Middle School Time Out

Middle School Time Out

If you have a middle school child you probably can relate to one of my weeks.  One days is “funtastic” and so smooth, yet the very next day feels like pulling teeth to get through a Math lesson.

We can be sitting side-by side enjoying a science project loving every single second of homeschool.  Then in a flash I am reminding the same child about his privilege to be homeschooled and the nerve he must have to complain!

I realized I had a choice to stand there and give lectures or take a “middle school time-out”.

I wish I could say I made the choice within seconds, but it took months of wearing me down and wearing me out before it clicked.  Our relationship started to feel strained and smiles became forced. Why was I homeschooling again?

I stopped listing our blessings and the necessity to learn math (and grammar).
I refused to fight every single sour mood.
I decided to stop and evaluate the situation.
Instead of dying on another homeschool hill I started asking questions.

Middle School Time-Out
1. Is this hunger talking? I know how much I act like a drama queen when I am hungry!  Preteens can act worse.  Feed the beast with some protein not more junk sugar snacks!
2. Is this exhaustion talking? Who wants to do math when you’re tired and can’t focus? Suggest a nap or put the harder subject later when they are more awake. {next time incorporate an earlier bedtime preteens need sleep}
3. Is this sickness talking? Don’t push through a lesson if someone is not feeling well. Schooling in bed is fun – not when you’re sick.
4. Is this anger talking? I can not get through a lesson if my son is mad at his brother or upset about something else. We always need to talk that out and pray before we can focus on school.
5. Is this space talking? We all need a few minutes to collect ourselves and we can extend that to our children too.  Offer some quiet time to your middle school student to be alone and think through some things themselves. This is me quieting my own voice so God can convict him of his behavior.
6. Is this a prayer need? Some things do not fit into a beautiful check-off sheet. I encourage you to pray and take your own time-out to seek what is the source of the problem or struggle. God will reveal it!

Preteen emotions start swinging high and low, but your homeschool days do not have to reflect that. I firmly believe we do not have to get worked up nor emotional about it. Take a middle school time-out, ask yourself some questions, and evaluate the situation.

stef layton headshotBio: Stef Latyon has lived in Florida for majority of her life. She is wife to Thad, a golf course architect, and homeschool mom to two hands-on active boys. When she’s not planning the next great field trip, she enjoys yoga and tennis. Stef started blogging in 2007 and shares fun tactile learning projects as well as intentional parenting tips at EducatingLaytons.com.