Homeschool planning for year 9
Homeschooling mid-teens is an exciting and sometimes tumultuous time. You’ll have hearty discussions and your child starts to develop their interests independently. They may take up part-time work and have money to manage and decisions to make. It’s the time to guide your teen to think in a more mature and in-depth way.
Involving your child in planning what resources to use and working together to set goals is one way to start the thinking process. 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 minimal 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. Literary concepts covered are character study, conflict, flat characters, round characters, crisis, outlines, elements of fiction, setting, plot, foreshadowing, irony, themes, outcome, supporting your answer, point of view, first person narrative, omniscient author, third person objective, main character, interpretation, allegory, figurative meaning, novella, character development, plot development, topics, reference books, stream-of-consciousness, compare and contrast, and comparison.
Your student will also study poetry and write various types of essays. For more detail on what concepts and skills are taught, check the product information.
There are three LLATL Gold books to choose from for this level: British Literature, American Literature or World Literature. You can use any of these for years 9, 10, 11 or 12, but if you’re having trouble choosing, just pick the course with books your child is interested in. In my opinion, you will probably want something more challenging for years 11 and 12. (Alternatively, after year 10, you can seriously look at enrolling your child in online university units instead.)
If your child is new to LLATL, then starting with the Gray book may be a better choice. 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. You can do a placement test here to help you decide which level is appropriate.
Science – Biology
Dr. Kurt Wise designed this unique class to fully integrate a Christian worldview with the biological sciences. The result is a completely new way to approach biology. He has taught this class for over a decade to high school and college students, and is now making it available for the first time in video format. The class includes:
67 in-depth video lectures (28 hours total)
Textbook (Hardcover or PDF) – Updated July 2021! Click the Sample Textbook tab on this page for more information
Lab Manual (PDF or printed)
Teacher’s Guide – includes test and lab manual answers. (PDF or printed paperback)
13 Lab Instructional Videos
Jensen’s Format Writing is an excellent writing program that is to the point and easy for parents to use. It’s a testimony to good writing – there’s no fluff in this course.
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.
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.
Vocabulary building should be a main focus at this year level. Reading and literature study are the most effective and efficient ways of achieving a broad 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 2-4 study guides in the year, choosing books that overlap with history, culture or other subject areas that you have planned. We did The Hiding Place, Frankenstein, Fahrenheit 451.
New Syllabus secondary maths is a Singapore maths program and Book 3 is the Accelerated edition and covers year 9 material as well as some year 10 concepts. Being “accelerated” doesn’t mean you have to get all the work done in the one year; 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 this program with the Australian Curriculum here.
Arguably the most important subject for your emerging adult. This is where you will study ideas, worldviews, 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 literature based and are a good fit literature-loving kids. 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 excellent for nutting out worldviews and you’re bound to have some interesting discussions! It has an extensive book list, and it’s designed to help you learn the worldview from any book on that period.
If you want a more formal way to teach vocabulary other than through literature, Jensen’s Vocabulary is an excellent program. It teaches Greek and Latin roots and your student will gain an extensive exposure to hundreds of words. We 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 logically about words and their meanings.
- A few roots can 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.