This post contains affiliate links. This year has been one of the most difficult and most exciting I have ever
planned , correction – still planning. Maybe it’s because I have a ninth grader and am nervous about not doing everything “right”. Maybe it’s because my expectations have not been as high as they should have in past years. Maybe it’s because I’ve had some kind of construction going on in our home the last half of the summer, and my mind has just not been on it. The reality is, it’s time to get started, and I’ll probably never be fully ready!
Our curriculum has mostly been a traditional type, with a good mix of games, field trips, and a unit study or two thrown in to break up the monotony. I have been fortunate to have two children only two grade levels apart, so aside from math and grammar, we have been able to successfully cover most subjects together. This year, however, it seems to be the opposite. The only part of their core subjects that will be the same is grammar, spelling, and Bible. Exactly how I’m going to schedule my new split teaching time is still in the works. Unless I decide to check into the closest mental institution first.
My reason for this split is that I have no idea at this time the direction my 9th grader will go after high school. Maybe she will attend a community college, as I did. She may want to start her own business like her dad. She may want to marry and start a family. She may decide in a couple of years that she absolutely needs to attend a university for the specific career she wants. Until then, the weight is on my shoulders to prepare her for any of those scenarios. So, with many late nights, many prayers for wisdom and good judgement, I have decided. Our 9th grade choices are:
- Math – Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 (3.0). We have used this for several years now, and overall I have been happy with the ease of use, auto grading, and the ability to see every problem worked out.
- Grammar – Fix It Grammar Book 1 This is a new one for us. I had originally purchased this with my son in mind. After looking through it, reading several reviews, and wanting to try something different, I placed a last-minute order and received the extra workbook today. I am hoping to get through a couple of volumes this year, as I struggled with starting at level one. Having a solid background using mostly BJU, I’m hoping this will show her a different approach of how to use all those years of grammar rules and actually apply them in her writing.
- Creative Writing – Wordsmith. I have never taught a formal writing course because BJU included it in their grammar courses. I purchased this based on reviews, and it seemed like some of the other popular curricula were more intense than I was interested in.
- BJU Fundamentals of Literature. I had used BJU in the past for reading, so I knew this would be a good, solid choice. Although, Essentials In Literature was a close second. After my kids were reading well, I no longer used a formal reading course. I didn’t want reading to be another subject to check off a list. This year, however, I felt she needed more structure, and I know BJU would offer that. She is not the type to read for pleasure, but hopefully with these different types of shorter stories, the length is not intimidating, and she can find what she enjoys in the diversities presented with this. We will also continue our read-alouds each month, which is a favorite of mine (and theirs).
- Painless Spelling (Painless Series). At this point, we are past spelling lists in a traditional sense, but I feel the need to continue a few days a week . This looked fun and “painless” – we will see if the title is true!
- BJU Cultural Geography. I’m really looking forward to this one, and I think she will enjoy it as well.
- Apologia Exploring Creation with Physical Science. This was a hasty decision, and I hope it doesn’t come back to haunt me. I went in The Homeschool Gathering Place fully intending to buy BJU Physical Science, but when I saw the awkwardly large textbook, with teeny-tiny print, I quickly returned it to the shelf. I am in the minority, I know, but the elementary Apologia sciences have not been my favorite – and I love science! Sure, I have bought several of them, and would use them a few months only to be doing something else by January. Last year, I took three of them from the series and made my own “crash course” for the year, just so I wouldn’t feel bad for spending the money on them. That actually worked well for us, and we all enjoyed it. I’ve seen where this physical science course is typically for 8th grade but can be used for 9th grade as well. Since we have mostly done life sciences for the past few years, this course should be exactly what we need. With a different layout and numerous experiments throughout, I’m hoping it will be a hit!
- Health A.C.E. PACES. You know how your eye seems to go toward colorful, well-placed ads? Well, I have never used anything from this publisher, but when my summer homeschool catalog came from Christian Book Distributors, this was on the cover and got my attention. I looked over several sample pages and liked what I saw. It is very straight-forward, open-and-go, and get it done. I think this will be well received by both of us. As much as I enjoy teaching, she tends to be an independent learner, and this may be a great fit.
- Art Lab for Kids: 52 Creative Adventures in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Paper, and Mixed Media-For Budding Artists of All Ages (Lab Series). I will be using this as well as Pinterest. We will also be learning of various “greats” from numerous books I have on hand.
- Typing.com. We started this free, online program mid-year last year. I was looking for a no-frills typing program, and this one is just that. I’ve seen improvement after only a few month’s use, and she completed half of the course last year. I’m hoping to be finished after the first semester.
We have a few more things including Bible study, that I will category in my “morning basket” that I will tell you about next week.
Here’s to a busy, fun-filled year (or so I hope!).