Our middle school girl is a busy, kinesthetic learner who loves to craft. She loves to make things. Do things. Move. Participate. Give her a display board for a biography report. Let her make a salt dough map. She loves to color while I read. Crafts, creations, busy. That’s her.
You may remember a couple of years ago I shared about the organization we put in place with her in mind. Take a peek at the baskets and more we found for organizing her creative supplies: Fifth Grade Kinesthetic Learner: Curriculum and Organization. “For a kinesthetic learner with many ‘things’ this storage helps keep her supplies handy. Plus helps keep this mama sane. This organization has been a big part of our homeschool planning. To meet needs. To make learning centers natural. And, many times, to make storage vertical!”
And while I’m not an expert in learning styles, I do know my children. I have studied learning styles and have noticed big improvements when I tailor our studies to my children’s individual learning styles.
As you might imagine, this child spreads things far and wide. So, in an attempt to corral somewhat, we’ve turned to baskets. And they are working pretty well by making clean up easier. She has an overflowing basket in our school room – mostly for crafts and writing materials. (The one overflowing, with the lid propped open). Her grammar book and writing binder are stored together in one spot under the printer.
Making writing easy for her gives her a practical way to practice spelling. She can send a card to Grandma and Grandpa or to a pen pal, using all her creative juices. How do you spell….? she will ask. All without the aid of a list of words in a workbook.
In the family room, she has another basket full of craft supplies. Notice the stack of duct tape on the end table? Along with the iPod earbuds…She is heavy into duct tape projects. (She’s also my biggest blogger – with a duct tape series). And all the papers left out from drawing and crafting while watching TV the night before. Plus, a favorite Where’s Waldo.
But I’ve also realized in the last couple of years that I need to teach this busy girl some balance. So, I have some one on one time with her almost every evening. After the younger two get tucked in, she and I talk while we play Blokus, watch a favorite TV show or play cards. Something calming and not so busy.
Afternoon quiet time – is another way to teach a busy child to have a bit of alone time. Besides being a great habit for the children, it’s built in down time for Mama.
Middle School Curriculum Choices
You might know that my husband and I are owners of The Curriculum Choice homeschool review site. So we extend a standing invitation to visit there at any time. The group of fellow, veteran homeschoolers there regularly shares reviews of those favorites that they use in their homes and love for their homeschools. You’ll notice that many of my reviews link over to The Curriculum Choice.
In the past I have shared our homeschool curriculum choices by grade. I list those below. But from now on I will keep our middle school choices here in one spot: 6th Grade Curriculum Choices for Kinesthetic Learner
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Bible and Character Training
- Power of a Praying Kid – a devotional handed down to her by her brother. I’ve so enjoyed the prayer devotionals by Stormie O’Martian and I know she will too!
- Answers in Genesis Answers Book for Teens
Passport to Purity – In the middle school years, each of our children go on an extended weekend trip in celebration of turning 12. The child gets to choose anywhere within the continental United States. This is a one on one time to build memories and talk about growing up. This special time is a habit we learned from some trusted friends.
Our Eldest Girl when she was twelve
More detail and the Passport to Purity curriculum we use in the post: You Must Do This. “Make the plans, slowly set aside the money, move forward praying through the obstacles…Soak up the reward, laugh and laugh, enjoy the freedom to focus your time, twirl and play, relax and be honest, channel the investment in your child’s life…Revel in each detail falling into place and recognize the One who designed three days you couldn’t possibly have…Hug that girl super tight ‘cause she’ll only be twelve once.”
The best thing that you can give your children, next to good habits, is good memories. ~Barbara Johnson
- Rod and Staff English. Especially in middle school, Rod and Staff English includes writing assignments and poetry. Because she also has Tapestry of Grace writing assignments, we often choose between the two each week. We pick whatever fits our studies best.
- Spelling Workout – It offers a variety of practice not only in spelling but in editing, paragraph writing. Plus there are just fun word games like crossword puzzles.
