Choosing to homeschool your young children is a big decision. However, an estimated 2.3 million students in the U.S. were home-schooled as of 2016, and this number continues to grow. In their early years, children are a bit easier to educate, since teaching colors, numbers, reading, and writing is rather simple. As your child ages, homeschooling can become a bit more difficult. In addition, as your child enters their middle school years where they are learning more and going through the different hormonal changes, homeschooling can be rather overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help you homeschool your middle schooler in an effective, creative, and personalized manner.
First and foremost, you and your child need to get organized. Learning in a cluttered, unscheduled manner is not only challenging, but it is also stressful.
Make sure you have lesson plans already in place before your school week begins. Also, your homeschool space should be clean, neat, and accessible. Your middle schooler should have all the tools and supplies they need to succeed. Pencils, pens, tablets, calculators, a computer or laptop, and a desk or large table for completing work are ideal.
It is also important to design a space that will be used solely for homeschooling. Therefore, your child should not be learning or completing classwork in their bedrooms or family rooms, since there will be too many distractions.
Teens do have short attention spans, and they will most likely want to be working on other things instead of their homeschooling assignments. To keep them interested, you need to get creative.
Think outside the box when planning your lessons. Instead of sitting in front of a computer screen or reading a book, plan lessons that get you and your homeschooler out of the house.
For history, take day trips to museums and historical sites. If your middle schooler is studying the government, schedule visits to your local courts or political offices. Consider planning a time for your homeschooler to participate in court cases or even civil war reenactments. Activities like these can make even a 6th grade history curriculum interesting.
Science lessons can occur at local museums, as well. You can also bring your teen to local nature conservatories, zoos, aquariums, lakes, ponds, and even the beach.
Homeschooling lessons do need to be educational, but they can also be fun. For a math or science lesson, head to an amusement park. Your child will have the opportunity to not only learn about G-force, but also experience the G-force of a roller coaster.
Homeschooling does not consist of just reading books and writing papers at the kitchen table. You can educate your middle schooler in an effective and creative way that will greatly benefit your student.