How To Write Your Own Homeschool Curriculum: Ninth Grade

Write your own homeschooling curriculum for a ninth grader using this guide - from core subjects to personal development.

Ninth grade is often seen as the transition between junior high and high school, a major step in a student's life. They will be investigating many new subjects as well and finalizing subjects which they will not be studying again. At this point students may be drastically changing, maturity-wise, and so ninth grade is usually a memorable year for many reasons.

It is important to plan this year carefully as some of the concepts in core subjects, in particular English and science, are extremely essential in later grades.

Math - Math is, as ever, difficult to create lessons for without specific knowledge of what areas your student does or does not already know, or may have forgotten. The first several lessons should be spent carefully reviewing eighth and seventh grade material before moving onto more difficult algebra, in textbook sequence. Get to know the textbook you have chosen well - there is a good chance it will be more difficult to follow than the previous year in both format and terminology. As stated before, in ninth grade it is assumed that students are advanced enough to work with more words than pictures, and basic concepts are not as thoroughly reviewed. Be sure to spend at least an hour, if not more, on math per day - an hour and a half if your child has had difficulty with it in previous years.

English - Ninth grade is probably the first time that your student has ever faced the prospect of writing a real essay. Book reports are popular to transition the student into essays; setting a word limit and requiring a rough draft of a four- or five-paragraphed report on various aspects of the book. After you have had a chance to review it and indicate areas where the student has gone wrong, request a final draft. Have the child choose his or her own book.

Grammar and sentence structure are an important lesson in this year. Nouns, pronouns, verbs, subject agreement and other basic grammatical concepts should be covered, as well as punctuation rules, AND literary terminology, including but not limited to setting, plot, mood, atmosphere, and more. Consult textbooks for the exact range of terms that should be learned, and have the student practice with them.

Literature must also be covered here, and it will likely be the student's first time up against Shakespeare or another play. One of the comedies, such as A Midsummer Night's Dream or Merchant of Venice is a good idea, or perhaps Romeo and Juliet or another of the shorter tragedies. An anthology of short stories and/or plays is probably best rather than doing novel studies, since there is so much other English material to cover.

Science - This will likely be the student's last year doing a generalized science course. During this year, he or she should be introduced to the basics of the lab sciences (chemistry, biology, physics, earth sciences) in order to prepare them to choose a specialized subject next year. This will also enable them to know the initial concepts of the lab sciences in case there is ever a desire to change their area of study or take on a second science course.

Social Studies - This is a very open-ended subject that may consist of geography, history or cultural studies, or may be omitted completely. It is not a core course but will prepare a student for learning one of those areas in tenth grade.

Second Language - Ninth grade, in a public school, is often where a student leaves his or her second language studies behind. If you have been homeschooling Spanish or another second language you probably already know that most of the basic grammar and a fair amount of both conversational and practical vocabulary have been covered. The decision of whether to continue with your second language or to begin studying a new one should be left with the student.

Technology - If the resources are available to you, a basic technology course should be touched upon in this grade, including word processing, touch typing and perhaps even HTML or Java, depending on the student's level of knowledge and interest, and your own capabilities. Keyboarding study programs are available to assist you with touch typing lessons.

Such courses as art, musical theory, home economics, creative writing, woodworking and others are at your disposal for remaining school time. Let your student choose where he wants to take himself with these remaining lessons!

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