Maybe you homeschooled your child through the primary grades with confidence…until now!
It is not uncommon for parents to begin second-guessing themselves as their children approach the early teen years and the parents question their adequacy to prepare their children for high school.
And if you are just beginning to homeschool at the middle-school level (usually grades 6–8), you may be jumping in at the second-guessing stage.
You can do this!
The subject matter will be more complicated as your student enters middle school, but know that it is not your job to teach your child everything there is to learn; it is your job to:
1. Teach them how to learn;
2. Reinforce basic knowledge and basic tools of learning; and
3. Provide avenues for further learning.
Know Your Strengths and Limitations
Evaluate your own skills and knowledge, and be willing to utilize other resources as needed to meet your student's higher academic needs. Some options include:
- Textbooks designed specifically for homeschoolers, written to the student in a conversational tone with all explanatory material included, or written with scripted teaching material for the parent
- Tutors (including relatives or parent trade-offs)
- Supplemental classes (at a public or private school, in a group of other homeschoolers, or online)
- Hands-on experiences or internships
Strengthen the Basics
- Reviewing and strengthening arithmetic skills and computation speed so there is a solid foundation for algebra and geometry in high school is important.
- Composition will be transitioning from the report-writing stage to the essay-and-analysis stage, so this is a good time to reinforce reading comprehension, grammar, and basic composition skills. If you don’t feel comfortable evaluating writing at this level, you may know of a friend or tutor who would be willing to help in this area. The constructive criticism of a writing club can be positive motivation for some students at this age level.
- Your goal as a parent is to eventually work yourself out of a job! Life skills and time management training will serve your student well in the future, both immediate and long-term. Young people at this age are usually able to be given increasing control over their schedules as well as some input into subject matter choices. This may take a bit of patience on your part (and training in diligence and thoroughness on your student’s part), but it will eventually be worth it.
Look Ahead to High School
While some students use these years to solidify earlier concepts, others are ready to move into some high school level work. Many families will begin high school studies in the eighth grade, giving the student an extra year for in-depth studies.
Even if you don't begin high school level courses with your student, you will want to begin researching curriculum and developing your plan for record-keeping and transcript preparation so you are ready for the high school years. Attending events such as the IFHS's Map Your Future is also a great way to help both the middle school student and parent prepare for high school.
- Ten Things to Do from Ages 13-15 by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn
- Homeschooling the Middle Years, by Shari Henry, is in our bookstore for your review.
- My Father's World elementary through middle school curriculum packages integrate classical studies and living books with a unit studies approach.
- You CAN Teach Your Child Successfully, by Dr. Ruth Beechick, is in our bookstore.
- What Your Child Needs to Know When, by Robin Sampson, is a grade-by-grade skills checklists for K-8th in major subject areas and can be found in our bookstore.
- http://www.hslda.org/earlyyears/Resources.asp is the resources page of the Early Years section on HSLDA's website.
- For HSLDA members, their Early Years Coordinator, Vickie Bentley, is available to answer specific questions and provide general advice.
Find the resources you're looking for at one of our affiliate sites, or our Bookstore, and the IFHS will receive a percentage of the purchase price to help fund our scholarships!
This page is still in development. Please email us at Info@IndianaHomeschooling.org
if you have questions in this area!