I started homeschooling my oldest daughter in second grade. It was easy. At that point, she was adding and subtracting, identifying subjects and verbs, and learning about the needs of living things. As she got older, homeschooling got harder. She began simplifying algebraic expressions, identifying adjectival and adverbial phrases, collecting and classifying insects, writing essays, and analyzing literature. The jump from elementary school to middle school is not easy, even for homeschoolers. Having the best middle school homeschool curriculum for your child can make the transition a lot easier. Here are some tips for finding the best middle school homeschool curriculum for your child.
Middle School Homeschool Curriculum Options
There are many middle school curriculum options available for homeschoolers. Many homeschool parents don’t feel comfortable teaching middle-school subjects, they often rely on online courses. Other families choose to use a self-paced or parent-led curriculum. The best homeschool curriculum for your family will often be based on several factors, affordability, your homeschooling style, state requirements, and your family’s makeup.
A Biblical Worldview
A worldview is “a set of basic beliefs, assumptions, and values that arise from a narrative about the world.” Everyone (and every publisher) has a worldview. Some worldviews are antithetical to biblical teaching. We need a curriculum with every subject written from a biblical worldview that will encourage our children to look to and trust God’s Word in all areas of life.
An Emphasis on Developing Critical Thinking Skills
Success in education goes beyond test results. We want to teach children how to use information to solve problems and evaluate ideas. The development of these critical thinking skills—knowing how to use information to analyze, create, make applications, and evaluate—takes practice.
Using questioning, hands-on activities, analysis of primary sources, real-life problem solving, graphic organizers, and writing projects helps to develop critical thinking skills.
A Multisensory Approach to Learning
No two students are the same. Each child has strengths, weaknesses, and preferred learning styles. Your child may be a visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or read/write learner. You will want to find a multi-sensory middle school homeschool curriculum that addresses all types of learners.
As your children enter middle school, you will want to make sure that they are prepared for the academic rigor of high school and collegiate courses. Find a curriculum that challenges and keeps children motivated. Concepts and skills should be introduced in a logical sequence and systematically reviewed.
The Support You Need
The amount and types of support you need will depend on your own educational background, your family’s makeup, and your homeschooling experience. Video options and teacher editions will maximize your time. You will want to look for curriculum features that will make your job as a homeschool parent easier for grading, reporting, and scheduling tools. Make sure the middle school curriculum you choose has all the features you need to homeschool successfully.
Highlights of the BJU Press Middle School Curriculum
BJU Press’s middle school curriculum acts as a bridge between the elementary years and the challenging high school years. Each course addresses the needs of all types of learners and focuses on the development of critical-thinking and independent-study skills. This will help students succeed in whatever the Lord calls them to do. Best of all, every subject in the BJU Press middle school curriculum is written from a biblical worldview.
Middle School Subjects
Below are some of the courses that your child will study in middle school.
Math 6 prepares middle-school homeschool students for high-school math courses by building understanding of math principles related to geometry, fractions, decimals, statistics and graphs, pre-algebra, and more. It encourages students to apply math to solve everyday problems.
Science 6 explores the basics of earth science, life science, physical science, and anatomy to build a foundation for future science courses. Throughout the course, middle-school homeschoolers have hands-on opportunities to practice science skills through activities and labs.
Heritage Studies 6 covers ancient history (creation through the Middle Ages) and emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills through the evaluation of primary source documents related to justice, power, citizenship, and the environment.
Spelling 6 emphasizes the importance of spelling’s role in clear communication. It teaches middle-school students predictable spelling patterns and word relationships through word sorting, word study, and proofreading activities.
English 6 gives students the tools they need to communicate effectively. English 6 covers all eight parts of speech, sentence types and structures, and capitalization, punctuation, and usage rules. Students will use the writing process to write a personal narrative, instructions, a compare/contrast essay, historical fiction, poetry, a research paper, and a cover letter.
Reading 6 will introduce students to literary and informational texts. This will help them develop reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. Students will be encouraged to apply a biblical worldview to the reading selections.
Fundamentals of Math reinforces computational skills and ensures a solid understanding of math principles. This will help prepare students for pre-algebra. It encourages students to apply math to everyday problems.
Life Science covers the structure and functions of cells, genetics, heredity, reproduction, the six living kingdoms, and health. It discusses creation and evolution and equips students to defend their faith.
World Studies continues where Heritage Studies 6 left off and covers world history from the Middle Ages through the present. It focuses on the comparison of governments, religions, economic systems, and cultures.
Writing & Grammar 7 reviews concepts and introduces students to the eight parts of speech and the five basic sentence patterns. Writing projects include informative, narrative, argumentative and article writing.
Exploring Themes in Literature introduces students to high-quality reading selections in a variety of genres and encourages them to think critically about each selection. It teaches literary terminology and strategies for analysis and appreciation.
Pre Algebra introduces algebraic expressions and linear equations by building a thorough understanding of operations on integers, fractions, decimals, percents, and radicals. Students will explore relations and functions using equations, tables, graphs, statistics, and geometry.
Earth Science studies geology, oceanography, the atmosphere, minerals and fossils, the solar system, and more from a young-earth creationist perspective. Students will have many opportunities to participate in hands-on
– learning activities that will deepen their understanding.
American Republic is a comprehensive study of American history from its founding to the present day. Special emphasis is given to American values and how they have shaped American history.
Writing & Grammar 8 reviews concepts and introduces students to progressive tense, voice, mood, adjective and adverbial clauses, parenthesis, brackets, dashes, and ellipses. Writing projects can include informative, narrative, argumentative writing and multi-genre project.
Literature 8: Making Connections in Literature introduces students to relevant and current selections in a variety of genres. Middle-school students will grow in their ability to analyze literary features, read with understanding, and evaluate big ideas.
A Complete Middle School Homeschool Curriculum
You can purchase BJU Press materials individually. Full-grade online kits come with access to high-quality video courses taught by experienced teachers and all the printed materials you need. With a full-grade kit, you can have the confidence that all your child’s educational materials are working together to teach a biblical worldview and provide your child with a consistent educational experience.