Many parents feel anxious about homeschooling middle school. Parents can find themselves suddenly staring across the breakfast table at strangers. Delightfully compliant children can suddenly act out like surly teens with attitude. Thankfully, as homeschoolers, we can shape and mold our children through this process, even during bursts of hormonally-charged awkwardness.
You can relax and enjoy this season by, first, taking a deep breath. You can even tame middle school anxiety and maintain the love of learning.
My friends, Hal & Melanie Young, from Raising Real Men, joined me for a workshop to talk about making middle school something that you can live through and possibly even make the middle school years great! You can listen to the Middle School Madness webinar here.
"When our oldest was eight, we thought we were pretty great homeschool parents. Then he hit ten and the wheels fell off his educational train! Another child did well until he was eleven, then all-of-a-sudden he couldn't focus at all or remember things he'd learned the previous week. There seems to be something that makes middle school just plain hard, for nearly everyone - parents, teachers, and kids alike." - Hal and Melanie Young
How do you live through it? Is it possible to make the middle school years great?
I know you'll be blessed by hearing what they have to say, especially if you are entering those, often-intimidating middle school years.
The goal of middle school is to prepare your children for high school. The purpose for the parent during middle school is to understand middle school and learn about high school. Sounds hard, huh?
Think of middle school as a pause between elementary and high school. A time when you can invest in your child in a way that you can't in elementary and won't have the time in high school. All students learn at different rates. This will be a time when you can pour into a struggling or reluctant learner and give them the remedial help they need. But, it can also be a time where you can pour into an accelerated learner. You can even allow students that are ready to move right into high school level work. Did you know that you can even count high school level work done in middle school on a high school transcript? You can find out more here, Early High School Credits Earned in Middle School.
If you are just getting ready for middle school, you want to do these things to be sure you are ready. If you are already in the middle school trenches, you can use these tips to help you through. Whether you begin these things while your child is in late elementary or already in middle school, these tips shouldn't be a burden, rather use them to boost your confidence as you move through middle school and toward high school. Remember, middle school is the training ground for high school.
1. Make a Plan - Plan your middle school and high school courses. Nothing soothes stress and worry like a plan.
2. Cover the basics - Basic subjects are key! Reading, writing, and math are the cornerstones of the core subjects.
3. Develop study skills - Middle school is the time to lay the ground work for high school.
4. Encourage organization - Provide a space that is organized with the necessary items at hand. Encourage your child to work with a schedule or assignment list.
5. Practice time management - Make sure expectations are reasonable and encourage time commitments to be met by your child. Taking regular breaks is an important part of practicing time management.
6. Research college financing - Because this can be a stressful topic, research it and learn about it now, while you have time and are not rushed or pushed to make decisions.
7. Do not panic - You love your child. Focus on learning and take the necessary steps for high school. And, breathe.
Relax and enjoy this time with your child. Middle school, although it can be intimidating, it is a beautiful time to learn more about your child and help them discover things about themselves.
It can happen overnight. One day your child is pleasant, cooperative, and enthusiastic about learning; the next day, they aren't. This can happen with girls or boys; sometimes it happens at a certain age. Don't feel as if you've done something wrong, because it's common. Motivation of teens, or lack thereof, can be difficult.
You might identify the problem when your
"Should my child get their GED as a homeschooler?" That's a question that I answer often when it comes to homeschool graduation.
Once upon a time, colleges sometimes required a GED from homeschoolers before providing financial aid. Since 1998, however, Congress has provided a better way for homeschoolers to demonstrate their "ability to benefit" from federal financial aid. The law
You will need to demonstrate interest in a college if you want to get admitted and get scholarships. Applying to a college without showing a genuine interest in the school is likely to benefit only the college, and unlikely to benefit your child.
Showing demonstrated interest means you have shown, by your actions, interest in the college and your desire