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9th grade English plans?

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Will you share what you are doing or did do for 9th grade English.







I am particularly interested in the route you took for Writing.  Did you focus literary analysis or did you do more WWS2 type work? 


Recommendations for writing are also appreciated.  I see Elegant Essay mentioned a lot and then read a lot of bad reviews on it. I need something not as hands on, I believe.



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Here is what current 9th grader and 10th grader are doing together (in its entirety):


Daily Grammar (free online)

Memorizing 100 Latin and Greek roots using English from the Roots Up levels 1 and 2 flashcards

Wordsmith Craftsman (we tried Bravewriter, but I thought it was awful, so we dropped it)

Literary Elements - I have a long list of them and we are covering one per week.  I just choose one and we discuss it and review the old ones.

Weekly dictation and narration

A read-aloud together (yes, weirdly, we're still doing this)

Literature - reading books they're asking to read + 1 Shakespeare per year + excerpts from the Prentice Hall English series (they're in the World Masterpieces book this year)


It sounds like a lot when I type that out, but it's not too bad.



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My first ninth grader did Windows to the World and half of Tapestry of Grace year four lit. For writing he did the writing in Windows (lit analysis) and writing from Tapestry and then six weeks of Attune-up essay writing class. No grammar BC he finished Rod and Staff 8 and was solid.


My next year's ninth grader will do the first illuminating literature course ( she did Windows this year) and about 20 writing lessons/ units of Power in Your Hands.


I like a mix. I feel that ninth should be about getting the persuasive essay solid. While there should be lit analysis in discussion (complete with evidence/citations), I think 1-2 papers is enough.


A child who can write a persuasive essay and discuss literature should have no problem writing a lit analysis paper do I don't think it needs to dominate the writing. Particularly because other writing is where they can delve into topics of interest.

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Well, I'm not a poster mom for awesome writing teaching. Dd#2 should be doing Lively Art of Writing and the Workbook for Arguments (or something like that), but I don't have enough time in my day to teach and correct a separate writing class for her this year, so she'll just be writing across the curriculum and choosing her reading from a long list I have.


She took an excellent intro to lit analysis class last year, so I think she has that part down for now.


She won't be doing any vocab or grammar. Honestly, this is the kid I worry least about reading and writing skill and most about math. She's also a creative writer.


My Dd#1 is my writing phobic kid. Outsourcing a composition class freshman year didn't work out, so she did a homemafe Am Lit class with a lot of inspiration from Janice Campbell's Excellence in Literature. She outsourced writing and lit last year with great success, so I'm trying it again this year.

Edited by RootAnn
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My rising 9th grader will use Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings and Lost Tools of Writing. No grammar or et cetera, but I did do some heavy grammar in a burst over the summer.


My older two did homegrown great books literature and dabbled in writing curricula and writing in other subjects. We focused on essays rather than report type writing. They both probably did some Stewart English for grammar review but it was dropped mid-year. In hindsight I wouldn't have bothered with the grammar and only brought it up as it applied to their writing. I did have them read Strunk & White every year.

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My dd did Analytical Grammar, Windows to the World and a little WWS 2 for 9th. So her writing was the essays in Windows to the World and the WWS 2 sections that we did. I just wrote my course description for that course today and thought to myself that that was a pretty good year of English for 9th.

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We did Elegant Essay last year for 8th grade and I thought it was great.   I did it in a group so we did it as an hour a week together time and then the girls worked on their assignments.  We also started their research paper book.


This year for 9th we are continuing with the Research Paper book and that will be our main focus with writing in English.  I will be having dd work on writing DBQ essays in History too.


For literature dd will be doing the Iliad and the Odyssey with a co-op class and we will be working through lit guides for Julius Ceasar and The Canterbury Tales at home.


For grammar we will use some of Easy Grammar Ultimate series 9th grade and then some Editor in Chief.  I  just do 2-3 days a week with grammar to keep her fresh with it.

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For writing specifically, oldest DD did Lost Tools of Writing Level 1 in 9th.


For this years 9th graders (no money for outside classes):

Writing- WWS3

Grammar- Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind (provided it's out soon)

Literature-home grown combination of SL and TOG Y3 with some Windows to the World if deemed necessary (my first year back with Literature after Landry for MS)

Vocabulary Workshop to prep for SAT/ACT


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This has been helpful.  So, I'm stuck most with writing.  She wants to be a writer/author/editor.  She really only has done WWS1.  I don't know where to go from there.  So many choices, so many reviews.  Ah! 


Do I do some more WWS and do the second book?  She didn't like that because she just wanted to write stories, etc., but I told her this is important stuff!


