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My daughter and I spent quite a while a bit of time this summer choosing the best 9th grade homeschool curriculum plan for her. I can’t believe she is already in 9th grade! I knew that time would go by fast, but I didn’t realize it would be this fast. Where has the time gone . . .
I let my daughter have a voice in selecting her 9th grade homeschool curriculum plan because I want her to feel a sense of educational ownership. Homeschooling isn’t something I’m doing to her. She is an active participant in her education. I think she is more likely to take an active interest in her studies if they are courses she helped select.
Of course, I provided her with information about the typical high school course schedule, possible curriculum options, and current co-op offerings.
Together we filled in the beginnings of the high school planning template.
Our 9th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Plan
9th Grade Language Arts
There are 3 components that make up my daughter’s 9th grade language arts plan.
I was so excited when I saw that my friend, Vanessa from Wright at Homeschool, is teaching this class at our co-op next year. Hannah can learn from someone other than moi while hanging out with friends.
This course looks really interesting. It teaches literary elements through poetry and movies. The instruction happens mainly online, so my daughter will be able to work pretty independently outside of the co-op class. I do intend to follow along with her progress in the class so that I can offer help and guidance whenever necessary.
We will continue to have family poetry tea time, which pairs perfectly with this curriculum. I love our family tea time and will savor this tradition as long as my kids are willing. Thankfully they seem to like this tradition too.
Girls Book Club
My daughter and I are hosting a monthly book club through our co-op for girls 12 – 16. Hannah is 14, so this will be a great opportunity to grow closer to girls around her age.
The girls will choose the books they want to read together. I tried this format years ago with my daughter’s elementary book club and it worked really well. So often I suggest books to my daughter and am met with either a sigh, an eye roll, or just a straight “No”. A friend can recommend the same exact book and my daughter will happily read it. I don’t understand it, but that is parenting a teen.
I’m offering up my list of young adult books for teens to get the girls started on their book club book list.
The Poetry and a Movie course includes a bit of writing. There is creating poems and poetry analysis. However, I am going to supplement that with a bit of WriteShop II. We are slowly working through the WriteShop high school curriculum. My daughter started level II last year, but I don’t expect her to finish this year. After all, she has a pretty full 9th grade language arts plan already.
9th Grade Math ~ Algebra
Last year I added in some hands-on middle school math lessons and realized how well this format works for my daughter. She was able to understand the pre-algebra lessons much easier through the use of manipulatives.
After realizing that math manipulatives really increase her retention (and thus boost her math confidence) I suggested she use the Math U See Algebra curriculum this year. She watched a few YouTube videos and decided that this does seem like a good fit.
I like that this curriculum includes:
- Hands-On manipulatives
- Instructional dvd
- Teacher’s manual
- Student book
- Test manual
Math U See goes all the way through Calculus, so if this works well we won’t need to switch math curricula again.
9th Grade Science ~ Physical Science
Right now the plan is for my daughter to complete the typical high school sequence – physical science, biology, chemistry, and finally physics. This approach tends to line up well with the necessary math skills.
I had a few requirements for choosing a physical science curriculum:
- Secular or neutral (nothing against religious curriculum – secular curricula just tends to fit our Lutheran beliefs best)
- Reasonably priced
- Included a lab component
- Included a teacher’s guide
I had no idea how hard it would be to find something that checked all of those boxes!
Eventually I decided to use Prentice Hall Physical Science: Concepts in Action.
I like that each chapter has a study guide and assessment included right in the textbook. The answers, along with instructional tips, are in the teacher’s manual. Friends, it has been a long time since I studied high school science, so a teacher’s guide with answers is essential!
The laboratory manual contains 2 experiments per chapter. I am hoping that I will be able to find most of the materials, but know that I will likely have to substitute other experiments on occasion. I’m okay with that. Even if we only do one of the experiments for each chapter, that still amounts to 21 experiments.
