I have three pieces of advice for 9GRD:
- Puberty changes everything. Until your kid jumps a foot in height (especially boys) expect the work to be at least 60% parent-leaning for religion and science. Math is just pulling teeth until then. You can’t “scaffold” the work in Algebra like you can other subjects. (Scaffold = parents slowly transferring responsibilities as the child is able.) It’s just going to be ugly. They just can’t do it until that next level of mental connection hooks up.
- Embrace the textbook assignments. “Living books” are great, but that’s just not the real world of education. During this year, kids learn to approach a textbook properly. They learn to outline the chapter. They cite page numbers. This is the best preparation for REAL college I’ve seen.
- Use the school-provided graders (if you can afford them) for Science and History. The MoDG grader we have is EXCELLENT. She flat out won’t give the child a grade until the paper is an A. It’s the best writing boot camp I’ve ever seen. I’m a professional writer, for crying out loud, but she’s amazing.
- Gather supplies. The biggest deal is history. If your kid’s not a wiz, choose your books wisely. I’ll post something soon. Also, we totally ignore the reading schedule. My kid reads daily 30-45 minutes and summarizes it on a google doc. This habit dramatically reduces the pressure. There’s no “feast or famine” reading marathon.
English (Warriner’s or Holt/Wordly Wise)
- Read over the text book and syllabus. It’s a 4-day schedule. Decide what you think of that. We ignored it. I’ll post my adaptation soon.
- See my Quizlet list for the vocabulary pretests.
- Choose your history books. I’ll post mine soon.
- Make a plan for history discussion. Read the books! If you can’t read them all, fine, but shoot for over 50%. (I never get around to this discussion, but I’ll share something I found in the “special ed” syllabi. 8GRD kids summarize each chapter in <7 sentences. My kids type it into a google doc. I check it every month or so.)
- Get your vocab in order. Check out my resources here.
- Acquaint thyself with the books and assignments. This syllabus really threw my kid and me. Here’s the big pic: Do ALL of the end-of-chapter questions (orally or in writing) EXCEPT the ones that reference books you don’t likely own and only look up the scriptures, not COPY them. Also, do the scripture look-up first, not last. If there’s a writing assignment, do it. (BTW, we do it all in writing, b/c I’m too busy to discuss regularly.)