I’m a homeschooling mother to a middle schooler, isn’t that crazy? He’s 11 already and almost as tall as me, where has the time gone?
Well, if you’ve been following along, you know that we’ve had a lot more challenges this year than others. M1 has needed a bit more motivation this year and I’ve been running out ideas on how to keep our school running smoothly.
So what happens when I need advice on those things that I do not know, I find veteran homeschool moms to see what they have to say. Once I mention that M1 is 11, everyone seems to know what I’m talking about. Apparently 10 is the magic number where your once compliant homeschooler decides that he has better things to do than school and decides to make your life a lot more difficult.
I’m probably exaggerating but at least I know that I’m not alone.
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Tips for Homeschooling a Middle Schooler
How much physical activity does your child get?
I know that we’re hibernating in this cold Canadian winter and we are not getting out as much as we’d like. What do you do then? Chores. I mean those hard, not fun chores like mopping the floor and washing the walls. Not only will you have a house that shines but you will have one tired out homeschooler, who is ready to sit down and complete his school work.
Don’t make exercise a chore, join in and get active yourself. The kids regularly join in on my Tae Bo workouts, mostly because they think it’s fun. We’ve also been enjoying Just Dance on the PS4. It’s a lot of fun and you really don’t think of it as exercise.
We’ve also purchased a membership to our local YMCA. This gives us a chance to go swimming and run around the track no matter what the weather is outside. My kids sleep so well at night on those days when we go to the YMCA. This leads into my next point.
How much sleep does your child get?
My son now gets about 9-10 hours of sleep each night, when he gets less I find that he’s lethargic the next day. If you’re child isn’t getting much physical activity during they day, perhaps they’re having trouble falling asleep at night. On those nights where I find the kids are bounding off the walls right before bed, it’s a perfect time to start diffusing lavender essential oil in their bedroom. This has become our nightly routine and it works.
Is your child eating a good wholesome diet?
If you have a growing middle schooler who may be entering puberty, make sure they have complete meals with lots of nutritious snacks. Cut out those refined processed foods and sugars. I’m guilty of having a huge sweet tooth, yes I do hide chocolate or candy for myself, but at least the kids are eating well, lol.
The only snacks we have in this house are fruit, cheese, yogurt, and crackers, we’ve cut out most of those packaged snacks, another way to save money as well.
Does your child need more independence?
Maybe the conflict or change is a result of your child’s desire to be more independent. I think that I wanted M1 to be more independent early on when he wasn’t ready. Now I think he needs it, to take more ownership of his work. This is one change I will be implementing. He has a schedule but I’ve been the one making sure he is completing it.
He’s finally realized that he needs to get his butt moving. He’s such a dawdler. He only finished 2 subjects the other day and complained that he only had 15 minutes of screen time. Once he realized that he needed to get his work started earlier, school has been going more smoothly.
I have almost been driven mad, my patience and character is tested on a daily basis. These hormones, puberty, and back talking make homeschooling questionable, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
What other ideas do you have for teaching a middle schooler?