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Homeschool FAQ
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See below for answers to frequently asked questions regarding Kolbe’s homeschool courses.


What is the Ignatian Method of education?

The Ignatian Method of education is based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, which has been developed and refined for over 450 years. The focus of the Ignatian Method is formation, not information. The fundamental goal is to help parents lead their children to the knowledge and love of God. The Method helps the parents train the student’s memory, understanding and will, so that the student can speak, write, and act well in life, for the greater glory of God. This is accomplished through self-activity, mastery of progressively more difficult material, and formation of the will through conscientious application of study habits.


Why choose a classical curriculum?

The study of a classical curriculum serves several purposes.  It:

  • Focuses on the highest spiritual, literary and artistic achievements of Western civilization, elevating the mind and soul
  • Introduces students to the greatest books in their original sources, not just textbook summaries
  • Integrates the study of different subjects, showing the interrelationships that exist among them
  • Provides a solid grounding in the basics, emphasizing the technique of learning by memorization in the lower grades
  • Improves English by the study of Latin and Greek


The classical curriculum is implemented in phases.  We introduce younger students to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, to begin to build an awareness of God’s preparations for the arrival of the Messiah.  We revisit Greece and Rome in high school, along with the Medieval and Modern worlds.  In high school, the literature and history courses go hand-in-hand:  while reading the Iliad in literature, the student reads Herodotus’ Histories; while reading the The Early History of Rome in history, the student is also reading The Aeneid in literature.  It’s about making connections between literature and history, between ancient and modern, between classical and Christian civilization.


What is the Principle of Subsidiarity?

The Principle of Subsidiarity states that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization that can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization (Pope Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno).  Nowhere has this found greater expression than in the home schooling movement.  Kolbe Academy Home School has embraced the principle of subsidiarity by offering an educational program that you implement in your home.  We are not a correspondence program.  With Kolbe, you are the teacher and are truly in charge of your children’s education.  This is in keeping with the dictum of Pope John Paul II that “the parents have been appointed by God Himself as the first and principal educators of their children…their right is completely inalienable” (Familiaris Consortio 40).


Is Kolbe Academy accredited?

Yes! Kolbe Academy is fully accredited by both Cognia, a regional accreditation organization, and NAPC*IS, the National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools.


What is in the Syllabi, Course Plans, and Quarterly Tests?

The syllabi set parameters and goals for each course, generally including scope and sequence.  Course plans give suggestions (not requirements) for a week’s worth of work, such that a complete course can be finished in a typical school year.  Quarterly Tests with answers are keyed to the course plans; these are offered as samples and can be altered as needed.


How are the Course Plans formatted?

Course plans for grades K-8 are in a quarterly, daily format and most are based on a four day work week.  For High school, course plans come in a semester, weekly format.


How do I go about adapting the course of study?

The Kolbe advisors are available to help parents adapt plans to the particular academic requirements of their students.  When enrolling, you can note on the form any changes you wish to make or you may take an assessment test and then make changes.


What is an Academic Advisor?

The advisors at Kolbe are dedicated individuals who have been selected based on their knowledge and practice of the Catholic Faith, academic background, and life experience.  They assist you in setting and meeting reasonable and challenging goals, provide a review of the quarterly reports submitted by the family, answer questions about the curriculum, provide high school and pre-college counseling, help parents adapt the curriculum, review assessment tests, develop curriculum and more!  Think of us as your teaching consultant and aide!


Can I get the course plans without enrolling full-time?

Yes! Syllabi, course plans, and quarterly tests are also available with part-time enrollment, or can be purchased in our book store.


Is there a limit to how many times I can call the advisor?

Absolutely not!  The advisors are available during Kolbe’s regular business hours, or by email, to discuss any of your questions or to just lend an ear.  No question or concern is too small!


Must I administer an Assessment Test before I begin home schooling?

NO! Assessment tests are not required, they are an optional tool for parents who are unsure of their student’s grade level in the above subject areas.


What subjects do the Assessment Tests cover?

The tests are designed as an end of the year assessment in reading, spelling, grammar, and math.


Is there a fee if I choose to administer an assessment test?

Assessment tests are free to fully enrolled families at any point during their school year. Non-enrolled families may purchase tests for $25 each. If you subsequently enroll, we’ll apply the $25 towards your enrollment fees.


Are there any additional fees for making changes to the curriculum or requesting course plans from a grade level other than the one my student is registered for?

