Remember back to when you were in middle school?
Honestly, as a student, the middle school years were NOT my favorite!
As my children are moving into their teen years I try to keep in mind the many changes and challenge we are ALL going through as we are homeschooling middle school.
There are many positives:
- now is the time to start digging a little deeper into subjects
- kids are finding and following their passions
- teens start to become more independent learners
However, since all of the hormones are raging and the lessons are getting a bit more detailed, there can be daily struggles as well.
Advice From Homeschool Moms About Homeschooling Middle School
Many families have successfully survived homeschooling through the elementary, middle, and high school years and they are happy to share their experiences, ideas, and words of encouragement with the rest of us.
With the help of our friends we have gathered some short, insightful tips from experienced homeschool moms. These are important things moms want you to know about homeschooling middle school.
1. It is Time to Dig a Little Deeper
“Middle school kids are ready to dig a little deeper into various subjects, but that doesn’t mean they’ll want to! The middle grade years are the perfect time to (slowly) teach independence and self-motivation.” – Tonia Lyons of The Sunny Patch
Find out how to encourage your child to be a more independent learner in Tonya’s post – 5 Tips for Teaching Independence
2. Kids Will Start to Pursue Their Passions
“The middle school years can be referred to as the ‘Love of Learning Phase’ as kids start to pursue their passions and become more independent. It is important to encourage them to try new things but not to give up when things get tough.” – Eva Varga of EvaVarga.net
Eva offers a great example of finding real-life learning opportunities in her post – Independent Study Projects: Learning Science While Exploring Interests
3. Get Ready to Deal With Emotional and Physical Changes
“Middle school is pivotal because of the emotional and physical changes going on in your child. How you handle homeschool and parenting for these few years will set the stage for your relationship with your child throughout adolescence and adulthood. But don’t get scared! These years are really fun.” – Jimmie Lanley of Jimmie’s Collage
Jimmie shares tips for understanding the middle school mind set, selecting curriculum, and more – Homeschooling Middle School: The Inbetween Years
4. Focus on Building Character/Life Skills
“When homeschooling middle school you have not only the academic component, but the character building/life skills side of parenting and preparing a teen for their life ahead.” – Heidi Ciravola of Starts at Eight
Heidi shares lessons she has learned on her journey of Homeschooling Teenagers
5. Help Them Discover What Subjects They Like Best
“Homeschooling middle school doesn’t always mean middle way. They can be all over the place skill wise. It is a fun time to teach your kids because they are learning independence but are still lovable though hormones have started to emerge. It is a time to focus on the uniqueness of their strengths and help them to discover what subjects they like best so that you can hone in on them as they get older. Savor the middle school years because soon the high school years come and time flies.” – Tina Robertson of Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus
Tina offers strategies that helped her stay grounded in her post – Homeschooling Middle School Doesn’t Always Mean Middle Way
6. Do Not Give Up on Your Big Kids
“Do not give up on your “big kids” just because they are testing you. Do not give up on them because you think they need more “extracurricular activities” or “socialization”. Do not give up on your “big kids” because you think you did the “important” work when they were little. The best is yet to come!” – Mary Prather of Homegrown Learners
Find more tips from Mary about Homeschooling Big Kids
7. Use 8th Grade as a High School Prep Year
“I have always seen 8th grade as a transition year – for me and for my kids.There are a variety of ways to go about using 8th grade as a high school prep year. Many of them come naturally (think: pre-algebra, which prepares a student for high school level math), while others may require a little more thought.” – Kris Bales at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Kris shares some of the things her own kids have done in her post – 5 Tips for Using 8th Grade as a High School Prep Year
8. It’s Not All About Academics
“There are some simple and practical things you can do to help them be prepared to enter their high school years. Don’t get bogged down in the “academic race” that tries to put undue pressure on your pre-teens. Just continue to inspire in them a love for learning, find opportunities to strengthen their character, and remember to ENJOY being with them!” – Sherri Seligson of Just Extraordinary
In one of our most popular guest posts, Sherri shares 7 Key Skills & Experiences to Prepare Your Middle School Students for High School
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Homeschool Middle School
“Personally, I love teaching my older students. Our time is spent working on hands-on projects, in deep discussions, learning life skills, and pursuing individual passions. There are many reasons why parents decide to stop schooling their children at home once they start middle school. Sure, homeschooling during the older grades may not be right for all families, but for some, they only stop because of fear.” – Megan Zechman of Education Possible
Megan offers 4 common fears parents express in her post – I Can’t Homeschool Because My Kids are in Middle School
10. You Are NOT Alone!
“In all of our years of homeschooling we have found other homeschool moms to be gracious in sharing ideas, tips, and resources to help us along our educational journey. As our kids moved into the tween/teen years, however, it was a little bit harder to find information because it seemed most people were talking about either young learners or high school requirements. We have come to realize that there needs to be more of a focus on families homeschooling kids in the middle school years.”
We have created a warm, supportive online support group for moms homeschooling middle school to ask questions and seek advice. We want you to know you are NOT alone on this journey! Please JOIN US! A Community for Moms Who Are Homeschooling Middle School
We would like to thank our friends for sharing their hearts and advice for homeschooling middle school!
We would love to hear from you – what tips would you share to other families homeschooling middle school? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below!
Would you like even more tips and ideas from experienced homeschool moms? Be sure to check out the new Advice From Homeschool Experts Link-up from our friends at iHomeschool Networks: