Middle School. Ah, the trials, the tribulations, the drama! Figuring out how to homeschool middle school can be tricky, but it can be done! Learn how below.
Teaching Middle School
The middle grades are easily one of the most exciting times in a child’s life. Though it may be awkward and cringy, middle school is sort of like the first baby steps into adulthood.
Their sense of self is developing and questions about the world are beginning to blossom. Nothing is as it seems! Knowing some tricks on how to homeschool Middle School will help make this time of adjustment smooth, and drama-free. (Okay, maybe not drama-free, but it may help reduce it a bit!)
How to Homeschool Middle Schoolers: What They Need to Know
Learning how to take notes is a skill that is sorely undervalued. Not only does writing down information help retain it but proper note-taking will also teach kids how to study properly for future tests and exams.
Being able to understand what information is pertinent vs. what becomes simple bonus facts is critical in learning to absorb the correct knowledge. Let your middle schooler pick out their own notebooks and pens so they feel excited about this part of classwork.
Really take time to hone this skill as it will make the rest of their school years, even following up into college, much less challenging.
I think we can all agree that organization is a major key to future success. Sometimes, I wish there was a class just for this! Thankfully, when you homeschool middle school there can be!
Time management, workspace decluttering, and balancing schedules is far from easy. One of the best times to start developing a structured work ethic is when your child enters middle school. It’s the perfect developmental period when kids still trust you to guide them but are standing on their own much more.
Organization can be taught a number of ways, but for us, showing them how to use a planner has been one of the most beneficial ways. Planners show the process of breaking downtime into manageable slots and how to get the most amount of work done in that window.
Practice having kids record their time doing schoolwork vs. when they “clock out” so they can have a visual representation of how their time is spent too!
Tip: The concept and idea of self-care applies here also and is especially important during those middle school years. Teach your children not only how to have a quality work ethic, but also how to slow down, making time for themselves to recharge.
Let Them Decide Their Schedule (Flexibility/Autonomy)
One of the best things about homeschooling middle school is the flexibility. Letting your child decide their schedule gives them the freedom to make decisions and become flexible, well-rounded adults.
One way to do this is to let them choose what time or what order they will study each subject. Somedays, they might tackle math in the morning with some art in the afternoon just to turn around and be engulfed in history for a couple days. This freedom is an accelerant for growth.
Encourage independent learning. Structure is still invaluable, but the flexibility of learning will empower your child to grow. Feel free to shake up the limitations and let your kids explore their own ways of getting work done.
High School is preparation for college in the sense that you are deciding what you want to do with life and where you want it to take you.
That being said, middle school should be a time to let your kids figure out what they like to do/what they are good at! Feeding their passions keeps them energized for expansion and ultimately leads them to a path of belonging. As they work more with what brings them joy they will more than likely find a career or purpose that aligns with that.
An added benefit being that when the inevitable teenage mood swings show up, the general joy of life might help keep things looking light. When you’re celebrated for what you love and what excites you, it is much easier to keep a positive perspective.
There are many ways to do this so don’t worry if it seems like a lot! Keeping records of your homeschoolers’ work starting in late middle school is an asset for their futures should they decide to go to college.
Creating transcripts isn’t too difficult but the general breakdown for the process is as follows:
- Make a list of all material the student has covered.
- Create course names and assign credits.
- Enter the information into a formal transcript template.
- Calculate the Student’s GPA.
As your child gets into high school you will have to look into your state’s requirements for graduating but the process is just about the same. You can even get a diploma to go along with these official records.
Let your kids play “teenager” in a protected environment so they can learn to take risks but with the comfort of knowing you’re still there to back them up.
Expand social circles by taking group lessons or involving them in extracurriculars.
Help establish routines that, like mentioned before, they have a say in creating and maintaining.
This is also a good time to start discussing personal goals, as well as what it looks like to progress towards them. SMART goals are easy to understand and apply to life so they’re a great starting point.
Be present for the process
More than likely the middle school years will have a certain amount of drama. Your child is completely transforming which is exciting and terrifying for both of you! The best advice any of us can give is to just take time to enjoy these Middle School moments fully.