Middle schoolers are going through a very important stage in their life.
They are still young enough not to have to think too hard about the future, but they are going through a transition to become more independent.
Middle school is the last stop before high school, and when you are homeschooling middle school-aged kids, it can be difficult to know how to do that properly.
But don’t worry, we are here to help. We have put together a guide to help you in homeschooling middle school students.
You will find lots of tips and tricks here to help you do this successfully and keep them engaged.
Tips For Homeschooling Middle School Students
It can feel extremely overwhelming when you first start homeschooling middle school students, but once you have a better understanding of middle schoolers, you will be able to put together a curriculum that is rewarding and fun for them.
They are very much still kids at this stage, but you want them to be prepared for high school, so there are plenty of things you can do to successfully homeschool them.
Read on for some inspiration and ideas to help you teach your kids in a rewarding and efficient way.
Explore What They Love
It is during the middle school age that kids start to show their passions. They are much more attentive than elementary schoolers, and they can focus on things for longer.
Some middle schoolers might not show a passion for something straight away, but this is a great age to explore and find out what they love.
If your kids are really into art, focus a bit more on that in your curriculum plan. If they are into sports, introduce some physical activity time that reflects what they are into.
Having lessons that focus on their passions gives them the chance to explore them and learn more about them.
It is normal for kids to go off of a passion, especially at this age, so don’t be discouraged if they do lose interest.
These years are all about exploration and trying stuff out, so encourage them to try new passions as often as you can.
Get Them Ready For High School
They might still be quite young at this age, but if they are in their older middle school years, it is very important that you start getting them prepared for high school.
It is normal in their later years to expect more independence and detail in their work. You have to be firm and not hold their hand as much.
Of course, they will still need more help than a child at the high school level, but it is in their best interest to encourage more independence.
The more prepared and mature they are, the easier the transition into high school and high school-level education will be. Be patient with them, though!
They are still learning and understanding what independence is, so it is okay for them to make mistakes.
Now would also be a great time to introduce elective classes and study. In high school, kids generally have more freedom over what they can learn alongside their core subjects, and it is not uncommon for middle schoolers to do the same.
You can use the elective option to explore their passions, or you can give them a list of possible electives you want to teach and let them choose for themselves.
This also teaches them a bit more about independence and responsibility.
Pay Attention To Their Learning Styles
By this age, kids will have a much more obvious preferred learning style. If you can see they are struggling with the current learning style, try a different one.
It is important to ask your kids what works best for them, and you will need to pay more attention to see what works.
In order for your children to learn at their best ability, they need a learning style that suits them.
You can find plenty of different learning styles online, but don’t be afraid to experiment with them.
They are still young enough that it shouldn’t affect their grades and progress too much to play around with the different learning styles.
Introduce Field Trips
You may have already started doing this with your kids, but if you haven’t, the middle school-aged kids really do benefit from field trips.
Because they are a bit more independent and can focus for longer, field trips are a great way to keep them engaged and interested.
You can take them further away from home and their classroom, or you can keep it local. Either way, they will enjoy field trips that get them out of the classroom.
Great ideas for field trips at this age include going to museums and aquariums, going to your local park to identify flora and fauna, visiting farms, or anything else along those lines.
Start Teaching Them About Life Skills
This age bracket is perfect for introducing life skills. Granted, the life skills kids learn at this age will be very different from what they learn in high school, but getting them prepared now will benefit them greatly in the future.
You can teach them about accountability and responsibility. You can show them the importance of money and how to handle it. This is also a fantastic stage to teach them about time management and critical thinking.
You can find plenty of resources online when it comes to age-appropriate life skills for middle schoolers, so have a look into it before you start your next semester.
Things To Remember When Homeschooling Middle School Students
Teaching middle schoolers is definitely not easy, and there are a few things you need to remember to make it easier for you both.
They are transitioning from small children into teenagers, and with that comes a lot of change.
It can be overwhelming at first, but if you remember the things we have included here, it will make the whole experience better for both you and your children.
Below, you will find some extra tips that will make teaching your middle school-aged kids a lot easier.
When your kids are this age, they are going through a lot of change.
The way they learn will change, and it is not uncommon for them to lose interest in things, develop new hobbies and interests seemingly out of the blue, or have a bit of a personality change.
As a teacher and a parent, this can be incredibly overwhelming, but it is important to be patient and understanding.
The more open you are to these changes and the more you show them that you understand, the better they will respond to you and your teaching methods.
Be Aware Of Change
Middle school kids are usually going through a lot of change, both physically and mentally.
It is important to note that lots of them will be starting puberty, so you need to take that into account when it comes to their behavior and potential personality changes.
If you can, try and introduce these changes into your curriculum.
You can have a class or two discussing puberty and how these changes are normal, and even what they can expect.
Look for online resources, too, especially if your kids are a bit shy and would rather just read about it.
Allow Room For Mistakes
While middle schoolers are a lot more responsible than elementary-aged kids, it’s important to remember that they are still young.
Some responsibility and independence are expected at this age, but they will still need to rely on you heavily in comparison to high school-aged children.
This means that they are going to make quite a few mistakes … and that’s ok! It is completely normal, and they shouldn’t be chastised for it.
There is a difference between accidental and intentional mistakes, so it is in your best interest to learn the difference so you can appropriately handle the situation.
Remember To Have Fun
As soon as high school rolls around, your children will need to focus more, and they generally tend to need you less. This is why it is so important to have fun during these years.
As both their parents and their teacher, it can be hard to find this balance, but learning should be fun.
Cherish the memories you and your children are making now and give them something to look back on fondly when they get older.
It can be tough knowing where to start when it comes to homeschooling middle school students, but with this guide, that task should be a lot easier now.
Middle schoolers are likely to be more engaged than elementary schoolers and vastly independent in comparison, so you can really have fun when it comes to teaching them.
Remember, be patient and be mindful of the fact that they are going through lots of changes. The more caring and understanding of this that you are, the better they will respond to your teaching methods.