I can hardly believe that I have two children in high school! This post is a list of curriculum I used with my oldest son for his 9th grade year in our homeschool.
Ninth grade was a success this year for my oldest son. He really rose to the occasion and excelled in ways that I was not expecting. The courseload was definitely a step up from his middle school studies, but he did a great job.
Here are the curriculum choices we made for the school year for 9th grade:
Writing – This year, my son completed IEW’s Structure and Style for Students: Year 2 Level B Basic (streaming). He completed Year 1 Level B last year, so I definitely wanted him to continue on with the next section. We love this curriculum. It has the videos to follow along with, instructed by Andrew Pudewa himself. There are still dad jokes and puns throughout the new edition for anyone familiar with the older series.
I love that my son ws given direct instruction on how to write. My oldest son used to be a very reluctant writer, but IEW has truly gotten him to more easily transfer his thoughts onto paper. The best part was that my son was able to use his sense of humor in just about every writing assignment, which made it more fun for him.
Grammar – Also from IEW, we used Fix It! Grammar: Robin Hood (affiliate link). They have recently put out a 4th edition of these books, but we used this book 2 of the 3rd edition because we’re using what we have! I bought the whole series of the Fit It! Grammar books several years ago, so I will use these editions for my kids to get my money’s worth.
I like to use Fix It! Grammar alongside IEW’s writing programs because the editing done in the grammar book correlates nicely with the concepts being taught in Structure & Style. I also love that it only takes a few minutes each day, an it can be done pretty independently.
Sonlight Literature – Several years ago, I purchased quite a few old copies of Sonlight teacher binders and sought out a ton of the books from the book lists. When I don’t have a specific literature curriculum, I pull from those books and create a book list for the year for my kids. That’s exactly what we did this year. I had my son choose about a dozen books from what I offered to him. At the end of each book, he either had to answer some questions about the book, tell me about the book out loud (book report style), or write a short summary of the book.
This year, my 9th grader completed Teaching Textbooks Geometry. We purchase the family plan of the online version of Teaching Textbooks since so many of my kids are using it. We save a lot of money that way. In addition to completing the work online, I do provide my kids with the corresponding workbook so that they have a place to jot down their work. I prefer to do the workbooks, because it has the same problems and wording already written down, and I find that it cuts down on simple mistakes by ensuring that the correct numbers, graphs, charts, etc are there while they work through the problems.
World History was the credit that my ninth grader earned this year. To achieve it, he worked through History and Philosophy of the Western World from 7Sisters Homeschool. We did adapt it to fit our needs, and then bulked up the rest of his year using Khan Academy and some Crash Course History videos.
We started out the year using ChemExplained for a Chemistry credit. My two oldest kids really tried to love and work through the curriculum, but there was so much busy work and too many assignments for it to be practical for our household. They were spending 2 or more hours a day on it sometimes. I could see my science-loving son start to avoid science altogether, so I knew we needed to make a switch. This particular curriculum just wasn’t working out, and that’s okay.
Mid-year, we switched to Guest Hollow’s Chemistry in the Kitchen. This went a lot more smoothly. My son already adores reading non-fiction, mostly about science. This is a very literature-heavy curriculum with weekly science experiments (usually actual tasty recipes) to complete. We got through the first 18 weeks of this.
I will count the two of these semesters as one semester of Chemistry. They’ll complete the second half of the Guest Hollow curriculum in the fall, and I’ll count it as a 1/2 credit science elective for them both.
My son completed 2 courses in Speech. I’ll give him a Speech I and a Speech II credit (each is worth .5 credit, so he’ll get a full credit total).
He completed Hewitt Homeschooling Lightning Lit & Comp Speech using the book Lend Me Your Ears (affiliate link) by William Safire. I love this curriculum, because it presents so many great speeches to students and has them answer questions about them. Studying famous and infamous speeches is a wonderful way to understand the structure and impact of them.
Additionally, he completed the 7 Sisters Speech I Public Speaking and Practical Life Skills curriculum. While the first curriculum focused on speeches that were already written, this curriculum is the public speaking course. My son had to create and present his own pieces. We made sure to gather around as many family members as possible to make up a decent-sized audience for him.
Culinary Skills/Cooking – For a half-credit, my son completed the FREE online course from Plain & Not So Plain called Home Economics Kitchen Skills. I really loved this one for him, because it gave him a lot of experiences in the kitchen. He gained a lot of confidence in his cooking. Each week gave him several choices as far as what he wanted to make, so we didn’t have to search high and low for weird ingredients. Everything he made was great! I never would have known what a good cook and baker he is without this course. I think this will give him that background and confidence to be able to take care of himself when we does finally leave the nest.
Logic – Finally, my son wanted to try the FREE half-credit logic course called Chambergon Battle Logic by Michah Tillman. This “elementary logic” course is written in game form and is unique from anything else I’ve seen. It’s one of those things you just have to try for yourself to see if you’d like it. He said this was one of his favorite things about this school year, so I count it as a win.
Final Thoughts on the 9th Grade Year
My son had a very full year. He worked through 6 credits, which isn’t too bad. In my homeschool, I require 26 credits to graduate (20.5 specific class credits and then 5.5 elective credits). He earned his first credit in 8th grade with Algebra I, so he is right on track with a total of 7 credits so far. I am really proud of all of the hard work my son completed. The growth and maturity was incredible to watch. He’s a pro at high school now!