View Full Version : New to Homeschooling and I have a middle schooler!!!!

06-07-2012, 12:44 AM
My son Chris will be in 6th grade this next school year.It will also be our first year homeschooling. I had already set up his 3 year plan as per the district we are in. Is it a good idea to follow this plan? should I add additional courses based on his interests? Any suggestions? Thanks...lynn

06-07-2012, 07:15 AM
Welcome to the forum!

Do you mean is it a good idea to follow along with what your district is doing? If so, then no, not usually. Why homeschool if you're going to do the same thing he'd do in school? And more practically, the best homeschool materials and curricula tend to follow a different sequence. Public school materials can be used, but they're usually not as good and are made for a big classroom of kids.

06-07-2012, 10:51 AM
The first year I homeschooled, I did follow the district's plan. after that i had learned to understand my kids more and their learning styles and interests, and I branched out. No matter how much you plan, you will find at least one (if not most) of the things you planned turn out to be a bad fit for you or your child. So your plans will change.

i was so crazed about planning, finally my husband told me to just start somewhere, and if that wasnt working, change something. and really, he was right. This is total on-the-job-training for you, and you will learn as you go.

courses for his interest, absolutely - but dont overwhelm him with work (unless he's highly motivated). For example, if he really wants to read certain books, find a way to work those in to your english curriculum. If there is an area of science he is interested, its fine to do that science instead of whatever the school would be doing that year. The school's curriculum isnt a magic, perfect plan - it was arrived at by committee. Feel free to tweak it . . . or toss it . .

really, as long as you are motivated to educate your child, and you and your child are working together towards that goal, you'll be fine

06-07-2012, 02:12 PM
Thanks for the advice! He is an avid reader. For years we have had a book club together. ( I always read what they read). We have done science experiments. He is extremely interested in mythology and science.He also wants to learn Japanese. I guess I tend to be an over planner and want to make sure I get this right. Funny b/c with Bri I feel more confident in our selections. Thanks again :) Lynn

06-09-2012, 07:27 AM
You'll be fine! Just remember that the best-laid plans often go awry. I am fortunate to live close enough to DC that everything it offers is readily accessible. Don't forget that field trips count as school, and often help kids grasp material that they would otherwise find boring. Absolutely follow your son's interests, and don't worry if you're not studying the same thing at the same time as the public school. My oldest will be a sophomore (!) in high school, and my twins will be in 8th grade next fall, so we're almost done with middle school. The biggest challenge for me has been the drama that comes with having all girls, not the schooling.
We use a heavily literature-based history program that runs on a four year cycle, so that by the time the kids graduate, they will have covered world history and geography 3 times, in greater depth each time. It's called History Odyssey, and I can't say enough good things about it. We use Saxon for math, because it's rigorous and repetitive and it works. I use Memoria Press for Latin, even though it's not secular, because I like the way they presented the material. My oldest just finished her second year of high school Latin through their online academy, which meets once a week. We use Rosetta Stone for French, because our whole family is learning the language. I like Artistic Pursuits for art, because they break things down into manageable pieces and the books are filled with examples of student art at the level of the text. The kids take piano and voice lessons from a friend with a music degree, and I teach science to a group of middle schoolers. Interesting, secular science texts for middle school are hard to find, but they do exist. I'm using a high school text by Miller & Levine to teach biology to both middle and high schoolers next fall. I used Rod & Staff for grammar for years, even though they're not secular. It's one of the most rigorous grammar programs out there, and my kids know their stuff. We routinely pick out the errors in ads and newspaper articles. We've switched over to A Beka for grammar now, because it's less in-your-face religious, more modern, and less time consuming since the foundation has been laid.
There are also a number of super helpful online resources. Khan Academy is terrific for math, and they're adding more stuff constantly. Oh dear, I hope I haven't overwhelmed you completely! I love homeschooling, and I really believe that almost anyone can do it well. Best wishes to you!

06-09-2012, 06:47 PM
Jennsews2 Thanks for the advice! I was already thinking about Saxon for math and Rosetta Stone for Spanish. I will definitely look into Artistic Pursuits. It sounds very interesting.:_applaud: History Odyssey sounds like a good fit for us. I agree with slim choices for Science. I am still looking. Again thank you so much for the advice and encouragement. Lynn

06-09-2012, 08:02 PM
Inquiry in Action is a free middle school curricula for chemistry. I understand CPO is another option. And RSO just came out with its level 2 for middle school life science. All of those are secular.

06-09-2012, 08:36 PM
farrarwilliams Thanks! Definitely will look into those options. :) Lynn

06-14-2012, 01:39 PM
Hi, I just wanted to say that we are in the same boat! DD will be in 6th grade next year and it is our first year HS as well. Good luck! I look forward to hearing about how things are going since I'm sure we'll have similar questions at some point.

06-14-2012, 02:26 PM
Good Luck to you and your DD as well! Chris is getting excited. Hope the excitement lasts all year :) lynn

07-03-2012, 09:01 PM
For Farrarwilliams-- Could you tell me what is RSO and CPO? Thanks

Blue Flag Mom
07-03-2012, 09:28 PM
Interesting, secular science texts for middle school are hard to find, but they do exist. I'm using a high school text by Miller & Levine to teach biology to both middle and high schoolers next fall...

Do you have any other middle school science ideas to share? I have a son entering either 6th or 7th grade (we haven't decided yet) and I am struggling trying to find an interesting science program to have him do. I can't do much "with" him, because I have to work, too :o(

07-04-2012, 12:26 PM
RSO is real science Odyssey. I forget what CPO is