I've read a lot on early literacy and elementary-level skills. And there's a fair bit out there about high school standards and curriculum. Middle school, though? Not much. It's almost as though we want to pretend these kids don't really exist, or worse, pretend as though their academic and behavioural concerns rightly belong in the "high school" box.
Emperor will be my first middle-school level homeschooler if he remains with me next year. I'm finding his writing is not what it could be. But he does well with an organized, structured report on a given topic. How do we get his writing to evolve from the simple paragraph to the several-page long college essay complete with thesis statement and footnotes? There is a middle stage there somewhere.
In reading, he isn't using the baby readers, but hasn't quite progressed naturally to the full-length novel without much effort and help. Yet.
I'm finding also that many of his interests (and those of Elf, for that matter) are childish and also very teen-like at the same time. Elf and Emperor still enjoy Pokemon but also have started to understand more adult comedies and movies and appreciate them.
I notice that even homeschool curriculum doesn't break itself down into elementary, middle, and high school levels. It seems they'll cater to a given age range or a given grade. I don't think I've ever seen anyone particularly pitch to the middle-school level for academics. Preschool seems to be the latest-greatest thing in terms of making money (hey, parents are over-involved and ready to spend big at that stage), but middle school-level things don't seem to be particularly heavily promoted.
Why do you think that is? I am going to guess that it is either that schools themselves started the distinction (and therefore homeschoolers hate it), or that middle school begins that time of student specialisation we see so clearly in the high school level.