Skip to main content

Well-Trained Mind: Grade Nine


Tapestry of Grace for High School - Classical Homeschool

We are a family that homeschools for high school! In this lens you will find a list of all the resources we pulled together for our ninth grade year. Our family combines The Well-Trained Mind approach or Classical approach to homeschooling with many of Charlotte Mason's educational methods. We are using Tapestry of Grace plans and adapting them to meet the needs of our high school age boys. We are attempting to tackle a Great Books list this year and you will find those listed below. There are many of our extras included here for you to pick and choose from too.

History Resources - These were the highlights of our Ancient History study!

Some of these are Tapestry of Grace selections and some are ones that I decided we should use to be the base of our ancients study. We have thoroughly covered this time period in the logic years but this time we were gleaning new information and making so many connections. My boys were expected to read, ask questions, and then research the answers. They would respond either in oral discussions at the end of the week or prepare written responses for their notebooks.

Tapestry of Grace Planning

Tapestry of Grace Planning

The Overall Plan for Ninth Grade

Using The Well-Trained Mind and Charlotte Mason

This year has been a leap of faith for us. We were not sure that our plan to use a combination of The Well-Trained Mind and Charlotte Mason's ideas would work for our family but the first semester has been a huge success.

We have been following the Well-Trained Mind outlines in our homeschooling for the last few years and have now decided we are much more of a Charlotte Mason sort of family. I decided to make the best of both worlds and use the outline of a classical school but use a Charlotte Mason style for teaching. We also have taken up notebooking as a serious and practical way of recording our learning in high school. See my blog entry here for my top five reasons to notebook in high school.

I have found the mix a very ideal method for our family.

Ancient History

We use the discussion techniques described as "Socratic Discussions" by Tapestry of Grace. This is a way to discuss history, literature, art, or any other subject by drawing the student out with skillfully crafted questions. You can read more about it in the pdf file from Tapestry of Grace I printed this out and put it in my planner so I can read it before our weekly meetings.

We also supplemented with this DVD course from The Teaching Company -Ancient Civilizations before Alexander the Great.

  • Tapestry of Grace Year 1
    This thorough plan for history has been the foundation of our history program. We are using the rhetoric stage plan for history as well as some of our literature. I love the structure but also the flexibility to pick and choose how to use the materia

Ancient Times Notebook Pages-

Ancient Times Notebook Pages-

Ancient Times Notebook Pages-

Literature or Great Books

I started with the list in The Well-Trained Mind and mixed in the plan from Tapestry of Grace and came up with a reading list.

Great Books for Literature

This list is a mix of assigned reading and what we call "free reading".

The assigned reading is the list we work from that is scheduled out for us to read and discuss each week. They will respond either orally or in a written form. The writing pieces are either informal notes and quotations or they are formal essays.

The free reading books are to be read on their own, at their own pace, and there is no assigned discussions or written follow-up. I find that they informally will tell me about the books as they go about their reading. They keep a list in the front of their literature notebook of the year's books to be read and then record the finishing date for each book they complete.

You may be interested in reading my comparison of

Tapestry of Grace Vs. The Well-Trained Mind (literature)

  • Bible: Genesis to the Book of Job
  • Ancient Egyptian Literature
  • Gilgamesh
  • From Distant Days (Tapestry of Grace literature)
  • Iliad (With the Teaching Company DVD series)
  • Bible: Book of Daniel
  • Last Days of Socrates
  • Beyond the Desert Gate (Tapestry of Grace literature)
  • God King (Tapestry of Grace literature)
  • Hittite Warrior (Tapestry of Grace literature)
  • Bhagavad-Gita
  • Caesar's Gallic War (Tapestry of Grace literature)
  • Bible: Book of Galatians
  • Life of Alexander the Great
  • Ben Hur (Tapestry of Grace literature)
  • Bible: Book of 1 and 2 Thessalonians
  • Bible: Book of Ephesians
  • Plato - Apology
  • Augustine - Confessions

Algebra - Math U See

We are finishing up Math-U-See Algebra and then moving on to geometry. This book has been a perfect fit for our family. We enjoy the DVD lessons and the pace at which this book moves along.

