As you say farewell to the early elementary days of homeschooling, rest assured that the next phase is something to look forward to. In its own right, homeschooling a middle schooler has new adventures and lots of enjoyable moments ahead for you. Because your middle schooler is maturing, he is getting ready for taking more personal responsibility for his education. This means that while your role is naturally changing as a parent and a homeschooling teacher, so is his. It’s a natural progression that may feel bittersweet. But it’s something to expect as he grows up and gets ready to spread his wings.
There are a lot of life skills to help prepare him for that day. But that’s a few years away yet. In the meantime, he still needs to learn essential skills that are beneficial for him in order to prepare him for the next stage — high school. Below are skills to teach that will help him.
Bible Study Skills
Yes, I mean it. If you’ve started out strong with helping your child stay committed to starting his day out with this, that’s wonderful. On the whole, many parents can find this to be a struggle. If your child has the good habit of making time to study God’s Word a priority, he is set up with the most important skill possible. Key reasons for why this is a must are below:
- Priorities. When God is the top priority, it helps our middle schoolers to keep Him on the throne. It’s settling in their hearts and minds that time with their Heavenly Father builds the most important relationship they could ever have.
- Armor. They start their day out with putting on the armor of God. This will help against all sorts of spiritual attacks. Particularly, it helps to safeguard them from the attacks of negativity that may fill their minds about they don’t “measure up”.
- Standing Strong. When they begin to embrace Gods’ instructions for life at this age, it helps them to stand strong in the high school years that can offer up all sorts of new-t0-them temptations.
Fitting in the time to guide your middle schooler in Bible study may be challenging. There’s a lot on your plate. But you want to see that it’s not overlooked. There are a variety of middle school Bible courses here that may be ideal for your family in this season.
Record Keeping Skills
While it’s important that you still keep track of what your student is learning and reading, it’s an excellent time for him to start practicing this as well. To be sure, he doesn’t have to take on every area. Here are some categories you may consider handing over to him as he eases into this role:
- Reading lists. This is important for showing the variety of subjects your student learns. Also, it helps him to be involved with helping to prepare for his high school transcript.
- Field Trips. If he isn’t already doing it, he may enjoy journal entries about his experiences and what he has learned on field trips. These help show how rich his education is.
- Completed Subjects. Not every individual is geared toward checking off lists. But be it a favorite task or not, it’s extremely helpful in keeping track of his daily learning.
Given these points, there are several options for planners out there. A great printed student planner for just starting out is this one from Apologia. If your student would prefer digital, this High School Schoolhouse Planner may be a perfect fit and it contains a huge amount of other helpful forms and charts (free with SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership).
Research skills will bless your middle schooler in a plethora of ways. Needless to say, it better equips him for high school assignments that require strong research skills. Below is a list of reasons why he will need research skills:
- Use Proper Resources. Knowing how to utilize different resources available to him for research is a tremendous benefit to him.
- Comprehension. Figuring out how to make sense of the information that is available to him will help produce strong papers.
- Building Idea Bridges. Building connections between ideas, whether loosely or tightly fitted, helps with problem-solving and presentation of concepts.
- Develop critical thinking. He will be able to weigh information and come to a conclusion.
Are you feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of taking this on? As shown above, these skills are important for students. There are several resources available to help you such as this course on How To Do Research.
Technology is a useful tool and there pretty much isn’t a way around it. To be sure, the following are areas to help your middle schooler be prepared:
- Typing skills. This is a biggie. It will help them utilize their time efficiently when typing up papers. Keyboarding is one of the most essential skills he can have.
- Learning Computer Programs. Your middle schooler is going to need to know his way around at least one computer program. We highly recommend teaching Microsoft Word.
You’ve Got This
Does the idea of finding different resources to use stress you out a little? Take heart, there are wonderful resources around to help you. You don’t have to feel alone in this. With this in mind, go forth and enjoy this next phase as you help your student gain new skills. You’ve got this!
We highly recommend a membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com for both core and elective courses for the whole family. Several of the electives for middle school are very helpful for high school preparation.
February 12-16, you can get a huge discount on a one-year membership (about half-price) with the code: LOVE18. This $99 membership will grant you access for a full year to more than 350 courses, a membership to WorldBook, lots of educational videos, planning and record-keeping tools, and more. The price is for your entire family, and your membership will continue to renew each year at that price for as long as you remain a member. It really is the best deal in homeschooling! For those in the U.S., each membership comes with a HUGE chocolate bar and a print issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s winter edition. Learn more!