In this continued conversation from ep. 114, special guest Andrea Thorpe and host Janna Koch pick up on part two of their discussion about homeschooling middle schoolers. These years don't have to be a season of gritting your teeth and white knuckling through. You can actually thrive when you shift your mindset from controlling your teens to preparing them for the next phase of life. Learn how to handle mistakes (theirs and yours), how to react to their bids for autonomy and alone time, and how to guide them into better decision making without using the phrase "I told you so."
Join special guest Andrea Thorpe to learn how homeschooling the middle school years can be one of your best seasons yet! During middle school, your children transition from the cute years of elementary school to the independent learning years of high school. Because they are transforming, your parenting and teaching both need to flex as well.
When people ask me about priorities or goals in my homeschool, I forego the usual “love of learning, top academic school acceptance, being a rocket scientist” answers for something a little more simple.
One of my top priorities as a homeschool parent, is to prepare my children to survive out there in the big wide world. We teach math, foreign languages, art, and history, but how many of us really take the time to teach our children one of the most important skills they’ll need as adults? I’m talking about time management.
Summer is about more than a change of season, it's about a change of pace. It's time to re-evaluate priorities, inject fun, and make memories.
If you're a parent and you've done all the memory making you can come up with, jump into your children's world for inspiration, taking your cues from National Selfie Day, always on June 21.
There are many times in our homeschooling journey when we need to tweak our approach. We need to understand the phases our kids are going through, and make adjustments. One of those times is the tween years. As our kids move into this time between being kids and teens, everything in their lives begins to change. The way we homeschool them is no exception.
One of the beautiful things about homeschooling is the ability to adjust to whatever phase of life our children are in and make their education suit their needs.
As homeschoolers, the idea of having children who can complete school lessons, projects, and assignments on their own can be enticing. Mom, who usually bears the burden of the homeschool planning and teaching, gets a break, and children take responsibility for their own education. Sounds like a win for both parties, right? Yes, but let's delve into this idea of independent learning more deeply.
I have always enjoyed doing arts and crafts projects with my boys as an add-on to our homeschool curriculum. But as they’ve gotten older, I have found it a bit harder to teach them art because they have less patience with the process of art. They want to have the satisfaction of a completed project at the conclusion of an art lesson instead of working for hours upon hours or days upon days to create something to be proud of.
How much freedom do you give your middle school child when it comes to homeschooling? Does your tween get to choose when to wake up, what to wear, and what order to study different subjects? Does he create his own research projects and find extra books to read or documentaries to watch?
It's during these middle grades that most parents begin to foster greater and independence by offering more decision making power to their tweens and teens.
Between the stress of puberty and the increasing difficulty of academic material, middle school homeschoolers can feel more than their share of pressure. During these grades, parents can do a lot to help their kids build an independent love for learning. And, while this may involve lots of time now in terms of training, it can be a wonderful asset later on.
When children learn how to direct their own learning, it helps them enjoy their educational journey all the more. Here are three easy ways to build independence in middle schoolers.
With one foot in childhood and the other entering adulthood, eighth-grade is a pivotal time. Choosing homeschool curriculum can be nerve-racking when you realize that eighth grade can set your child up for success or hold him back. I found inspiration for my son's curriculum choices in a very odd place—a 1912 eighth grade exam.