Year 9

Homeschool planning for year 9

Homeschooling mid-teens is an exciting and sometimes tumultuous time. It’s when your child starts to develop their interests in a more mature and in-depth way. Involve your child in the planning and work together to choose resources to meet your goals.

You can drop some subjects and take up new ones. They may also begin sifting through what they might like to study at university. Getting their first job or deciding to start their own business will mean that financial education will become more of a priority.

Then there are the life skills necessary to manage all the interests, jobs and responsibilities like home management, meal prep, budgeting, saving, paying bills, time management, scheduling, etc.

One of the challenges with teens that are avid readers is teaching them the skill of reading slowly and thinking about what they read. Literature study is important in teaching them to read critically and assists in developing their vocabulary. It is also one vehicle that affords serious discussion about life.

Writing and vocabulary are probably the most important skills for university entrance, so if you can only manage a small amount of work with your teen, focus on these areas.


If your child has been using Learning Language Arts Through Literature and completed the Gray Book, now is the time to move on to the Gold level.

There are three to choose from: British Literature, American Literature or World Literature. You can use any of these for years 9, 10, 11 or 12, though in my opinion, you will probably want something more challenging for years 11 and 12. (We’ll have recommendations for these final years coming soon, but suffice to say that after year 10, you can seriously look at enrolling your child in university units instead.)

If your child is new to LLATL, then starting with the Gray book may be a better choice. You can do a placement test here to work that out.


The Gray book does cover some grammar, so that is a distinguishing factor to consider. The Gold books move on from grammar and concentrate more on literary concepts, essays and composition, and poetry.

Progeny Press Literature Guides are also a great way to study one book at a time, using literature as a base for other English concepts. Generally they are more in-depth and challenging with literature study and essay topics than LLATL.

Reading and literature study are the most effective and efficient ways of improving vocabulary. The Progeny Press guides are strong on vocabulary, making them a good choice if your child needs improvement in that area.

You could opt to do between 2-4 of these in the year, choosing books that overlap with history, culture or other subject areas. We did The Hiding Place, Frankenstein, Fahrenheit 451.



Jensen’s Format Writing is an excellent writing program that is to the point and easy to use for parents. 

We used this program with our teens from age 14 up. If you haven’t got time for a full-on writing program with DVD lessons, etc, or your child has not done much writing instruction previously and only has a year to get some in, this program is a good choice.  It includes grading check sheets and guides to help you in marking your child’s essays.

Your child will learn how to:

  • Write paragraph types such as classification, definition, analogy, and comparison
  • Join thoughts and paragraphs together
  • Format 5 paragraph essays
  • Compose book reports for historical fiction and biographies
  • Structure business letters, resumes, and cover letters
  • Develop, organize, and write college-level essays of 1,000+ words
  • Plus much more.

Jensen’s Vocabulary is more than just Greek and Latin roots. We also used this program with our own kids and highly recommend all of Jensen’s English courses.

Your child will learn:

      • How prefixes, suffixes and roots combine to make all kinds of words.
        How to figure out the spelling of a word by the parts that make it up.
        How to think in logical fashion about words and their meanings.
        A few roots that give them the keys to hundreds of words.
        How to read and understand as well as express themselves more concisely.
        The course provides several schedules to be done over 1 year, 18 months or 2 years.
        This is a flexible and thorough course that works well for homeschooling.

  • Maths

    New Syllabus secondary maths is a Singapore maths program and Book 3 covers year 9 material and some year 10 concepts. The 7th Edition is the Accelerated edition and moves more quickly than the Normal Academic. I find there is plenty of work in the Accelerated edition and you can go slower if you need to. The idea is that your child won’t miss anything and has the material available to them if they are inclined towards maths and can move faster.

    You can compare the two programs with the Australian Curriculum here.

    If you want a slightly less intense maths program, the Normal Academic may be a better fit for your child.


    Arguably the most important subject for your emerging adult. This is where you will cover ideas, learning from mistakes and general life handling concepts. Beautiful Feet has a few history guides that cover Ancient, Medieval and Modern/ American history.

    These courses are a good fit if your child loves literature as they are literature based and so you will cross over into English as well. You could also choose guides from Progeny Press that fit with any of the books you are reading for history.

    Another living books history program to consider for this age is Truthquest History. This course is fantastic for nutting out worldviews and you’re bound to have some interesting discussions!



    Going by Apologia’s course sequencing, year 9 is when Apologia Biology is studied.

    After completing this course, students will be able to understand the vocabulary of biology and gain a strong understanding of the scientific method that will equip them to analyse data across other disciplines.

    This course is a prerequisite for Advanced Biology (Human Anatomy and Physiology).

    Optional extras


    Richard Maybury’s series of books published by Bluestocking Press are excellent, engaging resources on what is considered by most as a boring and complex subject. You will change your mind about that after reading Whatever Happened to Penny Candy

    If you want your teen to learn about how the world works, how money works, investing, business and personal finance and much more, this is the place to start.

    Study guides are also available.



  • has several online courses available, including elective subjects such as photography, introduction to architecture, filmmaking, accounting, home economics, logic and lots more. Check out some of these:



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      Education Reformation

      Singapore maths and homeschool curriculum


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