First, there is no wrong time to start homeschooling your children, it is a personal decision that is different for each family and so must be thoroughly discussed between the parents and students. If you have children entering middle school, there are several reasons why now may be the best time to try this alternative approach to education.
One of the initial decisions will be to find an accredited Christian online school to partner with to ensure you have the right tools and resources to make this a positive and successful experience for everyone involved.
Grades 6-8 are a transition time with learning concepts where students start to move from concrete facts and direct questions to ideas and learning how to form their own opinions and ‘read in between the lines.’ Some students make this switch with no issues and are able to move through these grades with little to no problems.
Others find that they need to take the curriculum at a slower pace and more methodically than before because they have to spend more time studying and working through the assignments. In a traditional school setting, this is a challenging proposition because the instructor is teaching the lesson at the group’s pace, not at an individual level.
However, with an online homeschooling platform, this is the easiest transition as the student can work according to their own pace and not feel the pressure of having to keep up with everyone else.
Another common reason that parents pull their children from public school at this age is the growing rate of bullying. These grades align around the ages 11-13 years which is a time when the body is physically changing, hormones are developing and emotions are much closer to the surface than before.
Due to these factors, kids are quick to get angry, stress about the differences and constantly trying to find ways to fit in with their peer groups. This puts a lot of emotional tension which can affect the student’s ability to focus on their studies and be successful.
Parents often choose to enroll their pre-teens in a Christian online school to bypass this drama and reduce the social pressure, allowing them to enjoy the time when they are with peers of their choosing in clubs and sports and spending the necessary time on schoolwork.
Family relationships are important but can become strained during this time frame so homeschooling provides an opportunity to give kids the required space but stay connected with them in order to strengthen the bond.
This is why parents choose a Christian online school with professional teachers to handle the classwork so they can be the support and encouragement their child needs. They are able to provide help and assistance when needed by don’t have to be concerned with taking on the full responsibility of educating and teaching which may be difficult for some students.
As stated above, this is a transition period in education and physical growth but it is also the time where students can learn to take on more responsibility and develop skills that will help them in college and their future career. Elementary kids are dependent on their parents to keep them organized, remind them to study, complete their work and stay focused on the information in front of them.
However, high school is a time when students should own their actions, have the proper study habits in place and start thinking about the next steps after they graduate. The stepping stone to this is what they learn in middle school at home based on what parents allow them to do and their educational platform.
Home schoolers are often praised for their self-study, self-discipline and time management skills because they learn how to work with the online instructors and platform to get work done, they follow the course planner and set time aside for personal studying.
Parents should not be afraid to start stepping back from the amount of oversight they used in prior grades so their pre-teen feels comfortable making these decisions and creating a workable schedule they can use in high school. The online parent portal provides easy access to monitor grades and progress with administrative staff to answer questions and address concerns as needed.
Every student is unique as is their learning approach and ability to make the adjustment from traditional to a Christian online school. In some families, parents choose to homeschool from the very beginning so this is the only format their children are familiar with and when accomplished with the best resources and curriculum, it is a positive experience with outstanding results.
Other families wait until high school when there is more pressure and work to get done with Honors classes, dual enrollment, balancing sports and preparing for college. The timing doesn’t matter when the foundation is solid, everyone is working together and your student knows you have their best interest at the heart of the decision.