Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Enrolling with Mother of Divine Grace

This spring, Steven and I decided that we would enroll with Mother of Divine Grace School, an accredited Catholic homeschooling program, for this coming school year.  Quite a few friends have been asking about our decision, so I thought I'd share about it here on the blog!

It has been in my plans for a long time, that by 7th or 8th grade we'd enroll in this program to prep for high school. One of our main mentors is a huge proponent of MODG and we have quite a few friends who use this program. We've used some of their lesson plans and book recommendations over the years.  Also, the hybrid academy that meets twice weekly and is located in our hometown uses it too, so if we ever wanted to enroll the kids there we'd be on track with their curriculum.  It's one of the few accredited Catholic programs, and it's the one I'm most familiar with and have friends to whom I can ask questions and get advice.

I like this curriculum for a variety of reasons.  I know it is a solid, Catholic classical program.  It is light in the early years and allows for an appropriate progression of work as the children get older.  They aren't requiring 1st graders to write elaborate stories, but they are challenging the high schoolers to read, discuss, and write papers on the classic works of literature.  It's very literature-based, and encourages eduction in the arts.  They allow substitutions for the textbooks used in their program, and offer a tremendous amount of support to enrolled families.  I'm confident with their textbook choices, but will probably continue with a few of the programs that work well for us, like Math U See in the younger grades and All About Spelling.

I keep seeking out co-op opportunities that don't end up working out, and can be a stress on our family, especially with the new baby.  I feel like I need some kind of outside help, especially for Latin, writing, and literature. MODG offers online Learning Support classes where the kids listen in and participate in discussions. Then they also offer the Teacher Assisted, Teacher Directed, and Teacher Enhanced Directed options that give different levels of support and grading.  They collect certain work samples from each semester and give grades and report cards, keeping records for the families and transcripts for college. 

So I'm hoping this program will offer that support I need without running around to different classes and co-ops. I hear that the children love the LS classes and I think I will get a lot out of the periodic meetings and frequent emails with our consultant.  I had my first one yesterday, which was about 2 hours of discussion about our family, this program, and each subject and textbook choice for each of the children. I can tell she will keep me grounded, accountable, and motivated. She's worked for MODG since 2005, is graduating her 2nd of 6 kids, has a Masters degree in education, offers teacher support for some classes, and helps train other consultants.  So I know she will be a great help to me and to our family!

I decided to enroll this year for a variety of reasons.  This is a year of lots of changes for our family.  I know I'd be tempted to join other classes or co-ops if I didn't try this option. I want to maintain the more simple lifestyle we've had the past few years, not running around all the time to different places. We have the funds now to pay for it without me feeling guilty for the extra costs.  I kind of made a rash decision about a month ago (with Steven's input) because I wanted to be sure I could get a consultant and a phone meeting in before registration for the LS classes this summer. I had my consultant assigned and she emailed me about 3-4 days after I mailed in the enrollment forms! I also appreciate that their website is user-friendly and professional. I will be able to print out daily and weekly lesson plans for the children.

I'm looking forward to this new program for our family, but am also realistic that every program will have drawbacks and it could add extra stress following their schedule and syllabus, and having their deadlines and requirements.  It may not end up working out for us, but I'm glad we can try it out in the middle school grades, so that if a change needs to be made, we can figure that out before high school.  I am grateful for the simple first six years of homeschooling we've had, but I know we need to get more serious as we approach the middle school years.  I'm hopeful that MODG will be a good fit, and am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of a good, solid Catholic homeschool program.

Have any of you enrolled in a program?  Do you have other thoughts or advice?


Melissa D. said...

Even though we don't homeschool I really enjoyed this post. I love your attitude in approaching this new opportunity. I also love just keeping up with your family . . . and I LOVE the "five blessings" pictures and Katherine's age, "new!" Hugs to all the Baileys, and good luck with the new program . . . I have a hard time imagining the patience and dedication it takes to homeschool as you have, I know that is hard work for you, but it looks like you guys get great rewards and benefits from it, and I know that makes it all worth it to you!

Andrea said...

I'm very interested to see how this plays out for you all Blair! OI totally agree about keeping things simple and streamlined, its so tempting to join everything around here, but I decided not to for the same reasons.
MODG is something I plan to heavily consider starting in upper middle school as well. I am so anxious to hear how you like it!

Unknown said...

I love MODG, but so far, we haven't enrolled and I actually tweak a lot for us. BUT, that said, I'm going to be very interested to hear of your experience. We'll be close to the middle school years soon, and maybe that will be a good time for me to consider enrolling. Thanks for this post!

Olivia said...

I would love to hear an update on how this worked out for you and anyone else that would like to chime in with their experiences as an enrolled family!

Dakota said...

I would love an update on how being enrolled has worked out!! Loved the article :)

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