Middle school, from grades 6 to 8, is an exciting time of change and maturity for our children. While our children are still enjoying the fun and exploration of their elementary school, they are also about to kick off towards a more intent period of high school. Also making ready for their soon adult life.
This is can be a vague phase for our children. They do not long to be seen as a kid, but wanting to be one every now and then.. On one end, they also demand to be seen as more mature but they are not quite so, just yet.
Our middle school children are exploring who they are and who they can become. The whole shifts they go through can be a nuisance for us, parents. But it is also helpful to understand that it can be overwhelming for them too. As homeschool parents, we need to strike a balance.
Here are five “TO DO” tips to make the most of their homeschooling time.
1. Increase your middle school homeschooler's independence.
Middle school is the perfect time to hand over the reins of homeschooling and learning to our child. Teach our children how to plan their week and how to keep a planner.
This is a rightful and appropriate time to teach them study skills as well. These skills don't come naturally to most of us. You’re pretty lucky if your kid already has them.
Help your child learn how to break long-term tasks into manageable chunks. Guiding them to set an end goal; and identify en-route goals to reach the end. We can help them to have and put the end in their mind. Let's show our children that each task has own deadline.
These will allow our children to maximize and make the most of their homeschooling time on their own. We start leading our children to their independence.
2. Use middle school as a transition to high school.
This is an ideal time to begin the transition to high school in terms of their independence, maturity, and job quality expectations. We, homeschooling parents must begin to move away from their teacher-focused days, where we are actively acting as their teachers and leading them into the learning experience.
Now that we are gearing them for high school, we should let our children begin to work more independently and make the most of their homeschooling time. It is, of course, natural to expect more detailed information in their writings, research and scientific labs.
The shift of control can be uncomfortable and uneasy at the start. Our children may not necessarily have the readiness and skills for this just yet. Our patience will definitely be tested at this time. But we must ensure to use this point to build the preparedness they need.
3. Likewise, use your middle school years to start practicing for college.
Specifically use 8th grade as your high school practice year (for you and your child). This is a great time to start tracking grades and academic achievement levels (if you haven't been already). Plan for high school, and learn how to keep a grade book.
We, as homeschooling parents can use this stage to reinforce our children's weak areas (such as writing skills, research skills or speed to memorize important facts) to prepare our learning children to work independently.
This will not only benefit high school but their lives later on in the university and even better in the work place.
4. Start adding electives.
Part of passing these learning torch means giving your tweens or teens a say in the classes they will take. It may seem scary but it is necessary. Encourage your child to explore, discover and pursue their own interests. Learning will be more fun for them when they do what they love and get recognized for it.
At this time, our children may not truly know which of their many interest is worth pursuing. It can also happen that they do not show much interest in anything and have not developed these interest. At such instances, we can direct them to different activities that will help their exploration.
Why not you incorporate life skill training to the homeschool curriculum? Self-defense, basic repairs, chores and driving are some options available.
Or maybe, some home economics into their daily lives? Crafts, sewing, cooking, cleaning, marketing and budgeting.
5. Let our homeschoolers make decisions and allow mistakes too!
It can be difficult to let children make their own decisions. Especially when you're witnessing all the things that can go wrong. It can be nerve-wracking! But life is full of choices and their consequences. We deal them daily. We should allow our kids to learn how to as well.
We can give our children the chance to make life-changing decisions while we guide them through the consequences of possible wrong choices; whilst, making the most of their homeschooling time.
We can act as their coach, helping them sort out what happened well and what happened wrong. Assist them in seeing possible options and ways to handle the situation. Coping with both the good and the bad in a healthy manner is a good thing to learn.
Homeschooling our middle school kids can be a thrilling transitional time for us, parents and our children. It is a very challenging time. Hopefully these hints will make a suave transition somehow.
Break a leg, mamas!
One day middle school will end and become high school and after that it just becomes life. All those things you think are important now won’t be anymore.
— Diary of a Wimpy Kid
© 2023 Christine Garay