Category Archives: Homeschooling Help

Homeschooling Middle School

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of homeschooling middle school? Not anymore! This series will break down homeschooling middle school step by step.

This fall I will have my very first middle schooler. I’ll admit I am a little overwhelmed at the prospect of teaching higher level subjects. I also know after middle school comes…. HIGH SCHOOL! Where did my baby go?!

Anyway, in preparation for ME teaching middle school, I thought we’d start a series here on homeschooling middle school. Each week we will look at a different subject and I will share resources, tips, and a list of topics our students need to know. Maybe we can prepare for middle school together!

Homeschooling Middle School 

 At this age, the main focus is to teach our children to become more independent thinkers and learners. Much of the focus in Middle School is on problem-solving and finding more than one way to do things. As our kids enter Middle School the subject matter will be more complicated. But, guess what? We don’t HAVE to teach them everything there is to learn at this age it is important to teach them how to learn and to reinforce the basic knowledge and basic tools of learning.

Another focus at this age is on strengthening the basics.  Before they enter high school our goal is to ensure they  have a solid foundation in mathematics. Reinforcing reading comprehension, grammar, and basic composition skills are important also as they transition from report writing to essay and analysis.

Our middle schoolers have their own passions, interests, and talents. At this age, it is important to incorporate opportunities for them to pursue them. Some of our kids may be  ready to move into some high school level work. If this is your child encourage them to challenge themselves. It is also important to consider what your child may want to study in high school, and guys we can even begin researching homeschooling at the high school level.

Middle School Is Full of Transitions

This season of life for our middle schoolers is one of great transition —physically, emotionally, and spiritually. These years can be a challenging as they face changes they may not understand. With these changes can come problems with friends, relationships, and peer pressure. It is important to teach our children respect, manners, and how to deal with situations that may arise. In doing so it is also VERY important to keep the lines of communication open. Let them know they can come to us with problems regarding social issues. Let them know we will listen without judgement. Take their concerns seriously and in doing so we will develop an even stronger relationship with our middle schooler.

Homeschooling middle school is not for the faint of heart. Our days will look a lot different than they did in elementary school. Gone are the days of cut and paste, messy crafts, and hand holding. Instead, we will be focusing on responsibility, teaching our student how to complete their work independently, letting them explore their own interests, and have a say in what they are learning.

Our goal is to work ourselves out of a job right? And that starts when we are homeschooling middle school. Come back next week as we kick off this series on everything you need to know about homeschooling middle school!

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.






The Pros and Cons of Year Round Homeschooling

Pros and Cons of Year Round Homeschooling

Year round homeschooling has been a debate for some time now. Some families LOVE year round school, some say NEVER! If you have been debating year round homeschooling for awhile now you may want to take a look at some of the pros and cons.


  • Frequent Breaks- Year round homeschoolers can run a variety of different schedules, but they all have one thing in common. Frequent breaks! This gives students and teachers time to recharge.
  • Academic Benefits- Gone is the long summer break, which can push many children back a few months. Students do not have a long gap in their education, which allows them to retain what they have learned longer.
  • Summer boredom is gone-We all love summer, but about a month in most kids are bored. Year round homeschooling puts an end to the long summer breaks and also eliminates the need for parents to find boredom busters.
  • Flexibility-Families are able to take vacation during off season times, which allows them to save money. You also have the ability to take unplanned sickness, or family events.


  • Frequent breaks can make it difficult to get into an established routine.
  • Some kids may have a hard time knowing they are in school during the summer while their friends in public school have a break.
  • Summer camps, 4-H and Bible Schools are all traditionally done in the summer making it a little more busy (and difficult) to fit it all in.

We   have tried both year round and traditional school schedules. For us, traditional worked for a long time however now we are going year round. The key is weighing the pros and cons and finding a homeschool schedule that works for you and your family!



3 Tips to Teaching a Child to Read

Here are a few tips that can help when teaching a child to read. #3 is great!

Years ago when I was longing to be a teacher, my desired grade was 1st. Why? Because at the time this is the grade when teachers taught their students to read. I LOVED reading, and volunteered throughout Jr. High, High School and College in the reading lab.

When I first began homeschooling I started out with an eager 5 year old who was longing to read. We purchased the curriculum and got to work. To my surprise it wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be! Fast forward 6 years and I am working on my 5th reader (2 of my own, 3 extras). I have learned a few things about what works, and what doesn’t. Here are three tips to teaching a child to read.

Immerse them in Books

From the womb we have read to our children. As infants we offered sensory books, as toddlers we offered board books, and at preschool age we began reading good quality literature. We have immersed our kids in books at a young age, and so far it has paid off!

Kids LOVE books! IF they are offered to them. In order to create a reader you have to encourage a love of reading in your kids. Reading often will give your children the longing to learn to read themselves. It will create in them a love of reading that will last a lifetime.

Be Patient

I am not the most patient person, and sadly that shows in our beloved phonics curriculum. In the first book there are pencil marks where I circled words over and over again that my daughter missed. I remember those moments; I remember the tears and the frustration (from both of us). And, I have left the pencil marks there. Why? As a reminder that patience pays off. The second book has little to no pencil marks in it, and you know what? She breezed through that book.

