Deciding to homeschool may be one of the biggest and far-reaching decisions you’ll make. Homeschooling a middle school student comes with unique challenges and considerations that elementary and high school students don’t face. Here are some things to think about before you homeschool your middle school student.
They Develop Fast
During the middle school years, students experience some of the greatest developmental milestones on their journey from childhood to becoming teenagers. Physical changes can seem to happen almost overnight. While physical changes can be easy to spot, emotional and cognitive changes may not be as obvious or the same as their outward growth.
E-Achieve explains, “Middle school is also when students begin to start taking personal responsibility in full force. They start to do more and more things on their own.” It’s important to let them grow and develop on their own. Allowing children to grow and learn on their own is a huge step to helping them prepare for their future.
When homeschooling a middle schooler it’s important to consider the cognitive and emotional changes your child is experiencing. During this time your child may begin questioning the information they receive, refusing to accept it at face value as most elementary aged children will.
Their reasoning abilities will grow leading your child to develop a set of values and formulate a world view. Language skills also increase at this time. Your middle schooler may become interested in debate, metaphors, and testing different ways to use language to express themselves. Problem-solving really takes off at this age too.
Challenges Facing Middle Schoolers
Middle schoolers face unique challenges and requirements. There are many things they have to learn during these years to prep themselves for a lifetime of success. The skills that they’ll need to learn during this time will help them succeed in high school and college.
Bags in Bulk explains, “students should develop good study habits, develop time management skills, reading comprehension, test-taking skills, and more while they’re a middle school student.” Instilling the importance of organizing will also benefit your student and is necessary for a lifetime of success.
Acting Like a Middle Schooler
According to Beyond Book Smart, “because their emotional maturity may not be equal to their physical maturity, middle school students can have issues with gossiping, name-calling, insecurities, having a strong desire to fit in with the crowd, and sometimes being outright cruel to their fellow classmates.” In order to encourage strong social skills, students should learn to have respect for self and others.
For a lifetime of success, a student needs not only the self-discipline that comes from great study habits and time management but also the skills to navigate social interactions with others, especially those they disagree with or who may be different than them. Students should learn how to disagree in positive ways that don’t require them to lose self-respect or change a healthy world view.
Homeschooling your middle school student could end up being one of the best decisions you’ve made if you take the unique needs of your child. Account for their cognitive and physical changes as well as the academic and emotional skills they need, and you can position your student for a lifetime of success.