This curriculum also includes a reading and study with math support workbook. It is essentially a study guide. I purchased this because I felt it would really help set my daughter up for success in high school science.
The thing that really pushed me to purchase this curriculum is that the Prentice Hall website has a section devoted to this textbook. Every chapter has a practice quiz, science news links, and other science help. This is a great resource!
9th Grade History ~ World History
This year both of my children will study world history. It has been a while since we studied world history and this fit neatly in my homeschooling high school plan.
I really want to knock world history out in one year, but many homeschool history curricula stretch it out over two. Thankfully, I found Holt McDougal World History: Patterns of Interaction.
This textbook is incredibly comprehensive. It is a ton of information crammed into one book. It covers 4 million B.C. to the 1960’s through 36 chapters. That means we should cover one chapter a week. Each chapter has 3 – 5 sections, so while it will move at a fast clip, it is doable.
I didn’t purchase the teacher edition because I don’t plan to do much teaching. One of my goals for high school is that my daughter learn to work a bit more independently. The plan is for her to read each chapter and then answer the questions.
We have never really used traditional textbooks, but knowing her way around one will likely help her in college. At a minimum, it is something I want her to be familiar with.
Foreign Language ~ Spanish I
I allowed my daughter to choose her foreign language and she chose Spanish. Thank goodness. It has been a long time since high school and college, but at one point her father and I were pretty fluent. I might be a little rusty, but I definitely remember enough to teach Spanish I.
We are using ¡En Español! mainly because I found the first two volumes of the student textbook at a used textbook sale. We paid $8 for a bag full of books, so each Spanish textbook probably only cost us a dollar or two. The books are from 2000, but entry level Spanish doesn’t really change.
In addition to the student textbook I also purchased the teacher’s edition, the unit 1 resource book, and two student workbooks (Ben wants to learn Spanish next year too).
I just want to point out how incredible it is that I was able to find 2 blank student workbooks that are almost 20 years old. Amazon really does have everything! They also had the VHS tape that accompanies this program, but we are going to skip that 😉
I expect that I will teach the lesson, work on one workbook page together, and then assign one workbook page to be done independently, but that is flexible. Duolingo is also an option for extra practice.
Elective #1 ~ Beyond Personal Finance
We are rounding out the 9th grade homeschool curriculum with a few electives.
Financial literacy is pretty important to me. In fact, this is not an elective that my daughter got to choose. She was allowed to choose when in her high school career she participated in a personal finance course, but it is not considered optional (my rules – not North Carolina).
I first learned about Beyond Personal Finance while planning the Carolina Homeschool Conference. The curriculum creator will be in the vendor hall answering any questions. (If you are going to be in the Raleigh area August 17, 2019, please come and say hi!)
This curriculum can be taught in person with Charla (the curriculum creator), at home, online, or through a homeschool co-op. One of the moms in our co-op graciously offered to teach this course, so Hannah is all signed up.
The course works sort of like the game of life. Each week students learn a new aspect of adult financial literacy – career choice, car purchase, budgeting, home purchase, children, etc. Sometimes they get to make choices and other times they roll a dice and they need to figure out a way to deal with whatever happens. I love that they can not plan everything. That is life. Things don’t always go according to plan.
The course is 20 sessions, one per week, so I am counting it as a half credit.
Elective #2 ~ Home Economics
Home economics is another one of those ‘mom mandatory’ high school classes in my house. Hannah decided to just go ahead and do it this year.
Truthfully, I am still designing this curriculum. I have the framework laid out but am still tweaking the assignments.
Hannah will essentially learn how to manage a household – food safety and prep, cleaning, laundry, routine maintenance, and basic child development. These are skills that pretty much every adult needs, which is why it is mandatory in my high school.
I am excited to tackle high school with my daughter. The next four years are going to fly by and I am thankful for this extra time together.
Have you homeschooled high school? I would love to hear what you loved about your 9th grade homeschool curriculum! Share it in the comments.
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