Even parents who have homeschooled during the elementary years ask this question. For those new to homeschooling, the 1st step begins with researching homeschool law in your state. Once you have those answers, being to examine the pros and cons of your decision.
Concerns About Homeschooling in Middle School
What will be the impact of homeschooling during middle school? We discussed socialization in Part 1 of this 2-part series. In addition, you may be thinking:
- Will my child fall behind academically?
- What does my child need to be prepared for the high school years?
- Do I have the knowledge to teach increasingly advanced subjects?
- How expensive are the materials I’ll need?
- Should I use online resources?
- How will he or she continue to participate in sporting activities?
- How will they maintain social contacts?
- How will I address new or ongoing behavior issues?
- What if my child doesn’t want to homeschool?
The Shift From Elementary to Middle School
As we approached the end of 5th grade, I realized what we were doing was going fine. We had a well-organized support system with other homeschoolers. My sons had activities they were involved in which would be disrupted if we moved to a traditional school.
My homeschooling abilities and knowledge had matured. I realized we just needed to keep doing what we were doing. All my freak outs over middle school proved to be unfounded.
A huge fear is not keeping up with the ‘academic’ Joneses. Many folks who bring kids home to school try to match the pace and subject matter of the district or school they withdrew from.
I address the issue in Will My Child Fall Behind if I Homeschool. After reading it, I’m sure you’ll have a better feeling about stepping outside the educational box we are all used to.
Homeschool law in your state will help you understand which subjects are important to cover in middle school to be ready for high school. If you fear your educational level or knowledge base impacts your ability to teach middle school, my free worksheet provides a way to think through options available to you.
Download it now. Homeschooling Middle School Options
Unless you opt to use free computer equipment and materials provided by an online public school, there will usually be a cost involved. However, there are budget-friendly ways to homeschool middle school. Do not feel that online resources are your only option!
A simple search on Pinterest with the words ‘homeschool middle school science for free’ will bring up more ideas than you can count. There are library books, YouTube videos, online dissection labs, and TED talks free for your use as well as printable worksheets related to reading material.
Perhaps you have a student who is excelling in community sports activities and is about to age out. Some states allow homeschoolers to participate in public school athletics as well as band or orchestra. Usually, you must have documentation proving you have homeschooled for at least one year.
In other states, the right to participate is hotly debated and not yet allowed. So, homeschoolers have done what we do. We have banded together to create opportunities.
There are now homeschool sports teams actively competing in: soccer, volleyball, basketball, and archery. In fact, archery teams in my home state routinely win on the national level. Perhaps your colder state has an ice hockey team? Google it and find out!
I have a young friend (homeschooled grad) who is a freshman at Stetson University. She is on scholarship as a cheerleader because she was a gymnast during her homeschool years.
Do you need a sport for your homeschooler and can’t find one? Contact an existing team. Ask how they got started!
Sports are not the only social contact available to our middle schoolers. My sons participated in homeschool orchestras, yearbook staff, fencing classes, tennis lessons, martial arts classes, art classes, and literature study groups.
In our home community, we had options for history activities, science activities, hiking groups, roller skating days, teen game nights, and community scavenger hunts to name a few. If you can’t find those activities, reach out to others and plan them. When one person steps out, others will follow.
It can be so challenging to address behavior issues and children who adamantly oppose homeschooling.
For those families, the decision may involve pulling up your big girl and/or big boy panties to go against your child’s wishes. That’s why we get paid the big bucks as parents – to make hard and unpopular decisions. However, when we make them, we have to mean them. We also need to believe in our abilities to stay the course – even when a kid keeps kicking up a ruckus in response
With time and the support of others around you, homeschooling is a viable middle school option – even for families whose kids are reluctant to embrace the change.
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If you have a question, contact me now. I’ll answer you personally within two business days!