• Deborah Verga

Our 9th Grade Secular Homeschool Curriculum

I get many questions on my social media asking what curriculum we're using in our homeschool for high school.

It seems there just aren't that many reviews out there covering secular high school curriculum.

So today I’m sharing what we used for our 9th grade secular homeschool curriculum!

I know choosing curriculum can be a challenge, especially for high school, and even more so if you're looking for secular curriculum.

Personally, I also didn't want materials that were created specifically for public schools. Those have their own biases.

To say we've tried a few things is an understatement!

Also know that I gear our homeschool, and our curriculum, to my daughter. Not to her age. Not to her grade. But to her.

Some of the materials we use are below grade level, some are at grade level, and some are above grade level.

Sometimes we use the curriculum as suggested, or intended, by the author. Other times, I tweak it to fit our needs.

This is why we love homeschooling!

State Educational Standards

I want to touch on State Educational Standards for a minute...

While each state has educational standards for each subject and each grade level, they don't mandate how to meet those educational standards.

Or, what you can and can not use to teach your child.

States want to make sure your child has an understanding of a percentage of the overall subject. Usually 80%.

If you're new to homeschooling, or need a refresher on the educational state standards, you can read more about that, here.

I always refer to the state educational standards for our grade level, and subjects, and focus on those areas that meet my daughter's abilities. She is never forced to do work to meet a standard.

9th Grade Secular Homeschool Curriculum By Subject

I've broken down our 9th grade secular homeschool curriculum by subject.

Our core areas were:

  • Language Arts: English 9

  • Math: PreAlgebra

  • Science: Physical Science

  • Foreign Language: Spanish 1

  • Elective: Art

Let's get into it...

Language Arts: English 9

We tried an online program for English 9 through Time4Learning.

For the most part, we enjoyed using it.

Because Time4Learning is designed to meet grade level standards, I had to do some adjusting with her assignments.

With that said, having the flexibility to pick and choose what I wanted her to complete was a plus.

Time4Learning also allows you to move up or down a grade level at any time, which is super helpful.

It's based around video lessons. The lessons are a combination of instructor-lead lectures and illustrated videos that teach the elements of literature, grammar, and writing.

The program gauges your child's progress through each segment with a series of comprehension questions, quizzes and tests, all completed online.

Overall, my daughter enjoyed the program. She prefers having video instruction with a textbook or workbook to engage with.

The membership is $30 a month, but you get access to a full year's materials for 4 courses.

The program also offers supplementary engagement like games and a forum for students to interact in as part of your membership. We didn't engage in these activities.

For 10th grade we're returning to Essentials in Literature and Essentials in Writing.

We just love the Essentials programs as they better compliment my daughter's learning style with video instruction and a text to interact with.

But it was fun to try something different!

That's the beauty of homeschooling!

Math: PreAlgebra

We used Math U See PreAlgebra for 9th grade.

We've been using Math U See since elementary and just love it!

It's a math mastery program.

Mastery means you work one concept until mastered then move on to the next, in a logical order.

That doesn't mean your child is a master in any of the material, it just means they've worked each concept enough to retain and recall the material in some capacity.

This helps to work through the next concept.

You purchase this program in pieces depending on what you need: student workbook, test book, dvds, teacher's manual, and manipulatives.

We purchased Math U See through Rainbow Resource.

They offer a PreAlgebra Universal Set which includes all of the materials you'll need for the program.

Each lesson teaches using multi-sensory tools such as videos, manipulatives, and worksheets for a full sensory approach. It feeds right into my daughter's learning style.

We thoroughly enjoy the way Mr. Demme explains each lesson and key math concepts in a logical and engaging way.

Mr. Demme's approach really helps to make math fun and less intimidating, especially at the high school level.

Science: Physical Science

For 9th grade Physical Science we used Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum (PAC) Natural Science Mysteries.

*Some of their materials aren't truly secular, this program is.

Like Math U See, you can purchase this program in pieces, depending on what you need: texts and activity books. There are a total of 5 each in the program.

We purchased PAC Natural Science Mysteries through Rainbow Resource.

They offer a Full Course Kit which includes all of the materials you'll need for the program.

This course presents scientific concepts intertwined in a mystery story that your child is asked to solve through the presented material.

The activity books reinforce the material with comprehension questions, quizzes and tests.

They also have QR Codes that link to short video snippets that help further demonstrate the science concepts covered in the lesson.

This program is also designed for students who struggle with boring scientific concepts.

There I said it!

We love science, but gees, sometimes the way the material's presented is just a snore! This was a fun program. Not too difficult, definitely engaging, and it opened up further discussion of other scientific concepts.

Foreign Language: Spanish 1

It's not easy to find an out-of-the-box Spanish 1 program for homeschoolers that's comprehensive and affordable.

So for Spanish 1 we used a combination of things.

For short interactive lessons in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation we used Duolingo.

Duolingo is a fun program your child can access on a PC or through their mobile app.

The lessons have a game-like feel with fun animations. Your child earns points for completing levels.

Once your child completes a series, or a level, they can easily go back and repeat it, if necessary, to reinforce the material.

Duolingo does a good job of making learning a language less intimidating and fun.

We coupled Duolingo with Rosetta Stone Spanish Workbooks for the writing component.

I'd match up the worksheets in the workbook to what she was covering in Duolingo.

It was easy to generate our own quizzes and tests from the material covered.

We found this combination worked well for us.

Elective: Art

For her elective she chose art, more specifically, drawing with charcoals.

We used a combination of free art classes on YouTube. She'd focus on one new skill a week.

There are so many free art programs on YouTube, for all ages and skill levels!

Just search: "Homeshool Art" or "Free Art Lessons" or "Free Art Tutorials for <grade> or <age>." on YouTube, directly.

Parting thoughts...

That raps up our 9th Grade Secular Homeschool Curriculum!

This covers just our core secular curriculum for 9th grade.

Regardless of what you choose to use, make sure it meets your child's needs, interests, and learning style.

Make sure it's engaging and they enjoy it. And make sure you enjoy using it, too!

And, lastly, don't be afraid to experiment and try new things.

If something isn't working for you or your child, don't be afraid to ditch it, even mid year, and move on to something else!

That's another beauty of homeschooling!

Join me over Facebook and Instagram. Would love to meet you there!

The opinions expressed here are always my own unless stated otherwise. Some of my links are affiliate links. If you click a link and buy something, I receive a commission for the sale. It doesn't cost you anything extra and you are free to use the link or not as you choose. If you do use my links, I appreciate your support!

© 2019 Deborah Verga