Can I Teach Middle School?
October 11, 2017
Mercy Every Minute  
I have been asked all the tiresome questions: 
“How are they going to learn all they need to know from just you ?” 
“What about middle school and high school?” 
“What will you do then ?” 
As if that is some weird point in time where we must stop educating because we have suddenly become unqualified. 

Are you qualified to teach middle school? Well, if you are like me, you never feel qualified to teach most grade levels, but that is just earthly thinking.

I don’t think that God must qualify us first before we obey Him. God asks for obedience first, and then provides the qualification. In fact, He gives us all that we need for life and godliness through His Word (2 Peter 1:3). We hold the glory of God in these jars of clay to show His power (2 Corinthians 4:7), and we have access to the main textbook that covers everything we need for instruction, for correction, and for training in righteousness to completion, so that our children are equipped for every good work in their lives (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).

When do we stop listening to the call of God for our children and our family—when society says we should? So what about middle school? It is just like all the other years where you pray, you do your research, you settle on curriculum, and you go for it. You know what your child loves, and you work his studies around that. If you don’t know what method of philosophy to incorporate, read this .

What if your child is strong-willed ? Or your teen is a rebel ? We want to come alongside and encourage you; so here is more readily available help:

Home is where family and fun should happen. Home is where love and training should happen. Home is where education happens naturally. Home is the starting point as well as the leaping off point for all of life. Enjoy this fall season as you keep them Home Where They Belong!


Hey! The newly released Fall issue is here! We have yummy staff holiday recipes here ! And loads of articles on supplementing the family income , teaching math , music , and more!
My name is Annette and I blog at A Net in Time ( ). I love teaching people about homeschooling and interesting places to go. I also enjoy educating people about resources available to them. Teaching and offering encouragement to others is a big 
part of my blog. Come join me, won’t you?
Annette from
The answer to that is ... of course you can! :) Really, it’s not that hard.

You take your child, you look at his interests, you see where he or she struggles, and you plan out your course. You then look at your long term goal. What will your students need for their future education?

Now granted, in middle school, decisions are being made about what they might like to do yet, but at least you can pursue interests and wean some out (for instance, my son has decided being a plumber isn’t a job he’d want to pursue).

To give your child a well-rounded education, tackle different fields of study, just to see if anything spurs on an interest. You may have a student with a fascination for history (so feed into that). You can use that love of history to learn math, science, art, literature, and so much more; showing the depth of the field to inspire continued interest and showing how many directions a field of interest could take your student.

My son currently has a love of all things insects; so he’s building ant formicariums, learning to farm insects to feed those ants, learning to tell species apart; and as he learns, he’s writing reports, researching, fine tuning his spelling, and more—learning and growing!

Do you need to focus on just what they are interested in? No. You also want to give them a well-rounded education because that love of history or science may not last through high school and adulthood. Now is when you want to start to teach them to think, to ask questions, to wonder about the world, to seek to understand how people think, and to work independently.

You’ll need to teach them how to conduct research by starting with something they like in middle school. How much easier will it be for them in high school? Work out the kinks like learning to cite sources, write an essay, and learn all the different ways research happens. It is SO easy during the middle school years when your students’ interest in topics just blossoms along with a drive to learn about what does indeed interest them. :)

Middle school years are fun years with independent learning, great conversations, and diversions in study. I encourage you, follow the interests of your students, help them learn skills they’ll need in the future, and just enjoy this age. Have a fun time together!

I am Annette from A Net in Time —a Canadian momma sharing curriculum and product reviews, homeschooling, and learning about the Lord. I have a love for poetry and helping people learn new things. Come join me, won’t you?
Lee Binz, The HomeScholar
Homeschool parents can shape and mold children through the middle school years, even during bursts of hormonally charged awkwardness. You can ensure your child learns appropriate behavior in the safety of your own home, as you handle preteen academic and emotional challenges daily. 

Middle school is sometimes called Junior High, and it usually includes grades 7 to 8 or begins at age 12. The purpose of these years is to get ready for high school. You don’t have to be ready, and you have a full two years to get ready. 

The purpose of middle school for students is to train for high school. They should work at their level in each subject. This allows you the freedom to give remedial work if they need it. If they are behind in math, for example, these two years will allow you to catch them up and give extra help where needed. It also gives you the freedom to accelerate academics. Your middle schoolers can work on advanced academics (even high school level work), whenever they are ready. 

