I’m currently homeschooling middle school grades for the third time and next year will be for the fourth. Middle school ages are difficult. Kids are learning who they are, developing their own opinions, and getting a feel for the world around them. There are things I’ve learned that are making this time around a little easier. I wanted to share them with you in hopes of making your journey a little bit easier.
Teach your child to learn independently.
One of my sons absolutely refuses to work on anything alone that might be challenging or take a little time, even though the answer is right in front of him in his book. It drives me nuts! So, instead of sitting with him and trying to pull the answers out of him. I ask more questions, working around the original question. He wants me to just tell him the answer, instead, I ask more questions. In doing this, he learns what to ask himself. Eventually, he’ll remember my questions and be able to do this on his own.
You can read more about this over at The Hmmmschooling Mom. She has great insight on this!
Let them explore more of their own interests.
One of my sons loves lapbooks. He learns so much from these. He completed a lapbook about sharks last week and is still spouting off facts about them. It makes my heart happy when any of my kiddos actually remember what they’ve learned. A Pinterest search of “free lapbooks” will get you started.
Support their creative ideas and help them sort out the info.
My son has tons of projects he wants to do but is a little backward sometimes as to how he believes they need to be done. It’s my job to assist him in his thought processes and help him find and do the research needed to make his idea come alive and be the best it can be. This can sometimes be a little tricky as he believes I’m against his idea. When I’m really just wanting him to think it through.
Example – He wants to construct an outdoor pen for his rabbits. (Like one on the ground, in the open, to get them out of the off-the-ground cage they live in now.) We live in the country with lots of rabbit predators – dogs, cats, hawks, coyotes, foxes, you get the picture. The very last thing I want is for him to go out some morning to dead bunnies, or with no bunnies because his have escaped. This is a project that will take very careful planning.
Teach your child current events.
This is scary, believe me, I know, and I’m preaching to the choir here, but we must do this. We don’t watch much news in our home or listen to radio news, I find it very depressing. Not the way I want to start my day. However, our homeschooled kids need to know what’s going on in our world and not just be thrust into it in higher grades. We need to ease them into what’s going on in this messed up world we live in so that they can develop their own opinions about world events while we can help them sort out all the emotions that go along with them. All the while reminding them that God is in control.
Talk to your kids.
I’m not just meaning talking about the weather, although that’s fine if that’s what you both like talking about. I’m meaning the hard conversations that get inside their heads. Kids are so hard on themselves in their own minds sometimes. This leads to depression, reclusion, and feelings of low self-worth. Our children need to be reminded that they have a purpose. God knew them before he created them within our bodies or the longing for them within our hearts. He knew their faults, He knew their failures, just as he knows ours as parents. Kids need to be reminded of three things daily – 1) They are loved unconditionally by an almighty God. 2) They are loved unconditionally by you, their parent. 3) They were born with a purpose. And even though they may not know what that purpose is just yet, God knows.
Need to know how to get started homeschooling? You can get started at Homeschooling in
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