- A Reason for Handwriting – The last level, F, is one completed in sixth grade. This is the program we have used most of our homeschool years.
- Presidential Penmanship - I have been going back to Annie Kate’s review since she posted it a couple of years ago. Since the A Reason for Handwriting series ends in sixth grade, this is the perfect way to continue to practice penmanship while copying valuable information. “Copy work from Washington’s Rules of Civility and related Bible texts, longer presidential quotes, the Gettysburg Address, the Declaration of Independence, and Reagan’s Inaugural Address, among others.”
- Creative Writing – New Millennium Girls Creative Writing Curriculum for Tweens
Middle School Math
Teaching Textbooks – middle school is where we have hit bumps in the math road. Teaching Textbooks sure helps! We made the switch from Saxon to Teaching Textbooks in middle school with our older children.
Key To… series – these have come in handy when one concept or another is challenging.
Middle School Science and Nature Study
Still our favorites! Even more detail in our Homeschool Science with Multiple Ages.
The children received a set of science books as a Christmas gift two different years. Eldest Boy specifically asked for God’s Design for Heaven and Earth for his ‘something to read’ gift.
- Answers in Genesis God’s Design for Science series makes it something to look forward to. We’ve been through several of the unit studies that make up a year of science. Lately we’ve picked subjects to complement our Tapestry of Grace history studies.
- Apologia Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day – last year our middle schooler enjoyed Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day. The accompanying notebooking journal was perfect for her hands on learning style. That was her favorite part!
- Outdoor Hour Challenges by Handbook of Nature Study
- Seasonal studies like Nature Study Through the Holidays: Easter (from NaturExplorers)
History and Geography
- Technology and photography – Creating images for me to share. Plus, middle school is a perfect time for Digital Photography Unit Study by Amanda Bennett
- We’re also planning to pick more technology and creativity topics at Lynda.com. Our middle schooler completed a photography course last year.
Art, Art Appreciation, Fine Arts
How an Art Box Inspires Artists – I often hear fellow mamas say that they would love to offer their children more chances for art every day. That statement is usually followed by: but I…Let me offer you a simple solution. An art box. See, I am very much the practical and make-it-easy type of mother. This solution is so practical you will find it easy to pull out the supplies for an afternoon of art.
We often pull out the chalk pastels and do an art project around a favorite book we are reading. Last year we aimed to do a Painting a Day! (even something as easy as paint with water.)
- Appreciation of Fine Arts – Piano lessons and drama troupe plus…
And of course, our Art for Ages bundle of chalk pastel tutorials.
More on All We Love for Homeschooling Middle School
- We use a Well Planned Day Student Planner during middle school for organizing assignments and building independence toward high school. A valuable tool for our Weekly Homeschool Planning Meeting for Multiple Ages.
- My Craftiness Pinterest board is one I created to catalog projects mainly for my busy girl.
- Even more resources at Curriculum Choice! Our authors shared Choosing Middle School Homeschool Curriculum
- the 10 Parts of the Hodgepodge Schedule – (including how we fit in all the extras, afternoon quiet time and the household service opportunities)
- Finishing Strong – a weekly link up for homeschoolers to share middle and high school resources. This is a wonderful resource!
Our middle school children join in all that we do together for history, science, art, music appreciation and more. Each at their own age and ability level.
Hodgepodge Homeschool Curriculum Choices
Each of these links will be live as I share about them:
- Preschool and Kindergarten Curriculum Choices
- Elementary Homeschool Curriculum Choices
- Middle School Homeschool Curriculum Choices
- High School Homeschool Curriculum Choices
- Multiple ages – all those resources we enjoy with all ages together
Linking up to iHomeschool Network’s Not Back to School Blog Hop!
Be sure to stop back by or subscribe now (just enter your email address in the subscribe field in the upper right hand corner). I’ll be sharing more of our curriculum choice for all our ages – finishing up with high school – over the next few weeks.
23 Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
Are you homeschooling middle schoolers?