How do you prepare to homeschool middle school to ensure your child is ready for high school (and life after homeshooling)?
It’s hard to believe that I am the mom of a teenager because it feels like it was only yesterday when my son was a little boy.
Time really does fly, doesn’t it?
When I started homeschooling my kids, I really didn’t have any long term plan or think about how long we would homeschool. The plan was to take things year by year and to keep homeschooling if everyone was happy.
My kids are pretty happy being homeschooled and my middle schooler wanted us to continue homeschooling through middle school.
I know quite a few moms balk at the idea of homeschooling middle school or high school because they think it’s too hard or they aren’t capable.
In this post, I am going to show you some ways you can prepare for homeschooling middle school so your kid can be ready for high school, college and life beyond that.
SHOULD YOU HOMESCHOOL YOUR MIDDLE SCHOOLER?
If you’re wondering whether you should homeschool your middle schooler or not, let me share some benefits of homeschooling middle school that may help you to make up your mind.
There are many benefits of homeschooling middle school. Here are some I have discovered.
BENEFITS OF HOMESCHOOLING MIDDLE SCHOOL
- You can continue to be your child’s biggest influence and reduce peer pressure.
- You can offer your middle schooler emotional support when he needs it.
- You can focus on your child’s interests.
- You can continue to nurture your child and prepare him for the real world.
- You can continue to build on the foundation you already laid (especially if you started homeschooling in the early years.
Like everything else, there are some disadvantages to homeschooling middle school, but I believe the advantages far outweigh them.
That’s one of the reasons we decided to keep homeschooling.
When I decided to continue homeschooling my son, I knew homeschooling middle school was a step up from everything we had done thus far, and I knew that I needed to be prepared.
Let me share some ways I prepared for homeschooling middle school.
I hope these tips can be helpful to you if you’re thinking of homeschooling through middle school (or if you’re already doing it).
This post may contain affiliate links.If you buy anything using my links, I may receive a small commission.
HOW TO PREPARE TO HOMESCHOOL MIDDLE SCHOOL
1. PREPARE YOUR HEART AND MIND
The tone of your homeschool starts with you, that’s why it’s important for you to prepare your heart and mind.
It’s really crucial that you have a positive and confident mindset.
The first thing I did when we decided to homeschool middle school was to address my fears and concerns.
Here is how it works.
Make a list of all your fears and address them one by one.
For example, maybe you’re afraid of teaching science or math (like I was).
Once you’ve listed your fears, the next step is to come up with ideas for how you’re going to handle it.
Can you outsource it? Enroll your child in an online class? Join a co-op? Use a different curriculum? Devote some time to learning about these subjects so you can teach them confidently?
These are all valid ways to address your fears.
You can do the same thing whether it’s grammar, history or literature that you’re concerned about.
Maybe you are confident about teaching all the subjects but you have some other fears or concerns like socialization, or fear your kid will miss out on some educational or social opportunities.
Whatever your fears are, take the time to list them out and address them.
This is a worthwhile exercise and I really recommend you spend some time doing it.
You’ll be amazed how confident you will become once you take the time to address your fears.
There are solutions for all (or at least most) of your homeschool fears. You just need to go out and find them.
2. DEVELOP SUCCESS HABITS
Want your middle schooler to succeed? Start by developing success habits yourself.
Middle school is a good time for your kid to cultivate some important habits, and the easiest way to do habit training is by being a role model.
Be the example that you want your child to be.
Your kid is more likely to do something if they see you practicing it and living it.
Some success habits you can develop include: consistency, goal setting, planning, discipline etc.
If you have been inconsistent in homeschooling or being very disorganized, now is the time to change that.
You can’t expect your middle schooler to be consistent and organized if you are not.
The work must begin with you and I have a few posts that can help you.
3. MAKE A LIST OF WHAT YOU NEED TO TEACH
Teaching middle school is a step up from teaching elementary grades because the work is more advanced/harder, and your child will also need to study more subjects too.
As part of your preparation to homeschool middle school, you need to make a list of the subjects you want to teach (and what your child needs to learn).
Some homeschool moms struggle with not knowing what to teach, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are a few ways you can figure out what you should be teaching in middle school (or any grade).
If you use a pre-packaged curriculum, it should contain all the materials your child needs. Of course you can add some extras if your child desires.
Another way is to make a list of the core subjects your student needs to learn, then add some additional subjects based on interests.
We use the Ambleside Online Curriculum because my goal is to provide a well-rounded liberal education for my kids.
Once you’ve figured out the subjects, make a list of what you can teach and what you need to outsource or get additional help for.
Don’t forget to include your child’s interests, extra-curricular activities, life skills and other activities that can enhance the middle school homeschool experience.