The purpose of middle school for the parent is to learn how to homeschool high school. Take online classes, read books, and listen to convention speakers that will help you learn how to homeschool high school. Practice record-keeping skills as you learn, so you are confident and ready to go when your child enters ninth grade. The reason some parents don’t continue to homeschool in high school is because of fear. They haven’t done the research on high school that would allow them to move forward in faith, believing they are capable. Learn how to homeschool through high school so you can gain the confidence to make decisions in faith—not fear. 

If your job is to get ready for high school, then there is no way for you to be behind. There is no set curriculum or subject your children need to complete to start middle school and no level or work they need to achieve in order to finish, either. Instead, keep your children challenged in their academic subjects but not overwhelmed. This is the sweet spot for homeschoolers! 

Middle school can be the sweetest, most rewarding time to homeschool. Gently guide your preteen through the physical, intellectual, and social changes that come with this age. You will be able to reconnect with your children and be encouraged and energized to prepare them for high school and beyond.

Lee Binz,  The HomeScholar  is a dynamic homeschool speaker and   author   of  Setting the Records Straight: How to Craft Homeschool Transcripts and Course Descriptions for College Admission and Scholarships   and  The HomeScholar Guide to College Admission and Scholarships .  She is an expert on how to craft a winning   homeschool transcript  and get the big scholarships. Lee understands what it takes to graduate homeschool students who are fully prepared for college and for life. Her practical advice and organized presentations have helped thousands of homeschool parents muster up the courage to complete their homeschool journey. Lee’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to homeschool through high school. You can sign up for her free monthly homeschool e-newsletter at , where you can also get a daily dose of high school help. Check out the freebies on the website, with training materials, free classes, and ebooks available for homeschool parents,  “ Free Homeschool Training . ” You can also find Lee on Facebook at .
I just deleted this long Dr. Suessian, “Sam I Am” poem about how you can teach middle school…because it stunk!!

But here’s the truth without a clever poem: YOU CAN TEACH MIDDLE SCHOOL…even high school. You know why?

Because you’re the MOM and God made you smart enough to teach YOUR middle schoolers and high schoolers in the same way he made you smart enough to teach YOUR preschoolers.

Of course experts, both secular and the homeschooling kind, will make you feel like you’re not qualified…that you need help…you need experts…and you need to do it THEIR way.

NOT TRUE! God gave your children just the mom they need. You’ll figure it out. There are helps, tools, and guides out there so that anyone can teach middle-schoolers. 

Besides, do you really believe those secular experts are doing a great job with their classrooms of middle schoolers. Come on! Wake up, and smell the middle school roses. Watch the news headlines; talk to a school teacher, and remember what you grew up in. You can do better than that.

You just need to enjoy your children and, turn them towards their own bents, likes, and passions. Give them a stable, safe home environment, and stand back and enjoy the show.

Relax and…

Be real…Mom-I-Am,

Dr. Todd Members - Did You Know?
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Lainna Callentine, M.Ed., M.D.
Navigating the Middle School Abyss
The middle shool years seem like a dark abyss spanning between the fun-loving carefree elementary years and the seemingly daunting “Now-it-Counts” high school years. How does one navigate these unique years where your child fluctuates between moments of mature pure genius and infantile breakdowns? Can you still have those joy-in-learning moments? Of course you can. Take heart!

Adolescence is a wonderful milestone in which independence and responsibilities grow. Developmentally, at the middle school stage, they are searching for identity, seeking more independence and responsibility, and valuing peer relationships. It is important to understand your student’s needs educationally, emotionally, and spiritually. Middle school students are capable of so much more than before. They gain abstract thought, a budding sense of humor, and great curiosity of understanding the importance of the materials they are learning. 

Your role as the homeschool educator also grows and changes. No longer are you just bringing morsels of knowledge, breaking it into bite size nuggets for your fledgling to digest. You are transitioning your role as educator to be more of a guide providing materials in which your student is learning to carve out and serve their own helpings of knowledge. Two things we can model for our children is how to be a learner and how to acquire information when they are uncertain. Mentoring, spiritual training, the type of learning environment, and even to a small extent curriculum choices serve as tools to guide them in their development.

Typically, teaching laboratory science and math are two areas in which some parents feel the most uncertain. It is during the middle school years that the need for equipment places new financial demands on the budget. Homeschooling gives us so much freedom and so many choices in guiding our children. Possible ways to address these concerns is considering other resources such as homeschool support groups for assistance in additional instructional strategies, on-line classes, homeschool support groups for sharing purchases and giving you more buying power, co-ops/ learning communities where instructors or other parents teach in areas that they have passion, private tutors, and clubs to name a few. 

