teaching your student one-on-one, you can probably just look at them and get a good idea of how your student stacks up to plan.

For example, you might look at the end-of-third-grade grammar test, and say to yourself, “Egads! my 9-year-old has never even heard the word ‘Predicate’!  Somebody, quick, find me a grammar book!”  And so you google “free grammar practice worksheets”, and find this great site, and you spend the rest of the spring introducing your child to the wonders of formal grammar study.

No need to traumatize anyone by actually administering the test.  You can traumatize yourself just by looking at it.  (And, also, be reassured that the idea of a ‘predicate’ is pretty easily explained, once your child learns what nouns and verbs are, which is also pretty easy.  Which is why you weren’t sweating grammar up till now anyway.)


So that’s what we’re doing this spring.  Intensive grammar, math, and penmanship; structured unschooling for the rest.



PS: Funny conversation with the boy:

Mom: I think you’ll find the history next year pretty light.

Mr. Boy: Kolbe must not really care about history.

Mom:  No, actually they care quite a lot about history.  It’s that most kids your age don’t read adult history books for fun.

Mr. Boy: Oh.

(FYI rest assured, not all my children are like this.)

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