I love to shop in August. As a parent who homeschools, I am tickled, for lack of a better word, by the marketing of everything as a “back to school” necessity. Towels, computers, small appliances, health and beauty items — a student’s trip back to school has to be the most marketed event right after Christmas and Halloween. On any sales ad, you can find advice for what to place in your child’s backpack — or, in our cases, what to place on your kitchen table or in your schoolroom.
In the case of high school homeschoolers, there is an increasing amount of information on curriculum and what prepares a student for higher academics, from learning methodologies to activities that round out a transcript. All of this is great information. Yet, I want to focus on the other aspects of preparing a high school student for independence. Rather than debate the need for a given text, notebook, or planning tool, I thought to list those intangibles that generally do not show up on a must-have list. They are, however, what I see as true “must haves.” Read more about them in my contribution to The End in Mind.