Are you getting ready to homeschool a middle schooler? Are you looking forward to it or are you a little anxious?
The Excitement of Middle School
Middle school is an exciting time for both students and parents, and homeschooling a middle school student comes with tons of benefits. Now that your child is older, and presumably more mature, there is a larger range of topics that he or she can learn about and that you can discuss together. Their yearning for independence means that they’ll be able to have more of a handle on their studies, which in turn opens the door for them to take on more in-depth and complicated projects.
As a parent, you have probably realized that as you reach new milestones, in both your child’s development and academics, each comes with novel opportunities as well as unique challenges. Middle school is no different. As children grow, their needs are constantly changing, so parents must do some adjusting and changing of their own. With each passing year, some aspects of homeschooling will become more difficult, while others will ease a bit.
As a young adult who is developing both physically and mentally, your child is going through a lot of changes that may affect his or her relationships and mood. Through it all, be patient and remember what it was like for you during that time. At this stage in their lives, children are looking to spread their wings. They are looking to branch out, do more on their own, and become more independent.
While it may be difficult to “let go,” this newfound yearning for independence benefits them immensely. Allowing your growing children to think for themselves and overcome challenges will prepare them for adulthood. When you watch them face a challenge from a safe distance, it lets them know that you trust them. It also assures them that you will always be there to support them.
During this time, instilling confidence in young adults can make a big impact on their self-esteem. Perhaps your child is developing strong interests and passions. Boosting their confidence by allowing them to nurture those interests will help them learn more about themselves and discover what they enjoy, uncover hidden talents, and even find possible career options.
You can encourage your child to nurture their passions in several ways. Volunteering a few hours a week is a fun way to learn more about the particular field that interests them. This can help either solidify their passion or realize it’s not for them. If they are able to learn more about what interests them now in middle school, there is no need to wait until high school.
These transitional years before high school are also a crucial time to help your young adult improve and build core academic skills. In addition, it would help them immensely to start creating successful habits when it comes to studying, keeping a schedule, and staying organized. Instilling these healthy, positive habits prepares them not just for high school, but also for college, a career, and life as an adult in general.
Having helpful resources like homeschool planners and portfolios can be of great value, especially when you’re setting the stage for even more independent studies in high school. Finding a curriculum that provides these kinds of resources and tools makes things easier for both you and your student by eliminating the stress and time involved in locating these resources or even creating them on your own.
Relationships are Key
Remember, during this period of so much growth and development, children will need their space from time to time, as well as the freedom to be themselves, get much needed rest, and also the opportunity to play as much as possible. Throughout the years, there will never be a better person than you, the parent, their first role model, to provide a solid support system that will make him or her feel nurtured and truly loved, no matter what.
When you give your middle school students the opportunity to dream big and explore their interests, you are giving them the chance to find out what they are capable of and helping them reach their full potential.
As a homeschooler, you have been gifted with an amazing opportunity to spend entire days, weeks and years with your child learning together, laughing, creating memories, and instilling the kind of values that will reinforce what you knew all the while: homeschooling was the best decision you ever made.