Homeschooling and Loving the Middle School YearsJanuary 27, 2021
Guest post shared by Kimberly, homeschool mom of four.
Are you dealing with a middle school learner this year? Sometimes middle school can be tricky. But, as I think back to the middle school years of homeschooling I realized we had a lot of fun! A big challenge for us was making sure we got our classwork completed. As a family, we had so many activities and field trips to do. It often seemed overwhelming. You might think that this is not a problem, but it was. We had co-op, drama, field trips, choir, church, and plenty of playdates. At this time we were fostering children so we always had little ones to take care of. I loved the activities and time away from home, but I felt guilty that they were not learning or doing enough “school stuff.”
Eventually, I got creative to find a good balance. First, we only had a four-day school week. The extra day if needed was to catch up and stay on track. The other thing I did was give my children their complete assignments for the week on Monday and let them figure it out how to get it all done. This change was met with excitement. No more daily assignments and having to do every subject every day. They loved the freedom to choose what to do and when. For the most part, this was a success especially for my daughter who is a go-getter. She often would complete all one subject at once before moving on to another.
For my learning disabled child, it could be hard, but it also was easier for him, because he knew exactly what needed to be done for the week upfront. I couldn’t add assignments and they liked that. With this method, they were done by lunchtime most days which left the afternoons free for our activities. It taught them time management and to come up with their own schedules. This also helped them become independent and develop good study skills. A big bonus was if they completed their assignments early and properly they were free for the rest of the week. The consequence was having to compete what was left on Friday and were not allowed to participate in extra activities until it was done. This didn’t happen too often.
This really worked for our family and we continued it through the high school years. Today most of them are in college and have great time management skills, have no problems working independently, and know how to study the material.
More about the author
My name is Kimberly Smith and I have been homeschooling for over 16 years. I have been married for 25 years, have four children ages 6, 18, 20, 22, and currently live in Central Pennsylvania. I have a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and am certified by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. My three oldest have graduated from homeschooling and are currently in college or doing online learning. I am starting the journey of homeschooling again with my six year old.