Patience is SO important when it comes to teaching a child to read. Patience builds confidence; and confidence is a skill that is required for learning to read. If a child does not feel confident in their own abilities they will not offer their best work. So, be patient!

Be an Example

This goes along to an extent with being patient. Modeling patience will encourage our children to be patient while they are learning. BUT, we should also model a love of reading. Let your children see you read, take them to the library, let them see you checking out books, let them see that reading is something fun to do. By being an example, you will encourage your child in their own reading endeavors.

These are just a few tips that can help when teaching a child to read. Come back next week as we take a look at some of the best reading curriculums!

Misty Bailey is a work at home homeschool mom.  She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.




5 Things to Consider Before Homeschooling

Homeschooling can be a great blessing, but not a decision to take lightly. Here are a few Things to Consider Before Homeschooling.


Now is the time of year when public schools have been in session for awhile. Homework is starting to come home with the kids, and the excitement of the new year is wearing down. Where I live there have also been major events happening within the local public schools. Cases like transgender students, bullying, school violence, and other occurrences often make parents second guess there choice of public schools.

Homeschooling is a wonderful thing, and one that has been a huge blessing for our family. Yet, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. When parents come to me after the situations above and ask me about homeschooling I encourage them to consider a few things before jumping ship.

  1. Feelings- Are you considering homeschooling because you’re emotional? Oftentimes anger can get the best of us. If you are considering homeschooling because you are angry with the public school, I recommend you give it more time. The situation may calm down, or you may find another solution.
  2. Time-Many parents do not realize the massive amount of time homeschooling takes. Parents who are already maxed out time wise may not be in the best situation to homeschool their children. The first few weeks’ school may take upwards of 5 hours a day. Maybe longer depending on how well your children cooperate. Before homeschooling, I recommend checking your schedule, eliminating things if need be, and clearing out the time to homeschool.
  3. Children’s Opinion-Do your children want to be homeschooled? If not, then you may be in a hard spot before even beginning. I am a firm believer that parents make the choices, but our children’s opinions should be taken into consideration. Talk to your children about why you are considering homeschooling. Explain how things will go, and why you think this is the best choice. If they are still against it, I recommend a trial period. Let them know you will try it out for a set amount of time, and then revaluate how homeschooling is going.
  4. Commitment-Homeschooling requires a commitment from at least one parent. A commitment to your child’s education is not one to be taken lightly. Be sure you are willing to take on the responsibility before homeschooling.
  5. Money-Curriculum costs money, if a parent works outside the home, they may need to cut back, having kids home more will mean more resources like food, electric, and water. Field trips and co-op classes may cost, and school supplies will also need to be purchased.

Homeschooling is a big decision, and one that should not be taken lightly. Homeschooling requires time, money, and commitment; these are all things that people may not consider before considering homeschooling.

If you have went through the above scenarios and still feel led to homeschool then great! We have tons of resources here that can be of great value to you. Homeschooling is a decision that when made thoughtfully, is often times not regretted!

Misty Bailey is a work at home homeschool mom.  She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Why Homeschool Moms Don’t Need to Know Everything

Why Homeschool Moms Don’t Need to Know Everything

There’s a common misconception in the parenting community that homeschool moms need to know everything before they can homeschool their children. Questions we are asked include how we teach geometry or what do you know about anatomy? The truth of the matter is homeschool moms don’t need to know everything. There are many such successful homeschool families out there that contain parents that have no more than a high school diploma.

How? We’re going to look at four reasons why homeschool moms don’t need to know everything.

Teacher’s Manuals

One huge benefit of a homeschool curriculum is the teacher’s manual. Manuals contain step by step instructions on how to teach the subject, answers to the problems, and tips to help homeschool moms get the lesson across to their students.


Don’t know how to teach a certain subject? No worries! Tutors are available for homeschool students just like they are for public school students. Homeschool moms can find tutors through their local school district, through other homeschool moms and even online through companies like and

Co-Op Classes

One thing that my children and I have enjoyed is co-op classes. When Art got the best of me (I am NOT a fun, messy mom) I was relieved to find that it would be covered in co-op classes. Cooking, chemistry, business and other classes are all examples of what a homeschool family can gain from co-op classes. This eliminates homeschool moms from needing to teach these subjects.

The Internet

The internet is full of resources for homeschool moms to utilize with their children. You tube contains documentaries, science experiments, explanatory videos and much more. Online sites like Khan Academy can help homeschool moms get math points across that a child may be struggling with and offers extra math practice as well.

Homeschool moms don’t need to know everything, subjects we aren’t sure how to teach can be taught with tutors or co-op classes. The internet offers resources out there that can help us and our children, and teacher’s manuals are a homeschool mom’s best friend.

If you are considering homeschooling, but not sure if you can because you don’t “know” everything, I encourage you that you CAN do it!

Misty Bailey is a Christian wife and work at home homeschool mom. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.