Is Middle School a Waste of Time?
Three years. That's how long middle school is. By the time a child reaches middle school, they typically have a pretty firm foundation in grammar and vocabulary, sentence structure, and the basics of writing an essay. Especially with today's "new" teaching methods.
By middle school, most children know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Most of them have already been exposed to some form of pre-algebra. Many high schoolers are at these same levels, due to the dumbing down of our education system.
Now, skip ahead to high school. What core courses do they take? English, Science, History, Math. Evaluate the materials and courses for middle school. Compare them to high school. Compare them to the last year of elementary school. Do you see any overlapping? If so, middle school may be insignificant.
This doesn't mean your child sits and does nothing for three years. Rather, this may be the best time to reinforce any weaknesses and let them excel in their strengths. One thing for certain, your child will not fall behind if you use these three years to their advantage.
As far as transcripts, examine what is required in your state. Does your state have any restrictions on dual transcripts? This is when you are taking a more advanced class that also meets or exceeds the requirements for a lesser class. For example, if a high schooler takes a course through a local college that fulfills the requirements for college level biology, the grade is both recorded on their high school transcript, as well as their college transcript. This is called dual enrollment.
Dual enrollment for college/high school is saving parents huge amounts of money – their child is able to begin racking up college credits before graduating high school, and can take as few as one class per semester to lessen the financial burden. Some states are even offering college tuition credit for homeschooled high schoolers to begin early enrollment (you typically can't access these funds until they are at least 15 or in the 11th grade, but check with your state).
Why then, can't a middle schooler do the same thing? If you have a 7th or 8th grader, who is capable of doing high school level biology or high school English, then why not record the work on both their high school and middle school record and let them do the high school course? You could do the same thing for math, history, and any subject. If your middle schooler is exceptionally advanced, have them take the Compass test to see where they are in math, science, and English. They might just qualify to start taking college classes now. (The Compass test is administered by the ACT organization, is proctored at the local community or city college, and is used to gauge readiness to take college courses for someone who has not yet graduated from high school).
With all of these resources and ideas ask yourself, is middle school really significant? Do you really need to go out and spend money on books and materials for "middle" school? Of course, this will depend on the individual child and you may have to do partial middle school (for review and catching up) and partial high school. In the long run, when they do finally apply to a college, the middle school transcripts are not part of that – only the high school transcripts.
Just remember that some states may require you to keep a record for middle school as well, so be sure to check with your state. But if they do, then the dual enrollment that was mentioned above would work.
If you would like to know more about how to skip middle school step by step and give your child an advantage without forcing them to stay behind simply because of "grade levels", register as a Plus member with HECOA and sign up for our 12-module course – Homeschooling High School and Beyond – a very indepth training that leaves nothing out of the high school process!!