Thursday, September 3, 2015

Homeschooling Middle School

I'll admit it; I was scared to homeschool a middle schooler.  I think partly I fed off of everyone else's worries and fears and *GASPS* of "I have a middle schooler now!"  Most homeschoolers see this as a time to buckle down and fill in all the gaps.  It seemed like it was so important to teach them all the right things.  After all high school soon follows middle school and then it's college after that!  I was so keyed up over it when I knew he was in fourth grade.  I promised I'd give myself a year to figure it out and get him on track.



    But now I have a 6th grader and let me tell you a little secret---- it's not much different than teaching a 4th grader or a 5th grader.

    Maybe I never got myself on track, maybe we didn't buckle down, maybe he won't be fully prepared for high school or college; I'll admit I just have no clue what he will need years down the road.  I can guess and I can try but the more I read and the more I looked around the more I realized that middle school was just more of the same-- meeting my child at his level.  So yeah, I was totally prepared to teach middle school.  And you are too!

    Know why?  In the day to day moments with your kids they grow and change so gradually you don't really notice but you do grow and change with them.  I think schooling goes the same way.

   It wasn't like he woke up one day and declared he was in middle school now and we had to put away everything we were working on.

   Sure the work may be a bit more independent; but he was ready for it (or else I'd still be helping him out!).
 
    The concepts might be a bit harder; but he was ready for it (or else we'd still be on simpler concepts).

    I find that the emotions might be running a bit higher or hormones might be surging a bit more during these middle years, but I know my son and I know how to help him deal with how he's feeling.  We laugh-- a LOT!  I try to help him see the humor and look at the big picture of life.  He can take time to be by himself and get himself under control if he needs to.  I don't judge or criticize.

     More than anything I've learned it is SO FUN homeschooling a middle schooler.

    He's usually pretty helpful, pretty easy going, and he totally gets sarcasm now.  He makes me laugh often with his dry humor and wit and it's amazing to see him really developing his own sense of self.  He's free to be himself and he knows he can have so much input into what he's doing for school and how we'll tackle it.   I feel blessed to have such a great relationship with my son; one that I'm not sure I would have had if he had remained in public school.

    The whole point of homeschooling at any age is to meet the needs of each child at the stage they're in.  If he wasn't ready for middle school work I'm sure I'd be feeling bad and worrying about him "catching up" but we wouldn't be doing middle school work.  I meet each child as they come and try very hard to take it day by day.

    Many parents seem intimidated by the actual curriculum of 6th grade but we have built our own and I often learn through him.  He's usually teaching me just as much as I'm teaching him.  Is our curriculum perfect and just what every 6th grader should be covering?  I honestly don't know.  But I do know he's learning, reading and thriving.  He's interested and asking questions.  He's already telling me about what he'd like to learn about next.

    Right now we're learning about:

  • the American president  (US history)
  • the Vietnam War (and the county of Vietnam).  (World History and Geography)
  • We use the Key To series for math; picking various topics as he completes each set of workbooks (though we're going to tackle fractions and percents at the same time).  (Math)
  • I'm still letting him pick out all his own reading materials and he's been amazing me by picking out some pretty large, heavy duty chapter books.  We just completed the Hunger Games series and he's moved onto Divergent.  Lately he's reading all the chapters on his own.  (Reading)
  • for science we're pulling experiments from the computer and books and taking lots of nature classes.  (Science)

Big Family Frugal

My Full Heart: Junior High Junction


8 comments :

  1. "The whole point of homeschooling at any age is to meet the needs of each child at the stage they're in." Yes, to this! I have kindergarten, third, and seventh-grade aged children unschooling here, and it's exciting to support their learning in action, and to learn alongside of them.

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    1. Yes it is! Mine are 2nd, 4th, and 6th and I love all that they we learn together. It's such a blessing to homeschool and learn alongside my boys.

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  2. Thanks for your insights. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday weekend also. Linda @Crafts a la mode

    Please come and link to our party if you like. http://www.craftsalamode.com/2015/09/what-to-do-weekends-138.html

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    1. Thanks for visiting and I'll definitely check out your link party!

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  3. I so enjoyed reading this. This is exactly how I feel! I was so nervous about homeschooling a 7th grader, but we are just taking it day by day and I am constantly amazed at her independence. It's so exciting to watch them grow and mature! Thank you for linking up.

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    1. Thanks. I too was so nervous about MIDDLE school... now that we're doing it; it doesn't seem that intimidating. But I'm already a bit fearful of high school. LOL.

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  4. My oldest is also a 6th grader and except that she is a girl, I could have written much of what you did. I can totally relate. I love the way you wrote out so simply what he is working on. That simplicity may help me. Thanks!

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