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. Last week we talked about homeschooling middle school and what we can do to prepare. This week we are going to discuss what to teach in middle school.
Here is a list of what your child needs to learn by the end of Middle School. This week we are focusing on Language Arts and Mathematics.
How to Teach Language Arts
Middle school children study reading in a variety of ways. At this age, they will read many different types of material including poetry, plays, literature, nonfiction books, newspapers, and more. In writing, they will learn how to organize their ideas, use and analyze information from different resources and hone in on their grammar.
This is the age when many parents quit reading aloud to their children; however, teachers in schools have found that reading aloud to students can help. How? It is teaching the reading fluency, comprehension skills, and the process of reading. Here are a few things your child will need to know in middle school language arts.
- Figure out the theme of something they read and support their answers with evidence from the text.
- Compare poems, stories, and historical novels, explaining the plot of each and how the characters react to the action.
- Use a number of reading strategies to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words.
- Learn both the figurative and implied meaning of words and phrases.
- Identify specific claims or arguments in reading materials and decide how valid they are.
- Write arguments or opinion papers using clear reasoning and supportive facts.
- Write for longer periods of time for a number of different tasks, purposes, and audiences.
- Participate in class discussions and do short research projects using many sources to answer a specific question.
How to Teach Mathematics
Homeschooling Middle School Math is a topic that many homeschool parents fear. At this age, many students are studying math that is beyond the capability of their parents. Think about it, do you remember algebra? Ratios? Exponents? This is the time when parents need to make sure they have a solid math curriculum. A few to consider are Math U See, Saxon Math, Teaching Textbooks and Khan Academy. Here are a few things your middle schooler will need to know in middle school.
- Understand concepts of ratios and unit rates, and use the correct language to talk about them (such as the ratio of ears to noses in a class of kids is 2 to 1, because for every 2 ears there is 1 nose).
- Use multiplication and division concepts to divide fractions and multi-digit decimals.
- Understand that you can find positive and negative numbers on opposite sides of 0 on a number line. Know that the number 2, for example, is the same number of spaces to the right as ?2 is to the left of 0.
- Use number pairs to find a point on a graph.
- Use the properties of operations to solve problems, including those of area and volume. (For example, know that 2 (5 + x) is the same as 10 + 2x.)
- Understand that solving a problem with a symbol is asking “what number does this symbol stand for to make the problem correct?” (In order for 2 + x= 10 to be right, x has to equal 8.)
- Understand that assigning different values to independent variables affects the value of dependent variables. (In the equation y= 3x – 2, the value of y depends on the value assigned to x.)
These are a few areas to focus on teaching in middle school. Language arts and mathematics aren’t the only subjects you will be teaching in middle school though. Head over to part three to take a look at teaching middle school history, science, health and even the dreaded S word (social skills!).
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.