HS Family–Question of the Week- Middle Schoolers


How do I keep my middle-schooler going and not fight me ALL THE TIME about doing school work?


I know when this question was asked, the reader was looking specifically for information for a child with Asperger’s, but as we all know, homeschoolers are great at taking an idea and transforming it into something that will work for their family. Please, if you have any experience with middle-schoolers, answer this question on your blog and link it in the linky form below, (on CHTS’s Site)  or answer in the comments below this their post. Thanks so much for participating in a little corner of the homeschool internet web to help support and encourage homeschool families around the globe. From Christian Homeschoolers Taking a Stand

This question was foremost on my mind when we hit 6th and 7th grade.  It was at the point that I saw School differently. Or thought my role as Teacher should change to be a bit more aggressive – direct.  I started looking towards the end goal of College or possible High School classes – It was when I started looking at The World’s Goals, instead of the goals that I had written down, through prayer, for my precious son.

We knew in the Kindergarten Level that my oldest son would not follow what might be considered a “normal” path.  He had Audio Memory Deficiency.  Which meant – no amount of telling him that the phonogram e made such and such sounds, and expect him to remember it an hour or a day later. We spent an entire year in battle – trying to “school at home”.  Battle? Aggressive? Direct? With a 5 year old? Praise the Lord that I had an amazing mentoring family who saw what was going on – and led me to read so many books on the learning styles and teaching styles of those who have gone before.

What we did then – and now – is to look at the strengths. What does my son like to do? What ways does he enjoy doing it?  He’s a thinker/talker, not a writer. Most of our day is very verbal. He is a shar-er- not a listener of sorts. Conversation over Lecture. Math was manipulative – and not memorization. Stories. He needed to fully understand the why, the end result, to be interested in sorting out the how in the  middle.  Even now, at 13, I will feel the resistance, if I start blindly with a new topic introduction– without any build up.

I found that staying with one subject for a month – when he was younger – helped build the understanding and fire.  Unit Studies, Lapbooks, A solid chunk.

This is the first year we are doing a new type of schedule – and honestly – I wasn’t sure he’d be able to flip.  One topic for 2 days, One topic for 1 day, then One topic for 2 days.  History, Composers, Science. In a 5 day rotation.  So far, on the 4th day – he has done well.

Anytime I start to feel the “battle” I have to ask – where is the tension? Is it Character? Discipline? Interest? Nutrition? Rest? Outside Activities? – and look towards healing that area – first.

I like to make a fun breakfast, layout the path for his day with post it notes – giving him an idea of what the day will look like – and sometimes – I’ll sit at the table and actually start some of the lesson. Start Drawing – have fun pencils out – inviting. He’ll join me- and next thing ya know – its 11:30 and his core work is done.

My advice?  A few Questions – Why isn’t learning fun or exciting in the home? What point of battle has drawn a line of having the two of you toe that line as opponents?  What can be done to erase that line – putting you on the same team?  Look at curriculum options. I learned that my son had Learning Differences – not Learning DIS abilities. Spend time learning how he learns. Look at his play, his games, his friends, his interests. How does he learn something new that is his interest? – and you will find your answers.


About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
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