Homeschooling: The Upper Elementary Years

The elementary years of education are typically broken down into two categories-lower elementary (commonly referred to as the “primary” years), and upper elementary. This is done because the developmental and educational needs of children are much different at five years old than at ten years old. On this page we’ll talk about what homeschooling looks like during the upper elementary years.

Ownership Starts To Shift

Upper elementary begins to slowly shift the learning responsibility from parent to child. It is during these years that children go from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”. It becomes much more important here to allow them to have more autonomy over their reading selections while also continuing to incorporate literature that will broaden their horizons, such as historical novels or good examples of characters with the types of traits you would like to encourage.

Bigger, But Still Kids!

It is during these upper elementary years that the early years of training good habits will begin to emerge. Children at this age will have a much better idea of where their interests lie and what motivates them to continue through a tedious task. This is still a time of habit training and character development and finding ways to incorporate play is still important. These kids might be bigger and learning more complex ideas in their core subjects but they are definitely still kids! Hands-on learning experiences are still beneficial to children during this stage of learning and will give them opportunities to practice skills in math, literacy, and even science. For example, baking a cake from scratch will cover all those bases while also teaching a life skill and allowing for some great bonding time!

Relationships Are Very Important!

Relationship building is important with children of all ages, but this time of development is especially important between parents and children. Now is the time that you will lay the foundation for the rocky middle school years that lie ahead. This is a time when you can talk to them about changes they will encounter and have honest and frank discussions about growing up. Children at this age are much more receptive to this type of learning and it will shield them from embarrassment later. Finding plenty of opportunities to allow them to spend time with other kids is also important during this time. Many children are involved in extracurricular activities such as sports, music lessons, or dance classes that fulfill this important developmental need.

Be Honest, Work Hard

Allow your child at this age to be involved in setting learning goals and have open discussions about strengths and weaknesses. This will help them to develop responsibility over their own learning while also creating natural motivation. Help your child to set personal goals and develop a plan to achieve them, even if they are not educational based. Learning these important habits early will really help them when they get to middle and high school, and even beyond.

Get Ready For What’s Next!

The upper elementary years are a good time to allow your child to develop personal autonomy over their own learning, continue good character habits and traits, and maintain an atmosphere of wonder and knowledge-seeking. Buckle up, parents, middle school is just around the corner!

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