Large family homeschooling middle school curriculum ideas from a mom of 10. These are actual products we have used in our homeschool.
This year, I only have one middle schooler – age 12. As I mentioned in the Elementary Homeschool Curriculum post, he has been lumped together with the 8 and 10 year olds as part of the “little boys” for so long I’m having a hard time separating him out to have him start doing more jr. high-ish work.
But, he needs to keep challenging himself, and we are seeing the beginnings of a more responsible, more mature young man in this “little boy.” So, this year we will be slowly leading him to more and more independent school work, including classes that interest him and hone in on his passions and giftings.
OK! Let’s start at the top of the day…
Morning Time for Middle Schoolers in a Large Family
Our Morning Time has always been done first thing in the morning with everyone altogether, and I tend to “teach to the middle,” meaning I choose curriculum, topics, and information that are most relevant to the child or children who are in middle of the ages I am currently teaching.
For this year, my 10 and 12 year olds are my middle ages, so I am focusing on upper elementary and middle school and then supplementing extra literature and projects for my high schoolers and coloring pages and fun projects for my little girls.
READ >> Morning Time with Multiple Ages
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Morning Time, let me begin by explaining that Morning Time can be ANYTHING you want it to be. You can use the time to do something simple like Bible and a Read Aloud (Read >> Making Morning Time Easy) or buy a ready-made Charlotte Mason Morning Time curriculum. (Our favorite is The Homeschool Garden.)
In our homeschool, we start with Bible (more on this in a moment). After Bible, we do a combination of The Homeschool Garden and the history lessons from Tapestry of Grace, with lots of extras mixed in from Music in Our Homeschool and You ARE An Artist.
Rather than get into the details in this post of how we put all of this together, I have a post where I share exactly what our Morning Time currently looks like, so you can get an idea of how I incorporate all of these curricula into one Morning Time setting!
READ >> What Our Homeschool Morning Time Currently Looks Like [COMING SOON]
However, I will share each of these components one by one below:
Bible Study for Middle School Homeschoolers
Last year, we started GrapeVine Bible Lessons (that link goes to my review). My 12 year old has really enjoyed it. He’s quite an artist, so he often embellishes his stick figures!
However, we are getting close to the end of our New Testament lessons, so I chose a whole new way of doing Bible compared to what my kids are used to – Obedience Bible Study from Not Consumed.
The reason this is so different is because I’m not doing THE SAME thing with ALL of the children. Not Consumed has each member of the family do Bible study on their own and then come together to discuss the topic. I’m really excited about trying something different!
History for the Large Family Homeschool
I have always preferred to do History as a group because years ago I found a curriculum that allowed me to do this and I fell in love!
Tapestry of Grace is that curriculum, and although we have taken a few breaks from it over the years, I have always come back to TOG because it is so robust, so comprehensive, and so wonderful in its concept that I simply cannot stay away.
Take a look at my Tapestry of Grace page here on Raising Arrows to learn more about how I make this curriculum work for our large family!
So, we do lessons from Tapestry of Grace as a family during Morning Time. You can see this in action if you read my Large Family Homeschool Life posts!
Fine Arts for Middle School Homeschoolers
I also really like to supplement the Tapestry of Grace lessons with lessons from Music in Our Homeschool! These music-based lessons are so wonderful and so easy to use. Everything is online and works well with a variety of ages. And there are so many topics to choose from!
This year, we are using:
And for holidays, we’ll use:
We are also using their Charlotte Mason Fine Arts class off and on this year. I LOVE the art appreciation questions included in the class!
But these are just the tip of the iceberg! Take a look at the website and start dreaming up ways to incorporate music into YOUR homeschool!
Art for Middle Schoolers
Once or twice a month, we do art projects during Morning Time as a family. I usually do this toward the end of Morning Time and usually on a Thursday (the last day of the week we homeschool since we do a 4 Day a Week Homeschool Schedule).
My philosophy on art in homeschooling is that it needs to be:
- Simple with few supplies.
- Integrates with what we are already learning.
- Something I can do with the entire family.
That’s why I chose You ARE An Artist chalk art lessons for our art! Chalk is a very forgiving medium and everyone can participate.
Once Morning Time is finished, I send everyone off to do their independent school work. At the middle school age, my son rarely needs my help, but I am available to him whenever he has a question or is struggling with something – usually in math.
Individual work for this age includes Math, Spelling (only if needed – READ THIS to understand why I don’t require everyone to do Spelling), Science, and electives of interest (see the Graphic Design class below).
I also want to note here that Tapestry of Grace has Literature included in the lesson plans, so I assign him books to read based off the recommendations from TOG. He reads these books as part of his individual school work.
Before I get into the specifics of their individual school work, I would highly recommend you get my ecourse Creating a Homeschool Schedule You Love! This ecourse will help you put your entire homeschool day on autopilot, including your children’s individual school subjects. GET IT HERE >>
Homeschool Math for Middle Schoolers
Micah started Teaching Textbooks Grade 7 over the summer, and while I can tell it is challenging him, he seems to be doing well with it.
Teaching Textbooks is really great for a large family because it is so flexible – especially the 4.0 app version! It just makes it easier on me!
READ >> Teaching Textbooks 4.0 Review
Spelling for Middle Schoolers
You would hope by the time your kids get to middle school, they are spelling well, but for some kids that just isn’t the case. Micah is one of those kids who will probably always need spell check, but I want him to keep working on spelling here at home with the hopes that he will eventually be able to figure out most words. Spelling is a tough one for me because it seems like it just isn’t a one size fits all kind of subject.
The best program I have found for struggling spellers is Phonetic Zoo.
Years ago, I listened to Andrew Pudewa of Institute for Excellence in Writing talk about Spelling and Brain. This program from IEW uses those concepts to teach your children to put letters in sequential order. It is super helpful for auditory learners, but great for any child struggling to learn how to spell.
Homeschool Jr. High Science
Other Classes for Middle Schoolers
Micah is interested in computers, so I am having him take a Graphic Design class from Techie Homeschool Mom.
I’ll have a review up once he’s used it for a while, but the course syllabus looks fantastic!
If I add anything else to his homeschooling this year, I’ll update this post, so keep it bookmarked!
You can find all of our Homeschool Curriculum Choices HERE >>