Homeschooling middle school is such a precious gift.
While there is no one right way to homeschool and everyone’s goals are different (that’s the joy of homeschooling), I’d like to share 10 goals that my Sisters and I have held for our middle schoolers:
1. Have fun!
These are the last 3 years before the kids have to mess with transcripts- so we live it up! Lots of good field trips, group learning, hands-on projects, silliness.
2. Love learning (well, most of it).
Mostly we tried not to overwhelm our kids with busywork and boring just-fill-time lessons. We looked for interesting activities and books so that the kids learn to love learning. Hopefully, then it will become a lifestyle.
3. Develop perseverance in smallish doses.
My kids never got out of bed in the morning asking if they could do math before breakfast or an extra lesson of grammar. However, they learned to persevere because we didn’t waste time with mere busywork texts. We did what we needed to do and the kids learned to push through.
4. Get used to textbooks.
While we used texts for math and workbooks for vocab, spelling, and grammar, most of us did not use many textbooks during elementary school. However in 8th grade, some of us had our kids do a textbook science- just for the experience. (Some good ones include Apologia -for serious scientists, Pearson Concepts and Challenges -for struggling or recalcitrant learners.)
5. Have some great group experiences.
Our local homeschool support group starts its youth group in middle school. They have been doing field trips, group dynamics/games, service in these groups for over 20 years. This has been such a great gift for our kids. They get to form a like-minded peer group with other homeschooled middle schoolers. Other group experiences have included church youth groups, and various activities like choirs and drama camps.
6. Develop skills.
Our kids tried on a variety of hats during middle school. Over the years various kids have participated in team and individual sports, riding competitions, service opportunities, bands, choirs, dramas, art classes. They learned to write more maturely and have some fun doing it: essay writing for technical skill, short poetry and silly stories for creative thought processes. They developed additional life skills with more chores (don’t ask about some of their bedrooms, though).
7. Begin some identity formation.
We helped our children begin to explore and discover the identity that He has created for them. We do this by immersing them in atmospheres we value (family time, church, homeschool community). We give them rich experiences in life. We modeled (we hope) the values that are important. We talk with them about things that are important and good. Some of us had the middle schooler journal often about what they were doing or thinking.
8. Give them opportunities to know the Lord.
MOST important to us was to lovingly provide our through living life together, through discussion, through reading, through music, through role models, through experiences, and through praying together.
7 Sisters has put together some of the homeschool guides we’ve done with our middle schoolers. Good info, no busywork. According to their ages and abilities, allow me to suggest:
Younger middle schoolers-
Older or more advance middle schoolers-
What are some of YOUR goals for homeschooling middle school?
Here’s Sabrina talking about why essay writing is so important!