Homeschooling Middle School
The Middle/Jr. High School years of education can be a very intimidating prospect for homeschooling parents. We realize that time is going by quickly and there is a lot at stake in order to get our child ready for a successful High School career that will set them up for future success. We question if we have done enough and if we are on the right track. Whether they go on to college, take up a trade, start a business, or enter the military we want our sons and daughters to enter into adulthood with good character, a solid academic foundation, good habits, critical thinking skills, a strong commitment to their personal beliefs, and confidence. On this page we’ll talk about what homeschooling looks like during these challenging and important years.
If you homeschooled your child through the elementary years, you’re likely all too familiar with feelings of self-doubt. After the first year (or even two) you had all your wrinkles ironed out and got into a good groove and now here we are: middle school! Don’t panic! Even if you are just starting out on your homeschool journey, take heart. You can do this!
Teach Them How to Learn
Falling back upon our home training during the elementary years, this is the time to allow our students to truly shine in their personal responsibility. Our job is not to teach them everything, rather it is to teach them how to learn, reinforce good learning habits and character traits, and provide avenues and resources to facilitate their learning.
Lock in the Basics
Homeschooling Middle school is a time to strengthen the basics. During this time, you’ll want to focus on arithmetic skills and computation speed to ensure a solid foundation for algebra and geometry in high school. It is also a good time to continue practicing good reading comprehension, grammar, and basic composition skills as well as practice good essay writing and writing analysis.
One of the most important things we can do during the middle school years as parents is to evaluate our own strengths and weaknesses. We must be willing to utilize our resources now, including knowing when to seek outside support. Many home educators will hire subject matter tutors or seek other learning opportunities either locally or online to help supplement their curriculum. This is especially important if you have a child that possesses a learning strength in an area of weakness for yourself. It is absolutely ok to seek outside opportunities! This can even include hands-on learning opportunities, internships, or volunteer work to further develop their character and interests.
Middle schoolers are beginning to develop a deep sense of self, and they love opportunities to express their ideas. Give your child plenty of opportunities to review books, movies, current events, and even social activities. Don’t ask them for a report, ask them to express their thoughts on the matter. They can practice this in both writing and in speech. This will also continue your own relationship development, as they learn that you respect their thoughts and ideas even if you have a different viewpoint. What a great time to teach tolerance!
This is also the time to allow your child’s passions to shine. While you may have very clear expectations on things you want them to learn as far as core curriculum goes, allow them to have more investment in their “elective” learning. Middle school is a great time for students to explore their other interests and develop their talents in art, music, and other creative outlets. You never know where your child’s interests might take them and when they are naturally motivated it could be very far, indeed!
Hang On Tight-Love Well
These years may be a time of many changes for your child—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It can be challenging, but they need your affection, communication, and understanding now more than ever. It is very common for students in this developmental stage to have spiritual questions; try not to take them personally but do take them seriously. This is a wonderful time to continue to build upon your relationship. Creating an atmosphere of loving guidance and acceptance will continue to facilitate a relationship of trust for years to come.
Start to Hand It Off
Basically, middle school is the time when you will work yourself out of a job. Life skills and time management training will serve your student very well in the future, both in high school and beyond. Give your child more control over their schedules and input over their subject matter choices to increase their confidence in their own abilities. It will surely be a practice in patience (for you) and training in diligence (for your student), but it will be well worth it in the end when you emerge with an independent high schooler!