I have a high school student!!! How did this happen? It feels like just yesterday we started this homeschool adventure when he was in first grade. There have been ups and downs over the years but I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to homeschool him and we are looking forward to the joys of high school. I know there will be challenges but there will also be joy and celebration.
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I think I have spent more time contemplating (and sometimes agonizing) over our choices for this year, than ever before. It feels like such a weighty decision when you realize that these courses go onto transcripts that will follow him to college. However, I came to realize that I still had lots of flexibility and I could still change things up as needed. I did not need to add more pressure to myself or to him.
We decided to try a modified block schedule this year. Each semester he will complete three full courses. In addition, he will be working on music and physical education all year. At the end of the year he should have eight courses completed. We liked the block scheduling for allowing him to focus on fewer courses at one time. However, for music and physical education we felt that spreading the hours over the full year would make it easier to complete and show good progress.
During his first semester my son’s three main courses will be literature, biology, and financial literacy. Literature might be the course I am personally most excited about because we are going to work through that one together. We are doing British literature, but not just any British literature, we are focusing on the Inklings. (He will do another year of British literature later to catch all of the other wonderful British authors). For this course he will be studying C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and his choice of two other Inklings. He will read a variety of novels from these wonderful authors and participate in round table discussions about their works. He will also complete two papers related to the novels. I have chosen about half of the books and he will be able to choose the other half based on the author.
For biology, we were blessed to be able to review Experience Biology: Upper Level and we loved it. Since we reviewed it this summer, he gets to start biology five lessons ahead when we jump into our studies in a few weeks. This will give him some flexibility to have a little smaller load during a few busy weeks of the semester. We truly loved this program from Journey Homeschool Academy. It was a great mix of well done video lectures, online quizzes and tests, and hands-on labs. I love that he was getting a strong college prep course from a Christian perspective and that it only took me about ten minutes a week to check the assignments that needed to be checked by a parent. If you want to know more you can also check out my review: Journey Homeschool Academy High School Biology Review.
Finally, he will be completing Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance: High School Editionfor his financial literacy course. Years ago, my husband and I read Dave Ramsey’s book and completed his Financial Peace University course. We love the sound, Biblically based advice and feel that it will set our children up to be good stewards of their money. I like that this course was already set up for high schoolers and is done digitally so he can read the information, watch the videos, and complete the quizzes online. He will also be keeping a journal and responding to journal questions. To prepare for this course and to help him start high school with the right mind set, he and I both read Debt Free Degree, by Anthony O’Neal and I highly recommend it if you have a student middle school or older.
In his second semester he will be studying Ancient History using Drive Thru History and Geometry with Mr. D both with SchoolhouseTeachers.com. He will also be doing a Bible Apologetic course.
Our family loves Drive Thru History and they are lots of fun just to watch, but I am excited for my son to be able to go through and use them as a high school history course. SchoolhouseTeachers.com has created worksheets with short answer and essay questions to accompany each video. In addition, I will have my son do a capstone project showing what he learned throughout the course.
As we reached the high school years I found it was best if math instruction came from someone other than myself. It has been a ‘few’ years since I took many of these courses and I have forgotten quite a bit of what I once knew. We were excited to find that the Mr. D Geometry course was included with our SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership. This course provides quality video instruction for geometry and my husband will also be available to help him if he has any problems.
Last year, I had the opportunity to review the Unbreakable Faith course from Pilgrim’s Rock. This is a high school level apologetics course and my son completed the first portion of the course during the review. This course is set up with readings and video and includes quizzes and tests that are computer graded. Matthew will be finishing this course for an elective Bible credit.
For his other two elective courses this year, we chose music performance and physical education.
For physical education, he is working with my husband to create a weight lifting, running, and circuit training routine. He will track the hours he completes each week as well as his progress on several physical fitness goals.
For music performance, he is taking lessons from Mrs. Sarah VanKleek at Practice Monkeys. He is currently taking violin lessons, but as they are getting ready to start guitar lessons he may switch instruments. He will track his time completed in both lessons and extra practice and also track progress based on assessment lesson results. In addition, he will be performing with his youth group band and if things open back up from the pandemic he will also continue to perform at a local nursing home. To round out his music course he will participate in monthly SQUILT Music lessons. Our family has been enjoying a subscription to SQUILT Music this summer and plan to continue to use it throughout the year. These lessons will help increase his knowledge and background in the music appreciation aspect of music.
In addition to these programs, he will be doing Bible study with us each morning and listening to some of our read alouds. As we move forward, we will see how timing is going to determine how much of our other morning time and extra activities he participates in with us. He knows that he will have to focus and work hard with this course load, be we want to continue to make time for life learning and fun.
What are your favorite high school resources?
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Deals and Freebies
SchoolhouseTeachers.com is doing an amazing sale this month! Buy One year get One Year FREE! We use this for several of our courses and one price covers all the students in your home for as many of their over 400 courses and you would like to use.
Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.
Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)
Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)
Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!
Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!
One thought on “Our Ninth Grade Curriculum Choices”
Thank you for this post!!! I aspire to be a blog writer, it just seems so time consuming to figure it all out and I am unsure I have what it takes. I found this post off of our Review Crew forum and I’m glad this is the I clicked on today – thank You Lord! It is inspiring and helpful and so well written. Thank you for sharing. Your site is very nice.