Middle school homeschool is pretty challenging – the subjects start getting difficult, and you have to deal with the whole spectrum of puberty issues. That’s why homeschooling in middle school is looked at with suspicion by some homeschooling parents.
However, you shouldn’t despair – homeschooling through the middle school years isn’t impossible.
If you understand the changes your children go through, and if you know how to handle them, you’ll be able to offer your children a solid education. Homeschooling in middle school isn’t really rocket science, after all.
In this article, we’ll explore the basic skills middle school children need to acquire, and give you a few suggestions on how to homeschool middle school children.
Homeschooling for middle school will be challenging, but it shouldn’t be a burden – get some good resources, learn to use them, and you’re good to go.
If you homeschool middle school children it’s important to understand that, unlike the previous school years, you’ll also need to hire tutors or work with other homeschooling parents in order to provide adequate education in all academic areas.
Homeschooling a 6th grader means plenty of work.
Sixth graders need to show important developments in all academic areas. You’ll need to study more yourself in order to keep up with everything – something you’ll probably be doing constantly from now on.
Age 12 is important for children because it’s a transition from childhood towards their teenage years. They begin to develop romantic interests, and they might sometimes seem moody, distant, or downright depressed (that’s why homeschooling middle school boys is frightening for some parents!) It’s important to understand these changes, as they’ll affect your child’s school performance, too.
If you’re homeschooling a 6th grader, you need to pay a lot of attention to language skills, too.
The writing of a sixth graders becomes significantly more developed compared to elementary pupils, as they’re now able to work through the main stages of the writing process. Obviously, this is an acquired skill that takes practice – as with all other subjects, it’s better to hire a tutor than be a poor teacher.
Sixth graders should also be comfortable writing reports, letters, and even poems – make sure they have access to a wide variety of texts, and take the time to explain the structure and specifics of each type of text.
Homeschooling for 6th graders involves lots of practice in mathematics and sciences.
As well as performing all operations using rational numbers, sixth graders should become familiar with the major areas of mathematics, including equations, ratios, proportions, probability, and statistics.
Sixth graders should also be familiar with the basic concepts in natural sciences, including gravity and energy (physics), chemical compounds and classifications of matter (chemistry), ecosystems, fossils, and heredity (biology).
If you’re homeschooling for 6th graders, you don’t have to be an expert in any of the above to teach them – you can always get great textbooks tailored to the needs of your children, and the internet is full of valuable materials.
As your children delve deeper into mathematics and the sciences, they also need to develop critical thinking skills, and become familiar with a variety of non-fictional texts.
Homeschooling middle schoolers involves working on critical thinking and note-taking strategies.
Seventh graders are by now familiar with different research and study strategies, and they need to be able to put them into practice adequately. This isn’t easy, though, as puberty – and the associated struggles – continues to influence their minds and their bodies.
If you homeschool for 7th grade, you need to begin familiarizing your children with academic texts.
Children begin to use citations and references in writing essays – this is an important skill that will be used over and over again throughout the remainder of their education.
The range of texts that your children need to be familiar with also grows considerably. They should become familiar with non-fiction books, and they should be able to browse through a library catalog to find the books they need.
If you homeschool for 7th grade, you’ll have to introduce your children to some new mathematical concepts.
Seventh grade children should be able to use positive and negative numbers to solve a variety of problems, and they should also develop a solid understanding of rates and ratios. When it comes to geometry, seventh graders should be able to work with multidimensional objects in solving real-life tasks.
Seventh graders begin working independently to a greater extent – this means a growing number of science projects and experiments, which means additional work from you, too. Make sure you give them plenty of room to develop their research skills, and provide the necessary guidance along the way. Again, you might want to work with a tutor to cover the most advanced topics.
The final middle school year is full of consolidating previously acquired skills, as well as developing new ones.
Eighth graders become more and more independent, and they begin having strong interests in one academic field or another. Homeschooling middle school boys may be extra challenging, as it’s now that some of them may become too boisterous and agitated. Peer pressure is very important, too, and some of them may be worried about being accepted in popular groups of friends.
With homeschooled children, this is all the more important, since they’re likely to not have as much peer interaction as public school children. To cater for this issue, you need to involve them in social educational events. You can do this through one of your local homeschooling groups.
Eighth graders should be able to use syntax, punctuation, and spelling effortlessly. They should be familiar with a wide range of text types, and they should be able to use a variety of resources to support their opinions.
Children in eighth grade should be able to operate with a wide range of grammar notions, and they should be able to identify the structure of both sentence and clause.
Again, make sure you give them the chance to engage in meaningful reading, and discuss whatever they’ve read. Start introducing them to the classics of literature, and show them the importance of critical thinking – an introduction to logic and argumentation wouldn’t hurt, either.
Homeschooling middle school years involves plenty of mathematics and sciences work in the 8th grade.
By the end of the eighth grade, homeschooled children should be able to operate with concepts such as ratio and percent in a variety of situations, and they should have a solid understanding of the most algebraic concepts. As well as a theoretical understanding of algebra and geometry, they should be able to make the transition to real-life problem solving – and it’s your job to make sure they do it right.
When it comes to sciences, eighth grades should be familiar with topics such as biodiversity, evolution, variation, atoms, acids and bases etc.
Homeschooling middle school children isn’t easy – there are plenty of new things to learn and teach, and all this while your children go through the sometimes difficult stages of puberty.
However, homeschooling for middle schoolers is also plenty of fun – especially if you combine individual study with fun group activities.
To make your job less difficult, you should use every resource available when homeschooling for middle school – textbooks, study groups, educational events, museum lessons, tutors, other homeschooling parents – to make sure your children get the very best education. Only this way will they be ready for the even more challenging high school years.