Scroll to Continue

I have had some fellow homeschoolers criticize the Math-U-See program but for our family it is a perfect fit. One page per day and we move right through the lessons. I know the boys are understanding their math and I love the DVD for teaching and then reinforcing the concepts.

We actually like using the blocks with algebra and I think for my one son it has made him "see" his math as never before.

  • Algebra
    This company is very nice to work with. I always take the time to stop by their booth at our local homeschooling convention and they are very helpful.
  • Math Mammoth 1-B
    We are using these for quick reviews and quizzes.

Language Arts - Vocabulary, Writing, Grammar, Spelling, Dictation

We are polishing up our skills in this area.

  • Vocabulary from Classical Roots
    Our main text for vocabulary. Each workbook lasts us about a year. We cover a lesson a week. My son completes the workbook pages and then I correct them. We go over any words he missed or was unsure about and I verbally quiz him to see if he needs fu
  • English from the Roots Up
    We have been slowly making our way through these roots for the last three years. I use only the box of cards and we cover one root per week.
  • Institute for Excellence in Writing
    This is the gem of our year. We have thoroughly enjoyed working through these DVD lessons each week. I take the concepts from the DVD lesson and apply them to my son's writing assignments in history, science, and literature. You can read my complete
  • Science Roots
    This is a new program for us this year and it has been a little rocky getting started. We have used it alongside the Apologia Biology and have found it very useful with all the vocabulary. I would suggest starting this before you do the Apologia Biol

Language Arts Materials on


  • The Easy Spanish
    We have struggled with several different Spanish programs before landing in this one. I love the Charlotte Mason approach to learning and my son is making so many connections with this program and is able to have conversations in Spanish now. You can
  • Rosetta Stone
    We have been going through the Rosetta Stone Spanish program for two years but this year it has really clicked and I hear a big difference in my children's confidence in Spanish. I think the combination of The Easy Spanish and the computer work with

Art History resources - These are planned out in Harmony Fine Arts 9th grade plan

Music Appreciation

Music Appreciation Resources

Have a question or comment?

LLMom27 on June 08, 2012:

Great resources for classical education. I am always looking for more.

anonymous on March 18, 2012:

Hello we found your classical lens today.

Barb McCoy (author) on March 03, 2012:

@anonymous: You are welcome to read my homeschooling blog where I talk about schedules and planning. You might be interested in reading this page:

You can click the "planning" tag at the bottom of the post for more ideas too.

Thanks for visiting my lens. Barb

anonymous on March 03, 2012:

I was admiring your 9th grade plan, and noticing the volumes of reading. Can you share what your week looks like for assignments? I am trying, unsuccessfully so far, to find the right balance of work and reading. My son loves to read, but we struggle getting all his work done in a 4 day environment from 8:30 to 2:00 with an hour for lunch. Would you share what you do? thank you, sincerely, Tawnya R.

anonymous on February 28, 2012:

Stopped by because of looking for more resources for Apologia Biology. Enjoyed reading through your lenses.

GeorgiaHiker on February 06, 2012:

Great lens. My daughter is in the middle of her first year of home-schooling.

DeannaDiaz on January 20, 2012:

What an awesome lens! KonaGirl recommended your site and I'm glad she did! I also home school and this is a great resource.

jadehorseshoe on January 16, 2012:

Perfect Resource.

TeacherSerenia on May 28, 2011:

I heartily approve the Great Books method. I wish I had known that this method of education existed 30 years ago when I was in high school. I could have learnt so much more about the classics.

ngio64 on April 27, 2011:

blessed by a Squid Angel. Good job.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 04, 2011:

Truly admire the work you do. I am happy to see the Bible studied as I think you miss out a lot leaving this great literature aside.

