How did I get a middle schooler? Just yesterday my oldest daughter was 2, with pigtails and giggles. Now she’s a preteen with braces and a purse and a self-proclaimed sense of high fashion. I’m struggling to understand.
As we begin a new year, I keep asking myself – how are we already to middle school? We were just in Kindergarten last week, right?
If we were in public school she would be getting a new building, a new bus, and an earlier report time (which, by the way, I think kids need their sleep so you can just add that “not having to get up at 6am to ride the 650a bus” as another reason we love homeschooling) but I digress!
Instead, my 6th grader is getting new school supplies, some new books, and can sleep in when needed. But she still is in middle school. I just can’t believe it!
So, as we prepare for our 1st year of middle school, I’m hoping we make this a growing year for her. Though we have given her more and more responsibilities and independence in her learning, we’ve been very lenient when she hasn’t followed through. I believe this year we have to help her become a more independent learner and I think it’s going to be a great year!
I’ll be honest – I remember my 6th grade year in school quite vividly in some areas. I started in the middle school, had my locker, my new bus, my earlier schedule, my changing class schedule, and an early lunch. My friends were great. I attended football and basketball games, was becoming immersed in my passion for ballet, noticing boys, and was a pretty decent student (I liked the subject’s I was studying.) BUT I HATED 6TH GRADE! I’m hoping my daughter has a better memory of hers.
But the reasons I hated 6th grade were not about maturity or a heavier workload or another academic – they were the newfound pressures of middle school like boys and makeup and the ‘right clothes’ and cliques and bullies and mean girls and fitting in. So, sometimes I’m hopeful that at least some of those experiences are dramatically different in my daughters world because we homeschool.
However, just because we homeschool does not mean we live in a bubble. She still feels the pressures from her friends to keep up. They have phones and Facebook accounts and some more clothes from Justice. She naturally has the inclination to want these too. We all struggle as parents to find the balance, right?
So we have a 6th grader – a middle schooler. And that means that we have arrived at the grade I have almost dreaded in the back of my mind. I want to make it a good year- no, a great year, as we all learn to navigate these new middle school years.
We are planning out our 6th grade year. Our last year of Classical Conversations Foundations program for our oldest daughter. A year of learning a new instrument, digging deeper into her personal relationship with God, and sorting through all that comes emotionally all while balance a heavier work load and a little more planned out schedule as we prepare for the challenging program that is just one year away.
I’m both excited and nervous for 6th grade. But right now we are focusing on being excited. Here’s to the middle school years, may they be smooth and straight and full of adventure!
Ready. Set. Middle School!