Curriculum Picks for Our 9th Grade Homeschool
Looking for curriculum resources to use in your 9th-grade homeschool? Below you will find picks for our freshman year as well as our schedule and access to our lesson plans.
This is an exciting year for our homeschool. The boys are entering high school and are becoming more and more independent. They’re also taking on more responsibilities like maintaining the pool and mowing the lawn.
My hope is that they will take more responsibility for their education this year and won’t need mom so much (in homeschool, that is…they will always need this mama).
Below you will find our 9th-grade homeschool curriculum picks with how we will go about using them. My goal is to focus on getting the boys to figure out stuff on their own before coming to me. I also want them to get in the habit of taking good notes and developing better study skills.
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Core Curriculum Resources
Over the years, we have used Math-U-See‘s curriculum and are very happy with it. This year the boys will be taking on geometry. This means we will be tackling the following areas and concepts:
- parts of shapes like lines, rays, points…
- area and volume of various shapes
- Pythagorean Theorem
- other axioms, postulates, and theorems
- transformational geometry
- and a bit of trigonometry
Math is usually the first subject we do for the day. If we are starting a new chapter, we watch Mr. Demme’s video clip for that lesson. Then we do a couple of problems together on the board before they begin completing their worksheets for that day.
We dedicate 6 to 7 days for each lesson. This includes tests and honors worksheets. Click here to learn more about –> how we schedule our Math-U-See lessons for this curriculum.
Another staple in our home is BJU Press‘ Writing and Grammar kit. We do well with this curriculum and will be tackling their 9th-grade level books this year.
This year I decided not to do the chapters in order. I wanted to add in some of their reference chapters (13-15) earlier in the year when it makes sense. For example, chapter 14 covers study skills that they could use in all subjects. So I decided that we will take on this chapter in the first week.
I also switched around their writing assignments so that the amount of time they need for the subject corresponds with the length of a chapter. For example, if a chapter only has 7 days of assignments before a test, then I will look for a writing assignment they can complete in that time.
If you’d like to follow our lesson plans, don’t forget to fill out the form at the end of this post and you’ll get free access to how we are scheduling all of our curricula.
Just a note: For their “research essay“, the boys will be tackling one of their Earth Science & Astronomy modules as an alternative to their science project. And their “personal response to literature essay” will be based on our literature assignment, The Diary of Anne Frank.
Last year we started Joy Hakim’s The History of US and were able to get through books 1-3 and part of book 4. I absolutely love this curriculum.
I think Ms. Hakim did a great job of covering everything about our country’s history. Why else would it be a 10-volume set? She is certainly thorough and when it comes to sensitive topics, she challenges her readers to stop and really think about certain issues.
If you try this curriculum, you’ll want to start with last year’s lesson plans. Again, this is in our resource library and you can access it by filling out the form at the end of this post.
For this curriculum, we read one chapter a day, five days a week, unless a unit test will fall on a Monday. If that’s the case, I will cancel that Friday’s reading and resume it on Monday so that the boys have the weekend and Monday to review their lessons before their test on that Tuesday.
We also pair up our lessons with the DVD, The Story of US. We have watched this collection several times and it never gets old.
And finally, we use Homeschool In the Wood’s Record of Time for our timeline. It is a bit pricey but we have been using it for the past six years and can vouch that it is worth every penny. To read more about it and how we use it, click here–>Our 8th-grade curriculum choices, and skip to the timeline portion.
This year we will be taking on three pieces of literature:
As I stated under our writing curriculum, we will also be reading the Diary of Anne Frank and using it for our “personal response to literature” essay. I decided that we will follow this book audibly. I think that giving Anne Frank a “voice” will make her story come to life even more.
And like every year for the past four years, we will take on Shakespeare. This year I have chosen one of the tragedies, Othello. I have included page numbers in our lesson plans but if you are using a different book, know that these will not match yours. Instead, follow the acts and scenes I’ve listed.
When setting up this curriculum, I try my best to estimate the amount of reading we will do for the day. If we are able to read more or if we fall behind, I will update my lesson plans to reflect this. So if you decide to use our lesson plans for these readings, know that the literature schedule can change but it will not be a huge change.
This year we will continue where we left off last year with Elemental Science’s Earth Science & Astronomy for the Logic Stage. So if you decide to use this curriculum, check out last year’s lesson plans (look for March 2019) to help you with scheduling.
Just a note: I am aware that the “logic stage” is geared towards middle schoolers but we started this curriculum in their last year. Since we use their 3-day lesson plan, we are able to get through a particular topic before the year is over. This gives us time to start a new topic.
