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Home-Grown Psychology class for 9th grader?


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My 9th grade son is asking to take a psychology class for a 9th grade elective.    

Can anyone give me some recommendations?   I see that there are some Great Courses classes on this topic...but that I about all I have found so far.   Are there any other resources that you might recommend?   Also, if you have ever made your own high school level course based on the Great Courses, can you tell me what else you have included to make it credit worth?   Would some papers or research suffice?  Should I add a textbook?  Find tests?   

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If interested in adding a textbook, possible Glencoe's Understanding Psychology (high school level)? It looks like there are questions in the text that you could use as quizzes. The link below is to the 2003 ed. -- looks like there is also a 2008 ed. and a 2014 ed. if you want something more recent.

pdf of the 2003 edition textbook so you can "see inside"

It looks like you can also purchase an enrichment guide for extension activities. -- here is a pdf so you can "see inside" to get a feel for the activities.


Lots of ways you can build a 1.0 credit course using a Great Course lecture series as the spine.

We used the Great Course of Economics as the spine for our 0.5 credit of Economics. It was 18 hours of lectures, and we would discuss each for 5-10 minutes after viewing. In addition: I had DSs practice note-taking from the lectures and then I made a very short quiz to go with each lecture, and had them practice studying their notes before taking the quiz. So that added another few hours of time We also read 1-2 books, plus we did a personal finance program (yes, I know, personal finance covers different topics than micro/macroeconomics 😉 ) and combined it all together for 0.5 credit. It was the lightest credit time-wise that we did in all of high school, but I do feel that the higher rigor of content (university-intro-level-course lectures), along with the discussion, quizzes, and study skills practice, plus the additional material we folded in, worked together to make it a genuine 0.5 credit.

Edited by Lori D.
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We did AP psych so it’s different. While I loved the psychology courses from the great courses, my students hardly paid attention and did not find it engaging. We did use some extra resources that they liked- off the top of my head, we read

The man who mistook his wife for a hat

the immortal life of Henrietta Lacks

Different books about all sorts of conditions. 

one cool project I gave them was to make a happiness poster- to include quotes, Bible Verses and other sayings that are inspiring, moments of happiness, being your best, acts of kindness, best possible future self, bucket list etc. it was to make them more intentional about what they are doing.

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We have not done psychology in our homeschool, but we are using a Great Course this year for the first time.  We are doing an elective on Mythology, called Life Lesson from Great Mythology.  My dd is also reading the Illiad as we go, though that is more for her English credit, so we are overlapping the two.  For her day to day with the Great Courses, we listen, discuss, and she takes notes summarizing the main points.  I am not having her do anything more specific for that.  We do look at pictures of ancient ruins online and have seen some documentaries to look at them as well to go along.  

My case is different from yours though, because since we are overlapping with English, where she is reading the Illiad, there will be writing involved that goes for both mythology and English.  

But honestly, I took Pyschology in high school (and college.) In high school there were no big projects or papers for psychology when I took it.  Just pages and pages of notes copied from the overhead during lectures and definitions and tests on those.  So for me, doing the Great Courses and notes and discussion and review of key terms would be enough, possibly finding some interesting documentaries of some of the cases mentioned to make it more interesting. 

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We did self-taught psychology using SL-- we did use the schedule and Instructor's Guide from SL, but used an older edition of the textbook and used the separate study guide that went with it.  Much cheaper than hunting out a reasonable price for the newest edition.  I had to tweak the IG slightly (to match editions), but not much. 

Because Myers Psychology for AP is very commonly used in many high schools it is easy to find schedules, links, pdf's of textbooks, and other goodies on school or classroom websites (like this one... or this one... or...). Google is your friend here.  😉

We did not take the AP exam, as finding schools/test centers in my area that were willing to allow homeschoolers to test was not working.  This took some of the pressure off my son (no exam!!!) and he really loved the class.  He rates it as one of the best classes he took in high school.

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We used the Sonlight textbook purchased on Amazon and just read the chapters and answered some of the questions at the end of each chapter. We didn't do AP for it, but the textbook was written at a high level.

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I am doing Psychology this year with a 9th grader. This kid would hate any kind of textbook. He’s my most unschooly kid. 

We are using Crash Course Psychology as a backbone. I did fine a worksheet/notes go-along for it on Teacher Pay Teachers which has helped pull out the main points. 

We are then adding on  movies, books, podcasts, textbooks, etc. 

For books so far he has read The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Anthropologist on Mars. 

Movies we’ve watched are Awakenings and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I am planning on watching others on this list: https://psychmovies.com. They have it divided by topic and also a list for high schoolers that takes out all the R movies if you want to do that. 

We’ve used several of The Hidden Brain podcasts, some from Invisibilia and a smattering of TedTalks. 

I had him take a few personality tests this week as that was the Crash Course lessons we did. Then we had an oral debate over whether or not they were useful. 

He kind of got off track a bit with an essay assignment and spent a lot of time independently studying identity and self from a more philosophical standpoint so I let him do that and kept Psych light for a bit around the holidays. 

 

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