JoyfulPamela2 from Pennsylvania, USA on February 24, 2011:

My 10th grader wanted to do Abeka Academy this year (and wants to continue), but I think I need something different for my 8th grader. One of our local homeschool co-ops bases their studies around Tapesty, so it is something we are looking into for next year for him. (Then there is my little guy who I get to do fun unit studies with still!)

VSP on January 29, 2011:

Thanks for sharing. Lensrolled to my Homeschool Questions and Why Homeschool lens. In the future, will post to my Homeschool Preschool thru High School facebook page. Keep up the good work.

Barb McCoy (author) on January 09, 2011:

@anonymous: You are welcome to read my blog where I document how I have been able to incorporate classical and CM ideas together with my boys. I have no formal classical education and we just take it one year at a time.

Hop over to my blog and see what you can find.

anonymous on January 09, 2011:

I will BEGIN homeschooling my daughter next year... she will be in 9th grade. She is coming out a Classical, Christian school. I have only homeschooled one year so far, my other two daughters: 5th and 3rd. I am doing okay with my two younger girls, but am very worried about schooling my 9th grader. I like the "idea" of CM, but I just can't see how I can do it with a high schooler. I only have a high school education and she is already way past my education in the school she is in. I imagine that I will be enrolling her in quite a few classes in homeschool learning centers. I wonder how much she could actually do at home? I am starting to get anxious about this and thought I'd post this and see if I got any response.

Linda Pogue from Missouri on December 03, 2010:

Great information. As a former homeschooling mom (my kids are both grown, now), I know how difficult and time consuming it can be to pull together a curriculum. You might be interested in The site is primarily for adults returning to college after years out of school, but the links to study helps are good for high school students, too. Thumbs up!

Laura Schofield from Chicago, IL USA on June 12, 2010:

This is an excellently compiled lens. I've included it as a featured lens on my page on back to school planning at . My oldest son is getting ready for 8th grade in a highly competitive school district: We'll definitely be revisiting this in the future. Thanks!

anonymous on July 09, 2009:

This is exactly what I was looking for! I am bookmarking this!

We will be doing 9th gr. w/ our oldest and have always used Well Trained Mind, but I too have been leaning more toward Charlotte Mason. We started Spelling Wisdom last year after many curriculums that I was unhappy with. We LOVE it!

Do you happen to know the approximate cost for this? Do you buy all books or depend on library books some?

Thank you so much for compiling this information!


jimb12345 on April 27, 2009:

this is such great information. thanks for the great lens.

geography information source

Stephen Carr from Corona, CA on September 25, 2008:

Terrific Lens! Liked the information. Will come again!

Be an Unforgettable Teacher!


anonymous on September 05, 2008:

Thanks, Barb, for all your work in putting together this curriculum for your boys. I am LOVING this site & your blogsite! We have 3 girls (little ones), and we plan to homeschool in a WTM/CM/LCC sort of way. You have combined WTM & CM very beautifully! Thanks! Now all I have to add in the Latin. :) -- Sahamamama from WTM Boards

anonymous on May 13, 2008:


Can you go into detail about how you use Vocab From Classical Roots? How do you schedule that out on a day to day or weekly basis?


anonymous on March 23, 2008:

What a wonderful resource. Many thanks for sharing your inspiring studies.

anonymous on March 11, 2008:

Wow, a lot of ninth grade resources that can benefit others as well! I salute you in your homeschooling efforts and I can see it has been successful. You, and others who homeschool their kids, might take an interest in online studies for future adult courses. It shies away from traditional studies (like a classroom setting) but still quite similar to homeschooling. You could combine old homeschooling methods with some online studies plan and see how it works. Good job on the lens!

anonymous on December 20, 2007:

Thanks--we're looking forward to next year with Apologia biology--you've given me lots of food for thought!

HeartsAndTreesA on December 19, 2007:

Looks great. You put a lot of work into this page.

Related Articles