Preparing Middle Schoolers for High School- Special Replay

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Preparing Middle Schoolers for High School- Special Replay. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Preparing Middle Schoolers for High School- Special Replay

Preparing Middle Schoolers for High School

Are you preparing middle schoolers for high school? Are they ready for the rigors of high-school level studies? Feeling stressed about it?

Never fear! Homeschool Highschool Podcast is here to help. With years of homeschooling middle school AND high school we have discovered a few REALLY helpful tips! In this special replay, 7SistersHomeschool’s Sabrina and Marilyn share some encouraging tips to help you love your middle school years.

Some parents get SO stressed out about the high school years.

They fearfully ask themselves:

  • Can our tween do high-school level academics?
  • Should we make our tween jump ahead to high-school level textbooks?

As you have noticed (and we always say): There’s not ONE kind of homeschooler so there’s not ONE right way to homeschool, especially middle school.

  • Some middle schoolers are academic wiz-kids.
    • They are ready to start earning high school credits in seventh and eighth grades. (Unfortunately, we have seen that sometimes these young folks burn themselves out by junior year- we will talk about that.)
  • Other middle schoolers do not care that high school is looming.
    • They are still enjoying their childhood and are definitely not matured enough (emotionally and/or academically) to face high school in a couple of years- we will talk about that, too.)
  • And on the other hand, some are a little ahead on some academics and grade-level on others.

You know what we tell those parents?

WHEN your tween is a teen and is IN high school, they will be developmentally ready for high school academics. While some middle schoolers are advanced academically, many are not. Why push an average-level tween to do super difficult academics? That’s a recipe for burnout!

Rather than push your middle schooler before they are ready for high-school academics, think about this:

Why not individualize some high-school preparation priorities for each of your middle schoolers?

Would one of these priorities or goals be good fits for your middle schoolers?

  • Work on starting to gradually pass the ownership of academic subjects over to your tween. For instance:

    • Depending on the curriculum you are doing, you can teach them to use a simple syllabus.
      • If your tween is just starting to learn about syllabi, you might need to make a simple bullet list of homework due dates and/or color code assignments and due dates.
      • Some tweens need for you to suggest the amount of time they might need in order to finish each assignment.
    • They can take a co-op or group class and learn to bring their homework to class (with their names on it).
      • Give them a backpack just for co-op and teach them to put their folders with homework assignments right in the backpack as soon as they finish it. Talk about paying attention in class so when the teacher calls for homework, they remember to actually hand it in.
  • Teach tweens how to triage their assignments.

      • If they have several assignments due at the same time, help them think about when and where each assignment should be done
        • Some courses need to be done early in the day when they feel energetic and what can they put off until the end of the day
        • Which assignment is the most important (as in: a bigger project is more pressing than a spelling assignment for many tweens)
        • Are there assignments they need help with (as in: trips to the library, extra time on the family computer, one-on-one time with mom)
          • Teach tweens how to ask parents for resource help:
            • Does your tween need a working printer (as in, it is not out of ink)?
            • Are there textbooks or other materials they need from their parents?
          • Along that line, teach tweens to politely advocate for themselves in co-op or live online classes.
    • Decide together where graded papers are kept (for portfolio reviews or for the rare class that has a cumulative final exam).
    • Do you have to occasionally allow a recalcitrant tween to fail (and then make sure there are enforced consequences)?

One of the surprising things we have learned is that high schoolers need life skills and study skills that are a bit more complex than they needed in middle school. If they begin working on those during middle school, they are less likely to need to play catch up while they are trying to keep up with their academics.

THAT’S important stuff middle schoolers can do to prepare for high school.

Join Sabrina and Marilyn for an important episode on life skills and study skills that middle schoolers need when preparing for high school!

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Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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