How to start CM with a high schooler?


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  • mrsrachel

    Hello, I am excited to join this wonderful group.  I have a would-be 9th grader who has always been homeschooled, but mostly unschooled, so she has never done any formal language arts lessons (grammar, copywork/dictation, writing, etc.)  I very much regret this now.  She and I both want her to gain a strong foundation in writing and grammar.  She took a Shakespeare class a couple of years ago and wrote a few 1 to 2 page opinion papers for that, but again, with no formal writing instruction.  I am not sure if I should start her in the 9th grade curriculum since that is her grade, or if I should back up and start her in an earlier grade curriculum. Any help and insight would be appreciated!


    Your mom instincts are better than my opinion,  but as an outsider,  here is what I see.

    If she wrote opinion papers on Shakespeare a few years ago,  then her writing is better than you think.   Many here don’t start a formal writing curriculum until junior high.

    Whether you did formal language arts or not, she learned a lot by being around good speech,  telling you about stories she liked, etc.

    Having a more informal start is not  terrible.  Many students by high school are burned out and it is difficult to get them to do anything.

    She should do well,  because her desire to learn is intact.


    Retrofam, thank you for your words of encouragement! That helps a lot.  I think I’m going to start her in Analytical Grammar with Beyond the Book Report.  We’ll see how it goes! 🙂


    Hi and welcome!

    I agree with Retrofam. Those Shakespeare papers sound like she is more advanced than you might think!

    The only problems I could see with going from unschooling to full on SCM recommendations for 9th grade, is that the math and/or science might be too advanced. She should do just fine with everything else. She may do great with the math and science as well! I just wanted to mention that those are two subjects that might be the hardest to jump into. Of course, with math, she’ll have to work at her level, whatever that may be. As far as the Apologia Biology goes, she should be able to swing it but it may be a bit of a rocky transition.

    I hope you have a great year! 🙂

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