There are no additional fees for substituting Kolbe’s curriculum with other curriculum choices (i.e. Wordly Wise instead of Sadlier Vocabulary, Holt Mathematics instead of Saxon Math, etc.).  Within the Kolbe curriculum, if a parent would like to choose an alternate grade level other than the grade the student is registered for, they may do so with the following stipulations:


  1. Enrolled students in grades 1-8 are allowed one course plan per subject within +/- two grade levels in the following subject areas:  Religion, Reading (K-6), Phonics (1-6), English Grammar, Spelling/Vocab/Comp, Literature (4-8), History, Geography (1-6), Math, Science, Latin (5-8) and Greek (5-8).  For example, a parent who has registered a 7th grade student may request 6th grade History with no extra fee.
  2. Enrolled students in grades 1-8 may request additional course plans for $39 each.
  3. Enrolled students in high school may request one high school course plan per subject from the following subject areas:  Theology, English, Literature, History, Math, Science, and Language.  One additional course plan may be added for the high school student without additional fees. Additional course plan requests beyond this are charged $49 each.
  4. Kindergarten students who would like to substitute or add more than two subjects to their course plan requests must pay the first-grade registration fee.


What do you mean by your school year?

Parents specify the start of their school year on the enrollment form. Therefore, you choose which month you want to begin your school year.


How long is an enrollment period?

An enrollment period is a 12-month period based on when you choose to begin schooling. Of that 12-month period, most states will require 180 days of school attendance.  Our course plans are based on this premise.  To be sure you are fulfilling your own state’s requirements, please check the HSLDA website at


Must I join HSLDA, the Home School Legal Defense Association?

Although it is not mandatory to join HSLDA, it is strongly encouraged. HSLDA is a national advocacy and lobbying organization for home schooling families. Kolbe families receive an application in the Welcome Packet and will receive a more than 17% discount on the regular rate.


What is a Grade Portfolio?

A grade portfolio consists of a sampling of the student’s work sent to the advisors by the parent, along with a Grade Submission Form. An advisor reviews the work, verifies the grades assigned, makes comments, and sends a report to the parents. Grades are verified by sending in one sample of work for each subject every quarter in grades K-8, and two samples of work for each subject per semester in grades 9-12. Parents can review our grade reporting articles for more information. We suggest starting with reviewing the Grade Report Submission Overview and the "Grade Reporting Guide" for the student's grade level to get started.


What kind of sample work and how much should I include in my grade report?

You may include any written and graded work the student has done in that quarter, i.e. the quarterly test, daily work, or a special project. In order for the advisor to verify the grades, there must be at least one sample of graded work per grade assigned, per quarter. (It is not necessary to send in a sample for electives such as music and physical education. A written narrative will suffice.) Please see this article for more information Grade Report Submission Overview.


Will the sample work be returned to me or does Kolbe retain it?

Kolbe will retain digital copies of sample work submitted.


Is grade reporting a requirement?

Grade reporting is a service, not a requirement. However, if no reports at all are filed, or if the required elements are not sent in, Kolbe Academy cannot validate the grades given by the parents on official transcripts.


Is there a deadline on filing grade portfolio? Must I file every quarter?

There is no deadline on filing grade portfolios and parents may choose to file two semester reports or one year-end report. However, parents are strongly encouraged to file reports once a quarter and in a timely manner for three reasons: 1. This will help parents keep on top of the paperwork. 2. Advisor’s comments on the reports will be relevant. 3. For high school students, regular reporting assures students are on track to graduate.


How do I get a transcript, grade record, or a diploma?

Transcripts are requested through Parchment. Grade reports for K-8th grade students and report cards for 9th-12th grade students are emailed to the parent upon review of their submitted grade portfolio. Families who have students completing only online courses can email their family advisor or [email protected] to request a copy of their student's grade report or report card. The 8th or 12th grade diploma can be requested by completing the Graduation Application form.


Is there an additional fee for grade records, diplomas or transcripts?

There is no additional fee for grade records or diplomas. All transcripts are done through Parchment.


What is the difference between a grade record and a transcript?

A grade record is issued for Kindergarten through 8th grade when parents need official records sent to another school. Transcripts are issued for high schoolers and credits and grade point averages are assigned to courses.


Does Kolbe Academy keep cumulative files for students?

Yes, Kolbe establishes a cumulative file for each student upon enrollment. If a student has attended another school before enrolling with Kolbe, parents may ask the school to send their records to us. Kolbe Academy has over 30 years of experience preparing and safeguarding accurate and complete grade records for its students and families. You can be confident that your important records will be carefully and confidentially maintained for as long as you are enrolled and for five years after withdrawal.

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