Making the decision to homeschool is a life-changing one that will make a lasting impact on your child and family. If you’re new to homeschooling, you may feel anxious or intimidated by what’s in store. It’s accurate to say that homeschooling requires effort, commitment, and work–but the end result is clearly worth all of it. We’re explaining why in this three-part blog series about homeschooling elementary, middle school, and high school students. We’ll also share our knowledge on the importance of learning styles, what homeschooling requires from you as a parent, and how Bridgeway Academy makes the perfect homeschool partner.
What Are Learning Styles?
Do you know your child’s learning style? Most parents probably have a vague idea of how their son or daughter learns best–whether it’s by listening, observing, or even touching. And with middle school students, it’s somewhat easier to determine how they learn best since they’re already fairly experienced learners.
Let’s take a quick look at specific learning styles and what they mean.
- Visual learning: Visual learners are insightful and sensitive to the needs of others. Many visual learners ultimately understand the solution, but they likely struggle or get frustrated with the steps necessary to get there.
- Auditory learning: Auditory learners are expressive and able to communicate well with others. They tend to retain information more thoroughly when the information is reinforced through sound, and they learn best through lectures, discussions, and listening to themselves process information.
- Kinesthetic learning: Kinesthetic learners are sensitive and very aware of feelings. They are movers and shakers, learners who need their bodies to be in action in order to learn and master skills. They connect well with learning that involves emotions, imitation, role-playing, and field trips.
Based on this information, you probably know the learning style of your middle schooler. If not, take Bridgeway Academy’s Learning Style Assessment to find out! Our Learning Style Assessments identify:
- Learning style, personality style, and ideal learning environment for the whole family.
- Insights on what works, what doesn’t, the potential struggles, and the incredible strengths inherent in each different learning and personality style.
- The best ways to interact with your child based on both of your personality styles.
Why Are Learning Styles So Important?
Because most traditional brick-and-mortar schools teach a whole classroom of students the same way. Except children learn in different ways, which means that some students will get it, but many will not. And, unfortunately, since teachers are mandated to get through a certain amount of curriculum each year, lessons won’t stop to allow those struggling students to catch up.
This cookie-cutter method of instruction often results in lack of comprehension, students who are left behind, and even apathy toward school. What traditional schools seem to forget is that what works for one child might not work for another. And the saddest part about that is every student in those classrooms possesses the intelligence to excel in school–it’s only a matter of understanding learning style and teaching the material accordingly.
Homeschooling (especially with Bridgeway Academy) allows you the freedom and flexibility to tailor your child’s studies to the way they learn best. And that’s so important when homeschooling middle school students, because when you know your child’s learning style, you can choose a curriculum that’s specifically designed for that learning style, and you can personalize your instruction in the same manner.
The Parent Commitment
All new homeschooling parents want to know about the level of commitment they need to provide when instructing their children. It really depends on the child’s age, the type of instruction they’ll be receiving, and your schedule.
While younger students (generally elementary school-aged) require more guidance, attention, and instruction throughout their school days, most middle schoolers have reached the point where they are somewhat self-sufficient and, as a result of that independence, feel less need and/or desire to rely on their parents for information (speaking from experience, anyway).
Depending on your viewpoint, this can be either beneficial (more free time for yourself!) or problematic (your child is starting to assert his/her independence…at your expense, of course…and might struggle with their learning but still not come to you for help). Figuring this out will likely require a period of trial and error. If your middle schooler is thriving independently, great! If not, you may need to take charge and work together to create a solution that allows for their independence without sacrificing academic performance.
Bridgeway Academy’s middle school homeschool programs offer comprehensive learning options for every learner and every type of student. For the more independent-minded student, our Self-Paced Online courses allow them to take the wheel while you provide guidance and instruction as needed. On the other hand, our Total Care Textbook learning will likely require more instruction from you during the school day as the work is more hands-on and instructor-led.
A “Typical” School Day
As for your “typical” school day, that can be decided upon by you and your middle school student. If your tween/teen isn’t exactly a morning person (and not many of them are), it’s perfectly fine to start your homeschool day at 10:00 or 11:00 am! That allows your child to get a good amount of sleep and wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day. What you do after that is entirely up to you! Maybe you want to do a couple hours of classes in the morning and then spend the afternoon at a local museum or attraction. Or perhaps you both decide to focus an entire day on literature…or math…or science. Feel free! Homeschooling offers the flexibility of teaching and learning when it works best for you and your family.
As the parent of a middle schooler, your days may vary greatly depending on what type of student you have. If you decide on all online classes, you should have plenty of space in your day to fit in your own work (even full-time) or anything else you need to do. If your child requires more instruction and guidance, more of your day will be spent teaching.
Bridgeway’s Total Care Programs – Perfect for Middle School Students
Bridgeway Academy offers the perfect homeschooling options for middle school students. Our 6th Grade Total Care Blended and 6th Grade Total Care Live Blended programs provide the ideal combination of both hands-on textbook learning and online learning for young middle schoolers, while our Total Care Live Online program immerses middle schoolers in virtual classroom environments with classmates from around the world, led by engaging and experienced online teachers.
Here’s the best part! All of these middle school programs include:
- Accreditation that is recognized around the world
- Unlimited support from expert homeschool advisors who are with you every step of the way
- A complete year of record-keeping, including report cards, transcripts, permanent records, honor roll, and that valued diploma upon graduation.
Sure, homeschooling a middle schooler has its challenges. But with the right tools and support (not to mention an expert homeschool partner like Bridgeway Academy), your entire family will truly appreciate the advantages homeschooling provides, and you’ll love every single step of the journey.
Call Bridgeway Academy today at (800) 863-1474 to speak with a homeschool expert about our elementary school options.