So if you prefer your student to take the high school curriculum, click here and check out Elemental Science’s high school collection.
Now as I said before, we follow the 3-day schedule for each lesson week since a lot of the material is review. Doing this helps us get an early start on the next curriculum before the end of the year is out. Come February, we will add Elemental Science’s Chemistry for the Logic Stage.
We follow this curriculum Monday through Thursday. This includes doing a lab at least once a week and on occasion twice.
And this is why I have come to love this curriculum. Elemental Science has a lab supplies kit that they make available for each of the logic stage courses. Some of the materials you can find in stores however there are some that I would have a hard time finding. I love it for convenience more than anything. And it doesn’t hurt that I don’t have to buy 20 straws or 100 balloons when all I need is one.
Now, on Fridays, we do our element studies. That is, we go over a particular periodic table element and fill in our facts sheet for this element. We have been doing this for two years now and will finish all the elements this year.
For the past two years that we have been using BJU Press‘ Spanish I curriculum, we were taking a more oral/audible approach to learning. While we did some writing, it was not my main concern. I wanted the boys to start speaking and listening more in order to grasp the language.
However, Spanish was becoming somewhat difficult for the boys at the end of last year. So this year, I’m restarting this curriculum and will add more writing activities to help solidify the language better. Since this is a review, we are going to go through the lessons a little quicker too.
This year I am adding “personal finance” to the boys’ curriculum. After scouring Amazon for an appropriate book, I ended up purchasing Carol H. Cox’s Personal Finance for Teens.
I have only scheduled this elective on Fridays when our day is light. I have only flipped through the book enough to piece together a lesson plan but until we start using it, I am not going to recommend it just yet. When I do review it, I will update this post.
Our Schedule and Lesson Plans
Scheduling Our 9th-Grade Homeschool
Our schedule last year worked really well and so we will follow the same routine this year. If you have a student that is very dependent on you when it comes to homeschooling then you don’t want to follow this schedule. It really is for students who can get most of their work done without you.
So what does this schedule look like? When the boys wake up and after they’ve had their breakfast, they refer to the lesson plans and do as much of their independent work as possible. This includes completing worksheets and any reading that is required.
Then at 11:00 am, I start instructions and go on until 1:00 pm (our lunchtime). These 2 hours are pretty much all I need on most days. Now, this doesn’t mean that at 1:00 pm the boys are done for the day. Very rarely does that ever happen.
So after lunch, the boys will complete all their work for that day. Then they will bring it to me so that I can mark any errors. If they have errors, they need to go back and redo their work. If the work still has errors then I will sit with them and help them work through it.
So on most days, the boys usually get their work done before 3 pm. And if they have a test or quiz coming up, they will do their studying right after dinner and chores.
Below I have listed our instruction schedule for this year:
- 11:00 am: Math
- 11:20 am: English/writing
- 11:40 am: Science
- 12:00 pm: Literature
- 12:20 pm: Spanish
- 12:40 pm: History
Now 20 minutes does not seem like a lot but there are days when instructions will take 10 minutes and other days it can go on for 40 minutes. It usually works out in the end and if I have to resume instructions after lunch, it isn’t a big deal.
If you decide to follow our lesson plans you may notice some weeks missing. This is when we take our vacations. Because we don’t take off for holidays like Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, New Year’s Day, etc…, we can afford to take off a week here and there. Keep in mind that we also start our homeschooling earlier as well.
So, our vacation weeks are as follows:
- September 9-13 (boys are going hunting with Dad and Grandpa)
- November 25-29 (Thanksgiving vacay)
- December 23-27 (Christmas vacay)
- February 24-28 (Just because)
- April 20-24 (Our Spring Break)
Our Lesson Plans
If you have trouble creating lesson plans or would like to see how we schedule a certain subject or curriculum, fill out the form below to gain access to our lesson plans. I don’t expect anyone to follow our plans exactly and truly offer them as a template to help guide you as you create yours. However, if you have any questions regarding our plans, feel free to leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]
Final Thoughts on Choosing 9th-Grade Homeschool Curriculum
In the end, remember when it comes to choosing a curriculum and putting a plan together, you want to choose curricula that are:
- appropriate for your student’s age/maturity level
- challenges and engages your teenager
- in keeping with your values
- easy for you to schedule (or, at least, offers sample lesson plans)
And with this, I want to wish you and your student success in your homeschooling journey!
More Helpful Homeschool Articles and Resources
- Free Student Planners [2019-2020]
- Homeschool Room Organization Help
- How to Create Various Homework Stations