This post contains affiliate links.  PB & J Girl is now a 9th grader!  We started school at the beginning of September when we got back from Japan.  Currently, she has her sights set on doing something in the medical field, so her high school courses reflect that ambition.  Here’s our 9th grade homeschool curriculum for 2023-2024.

Teen girl sitting at a desk studying with books in front of her.


Our 9th Grade Homeschool Curriculum 2023-2024


Lightning Lit & Comp Grade 8

PB & J Girl struggled with the literature/writing curriculum I created for her last year, so we took a step back.  This year, she’s using Lightning Literature Grade 8.  She’s going to read a number of novels including Treasure Island, Day of Pleasure, A Christmas Carol, The Hobbit, My Family and Other Animals, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

English is her least favorite subject.


Cover of IEW's Fix It Grammar Level 2

For grammar, she’s using IEW’s Fix-It Grammar: Level 2.  She likes this curriculum because she doesn’t have to do old school diagramming sentences, but she still learns grammar.  In addition, she gets her assignments done quickly, which is another bonus.

For vocabulary, I’m trying to slowly get her ready for standardized tests.  She started Hot Words for the SAT last year, and this year she’s finishing the other half.



Guest Hollow American History Year 2 books

Last year, PB & J Girl had one high school class– Guest Hollow’s United States History Year 1.  This year she’s taking the next course–Guest Hollow’s United States History Year 2.

There are two things we both love about Guest Hollow besides the reading.

First, a variety of political views are given.  The textbook tends to lean conservative, but the suggested YouTube videos are liberal.

The second thing I love about Guest Hollow is that it accommodates a variety of learning styles.  There are textbook readings, novels, videos, crafts, and cooking recipes.  You can pick and choose assignments to best serve your child and her learning style.

Health: ASU Universal Learner College Course

New York state requires she take a half credit of health for high school.  In the fall, PB & J Girl finished her first college course through Arizona State University’s Univeral Learner program.  She took Culture and Health.  In this class she studied health, wellness, and the medical systems in the United States and other countries.  She also learned about the rituals surrounding death in multiple cultures.

Science: Biology

An array of all of the books required for Guest Hollow's High School Biology course

We’ve also turned to Guest Hollow for her high school biology class.  If you’re interested in Guest Hollow High School Biology, they offer both a religious version and a secular one.  So far she really enjoys it, but it is the course that requires the most work for her.


Image of the screen of a lesson on Japanese Pod 101

We’ve tried various Japanese programs without much luck.  This year, we’re using several tools. Her “book” learning is Japanese Pod 101. We chose this curriculum after our visit to Japan because it was audio-based (though there are written explanations after each lesson), the lessons are bite-size, and the emphasis is on speaking and talking, which is what we need to do most when we visit Japan.

We’re also using several other tools to learn Japanese, which I will likely share in a dedicated post later.

Math: Algebra I

Math-U-See Algebra 1 books

PB & J Girl is using Math-U-See’s Pre-Algebra this year.  She’s doing this mostly independently; I help her sometimes when she gets stuck.  I really appreciate the visual aspect of Math-U-See and anticipate she will use their curriculum through high school.

In 9th grade, she will earn 6 high school credits and 3 college credits.  Last year, she earned one high school credit for US History 1.

Extra Curricular Activities

This year, PB & J Girl has several extracurricular activities.

First, we belong to a homeschool co-op that has fun, virtual classes.  Every week, we also meet up with this group for a field trip.

Second, she’s working on getting the Congressional Award.  Currently, she’s working toward her Bronze Certificate.

She needs to volunteer a lot to earn the various levels of the Congressional Award.  Right now, she volunteers at our local library.  She’s averaging three to four volunteer hours a month.

In addition, she’s taking saxophone lessons and also dabbles in playing the guitar and flute.

Finally, she joins her friends for a ballroom dance class every other week.

Read More

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