4. SET HOMESCHOOL GOALS AND CREATE A PLAN
If you’re not used to setting homeschool goals or planning your homeschool week or year, now is a good time to start doing that.
Yes, I know you can homeschool without setting goals or using a planner or creating a homeschool schedule, but things are much easier (and your homeschool would run smoother) if you did these things.
The best way to stay on top of things is to set goals and have a plan for reaching those goals.
I was never one for doing a lot of planning or scheduling in my early years of homeschooling, but now I can’t imagine just winging it or flying by the seat of my pants.
Your homeschool goals or planning doesn’t have to be too complicated. All you need is a list of some things you want your kids to know or accomplish by the end of a school year.
Your goals can be educational, family or life skills you want your middle schooler to learn.
Use a homeschool and/or life planner to stay organized and keep track of everything you need to do.
Creating a middle school homeschool schedule is also a good idea, and it isn’t that difficult to do.
You can create weekly or monthly schedules for your child. You don’t need to overthink it, just do whatever works for you and your child.
5. CHOOSE A WAY TO TRACK YOUR CHILD’S PROGRESS
One of the easiest ways to stay on track is to monitor your child’s progress throughout the year.
It’s easy to waste a lot of time if you don’t keep track of your kids progress.
Some homeschoolers opt for testing (or to fulfill their state’s requirement) while others prefer not to. We don’t do any testing but I have some ways of tracking my kids progress.
For example, we have exams at the end of each term. Also, I mark off goals when they are met, and I keep track of when the kids achieve certain milestones.
Occasionally, I print off some past math and language arts tests from the NY Office of State Assessment just to get a feel for how my kids compare to public school kids (or if I want to give them some practice on how to take timed tests).
There’s no hard and fast rule for how to track your kids progress (unless your State or country requires annual testing,portfolio or a report).
You can also keep a record of what your kid is doing (or has done) so you can go back to evaluate their work and progress.
You can have one or two folders for keeping completed work so you can grab it whenever you need to.
This way you can make necessary changes without wasting valuable time, and it’s easy for you to see when something isn’t working.
We use reading logs to keep track of books we read each year and sometimes I ask my kids to complete a book report form.
Please note the goal here isn’t to beat yourself up or panic if you are behind or your child isn’t doing as well as he should.
This is just a way for you to stay accountable and if necessary improve things in your homeschool.
6. MAKE A LIST OF YOUR HOMESCHOOL ESSENTIALS
If you have been homeschooling for a while, I am sure you are familiar with this process.
Creating a list of your homeschool essentials and purchasing your homeschool supplies in advance will save you a lot of time when you begin your homeschool year and they will be available when you need them.
A lot of times we end up not doing some projects or activities because we didn’t have the supplies when we needed them (and I didn’t remember to revisit those projects) because I have a lot on my plate.
So I highly recommend shopping for your supplies well before you need them.
Your homeschool must haves may include:
- Middle school curriculum
- Textbooks, notebooks and workbooks
- Planners and calendar
- Art and craft supplies
- Supplies for projects or science experiments
- Pens,pencils,highlighters, markers,erasers, ruler, calculator, sharpeners etc
- Maps and art works
- Subscriptions like educational subscription boxes, Amazon Prime Video and much more
Your shopping list will depend on your homeschool style/method but the list above are some of the most common homeschool essentials.
If you really want to spice things up a little bit, you can get your student a nice backpack for going to the library, co-op or other activities.
You can also ask your kid to choose some of their supplies and maybe throw in a little “Welcome to Middle school” gift just to keep them motivated!
7. FULLY COMMIT TO THE PROCESS
If you want to homeschool successfully, you have to be all in. This isn’t something you can do half-heartedly.
The middle school years is a good time to help your child grow in confidence, teach him life skills, give him an opportunity to learn and practice self discipline, and also become a more independent learner.
That’s why you have to be fully committed. Learn as much as you can so you can be a great resource for your kid.
Know where to get help when you need it and give your middle schooler as many educational and social opportunities as you can to enhance his education.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR HOMESCHOOLING MIDDLE SCHOOL
The middle school years is an exciting time for your child, but it’s also fraught with some challenges since your pre-teen or teen is also going through a lot of changes.
But it’s possible to homeschool middle school successfully if you take the time to prepare and plan.
How to prepare for homeschooling middle school.
- Prepare your heart and mind
- Develop success habits
- Make a list of what you need to teach
- Set homeschool goals and make a plan
- Choose a way to track your child’s progress
- Make a list of your homeschool essentials
- Fully commit to the process
Are you homeschooling middle school, homeschooled middle school or planning to? What are some of your best tips?