God continues to shed light into the seeming abyss. God will not leave us stranded. Remember we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13 ESV). There is no doubt that God has called us to guide our children. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:23 ESV)

Dr. Lainna Callentine has a great love for teaching and has taught many levels. She is an author, speaker, pediatrician, homeschool mother, and missionary doctor. She holds a master’s in education and received her B.A. from Northwestern University where she studied in the School of Education majoring in Human Development and Social Policy while competing on a full athletic scholarship in basketball. She completed her M.D. and residency training in pediatrics. Dr. Callentine continues to have wonderment for the beauty of God's creation in the human body. She left formal medicine in the E.R. to stay home and homeschool her children. She is collaborating as an author with Master Books in a new exciting book series and hands-on curriculum for children showcasing the human body called “God’s Wondrous Machine.” She is also the founder of Sciexperience, an outreach ministry where she shares her passions about the biological sciences, children, education, families, and the God who created all things. Follow Dr. Callentine at and .


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Middle school is a complicated time. Your students aren’t little anymore, but neither are they quite ready for advanced high school courses. has more than 100 courses you can use to help your kids enjoy learning as they transition from elementary to high school. 

All of the classes on are self-paced. Students can move through them quickly or take as much time as they need. They can work independently when they are ready. If their interests change or they find a particular course isn’t working for them, they can switch to another with no unused textbooks or added expense. These courses are an excellent way to help students explore their interests and spark their creativity while helping them take more responsibility for their studies. 

If you’re not already a member of , we would love to have you join us. If you join during our Harvest special now through October 31, 2017, you will not only lock in your membership at a reduced monthly rate, but also receive a digital bushel of goodies valued at almost $700! If you or someone you know is interested in designing lessons for our site, please contact Director Bonnie Rose Hudson at

in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Contest Corner  
For the month of October

I am always on the hunt for good, clean, wholesome books for my kids to read. When I found the Sonrise Stable Book Series eight-book set, I was ecstatic. The entire series consists of eight titles all written by Vicki Watson. Each book costs $8.95, or the entire series can be purchased for $58.95, which is a very nice discount as an entire package. The Sonrise Stable Series includes: Rosie and Scamper, Carrie and Bandit, Clothed with Thunder, Tender Mercies, Outward Appearances, Follow the Leader, Rejoice with Me , and the Christmas book, Operation Christmas Spirit .

These books are geared toward children ages eight through thirteen. I feel like this is an accurate age range, although truthfully, older children would likely enjoy them as well. Younger children may enjoy hearing these books read aloud. I enjoyed reading them as an adult, so really the age stipulation is just a suggestion. The entire series was written because of Vicki’s love for horses at a young age. She wrote the books to share many of her life’s lessons with young readers.

The entire series is about an extended homeschooling family. Each chapter book has an overall theme based on a scriptural principle. Throughout the series the family lives, learns, and loves together. The main characters are Rosie and Carrie. Together with their families by their sides, these girls have many heartwarming adventures. There is just enough excitement from chapter to chapter to keep the reader guessing and wanting to continue reading. Each book contains some special lesson pages in the back related to the theme of the book.

While we didn’t read the series in order, the books still made complete and perfect sense to us. There were a few times that a previous event was referenced, but enough information was given that we were able to still understand the plot of each novel. What I really appreciate is the attention given to detail in the stories as well as the additional activities in the back of each book. The discussion questions alone are valuable if you wish to use this series as a reading comprehension tool for your horse-loving children. 

Since Christmas is coming up, here is a bit about Book 8: Operation Christmas Spirit .

The children all decide to work together to produce a Christmas play depicting the birth of Christ. They learn and study joyfully together, each digging into the scripture. The theme of this volume in the series is obviously about Christmas. Other events challenge the family as well: Grandma along with Rosie and Carrie hope to purchase a pony and a cart. They choose a run-down, well-worn cart that seems somewhat useless. When it is restored, they all realize the beauty that it contains. The back of this volume contains discussion questions for each chapter.

We really enjoyed reading this wholesome series. The books are easy to read and understand, making them perfect for any horse-loving child. If I had known about these books several years ago, I would have purchased them for my daughter. I highly recommend this series if you have an eight- to thirteen-year-old who just can’t get their hands on enough horse books.

YOU can WIN this full set of books for your homeschool! 

TO ENTER : Click on over to our entry page and follow the instructions! Contest ends at midnight, the last day of the month.
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