Tag Archives: homeschooling

What to Teach in Middle School

Middle school! Preparing for high school can be overwhelming. Wondering what to teach in middle school? Here are a few basic concepts that need to be taught in middle school.

The past few weeks we have been taking a look at homeschooling middle school. Check out part one and part two to see topics discussed thus far.  As we shared, homeschooling middle school is a time of transition for the homeschool mom and the student. It is a time of more responsibility, fewer hands on cutesy stuff, and more independent learning.  This week we are going to continue discussing what to teach in middle school.

How to Teach Social Studies

Up until this age many subjects — history, geography, current events, and government — are lumped into the social studies category, but once students reach middle school, they will start receiving instruction in each category.

 The separate areas that make up social studies, however, can all be taught within the context of history. Government, economics, geography, and sociology all come together in one particular time and place in history.

Typically during the course of middle school, a student will have one year of U.S. History. This year will cover the colonial period and the American Revolution and continue on through the Civil War.

During middle school students can also spend a year studying the history of their personal state, followed up by a year studying government including the U.S. constitution, the political system, and how citizens participate in it.

How to Teach Science

The key to teaching middle school science? Keeping it fun! Studies have found in schools where the focus of science is fun, students score higher test results and retain more information. How do you do this in your homeschool? Keeping them engaged and interested. This helps prepare them for more complex and abstract science in high school.

During middle school, a student will study a variety of different topics related to science. This includes:

  • Physical science-Including laws of motion, force, speed and the transfer of energy. They will conduct experiments, use tools to gather and organize data, and learn how to make graphs present their findings.
  • Life science-This includes everything from the human body to ecology.
  • Earth and space science-Students will learn how the earth was formed, about the earth’s orbit and how it relates to time.
  • Geology-This typically focuses on a single point of interest like the Grand Canyon. Students learn how to read geological lessons in the rock and discern the effect of erosion on the earth’s natural features.

The learning continues by taking trips to places like zoos, aquariums, planetariums, nature preserves, and tech museums. Students at this age will often benefit from participation in a science fair. If your homeschool group does not offer one consider setting one up yourself!

How to Teach Social Skills

This may be a time of great transition for your middle schooler—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. These years can be a challenge as your child deals with changes they may not understand. With these changes can come problems with friends, relationships, and peer pressure. It is important to teach your child 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 you with problems regarding social issues. Let them know you will listen without judgement. Take their concerns seriously and you will develop an even stronger relationship with your middle schooler.

How to Teach Health and Safety

At this age, middle schoolers are learning about food, nutrition, the importance of movement and more. Teach your child how to track what they eat, read a food label, count calories, and the importance of exercise. The key at this age is not to hone in on losing weight, or “looking” good, but to teach them the importance of caring for their body and staying healthy and active.

These are a few areas to focus on teaching in middle school. Keep in mind that in addition to the above it is always important to focus on areas that your child is interested in. Interest led learning is an important aspect of homeschooling. We hope this series on homeschooling middle school has encouraged and educated you to homeschool 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.

When Homeschooling Wasn’t the Plan

Homeschooling wasn't the plan. Yet, here you are. Now what? You have a choice to make, and that choice is very important!

 

As a homeschool mentor I have heard it time and time again,

“Homeschooling wasn’t the plan”

Those words have come out of my own mouth, and if were honest MOST of us didn’t plan on being where we are today. But, sometimes plans change, and when this happens we have a choice to make.

Do we embrace it? Or resent it?

You see, out of the dozens homeschool moms who have come in and out of our local homeschool group there have been a few who just didn’t like homeschooling. It wasn’t in their plan, and they didn’t want to do it.
And everyone knew it.

Then there were the other moms who didn’t plan on homeschooling. They had a period where they were overwhelmed and wondered how in the world they were going to survive. They cried, the fretted, and they thought about throwing in the towel. But, the persevered, and in the process most of them ended up enjoying homeschooling.

And everyone knew it.

You know what the biggest difference in those two types of moms was?
Attitude!

If homeschooling wasn’t the plan, you may be shell shocked. You may be overwhelmed, and you may be slightly resentful at the change in plans homeschooling has brought to your life. But you know what?

You have a choice to make. And how homeschooling goes relies a lot on how you choose to handle it. Here are 3 ways you can change your attitude towards homeschooling.

  1. Embrace it-Yes, you didn’t want to be here, but you know what? You are! And you may as well embrace it for the season you are in it. Make a list of the GOOD things you have found in homeschooling. Even if it’s just a few items, cling to those moments. Cling to those reasons. Embrace them.
  2. Find a homeschool friend- I believe one of the biggest factors of homeschool success is finding a friend to help you along the way. Homeschool moms NEED homeschool friends. Find a local group, reach out to another homeschool mom in your community, or join an online group like this one.
  3. Complain in private-You don’t like homeschooling, fine. But your kids DON’T need to know this. Complain in private. TO your spouse, to your homeschool friend, or to your mom. DON’T let your kids here you complain. If they know you are not on board it will make the homeschool transition that much harder for both of you.

