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Series: Preparing to Homeschool Ninth Grade- Our Curriculum Choices

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Preparing to Teach Ninth Grade-curriculum choices. Homeschool curriculum ideas for high school and tips on how to homeschool high school. #homeschool #homeschoolhighschool #highschool #homeschooling #ichoosejoyblog

It’s time to homeschool ninth grade! So, I thought I’d share today what we’ll be using for my oldest son’s curriculum during his 9th-grade year.

Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through affiliate links in this post.

History/Geography, Literature, and Writing:

We started using Tapestry of Grace this year, which is a full curriculum for grades K-12 and includes the subjects of history, literature, writing, church history, philosophy, and government.  Next year we plan to use just the history/geography and literature portions, which will cover the historical time period of Creation to the fall of Rome.  The following year we might add philosophy and church history if we can fit it in our schedule.  We plan to continue with Tapestry for the rest of his high school years.

I have several writing curricula that I will choose from (IEW- The Institute for Excellence in WritingUnlock the Secrets of Compare-and-Contrast Writing by Writing With Sharon, Creative Freewriting Adventure by Homeschool Adventure Co., and Write for Life Volume One: Writing the Research Paper by Karen Lange.). I’d like him to focus on essay-writing in the fall and write a research paper in the spring.  The following year his composition focus will be creative writing.

If I discover that he has any gaps with grammar (through reading his compositions), I’ll have him use IXL language arts for practice in those skills and to gain mastery and/or watch the grammar DVDs that come with the Cover Story writing curriculum.  I really like Greek Morphemes for vocabulary building (which will help with college entrance exams), so I hope to have him work through some more of that next year.


For math we have been happy with Teaching Textbooks for Pre-Algebra this year.  We will use Teaching Textbooks 2.0 for Algebra 1 next year.  I like how both my sons are able to do it completely on their own, it grades them (I can just check the gradebook), and if they can’t figure out how to do a particular problem they can see it worked out for them.  Others have mentioned that Teaching Textbooks isn’t as rigorous as some other math curricula, but we’ll just supplement if we need to.  This summer they are both doing some daily math practice with IXL math (which is awesome!)

For Algebra 2 and Geometry we plan to use Teaching Textbooks as well.


He will be taking German at home with the computer curriculum Middlebury Interactive. He will take 2 years of German.


He’ll be taking Biology for science and we’ll use the Apologia Biology text for the book work.  We have signed up for College Prep Science’s 2-day intensive for biology labs.  This is going to be so cool!  They’ll do 2 full days (9-5) and get a full year’s worth of labs. We plan to use Apologia for Chemistry and Physics as well.


Electives are easy for us!  He will continue with private violin lessons and started taking voice lessons with me this summer.  He will also be in Christian Youth Theater doing classes and shows.  I think he wants to take an acting class all year (improv) and be in the musicals “Les Miserables,” “Seussical,” and “Annie.”

He will also be in the Institute for Cultural Communicators (ICC) speech and debate class, writing and giving speeches and preparing for debate for the tournament in the spring. He’ll be attending the national tournament and convention in Virginia this summer to compete in two events for which he qualified this spring at a tournament: duo interpretation and radio broadcasting. (Update: He ended up doing so much with speech and debate that he earned a full credit in it, which counts as an English credit!)

This summer he is working on a 1/2 credit of Bible using the Teen Prasso Bible Study.  I think there will be a lot of Bible study with the ancient literature class he’ll be taking with Tapestry of Grace.

We have signed up for an upper-level art class at our homeschool co-op for next year. (He used the time for study hall instead. 🙂 )

In future summers he’ll go to an incredible week-long camp called Worldview Academy.

Physical Education:

For physical education, we’ll use Family Time Fitness’s Homeschool High School program.  They have a 1-year access for only $17 that includes everything for the younger ages as well!  It also includes an online Health course.  Hopefully, he can find time to do the Health course this summer and get that out of the way. (Nope, didn’t have time for health during the summer and still haven’t used this. We’re planning on using the new Apologia Health course that will be ready in the summer of 2018.)


I have the book Mother, Should I Trust the Government that I would like him to read this summer.  I’ll add a few supplements to it: For You They Signed by Marilyn Boyer, A Journey in Liberty by Knowledge Quest, and We the People: Getting to Know Your Constitution by Homeschool Legacy. He will also be going to the week-long TeenPact this spring.


Another subject I would love for him to knock out this summer would be economics. I reviewed a great book a couple of years ago called Simply Put: A Study of Economics by Catherine Jaime that will be perfect (just adding a few supplements that she recommends). (By the way, he didn’t have time to do this during 9th grade.)

Community Service/ Ministry:

He is a student leader in our ICC speech group and helps out by teaching and mentoring the younger students.  Other ways he serves the community are by playing and singing on our church worship team, doing graphics for the church service, and leading worship at his youth group. He might also join a service group called HYPE (Highschool Youth Pursuing Excellence) which helps out with our Spotlight theater program.  He’ll also be a camp counselor (unpaid) at our Spotlight Youth Theater summer camp this summer.

And that should about do it!  I’m excited for the high school years and to see where God leads our first son.

Read the other posts in the series here:

Posts in this Series:

#1: The How-To Book 

#2: Choosing the Coursework

#3: Using a 4-Year High School Planner

#4: Our Curriculum Choices


(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)


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  1. Homeschool Parenting Summit 2.0 October 16-21, 2023
  2. Lots of familiar products. Looks like a great year planned. I love the teen prasso bible study. We are working through that through summer. I am still working on planning yet for next year. I have most of what I want already. Still deciding for sure on science. Hoping to get into the art coop this year.

  3. Maybe it’s because I’m 9 months pregnant, but reading this agenda makes me tired! How do you keep up with so many activities and 7 other children? I’m only on #5, though they’re spread out, eldest is finishing 9th grade now. I’m also looking at Tapestry for next year, hoping it will help consolidate our studies. How do you like it?

    1. Trust me; it’s not easy! I try to combine as many kids into one activity as possible. And I have some teachers come to my house to teach, as well.
      I love Tapestry of Grace, but we do it through a homeschool co-op. So, I only do the reading with my grammar (elementary-aged) kids during the week. My dialectic and rhetoric aged kids do it all on their own. Then, all discussions for the older kids and projects for the younger kids are done at the co-op each Wednesday. But, you know what? If our co-op quit tomorrow, I’d figure out a way to make Tapestry work for us at home. We love it that much!

  4. Gena, thanks so much for sharing your list with us. I’ve shared it with my friends and followers. I spotted it earlier on The Homeschool Club Daily. Thanks also the inclusion of Write for Life. I’m thrilled that you’ve found it useful. If anyone is interested, Write for Life Volumes 1&2, Writing the Research Paper and Essay Writing, are available here: Have a great weekend! 🙂

  5. Melissa Furr says:

    So, I have never homeschooled or even thought about it. My daughter is 14 and is going into the ninth grade this year. Last year she was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder along with Anxiety Spectrum Disorder. Her psychiatrist still isn’t quite sure what else may be added to the list in the future. She has not been able to attend public school at all this year, so I have gained permission from the state to homeschool her. The only problem is, I have no clue what to do. I don’t know where to get books, or what books to get. I don’t know anything about the curriculum she should follow, or how to even begin this journey. Any help you guys could offer would be greatly appreciated. I’m at a loss on how to do this. Please help!!!

    1. Do you know any homeschoolers in your area? My first advice would be to connect with them. They can lend you materials/curriculum to take a look at and help you decide what you want to use. Second, check at the website to see what your state laws are. In Illinois, we don’t have to register or do testing, etc. But, some other states do. Good luck!

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