Homeschooling Middle School: Evolving Interests and Learning

Homeschooling middle school is so different! Emily’s interests and the things she wants to learn about are constantly changing. It’s much harder to practice interest-led learning now and I need to get creative about it.

Even though things are changing, our interest-led learning approach is still filled with benefits for older children. As we discover new interests and fun new ways to learn together, we’re building a strong connection to carry us through all the changes. 

Ready to discover the secret to interest-led learning in middle school? Keep reading to learn more about our latest learning adventure and get tips for applying an interest-led learning approach in your homeschool too.

Interest-Led Learning For Older Children

We’re big fans of an interest-led learning approach for lots of reasons. It has helped us to pursue lifelong learning and cultivate a love of learning in our homeschool. Interest-led learning isn’t just valuable for young children, there are benefits to practicing interest-led learning for older children too.

Following an interest-led learning approach to homeschooling is certainly simpler when children are young. Elementary-age kids can explore and pursue all the topics they’re curious about and study everything that fascinates them without as much of a need for rubrics or checklists. When you begin homeschooling middle school, it gets a bit more challenging.

During the middle school years, we feel the pressure to ensure our kids are learning certain skills and concepts more intensely as thoughts of high school credits and transcripts feel closer rather than farther away. Additionally, middle school learners are evolving. Their interests are changing and once-beloved topics don’t seem to spark curiosity the way they once did.

However, interest-led learning for older children is still helpful and worthwhile. While channeling their interests might be more challenging for us, it’s still a fantastic way to teach new concepts and encourage engagement.

Homeschooling Middle School with Interest-led Learning

Homeschooling middle school can be tons of fun with an interest-led learning approach! The middle school years are an opportunity to dive deeper into the topics and activities your child is passionate about together. 

I’ll admit that it can be harder to have fun in this season of homeschooling. Cardboard boxes and play dough aren’t nearly as fascinating as they were when Emily was younger. They’ve been replaced by thinking putty and complicated Lego sets. 

We’re trying new things and finding new passions as we homeschool through the middle school years here at The Waldock Way. One of our favorite new activities is archery. Emily is learning archery through our local 4H chapter and with the help of her grandfather since he has been shooting for years and is an amazing resource for the beginner archer.

Through archery, Emily has learned patience, confidence, and improved her ability to focus. Archery is a fantastic way to teach a ton of important life skills to your middle schoolers too. The sport teaches kids discipline, responsibility, and persistence in addition to the skills mentioned above. Plus, it is something we can do together as a family and it’s a lot of fun too!

I have really enjoyed the challenge of taking this new found interest and finding ways to be creative with her learning. For example when she is practicing we will leave out a 100 foot measuring tape and have her convert feet to yards to shoot from specific distances and this is only one of the many ways I am thinking outside the box to extend her interest in the sport.

If you’re interest in trying your hand at archery I reccomend checking out this Guide to Getting Started with Archery. Here are some of our personal archery favorites:



Competing in archery events can also be an excellent way to provide socialization and opportunities for kids to connect with their peers. During the middle school years, forming friendships with other kids becomes more important for children. If you’re homeschooling an only child, you can help facilitate that need with sports and clubs like archery. Emily has met some of her best friends through archery, and if I’m being honest Kevin and I have made some awesome friends too.

Resources For Interest-Led Learning In Your Homeschool

Need more resources for interest-led learning in your homeschool? We have lots of fun interest-led tips and learning tools to help you practice interest-led learning in your homeschool. Check out some of our favorite resources below:

My favorite thing about practicing an interest-led learning approach is how it helps foster a deeper connection with Emily. Discovering new passions together and connecting over things she likes has helped ensure a strong connection and lots of opportunities for quality time together, which is even more important as we work through the middle school years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *