A {homeschool} Day in the Life of a Middle Schooler

I recently shared my curriculum choices for my three middle schoolers.  A few friends asked to see a sample schedule of how this would all flesh out.  What a great request!  It was helpful for me to map out what a sample day might look like with this particular pile of curriculum.

We are not rigidly structured with certain subjects at specific times.  Rather, our homeschool style is a relaxed and flexible flow (I like to think I’m relaxed and flexible too, but some days that is not so much a reality!)

No two days are ever the same, and if you homeschool, you will probably agree.  So, I’ll share what a typical day {might} look like for my middle schoolers this fall.  Of course, it all remains to be seen, and we might have to change some plans mid-flow.  But that’s okay – we can use the flexibility that comes with homeschooling to make the curriculum work for us, instead of the other way around.

day in the life of... homeschooled middle schooler

{These are sample times only — of course, the earlier the boys get up and “get going” the earlier their day will finish.}

Sample 8th grade schedule

  • 7:00 – 7:30 wake up, breakfast, chores, personal Bible study, instrument practice
  • 9:00 Morning Subjects Together (multi-grades)
  • 10:00 Start independent work until lunchtime

{it MIGHT look like this, but can really be in any order}

12:30 Lunch Break

School day could be done before 4pm.  We don’t have “homework” like traditional schools.  So the rest of the day is technically free.  Of course, we may have scheduled activities, or side jobs, or music lessons to go to.  If the boys start early and work diligently, they could even be done earlier than this.

  • 8:00pm Free Reading (1 hour)

When I wrote out a sample day’s flow, my 7th grader could be done his work by about 3pm, with no homework required.  My 6th grader would finish by 2pm and have the rest of the day for hobbies, play, and free time.

One final thing – I ask the boys each year if they want paper checklists, assignment notebooks, or laminated cards with their schedule, and they still seem to like the cards.

task cards

I simply write a bullet list of daily requirements onto an index card, then “laminate” it with some contact paper.  The boys can use dry erase markers to cross off subjects as they complete them each day.

And in case you’re wondering what the “task folder” is?  It’s a folder that good old mom can put extra work in that is tailored to that child.  It might be states and capitals review sheets, fire safety assignments (required by our state), or a poem to memorize.

This schedule also helps to ensure that I will have some much needed “free time” when the toddler naps and into the afternoon to get all my own tasks done.  I am around all morning to help as needed, but most of the afternoon work can be mainly independent.

Hope this helps!

What about you?  Would a day in the life of your homeschooled middled schooler look much different?  What are your non-negotiables?  Are you more flexible or structured?

I love how we can craft our curriculum choices and styles to fit both mom and kids.  There is no one right way to homeschool.  This is just what works for us right now.  Happy homeschooling!

 

 

Homeschool Curriculum for Middle School

I loved having babies.

I loved having toddlers (mostly, although it was quite a blur, and those years of my life are hard to remember!).

I loved teaching my kids how to read.

But this fall, I will have reached my favorite stage in teaching — middle school!  I will not have just one or two, but three boys in that coveted age.

I know most of you are probably feeling bad for me right now, but I am convinced that this stage is full of possibility.  The boys are moving past the foundational grammar stage of their education, and gaining some increased reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical skills.

homeschool curriculum for middle school

My years in a formal teaching position in the public school were spent with this age group, so I feel quite comfortable here.

I have enjoyed culling an eclectic mix of curriculum to fit my three middle schoolers.  Let me share the list with you, not because it’s perfect, but it might spark some ideas for your own situation.

{This post contains affiliate links.  Please see my disclosure policy for more information.}

LANGUAGE ARTS

The best decision in our homeschool last year was to chuck the formal reading curriculum, in favor of wild reading, and lots of it!  We gain our structure from this classical reading list, but since a friend shared the Classical Reader website with us, we have been regulars there too.

Grammar and Diagraming instruction continues based on learning styles with each boy.  One is using the Analytical Grammar curriculum.  One son loves the King’s English book, which is color coded and visual.  We also use Daily Grams for short bursts of grammar review.

The best writing curriculum I have found is Writing with Skill by Susan Wise Bauer.  It is designed to be used mainly independently by the student, which is great for mom!  Rubrics are included for grading your child’s work.  My middle schoolers’ writing has improved greatly with this resource.  They are learning things that my high school didn’t teach until that dreaded research paper in twelfth grade.

Spelling has been a hit or miss subject most of our schooling.  I have tried half a dozen different programs and never really was satisfied.  Since finding All About Spelling, we have stayed put quite contentedly.  My kids enjoy it, and their spelling is improving.  It can be passed down from child to child, which makes it great on the budget when schooling several kids.  My rising eighth grader will have completed all its 7 levels, so he will be studying Vocabulary Vine this year.

 

LOGIC

We will continue with Building Thinking Skills and Mind Benders, both from the Critical Thinking Co.  Our next book will be the Fallacy Detective, which I have not used yet, but it comes highly recommended.  And I think that studying logical reasoning skills will be a fun task during an election year, don’t you?  **Cough, cough** lots of fallacies in reasoning to sniff out this year.  What a skill!

 

MATH

We continue to love BJUP math at every stage.  Complete, spiral, mastery education, with an emphasis on understanding the reasoning behind the math.  From K-5th grade, the books are consumable, and I don’t purchase the teacher’s editions.  For grades 5-7, the texts are not to be written in; rather, the kids do their assignments on their own paper.  So, the book is reusable year after year.  I do purchase the teacher’s manual starting in 6th grade, just for the answer key.

For my eighth grader, we will purchase the DVD curriculum and see how we like it.  That way, the pressure is off of mom in the upper-level math department, and they will get to experience listening to another teacher.

 

FINANCES/ECONOMICS

“What Ever Happened to Penny Candy?”

Personal Finance for Middle School by Dave Ramsey

 

HISTORY

We still love MOH!  This coming year will find us studying volume 4, which includes American history and modern history.  Downloading the audio version as well keeps it interesting.  As we listen to the lessons, the boys are drawing on their timelines.  This curriculum is easy to use for multi-ages.  My older kids will have extra outlining, reading, and reporting requirements.

 

SCIENCE

Answers in Genesis has served us well as a multi-grade science foundation.  We have added the Usborne Science Encylopedia to our curriculum.  This book makes it easy to find relevant videos that relate to each days’ topics.  The boys keep an illustrated science notebook.

 

BIBLE

We will continue learning catechism with this method.

In addition, our family will try to memorize chapters of the Bible this year, instead of one verse here or there.  Context is so important and healthy when understanding Scripture, so I hope that this endeavor will be very helpful for all of us.  Some friends on Facebook were sharing their own Scripture memorization strategy, and they learned two verses per week until the chapter was memorized.  I think that’s a great place to start!

Bible Commentaries for Children, by Nancy Ganz, have been great resources for understanding the first five books fo the Bible, which can seem very cryptic, especially to kids.  How do they relate to the whole Biblical narrative?  What’s the point of a book like Leviticus, especially to 21st century kids?  These books are written especially with children in mind, and have the goal of pointing everything to Christ.  We will continue on with our study of Numbers.

And finally, the boys and I will read through the book of I John with an inductive study method.  This method is one of the most helpful I have personally used.  It requires more work than simply answering comprehension questions, but it reaps more bounty in the understanding of Scripture.  Find more about this method here.

 

OTHER
Typing

Art

French

Art History & Music History as it meshes with our history studies

PA history

Gym class at the YMCA with other homeschoolers

Private music lessons in their instruments

 

Whew!  I’m eager to jump into this school year.  So much to learn!

What are essentials for your middle school curriculum?  I’d love to take a peek into your homeschool tool box.