The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Middle School

Homeschooling middle school is certainly different than homeschooling the early years. With maturing kids (and all the changes that come with that) it takes a different approach than the early years.

Kids are ready for more independence, they may want to make some of the choices about what they're learning (it’s a great time to include interest-led projects), and they are ready for deeper discussions about everything (even when you don't want to!).

This independence isn’t without it’s growing pains. Each year through the middle school years, you’ll have to readjust your expectations about what and how much they can do on their own with the goal that they will be self-learners in high school. 

Your pre-high schooler is going through some of the biggest developmental changes in his or her life. It isn’t easy, and it is often a rocky road. They might be moody one minute, and snarky the next. Just keep listening and talking. Maintain an open door policy, and be willing to hear them, even if what they tell you makes you squirm. Make them feel safe and be a trustworthy confidant.
— Anne from mylearningtable.com
Scared of the thought of homeschooling middle school? It really doesn’t have to be difficult! Read these tips about middle school homeschooling from experienced homeschool moms. They are sharing their most valuable advice!

Helpful Posts for Homeschooling Middle School

I know how difficult these years can feel so I want to share some resources with you. Below you'll find posts about middle school - the mistakes and things we've learned through these years. I've also asked some veteran homeschool moms to share their best advice and encouragement for homeschooling the middle school years {you'll find their quotes sprinkled throughout this post}.

15 Must-Read Blogs for Homeschooling Middle School - these are my favorite blogs for the middle school years. As kids get older there seem to be fewer people homeschooling so when I find a mom who's been there, I want to read what she has to say!

5 Tips for Teaching Independence - one of the biggest struggles with homeschooling middle school is guiding that growing independence. It is a slow process - and takes time and intention. Here are few things we learned about teaching independence.

Helping middle school kids get organized - organization is also a skill that middle-grade kids are ready to tackle. Along with independence, they need to learn how to organize their day. Here are two posts with some tips: 3 Tools to Help Middle School Kids Manage Their DaySimple Ways to Help Middle School Kids get Organized

Relationships with Middle Schoolers - middle school kids are facing lots of changes and that can cause some rocky moments. Sometimes I think that you need to set the school books aside and focus on your relationship. Read To the Homeschool Mom with the Middle Schooler for more encouragement.

More ways to build independence - if you know that encouraging independence is important at this stage, but you're not quite sure how to do that, these posts are for you. Using online lessons and apps can help your kids learn to work independently - it's a great way to get a bit of a break from teaching all the subjects too. Another great way to encourage learning is with interest-led lessons. I let my daughter take the reins for science during her 5th and 6th-grade years with some great results.

See the archives for more posts about homeschooling middle school

Here is the major piece of advice I give to those homeschooling middle school. The middle school years are transition years. It is the time when you are working from the highly directed work of the elementary years to the more independent work of the high school years, so use them as such. Work on time management, and planning and scheduling with them as it will serve them well in the years to come. Also be sure to include them in the process of planning their high school years, as middle school is the time to be preparing for the high school years which will set them up for life after Mom and Dad.
— Heidi at startsateight.com

Resources & Encouragement for Middle School Homeschooling

I’ve collected the best advice and encouragement from fellow homeschool moms that have been there - their experiences, insight, and inspiration for homeschooling middle school. If you need encouragement from moms of middle schoolers, you'll want to take a look at these links & websites. There are plenty of links so I've divided them into a few different categories for easier reading.

General parenting and teaching advice for middle school:

Don’t get ahead of yourself. As you begin the middle school years it’s easy to slip into panic mode thinking about what your kids are already learning compared to public school kids as you realize that some of the lessons they are studying could count for high school credits. While this is true, know that you can still let your kids be kids. Don’t start pushing them along to college before it’s time. Just document what they are doing and keep appropriate records. When the time comes, high school, then you can simply add those records to any transcript that you will need for college purposes.
— Renée at greatpeaceacademy.com

Independence is one of the biggest challenges at this stage. One day your child may want to do everything on their own and the next you have to coax them through every subject. These posts will help you encourage that growing independence:

Finding books for middle school has its own challenges. Many of the modern popular fiction titles aimed at this age group aren't worth reading so it takes some time and research to find good books. You'll find plenty of book recommendations for middle schoolers in these posts:

Far from a time to fear, the middle school years are a wonderful opportunity for parents to engage meaningfully with their child as they grow closer to young adulthood! Yes, it has its own set of challenges, but this is the time to build a deeper relationship with them. Connect by learning together, get support when you need it...and don’t give up!
— Pat from patandcandy.com

Now it’s your turn…

Are you homeschooling a middle school child? I’d love to hear about your experience. Would you leave me a comment below and tell me what you’ve learned?

And if you liked this post please share it with your homeschool friends that are homeschooling middle school right now.

Tonia L

Hey! I'm the owner of Happy Homeschool Nest - a website devoted to helping homeschool moms balance the needs of homeschooling with managing a healthy and happy home.