What Your Child Should Learn in 9th Grade
The beginning of high school is a particularly difficult time for many students. They begin to make the transition from middle school into a world of more freedoms. This new freedom even applies to their academics. A ninth-grade student typically has more options available when it comes to their coursework.
This flexibility and deviation from a prescribed routine can make it difficult for parents to understand what their child should be learning.
Each school and each student will have a slightly different course schedule. Because many of these standards will vary based on location, it helps to have a general knowledge of what topics may be covered in ninth grade. Parents can use these benchmarks to help determine if their child is excelling.
English and Language Arts
Reading comprehension and analysis are often emphasized once students reach high school. A ninth-grade English course will be no different this year, though the specific texts they read will vary. They may study American classics, British literature, or some combination of time periods to receive a well-rounded exposure to high-quality writing.
Many of the English courses for ninth grade students will focus on improving their writing abilities. Students will be required to write more detailed research papers, focusing on both content and structure. Depending on the teacher, these papers may help to link key topics in their reading to areas of further exploration. They may write several papers to answer opinion-based questions based on classic texts and novels read in class.
Students in ninth-grade have a lot of flexibility regarding their math courses. Most of them will begin high school by taking an Algebra I course. Your child should be able learning key math concepts such as:
- Rational and irrational numbers
- Line and slope
- Exponents and powers
However, some students are able to take this course prior to their ninth-grade year. These students will have the option to take either Algebra II or a geometry course directly afterward.
There isn’t a set science course that all ninth-grade students should take first. Most schools will offer a variety of courses ranging from biology to physical science. While you may have to take all of the courses at some point, you can choose the specific order students will take them in.
Apart from the variation in content, most high school science courses will help your child to investigate the world around them in greater detail. They may perform more science experiments, analyze more data, and write more detailed lab reports. The actual process of studying science is often more important than the material itself.
Much like the science courses, social studies course options will vary based on your child’s preference. They will likely be required to take a geography course, United States history course, and a class on government and economics.
While some of this will be up to the student, many ninth-graders choose to take their geography courses first. This gives them a greater understanding of how to read maps and learn where world regions are located, both of which will help in future courses.
Ninth grade is a time for students to start spreading their wings and making some choices about their studies. While this does make it difficult for parents to know what they can expect their children to learn, it gives students more motivation to learn. Take an active role in helping your child select the right classes and stay involved in their studies. You can ultimately help them to continue learning and growing, even in this new stage of life.