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For most of us, homeschooling when our kids are young is fun. Days are filled with Play-Doh, books, craft projects, play dates, and story time.
As kids get older though, learning becomes more serious and involved, prompting many families to rethink their decision to homeschool.
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.
What frightens parents about homeschooling middle school?
Subjects are too advanced
In middle school, students are starting to do more advanced work, especially in math and language arts, which can scare some parents.
If you still have nightmares about algebra, how are you supposed to teach your kids how to do it?
If you were thrilled to never have to write another essay once you left school, the last thing you want to do is show your kids how to write one.
It’s understandable to have concerns and luckily, you don’t have to teach your child every subject they are required to learn.
You just have to make sure they learn the material. If you don’t feel comfortable teaching a subject, look at hiring a tutor, choose curriculum that comes with DVD or online instruction, or see if a fellow homeschool mom would like to teach your child in a co-op setting.
I don’t want to use textbooks
It seems like most families return to textbook learning once their kids enter middle school. But what if you aren’t a fan of textbook learning or that isn’t the way your children learn best? Can you continue using other learning methods to teach them?
There is no reason why you have to abandon everything that’s been working over the years. True, you will have to make some adjustments (you can’t just do crafts and call it art) but for the most part, you can continue using your favorite homeschooling method.
Kids need to be with friends
Personally, I don’t know a single homeschool family that spends their days stuck inside the house, never interacting with anyone. In reality, homeschool kids often have a wide variety of friendships, developed through the numerous activities they participate in.
We understand the importance of friends, especially for older students.
In fact, unlike public school students who are rarely given time to talk to their friends during the school day, kids who school at home often see their friends during “school time.” They take field trips together and participate in co-op classes, giving them opportunity to chat as well as learn.
So although they might not see their friends every day, they are most likely spending more time actually hanging out with their friends than if they were in a traditional school.
I want them to play sports
Many states allow homeschool students to participate in public school sports programs. If this is something that is important to your family, check your state’s guidelines to see if it is an option for you.
If you don’t care if the sport is school sponsored, look in your community for rec leagues or think about sports that aren’t usually found in a school. Activities like karate, archery, and bowling.
Sports can be a wonderful way to boost your student’s confidence, while helping them grow and mature. Luckily, homeschoolers have more options than ever to reap all of the wonderful benefits of sports participation.
For even more support and encouragement, check out the link-up we co-host every Wednesday, called Finishing Strong ~ Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years and join our Google+ community.
It’s true, homeschooling during the middle school years may not be for you, but if you’re letting fear stop you, I want to encourage you to think about it some more. You might see how rich and rewarding teaching your older children can be.
Does your family plan on homeschooling through middle school?
Our friends at iHomeschool Network are sharing other reasons you might have for not homeschooling. Can you relate to any of them?