Between 5th grade and high school, your child will discover her passions and her own voice.
Provide plenty of physical outlets for your child’s energy. Organized teams, private lessons, or even a new bike can help set tweens on a healthy route toward adulthood.
Give your child plenty of freedom now so that he can learn to use it responsibly. Now is a good time to make mistakes.
Give your child lots of opportunities to express himself. Write papers, make movies, create petitions.
Set deadlines and goal without serious consequences. These are the years to teach your child how to follow through on a project or assignment, but you don’t want to create homeschool stress by setting the stakes too high.
Some days, your child will act like a toddler. Some days, he will act like he’s in college. This is normal.
Your child is navigating big emotional changes. Try not to take it personally.
Schedule plenty of time for hanging out with friends. Kids this age care about social relationships more than almost anything else.
Let your child set up and decorate her learning space however she wants.
Plan lots of hands-on projects and activities.
Take dance breaks.
Travel whenever you can, wherever you can.
Make rules together. Talk about them. Enforce them.
Try lots of different activities. See which ones stick.
Keep reading together.
Make time for volunteer work.
Be as patient with yourself as you are with your child — and vice versa.
Explore other options, like charter schools or private school, to see what they offer. You can borrow some of their good ideas.
Take more field trips. By high school, scheduling will be a challenge.
Focus on teaching your child how to learn, not on teaching her a set of facts to memorize.
You will have bad days. Move past them.
Take some personality tests — such as the Myers-Briggs test or an emotional intelligence test — together, and compare your results. Use the opportunity to get to know each other and the best ways to work together.
Keep a reading log. Looking back at it will remind you that you really are doing a good job.
Resist the urge to compare your kid’s progress to anyone else’s.
Listen to your child’s favorite music in the car.
Take the day off sometimes, just because you can.
Hug your child every chance you get. These years will fly by.
This list is adapted from a feature in the summer 2015 issue of HSL.