As children get older, they are better able to articulate ideas and share information about their favorite subjects, their preferred learning styles, and their interests in particular extracurricular activities. This makes homeschooling a great way to help them continue their journey as lifelong learners. You can easily switch from one curriculum to another if you have the means to do so. Perhaps an online math course like CTCMath (read our review from this year here) is not working for your family so you might need to change to one that is pen and paper with a more traditional textbook approach. Or maybe your child does not like to read but enjoys listening to audiobooks. Homeschooling will allow you to pick the right way to teach your child.
You can also start to pick and choose the courses that your child is interested in (as long as it aligns with any state requirements). So, if your child wants to learn about computers, coding, and creating games, you don't have to worry if the elective course is filled (like you may if your child attended public school). They can take any course they want as long as you can find one. Yes, there may be some online courses that have a limited number of openings but you can keep looking till you find one that will work for your child and budget. Homeschooling is really all about flexibility!
If you are unsure of how to teach a certain subject there are many wonderful resources available to you. For example, many companies offer full curriculum kits while also offering you the opportunity to purchase individual products from their sites. Timberdoodle, Memoria Press, BJU Press Homeschool (see our review of Focus on Fives here), and My Father's World (read our review here) are several company examples. So if you need a science book, you might look at the Apologia books sold on Timberdoodle (read our post about Exploring Creation with Astronomy here) or perhaps the Mammals Set sold through Memoria Press.
Another great option that our family loves is SchoolhouseTeachers.com. The site offers over 475 courses which means that every subject and every grade is covered. They even have new Curriculum Boxes that weave together their current courses so you can open and go following the guide. For example, in the 7th Grade Curriculum Box, you can use either a traditional or classical approach to history. If you choose to take a traditional approach to history, your child will complete the Renaissance to World War II history course. If you choose to add in the art from the Curriculum Box, your child will complete assignments from five different art courses offered on SchoolhouseTeachers.com. It is designed for you to follow but you can also be flexible – picking and choosing what works for you.
Take It One Day at at Time
The middle school years can also be a time of great change for your child. So, remember to take it one day at a time. If you are planning to homeschool your child through graduation from high school, you have lots of time to ensure they learn the things that they need to as well as helping them become lifelong learners. You do not have to master every skill in every course nor complete every page. They wouldn't necessarily finish their textbook or workbooks if they attended public school. And if you need extra time, finish up your language arts curriculum at the start of the next school year. Remember to be flexible. Have a great homeschool year!