I'm scared personally to try to use Elegant Essay.  Is it really teacher intensive?  I have 4 younger ones and my time is a bit limited, so I need something a little more independent?  What would that be?  Or is EE not that bad?  I have seen mention of Lively Art of Writing a lot--but is that hard to implement?  


So, do I focus on more research paper writing, developing paragraphs, essays?  I don't even know how to evaluate where she is in writing.  She did a decent research paper last year for WWS1.

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I wouldn't use WWS with a natural writer. SWB says that herself. I believe it is better for kids who need more hand-holding or kids who are more "engineering-oriented", who prefer very detailed step by step instruction.


My son did Lost Tools of Writing in 9th and it was great for him. He did Lively Art of Writing before that. A board member here has put together a workbook/guidebook that makes it very independent for a kid to work through, although someone will still need to critique her writing and give feedback . . . you might try searching for that workbook.


We've also used Write At Home and like it. My DS will be using them again this year in 10th.


Since your DD wants to be a writer/author/editor, and you don't have much spare time to work with her, is it possible to outsource writing for her?

Edited by TarynB
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This has been helpful.  So, I'm stuck most with writing.  She wants to be a writer/author/editor. 


If she wants to be a writer, I would probably let her choose what she does for writing - and it wouldn't necessarily have to be a program.  I would look for a writing group for teens, somewhere she can critique other people's writing and receive feedback.  One of my kids wants to do a thing where we write short stories, read each other's writing and then talk about our stories.  *shrug*  Or I would look for an outsourced class.  


One of my kids wants to major in studio art and I just gave her the reigns at one point.  She works on it on her own and I pay a tutor to meet with her every other week during the school year. 


What about that One Year Adventure Novel course?  That always sounded like fun.

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I used EE for 8th for dd#1 (writing-phobic). It wasn't so much teacher-intensive, as I was able to teach it in a once-per-week, one-hour class & then she had "homework" to do, as it was clunky to teach (you had to have both the TM & the student book with you as the info wasn't duplicated), hard to do with just one kid (written for classroom/coop usage with group writing), and didn't sink in at ALL. I believe it has been updated since I used it, so some of this might be better now. I don't know.


I agree that kids, even our writer/author/editor (dd#2) kids, need to learn persuasive essays. I looked at a lot of things to use this year for dd#2 and even bought some of them.  :mellow:  Good luck!!

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Last year was grade 9 here.

Our ' English as almost but not completely second language course' looked like:


Windows to the World

1 Bravewriter writing course (Highschool Writing Skills)

1 month Bravewriter Boomerang Bookclub

'Made by my self with help from these forums' - booklist

Oxford Word Skill : Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

A Dutch EFL course grade 10 book.

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For my "want to be a writer child" we did OYAN and Other Worlds and he loved both. He took the month of November off from whatever writing he was doing each year and did NaNoWriMo. I let most of his writing come from the lit program we were doing: Excellence in Literature (which we used as our English credit), and then some cross curriculum writing doing research papers. He did do AP English at PA Homeschoolers his senior year, which was good prep for more academic writing. He didn't like it, but it did leave him much more prepared for college writing. He's now a junior in college now and just has 2 classes left to complete his writing major.


With my non-writer the best thing I ever did was Write at Home. It was great for teaching writing with a variety of assignments, but not being too much which could be nice for a natural writer getting in the essentials, but leaving them with enough time for writing styles they prefer. I wish I'd tried it sooner instead of thinking it wasn't enough. 



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My current 9th grader


probably 2 Brave Writer courses - Kidswriter Int. (this fall); likely the first essay class in the spring; possibly another fun BW class

at least one high school literature book per month - many of these with structured literary discussions or writing from resources from previous kids or free online resources - many of these will be audio books

reading physical books - either whatever is assigned for school or free reading as long as she's progressing in her reading skills

grammar and spelling taught through her writing

free creative writing - she takes notebooks everywhere she goes to do writing - I will pull much of the grammar she needs to learn from mistakes she is making in these

Level 9 of Barton (since she's dyslexic and still needs this)


Possibly start One Year Adventure Novel in the spring

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Here is what we are doing with my last little chickie at home.  She LOVES writing.  Comes natural to her.  


Vocabulary from the Classical Roots


Rod and Staff Grammar 9th grade

Along with Lively Art of Writing


Using a lit list from Biblioplan Year 4(May not do all the titles)

Along with assorted Progeny Press guides, Smarr Lit guides, and maybe some TTC style

(Just depends on what I have on the shelf.)


Hope that helps!






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I don't know whether this year will be 8th or 9th but this semester we are doing one bravewriter class, one Great books dual enrollment class, the By the Onion Sea class on Anna Karenina and also a french composition class.

But we do minimal math. And are travelling the following semester.

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