Middle schoolers get a bad rap a lot of the time, but the middle school homeschool has such amazing potential!
Puberty has wreaked havoc on their awkward bodies and hormones have their moods swinging back and forth. This new rush towards adulthood has them convinced of their own wisdom yet their inexperience reveals them as still incredibly immature. They are caught between children and adults, surging with hormones, moods, and inappropriate jokes, with little idea of how to control any of them. They can be loud, disruptive, and so silly.
Middle schoolers don’t light up at the idea of arts and crafts and can’t grasp the deeper symbolism of great literature, so they’re in an educational middle ground as well, caught between was was fun and what is engaging. It’s this “in-between” stage that makes for such amazing homeschooling potential!
The Middle School Homeschool Student
Here are just a few good reasons to embrace and enjoy the middle school homeschool!
Middle Schoolers Are Independent Without Being Absent
In between the late nights that come from our babies being totally dependent upon us and the late nights that come from our babies staying out and worrying us, there exists a sweet spot that peaks right around middle school. Young teens and tweens have enough independence that we no longer have to sit at their elbow and work on pincer grips and math drills. We can take longer nature walks, assign more independent work, and finally, finally enjoy an uninterrupted cup of coffee for a few minutes.
We are not nearly as needed, but not yet irrelevant either. There is still a place for us in our middle schooler’s life, both as a teacher and a source of wisdom. But the foundation has been laid, and we don’t have to do it all! These adolescent years are the perfect time for children to build their self esteem by working things out for themselves, but with the safety net of having us nearby.
In the middle school, we have the immense privilege of watching our children try out their wings. We still find ourselves catching our breath between their flying lessons, but we certainly have the pleasure of enjoying the flight with them!
Middle Schoolers Are So Much Fun
Part of the stereotype that follows middle schoolers around is the image of a group of tweens huddled together, laughing uncontrollably at something you’d almost surely roll your eyes at. The list of giggle-inducing topics is endless, and the laughter is hard to contain, and as difficult as that can make getting through a lesson or a phone call or a contemplative nature walk, it can’t help but make you smile! Try out your latest dad jokes on them, share your own middle school embarrassing stories, watch funny YouTube videos together – there is no end to what you and your middle schooler can laugh at together.
They are so easy to impress, too. A homemade volcano, a few slang words, pretending to know who a celebrity is, correctly identifying a bird by their song – middle schoolers are young enough to assume the difficulty in what you’ve done and old enough to express it. They’re a great audience because they still ooh and ahh but don’t need as many restroom breaks.
Middle school is also the age when students really start to form groups and move in packs. They find the kids who share their likes and quirks, those who get their jokes, and form deep friendships. Those bonds are tight, creating plenty of hilarious and touching memories, most of which will need a chauffeur. You get a front row seat to the shenanigans, the laughs, the nonsense and stories and nicknames shared by your gleeful kiddo in the backseat, and you can’t help but feel joy at being witness to such a special time in your child’s life.
Because of the independence and fun-loving attitudes, this is the perfect season to dig into fun learning, too. The pressure of the high school transcript isn’t hanging over you just yet, so you can take plenty of time to explore topics that will motivate deep learning. We’ve often used interest-based unit studies for this powerful learning.
Middle Schoolers Are Learning Who They Are
Something I’ve told each of my children at some point in their lives is that middle school is the great turning point in their journey as a person. Especially when homeschooling, it can sometimes feel like slim pickings when it comes to finding friends with like minds that they can relate to. Middle school, though, is when students really begin to realize who they are, what their talents are, what they’re interested in, passionate about, indifferent towards.
This is the time in their lives when they begin to narrow down not only who they are but who they want to spend time with, who is a part of their tribe. This is largely why cliques are such an enormous struggle in traditional middle schools, but homeschooling provides the opportunity to truly allow for limitless support in an adolescent’s journey during one of the most physically and emotionally tumultuous times of their development.
Getting to be there with your middle schooler as they discover who they are is not only a wonder for you to witness, it is a comfort to your child. Whatever questions or struggles they may have, you’re there to help them through. Whatever interests and talents surface, you’re there to encourage (and likely pay for). Whatever heartaches and humiliations they endure, you’re there to nurse them through.
Homeschooling your middle schooler allows you the chance to not only walk them through the hard times and be on the front row for the great ones, it gives you the opportunity to be right there as they’re learning who they are, what their sense of humor is like, what kind of music is their favorite, who their favorite authors are, and what their opinions are on politics, apologetics, movies, and foods.
Conversations during daily readings can easily turn from pointing out similes to a discussion of ethics or a character’s emotional response. A history study is no longer just a fun journey to the past, we can now peek into our middle schooler’s mind and find out what they think about the feudal system. The learning and connections become deeper as we begin to see our children take shape before us, seeing how they form opinions, learn to articulate them, defend them, and change them. It’s a fascinating process, and one we would miss out on if we didn’t homeschool these amazing middle schoolers.
These kids of ours are becoming fleshed-out individuals and homeschooling them through the middle school transition period allows us to help guide them through it while enjoying the journey with them. They are loud, yes, and surely silly, emotional, a little unpredictable, moody, and inexplicably hungry. But they’re also joyous, full of wonder, independent, impressionable, fun, connected, individualistic, honest, and, above all, in need of our guidance.
As difficult as middle schoolers can be for parents, the stage is tougher on the kids themselves. Their development is tumultuous, confusing, and sometimes dramatic. They recognize the dichotomy of their status between child and adult, the in between state that is even recognized in the very name of their schooling – middle school. It’s a wild time, and they can’t help it. The question, then, isn’t why we should homeschool our middle schoolers, but why we wouldn’t.
Middle School Homeschool Masterclass
If you’d like to know more about the practical side homeschooling middle schoolers, come join Cindy in this video masterclass that covers everything from hormones to teaching strategies!
Homeschooling Middle School$15.00
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