With children, each age brings a unique set of joys and challenges. As a homeschool parent, you have the opportunity to witness your child’s growth and nurture them through changes at a fairly deep level on a daily basis.
During the middle school years you are likely to see new aspects of your child’s personality develop, a growing ability to think more deeply about concepts, and an openness to trying new things. Maybe you are enjoying his or her quirky sense of humor, love of mystery books, or budding musical abilities. You may also be experiencing more sulky moods or push back to your parental guidance. Navigating the role of both teacher and parent may suddenly feel more complex.
How do you know if the homeschool plan you have in place is still working?
Is it time to consider changing curriculum, trying new teaching methods, or adding some online classes?
Try assessing your homeschool success in light of these four areas that help middle schoolers thrive.
Middle school is naturally an age in which children begin developing more autonomy. It’s also the time for children to become more accountable for their own learning and studies. Building independence is necessary in order for your student to succeed in high school and college.
Questions to consider:
- How long is your child able to study and work on assignments independently before coming to you for help?
- Are you teaching your student how to take notes and summarize material?
- Does your child have some input into the homeschool schedule?
- Is your child engaged and excited about learning?
Look for ways to build your child’s independence. Ask him questions about his preferences for subjects and schedules or challenge her to do more of her work on her own. Outside of academics, help your middle schooler learn to cook, use tools for basic home repairs, or take on other activities that offer a blend of creativity and useful skills.
Deepening Subject Knowledge
Academics become more challenging in middle school. As parents, we may have forgotten some elements of subjects we don’t use on a regular basis. If pre-algebra, science, or the finer points of English composition are causing you to spend large amounts of time doing your own studying, you may be wondering if you need some outside help.
Questions to consider:
- Is your child expressing interest in learning more about specific subjects?
- Do you feel comfortable teaching more complex material?
- Is your child struggling with a subject that you don’t feel qualified to teach?
If needed, consider an outside tutor or online classes for one or more subjects. You’ll be fostering independence and allowing them to learn from someone who has expertise in one particular subject. Some homeschool parents have seen how this can help children build a passion for certain subject areas.
Want to Explore Online Options?
If you’re wondering if adding online classes to your homeschool curriculum is a good choice, download our free e-book, Is Online Middle School Right for My Child? You’ll see how online classes can meet specific goals and fit into your homeschool plan.
Learning Collaboration Skills
Collaboration is a key skill that colleges and employers value. The ability to collaborate is also vital to healthy relationships. While many homeschool students may have participated in homeschool groups, sports, or other activities outside of the house, those opportunities have likely narrowed in scope due to COVID-19.
Questions to ask:
- Does my child have opportunities to create presentations, solve problems, or study with other middle school students?
- Has my middle schooler missed out on extracurricular activities that allowed them to learn collaboration, such as drama or sports, during COVID?
You may want to consider adding some live online classes that provide time for students to work together via video.
Developing Healthy Friendships
Parents know the greater role peers begin to play in influencing their child as they grow older. In fact, peer pressure and negative peer impact are some of the top concerns for many middle school parents. While you may be part of a church community, you probably want as many opportunities as possible for your middle schooler to make friends with children who have families with values that are similar to yours.
Questions to ask:
- Does your child have a number of avenues to interact with children who are being brought up with the same values as your family?
- Are you concerned that your child may be picking up unhealthy ideas and habits from some of his or her friends?
Explore online classes that are offered by a Christian school and taught with a biblical worldview. If your child has an opportunity to take virtual classes with other students from Christian families, it’s likely they’ll develop some friendships that have a positive impact.
Some online Christian schools also offer virtual extracurricular activities that let students explore specific interests, offering another pathway for healthy friendships.
How Lenawee Christian Partners with Homeschool Families
At Lenawee Christian Academy, homeschool families can choose individual courses or transition to full-time online learning at any time of the year.
- Our rolling admissions model allows you to start classes when it’s best for your family.
- Our flexibility means parents can choose the courses, pacing, and level of challenge that is best for their child.
- Every course has a Christian worldview firmly woven into the lessons.
- Online extracurricular activities include math study groups, science discovery groups, cooking club, esports gaming club, mountain biking and hiking club, and photography club.