“Anne, my son is in 9th grade, and he has never been homeschooled before. Our family is also quite new to Torah, and our son wishes he could do our state’s virtual-school program, but he cannot enroll for another year. In the meantime, we are hoping your curriculum will help ground him in the Scripture. However, I really don’t know how to set up high school, as to what subjects to choose, how to prepare his notebooks and study guides, how to keep track of homework, and how to grade him. I’m sure you have amazing and thorough info to read about all of it, somewhere here on the website, but I simply don’t have the time now to go through it. The school year has already begun, and I need to get him started right away! ~Overwhelmed Mom in Florida”
The following recommendations assume two things:
We will assume he will enroll in your state’s virtual-school program for 10th grade. If you later decide to continue with Homeschooling Torah for all 4 years, you’ll have a lot more freedom. That would be fantastic! But we’ll see what YHWH does, right?
I am going to assume he wants to work independently, to give himself that “virtual school” feel. I say, “Go for it,” as long as he turns in his homework to you and Dad each day, to be checked over and graded. Pick a spot (a basket, an office tray, the top of the fridge, etc.) that will be where he must deposit his homework. If he needs an online spot for any typed or computer assignments, use a shared cloud online to put files in, such as iCloud or Google Drive.
Suggested Subjects for 9th Grade:
- Torah — He must read the passage and write out the answers to the discussion questions on page 2. Answers go in a spiral notebook. Start at B’reisheet.
- Copywork — Copy 8 verses a day in best handwriting, into a composition notebook. Start at Genesis 1:1. You may wish to use our schedules here:
- Bible Reading — He must read a passage each day, checking them off on this chart as he goes. I recommend using the “Entire OT in Chronological Order. Teens seem to “get it” better with this one.
- Math — Algebra 1. LET HIM LOOK at the solution’s guide, too, because he’ll need the example of HOW to do things.
- Grammar — Print the TEACHER’S manual for him AND the student worksheets, so that he can have the explanations, but use scissors to cut off all the answer keys, and keep those for yourself for grading. Print all charts for him to have in his binder.
- Writing – Only the student book is needed for him. I recommend that assignments go into a composition book, or are typed and stored in the cloud for you to check.
- Typing — This subject uses a ton of Scripture, character studies, job skills, jokes and fun stories. If you can get it in, I highly recommend it! PRINT the lessons for his eyes to look at as he types.
- History — In case he goes to Virtual School later, I’m going to recommend Year 2 of history. Call it “World History (Ancient)” on his transcript. Just like in Torah, require him to write out answers to discussion questions in a spiral notebook, PLUS he should turn in the High School assignment by Friday of each week (see the box at the beginning of each lesson). Give him a “quiz” once a week over the memory verse, the maps, the timeline dates and people. Just look at the lesson plan and have him number his paper from #1-5, and pick 5 things to ask him, or print a map and make him label 5 things. File these away with his writing assignments for history and his answers to the discussion questions. Make him do all notebooking pages and maps! Be sure he can read the chapter books, because they are very enjoyable and will help also supply him with good literature. Most books can be ordered through interlibrary loan to save money.
- Science — In case he goes to Virtual School later, I recommend Year 1 of science. Call it “General Science (earth/astronomy/life science)” on his transcript. Same thing as history. Require him to write out answers to discussion questions, but he could use the student worksheet rather than a spiral notebook. Labs MUST be done to count as a high-school course, as well as any extra high-school assignments. Give him a quiz weekly over the vocabulary words. File this quiz away with all his experiment forms, notebooking pages, and writing assignments. I recommend PRINTING the student worksheet for him, but you might want to give him access to the HT website, so that he can easily see the YouTube videos and linked websites from his device.
- Reading — Require at least one chapter per day of a fiction book, preferably something of high quality. (These are in addition to his history reading books.) I love the House of Winslow series by Gilbert Morris, any books by Bodie Thoene, Francine Rivers, or Lynn Austin. All of these are free from a local library. Those series alone would keep him for most of a school year. We have more literature suggestions here:
- Electives — Based on things he loves and wants to learn about. Optional, but they might make him feel more like he’s doing school. Contact us if you need ideas. I would wait on a foreign language until 10th grade, AFTER he has finished grammar. By then you’ll have a better idea of his future, too.
Preparing for the School Year:
If you would rather not print so much and if he has a “device” (smart phone, whatever), you could upload the following into a cloud file for him:
- Torah assignments
- Bible-reading checklist
- Algebra lessons and solution’s guides
Pick up some inexpensive supplies at the store, just for him:
(Don’t feel you must use the links. They are just for you to see pictures of what I mean. These would be MUCH cheaper locally, at Walmart, etc.)
- 3-ring binder (Daily Checklist of things to do, Grammar, anything you don’t put into the cloud or on a device for him, storage for some history assignments)
- divider tabs for his binder
- spiral notebooks – 2 (Torah, History)
- composition books – 2 (Copywork, writing assignments)
- folder with clasps – 1 (Typing)
- tracing paper – maps
- pens and pencils – let him choose some he loves to use
- storage for all his school supplies 🙂
You will need to order some books for history:
- Be sure to check if we have any freebies of these supplies at http://homeschoolingtorah.com/category/member-home/download-center/bonuses/
List of science supplies needed:
(Scroll down to “Features of our Science Curriculum”)
Ready to Start
Make yourself a checklist for each Sunday morning, of what you’ll want to print and/or upload to the cloud for his device. I recommend printing only one week at a time as he’s getting started, in case some subjects move faster or slower than you expect.
Make him a checklist to put in the front of his notebook, so that he can look at it each day and be sure he’s done all his assignments:
Keep track of his weekly grades. For ALL subjects, if he doesn’t have a test or quiz, then he must complete all assignments (on time and neatly and according to the instructions) for an A. I recommend making an Excel worksheet, or use this website:
Later in the year, make a transcript to submit to the Virtual School if needed:
DAILY JOBS (for you):
- Check to be sure his work is done.
- Check for accuracy, especially in grammar and algebra.
- Read his answers to discussion questions in Torah, History, Science.
- Read his writing assignments. Discuss as needed.
WEEKLY JOBS (for you):
- Record his grades and “attendance.” Attendance calendars are available at http://homeschoolingtorah.com/school-year-calendars/.
- Print things for the next week.
- Upload things to a cloud online (if using devices).
- Order needed library books for history.
- Be sure you have science supplies in the house.
More High-School Posts:
- High-School Blog Posts and Videos
- High School Helps from Lee Binz
- Both parents and high-school students may join our Clubs and Community here:
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!