Middle School that rite of passage that we all must endure. Just the thought of it conjures up memories of orthodontic braces, growth spurts, hormonal swings, and awkward relationships. Remember the days of oral reports for middle school language arts or the gym uniforms we all had to wear? Many of us were glad to move on to bigger and better things and bury those memories deep.
Things have changed since we were in middle school. Instead of phone cords or searching the house for the cordless phone, every kid has a phone in their back pocket. Not only is it a phone, it’s also a source of up-to-the-minute news, a library of ebooks, a social connection, and a dictionary. Remember, in middle school, when we were told we had to know how to spell because we wouldn’t always have a dictionary with us? Gone are those days.
As much as things have changed, one thing has stayed the same. The middle school years are still a rite of passage that our kids must endure. There isn’t much we can do to change what they’re going through, but we can adjust our homeschool to help ease them through the klutzy years of 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, especially in their language arts learning. With a little investigation and some tenacity, you might find a way to make language arts learning fun for both of you.
Start with investigating how well you know your child. Don’t assume you know everything about them. They’re changing and growing and their needs and wants are also changing. Spend some time with them asking questions and truly listening to their responses. Consider your child’s personality and changes that are occurring. Be open to experiment with different learning styles, rather than just doing their lessons they way you’ve always done.
Here are some questions you may want to ask you middle school teenager. Listen carefully. The answer to their questions might be in what they don’t say rather than in what you hear.
- Do you prefer to be by yourself or with others when you learn?
- Would you rather do a group project or an individual project? Why?
- Do you remember more when you listen or when you read?
- Would you enjoy combining your history and your literature classes?
- Does the idea of a weekly book club for your literature reading interest you? Why or why not?
Based on the answers to their questions, you can structure their middle school language arts learning around how they learn best and what they would enjoy.
- If your student wants to be with others when they learn, consider an online language arts class.
- If your child is interested in a group project, perhaps you could invite other local homeschool teens to join in for a specific amount of time.
- If your student remembers more when they listen, allow them to listen to an audio book for their literature rather than reading it. Teach them how to take notes while they listen.
- If your teen prefers to combine history and literature, consider restructuring their curriculum so that they are reading literature from the same time period that they are studying.
- If you student likes the idea of a weekly book club, perhaps you can either find local teens to join in or Skype with friends far away.
Middle school truly is a rite of passage and learning language arts is part of that journey. Thankfully, as a homeschool mom you get to set the tone and with a little creativity, perhaps your student will look back on their middle school language arts with fun memories.