Moms, I understand homeschooling was not on everyone’s to do list, but I also know homeschooling can be a HUGE blessing to many families. If homeschooling was not in your plan, I encourage you to make the choice to embrace it, find a homeschool friend, and nix the complaining. Give it a few weeks (or months) and revaluate the homeschool situation. Chances are, it may grow on you!

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.

5 Tips to Start Your Homeschool Day off Right!

Is your homeschool day chaotic? Want smoother sailing days? Here are 5 Tips to Start Your Homeschool Day off Right!

 

As many of our holiday breaks are winding down, now is the time to begin thinking of how we can make our homeschool days better. One way to do this is by setting it in our minds to start our homeschool days off right. How can we do this? Here are 5 tips to get your homeschool day off right!

Start the same time every day

Finding a homeschool routine is key to a smooth homeschool day, and one way you can ensure this is by starting the same time every day. For us it’s 9:00, for you it may be 8, or 2, or noon! What time you start isn’t as important as being sure you start around the same time each and every day.

Prayer and Bible

If you are a Christian homeschool family you may want to start your day off with prayer and bible reading. This gives you the ability to start your homeschool day off with the Lord.  Ask them if there is anything they want to pray about, pray with your kids, read scripture, find a devotional or bible study that fits your family’s needs.  I have found NOT starting our days off with this sets our whole day up for failure.

Get moving

One fun way to get your homeschool day started right is to get moving! Some of my kid’s favorite memories of homeschooling is wiggling to Tooty Ta, doing the Hokey Pokey, or seeing how many jumping jacks they can get done in a minute. By starting your homeschool day moving you are allowing your kids to get the wiggles out before they even start! Not to mention the giggles as well J

Circle time

Circle time is a great way to start your homeschool day off right. This can consist of weather, scripture, calendar, color practice, the pledge, anything really that can get the day going. Find what you want to include in circle time and use it to start your homeschool day off right!

These are just a few suggestions that can help you get your homeschool day started off right! Find one or two that works for you and implement them in the New Year. Feel free to tweak them to fit your family’s homeschool needs. No homeschool morning will look the same, but with a few useful tips we can all get our homeschool day started off right!

Photo courtesy of  photostock/freedigitalphotos.net

Misty Bailey is a Christian wife and work at home homeschool mom.  She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.  You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

 

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.

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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!

 

 

When Homeschooling is Not Working

When Homeschooling Isn't Working

You’ve been at this homeschooling gig for awhile now and things haven’t got any easier. People said it would, but in your case it just hasn’t. The kids are miserable, you’re miserable, and homeschooling is not working. What do you do?

You just quit.

Yes, I said that. Now, before I go on let me just say that I LOVE homeschooling. I believe for most families it is a great thing, but I am one of the few that believe it is not for everyone. Sometimes homeschooling just isn’t for a family and that’s okay. I also believe sometimes there are situations that make homeschooling difficult, and if remedied homeschooling can still happen.

If homeschooling is not working for you right now let me suggest a few things:

  1. Take a break. Just quit for awhile. Put the books up and spend time enjoying your children. As MOM. Not as homeschool teacher. Do this for a week or two.
  2. Evaluate the situation. Is the problem the curriculum? Is it your teaching style vs. their learning style? Are you trying to do too much? Are the kids just not on board? Try and pinpoint what the issue may be.
  3. Remedy the problem. If it’s curriculum, try a different one. If it’s learning style vs. teaching style see if you can find a way that will work for both you and your child. If you’re too busy see if you can cut back on a few commitments. Sometimes saying no can be a blessing! If your kids just aren’t’ on board, talk to them about why you believe your family is called to homeschool. Listen to their concerns and see if a compromise can be made.
  4. Revaluate the situation. Can you remedy the problem? If so, try it out again for a few months. If you can’t decide where you go from here.

I know homeschooling parents who have put their kids back in public school. Homeschooling was not working for them in their season of life. Some pulled the kids back out and are homeschooling successfully. Some have kids still in public school and the kids are thriving. Some have one kid in public school and others who are homeschooled.

Listen, homeschooling is not a one size fits all situation. It’s not an all in situation. Homeschooling is great, for many families and many children, but sometimes it just doesn’t work.

If this is you right now let me encourage you to take a break, evaluate the situation and try to remedy the problem. If the situation cannot be helped then know that doing what is best for you and your family right now is the best case scenario.

Homeschool moms need support. All the time. Even when things aren’t working. Let’s encourage one another today. Let’s encourage one another even when things aren’t working and another mom may throw in the towel. Hug her neck, tell her you understand, be supportive even when homeschooling is not working.

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.