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Home School Legal Defense Assocation

Curricular Descriptions

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The master theme of the Ninth Grade will be to further develop in students all of their higher cognitive and affective skills, conforming them to the more complex concepts of the secondary school, and to the more difficult task of applying principles, concepts, and ideals in a much wider field of study than they have had in the elementary grades. Now, students will be obliged to thoroughly develop good study habits to help in the intellectual digestion of more difficult subject matter. Students will continue to be prepared to enter the world as productive members of their community, ready and able to steadfastly defend their Faith and to apply traditional Catholic principles to their everyday lives.

Theology: St. Augustine was once asked how to teach religion. He wrote a book to answer the question and in it he principally made two suggestions. The first was that the teacher should tell the story of God's love for man in historical order, beginning with the first book of the Bible. He advised the teacher to relate the incidents in such a manner that the causes and reasons of the various events and circumstances would be plainly visible. In this way God's love could be seen and appreciated.The teacher, he continued, should also strive to lead those being instructed from faith, to hope, to charity. This year, the students will be studying Book One of the Quest for Happiness Series, Our Goal & Our Guides Text. This first volume accents faith and tells the story of the Divine Love that led God the Father to create us and promise a Redeemer. OLVS has written very complete Answer Keys, as well, for each of the four books in this series. Other books used: The Rosary Novena Booklet, The Way of the Cross Booklet.

Math: Saxon Algebra I Text is the suggested text for this year's math course, although students coming to OLVS without having successfully completed Saxon's Algebra ½, are required to complete that introductory course before tackling Algebra I. There are some important concepts and skills that must be mastered in order to more thoroughly understand the more difficult mathematical processes that will follow in the next couple of years. Saxon Algebra I covers arithmetic of (evaluation of) expressions involving signed numbers, exponents and roots, properties of real numbers, absolute value and equations. Integrated into the text is an extensive amount of Geometric concepts as well. The three-book Saxon Algebra I Set includes: Saxon Algebra I Textbook; Saxon Algebra I Test Forms; Saxon Algebra I Answer Key. Saxon Algebra 1 Solutions Manual is also available, and strongly recommended.

Grammar: This grammar and compositon course, part of a series originally published (like Voyages in English) by Loyola University Press, was at one time the standard in Catholic high schools of the United States. The textbook, Correct Writing Text, is used in conjunction with the reference manual, Writing Handbook. Both of these books must be used together so that the students can acquire a thorough understanding of the necessary grammatical rules and concepts. Using the Traditional Catholic Speller 9, the students will also learn the spelling of hundreds of words and their meanings, including Catholic terms. Other book used:  Correct Writing Answer Key.

Literature: This year the students will be concentrating on perfecting their skills at analyzing literature by identifying (and commenting upon) the literary elements of character, setting, plot and theme.  Students will read, The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy – “The year is 1792 during the French Revolution.  Daily, tumbrels roll over the cobbled streets of Paris bearing new victims to the insatiable Madame guillotine…Thus the stage is set for one of the most enthralling novels of historical adventure ever written.  The mysterious figure known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, sworn to rescue helpless men, women and children from their doom; his foe, the French agent Chauvelin; and the lovely Lady Marguerite Blakeney, a French exile married to an English lord – all play their parts in a suspenseful tale.”   Another author who was able to do so, while writing in the poetic English of the mid-19th century, was Cardinal Wiseman. His Fabiola, a thrilling story about the persecutions of the early Christians of Rome, has a number of sub-plots with suspenseful twists. Cardinal Wiseman artfully meshes the true history of the early Church, the persecutions endured by the first Christians, and the glorious army of martyrs of the catacombs, into an historical novel, which keeps readers spellbound.  Come Rack, Come Rope, by Robert Hugh Benson takes place in England during the 16th century under the rule of Elizabeth I. Families, like the FitzHerberts, heard Mass and received the Sacraments in secret. Concealed places were built especially for the priests so they could hide in an emergency.  Families were divided; men were thrown into jail; and neighbor turned against neighbor.  A traitor in the midst meant capture, torture and certain death for the undercover priests.  There exists also a charming and holy love between a young man and lady, but God comes first!  Will he become a priest for God?  This real life drama provides vivid descriptions and profound insights into the persecutions of Catholics during the age of the Protestant Reformation. Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson, assigned to the boys, is set in the aftermath of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 and sustains a gripping narrative. David Balfour, a young lowlander who is tricked by his miserly uncle, survives attempted murder, kidnap and shipwreck. In the company of Alan Breck, a Jacobite, he escapes through the Highlands. The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry van Dyke, is a touching tale of sacrifice and perseverance of the fourth  pilgrim (the other wise man), whose great desire to see the Messiah was denied, yet accomplished in the denial. He wanders for years in search of and eventually finds, the one Whom he sought.

History: This year's World History is centered on the history of the Catholic Faith as embodied in The Story of the Church Text. For, what is history if not the telling of the story of Christ and His Church? This survey of the world stresses that the roots of the One, True Faith lie in the beginning of the world, the Fall of Man, and his subsequent Redemption. As the publishers state, "To know and to understand the Church is a sacred duty for every Catholic. . . This book has been written for boys and girls with the hope that as they learn the story it tells, their love of Christ in His Church will increase and that a lifelong interest in Church history will be enkindled. The Story of the Church is told in three parts: first in the days of the Roman Empire, then through the Ages of Faith, and finally in Modern Times, Christ in His Church advances down the ages unto the fulfillment of His mission." Other books used: Story of the Church Test Booklet, Story of the Church Test Answer Key.

Science: This course is based on the book, Physical Science Text, by Dr. Jay Wile. It was written specifically for the home-schooled student; the writing and presentation style Dr. Wile uses gives the reader the impression that the author is sitting across the kitchen table tutoring one-on-one. The experiments use common, readily available materials, and the author walks the students through each of the labs in a logical easy-to-follow manner. The text is intended to stimulate new questions that will cause the students to expand his knowledge. Topics covered include: the atmosphere and the weather; the structure of the earth; and an introduction to physics, touching on motion, Newton's Laws, gravity, and astrophysics. This course will help students understand how the entire universe, from atoms to galaxies, is governed and maintained by the infinite power of our God. Physical Science Solutions and Tests contains: (1) answers to the Study Guide found at the end of each module in the text; (2) tests for each module; and (3) answers to each of the modular tests.