The Middle School years generally refer to 6th through 8th grade. This is our second year into the middle school years. Last year, I joined the ranks of many other homeschooling moms when Michael entered 6th grade. This year, I was lucky enough to have Therese enter into middle school. Now I have TWO in middle school. It's kind of funny... years ago I thought middle school and high school were far away, but I was wrong. Those years arrived a lot faster than I thought they would.
Homeschooling the middle school years is like entering a new dimension. Your sweet little children suddenly are becoming young adults. They are experiencing a variety of emotional and physical changes. They have ideas of their own and are starting to express their independence. This can be done in a positive way, but for many of them they suddenly have emotions they don't understand. Those sweet loving children are mouthy, angry, crying over little things, etc. You often sit there wondering where those cute chubby cheeked kids went to. Hormones can reek havoc in a house. Patience is the key. Counting to ten, praying a Hail Mary (or 10) can help a mom diffuse a situation.
Our kids are trying out their new legs. They're trying to figure out who they are, what they want to do, and how they fit into the world around them. This is were we can help them out. We can help them learn more academically of course. We can teach them practical skills they will need in life, and we can teach them the importance of morals and values. We can help them build up their Godly character. Our goal as parents is to help our children reach eternal life with Jesus and become a saint in Heaven.
One thing I found that helped me with entering the middle school years was setting goals for our schooling and the kids. I like making list. It helps me stay organized and on plan a habit I want my kids to pick up. The goals I made for Michael and Therese helped us focus on what was important. They had clear goals in mind. I made sure that they had a say in some of their goals. Did they want to try a new sport, learn a new hobby, learn a specific topic in school. I encouraged them to look at what interested them, what they may want to study in the future, or something new and different they wanted to learn about or experience. This is the time for them to explore new things.
Don't be scared!
Will things get a little tricky at times?
Every stage of homeschooling and child rearing has its ups and downs. Just remember that it can still be fun. You may not be making lots of crafts and playing anymore, but you are learning who your children are. The conversations and two discussions you can are amazing. How we handle this important time in our child's life will determine our relationship with our kids. We can become closer and build a stronger foundation; or we can weaken our relationship, allow it to become stressful, and slowly let it deteriorate.
Pray, Hope, and Don't Worry
~ Padre Pio
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