Though I’ve homeschooled for 15 years–this is my first time homeschooling 9th grade! My two oldest children opted for public high school, but this 3rd child of mine–she’s all in! She loves the freedom and independence homeschooling allows…and has no interest in the dramatic antics she’s heard all about from her older siblings. So here we are, ready to start a whole new chapter of homeschooling! And because high school feels like we’ve upped the ante a bit, I really wanted to be confident about our curriculum choices! After much careful deliberation, here they are… Our homeschool 9th grade curriculum picks:
Homeschool 9th Grade Curriculum
**I’m also chatting about my 9th grade curriculum choices over on YouTube…If you’d like to watch that video, here it is:
Math: Teaching Textbooks
Last year we made the switch from Saxon Math to Teaching Textbooks–it was a huge success for us! So the decision was easy to go with Teaching Textbooks for Algebra 1 (plus they’ve updated the program making it even more convenient and affordable)! Teaching Textbooks is an online math program, and my daughter loves working through it independently!
English: Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) and Notgrass History
I’m combining the literature piece of our history program (Exploring World History from Notgrass History) with Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). Basically, I’m in love with our new history program (which provides a full credit for both English and Bible study in addition to a world history credit)–but I needed to beef it up a bit!
I’m truly impressed with the quality literature included in Notgrass History, but I don’t feel like there is enough writing instruction. My old stand-by for quality writing instruction is IEW–so it was an easy decision to turn there for writing support.
At my local homeschool convention, I met the most lovely and amazing ladies from IEW who helped me lay out a vision for my daughter’s high school English credits. They suggested I use Advanced U.S. History-Based Writing Lessons and Fix-It! Grammar for 9th grade–and that’s exactly what we’re doing!
I love the thematic writing lessons from IEW–I’ve used them before and appreciate how the lessons build upon themselves in a very structured way. I knew the assignments would be easy for me to implement and include clear grading guidelines (also perfect for high school record keeping)!
In addition, we’ve used Fix-It! Grammar in the past. It is a gentle (and short) daily practice; students look for grammar mistakes, correct the mistakes, and rewrite the passage. I’m a huge believer in practicing grammar skills through finding and correcting mistakes (which is an important skill for those pesky ACT tests our high schoolers will eventually take)!
We bought the highest level (Book 6: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight)–and it is tricky! If you’ve never used Fix-It! before, I would definitely start with a lower level!
As a bonus–both IEW programs we use include weekly vocabulary words!
History (and Bible/Religion Credit): Notgrass History
So here’s where I’ve really changed course and mixed things up! I’ve been using Tapestry of Grace for years–it is a very strong history program. However–it required a lot of “mom time.” With all my little people, I just didn’t feel like I could do it justice for my daughter at the high school level. And honestly, my 9th grader just wants to get her assignments from me and go get them done!
So I began searching for a new history program that was a bit more straightforward–and written to the student. That’s when I discovered Notgrass History! It’s written to the student, daily assignments are clearly planned out, and it’s relatively self-contained within 2 textbooks (Part 1 and 2) and a textbook containing original source documents (12 books for the English credit are separate).
Additionally, the program aligns literature assignments with history topics! In fact, you can use the curriculum for 3 credits–History, English, and Bible! Personally, I tend to favor a unit study approach to learning–so this combination was right up my alley!
And–I am loving the convenient daily assignment checklists and charts for recording weekly grades (plus course descriptions are provided in the “getting started,” materials)! All perfect for homeschooling high school!
Science: Apologia Science
I’m such an Apologia Science fan–we’ve used it throughout elementary and middle school! Last year, my daughter used Exploring Creation with General Science and did great with it! I definitely wanted to stick with Apologia for high school and decided on Exploring Creation With Biology for this year. Because I think science can be the most difficult subject to implement at home, I bought all the goodies for this course! I grabbed the video instruction, the student notebook, a microscope and slides…we are set!
French: Rosetta Stone
At the last-minute, I broke down a purchased the online version of Rosetta Stone! I actually own the old-school Rosetta Stone homeschool discs…and I was going to save money and just reuse them for French 1. But then I got to thinking–my daughter loves to work on her phone, on the iPad, on a laptop…She is much more likely to be engaged with the material if she’s using the updated online program! And so I decided to bite the bullet and get a year subscription for French. (She’s loving it!)
Electives: Delight Directed Learning!
My daughter studies classical ballet over 20 hours a week–so yep, that counts as her physical education credit! (Later, I will count it as a fine arts credit!)
She’ll also be earning a technology credit through the time she spends running a very sweet and successful YouTube channel (AudreyAnn). I’m a bit biased–but I think it’s adorable, and I’m really proud of the messages she puts out to other young girls! She works incredibly hard on her channel and is helping me get started on my own!
Lee Binz, the Homescholar, first introduced me to the concept of delight directed learning. She has a great book (super short and easy read)–Delight Directed Learning. Her encouragement and instruction gave me the confidence to create courses utilizing the activities my daughter is passionate about!
**Her entire website is filled with great ideas and support for homeschooling high school! I regularly attend her free webinars, and I own her Total Transcript Solution and Comprehensive Record Solution.
Here We Go! You CAN Homeschool High School!
I am speaking at the 2020 Homeschool Mom Conference! It’s all online, lifetime access, watch on your schedule! Special Early Bird Pricing ($12) runs through April 5! I’d love for you to join me!!
I’m truly so thankful and blessed to spend these high school years with my daughter…I’ll keep you posted on our journey!
I love hearing what other families are using and loving with their kiddos–please feel free to share what’s working for you or what you’re trying this year! (It blesses other moms looking for ideas!). And if you’ve graduated a high schooler from your homeschool–please know what an encouragement you are to the rest of us!