Almost three years ago I made the leap and decided to homeschool Oldest Twin. We started at the beginning of his 6th grade year and we are about to wrap up 8th grade. Here are my Tips for Homeschooling a Middle Schooler that I’ve learned over the past 3 years.
Pick a curriculum
For me, this was the most overwhelming part. In the end I chose to select each subject separately rather than choosing a boxed grade level curriculum. This allowed me to make sure the curriculum covered everything I wanted it to and was at the right level for him. If you child is better at one subject than another you have the opportunity to teach them at the level that is best for them.
I love using videos in our curriculum. We watch science videos, math videos, even movie versions of a book we’ve read. I like to mix in visual instruction with our written instruction and hands on activities. We have subscriptions to a few different online streaming services and I’ve been able to find all of the videos we use through those services.
Take advantage of the library
Flesh out text books with supplementary information from the library. It’s also a great weekly outing and something to do out of the house. My son loves routine so having places that are familiar for us to go each week is helpful for him.
Choose an elective(s)
We’ve tried traditional and non-traditional elective options. What I really wanted was for him to find something that he was passionate about. The core subjects are important, but middle school has been a great time for Oldest Twin to really discover what his interests are. Youngest Twin gets to participate in art and junior cadet core at school (not exactly a traditional elective either). Right now Oldest Twin and I have been doing some intro computer programming courses.
Each year we’ve worked on increasing his independence in our homeschool classroom. For 6th grade I sat with him as we did each subject. Now that we’re at the end of middle school I am able to ‘assign’ him many more things for him to do on his own. We still review things together and I help introduce new topics. But he is also doing a much better job and knowing what needs to be done each day and completing those tasks.
Let them get enough sleep
There are plenty of scientific research going on about the best time for students to start school, specifically middle school and high school students. With many proposing that a later start time is more beneficial to learning. Our homeschool day starts late morning, after breakfast and our morning routine. Oldest Twin I know has benefitted from being able to get the sleep that he needs.
And now I’m in the midst of preparing for 9th grade and the start of high school! Do you have any high school homeschool tips to share? Or any additional tips for those homeschooling middle schoolers?