Wednesday, August 12

Must-Have Supplies for Homeschooling Teens

This is sure to be the most-unusual back-to-school season in our lives...  How will it work?  Where will we school (for those families who outsource some or all of the school day)?  What will we need?  Will masks be a school day requirement?

Some items never go out of style.  When homeschooling teens, there are a few basic supplies that you definitely need!  Here are fourteen (non-electronic) must-have supplies for middle and high school...

This is part of our series - Five Days of Homeschooling Teens.  Read the whole series...
    homeschool mom needs
  • Pencils
    • This one kind of goes without saying.  Whether you're a traditional or mechanical fan is personal choice, but every student needs a good pencil or two!  Remember if you have standardized testing on this year's agenda that you cannot use mechanical pencils - only traditional #2s.  (What are the other numbers, I wonder....)
  • Erasers
    • At the bottom end of those pencils should be erasers.  You know, the little ones that wear off after a few uses.  If your kids are like mine, it's time to invest in some of the cap-tip erasers or go for the big pink ones!
  • Calculator
    • Our only tip toward electronics, a good calculator is a must in the upper grades.  If you can, spring for the graphing kind...and maybe check out a YouTube video for how to use it.
  • Graphing paper
    • Algebra and geometry get a little bit easier, and more visual, with the use of graphing paper.  As an added bonus, it makes a great addition to art supplies!
  • GOOD ink pens
    • We've all used the ink pens that work for half a sentence and then give out.  I don't mean those.  I mean a good set...especially if your student is filling out college applications.  (Yes, many are done online, but they are still done by hand, too.)  Ink pens are great, too, if your student is doing an outsourced class where s/he needs to be taking notes.
  • Periodic table
    • Not just for chemistry class - though always a big help - our favorite version of the periodic table is currently hanging in the boys' bathroom.  I kid you not.  They've memorized many different aspects of it during their...visits...through the years.
  • Wall map / globe
    • Sure, you could Google Maps everything, but what happens when wifi or cell service goes down?  It's important for students to be able to read maps (local / state ones are best for this aspect), as well as to be able to see geographic relationships between various areas...whether in their studies or on the news.
  • Compass / protractor / ruler
    • We're back to math class.  For the middle school or high school geometry student, a good hands-on set is crucial.  Once again, they also make nifty additions to the art chest!
  • Planner
    • Starting in 10th or 11th grade, it's a good idea for students to begin mapping out and taking responsibility for their own schedules and deadlines.  This will help instill some of that responsibility adulthood requires.  See our favorite planners here.
  • White board
    • Harken back to Little House on the Prairie and the days of slate...this is the 21st century version.  Why waste so much paper when the white board can be used to work out problems before writing down the solution?  This one should be a top recommendation for all homeschooling students, regardless of grade.
  • Dry erase markers / eraser
    • The white board really isn't good without these tools, so........they make the cut.
  • Binders
    • Or-gan-i-za-tion.  It's the name of the game and so important to learning that responsibility we were discussing earlier.  Binders (and binder tabs) help students achieve this.  Maybe they have one per subject, or maybe they go in for those awesome Trapper Keepers we used to have that hold several subjects!
  • Lined paper
    • To put in your binders, of course.  And take notes.  And generally 'do school.'
  • Colored pencils / watercolors / pastels / charcoals
    • The fabled 'art chest' that most students love so much!  This is where your graphing paper and geometry sets go to live out the rest of their natural born lives.  This is also where you can inject some fun into the school day.  Tired of reading about history?  Draw it.  See our favorite supplies here!


We polled high school students (ok, just two, but it was a girl and a boy!) about THEIR must-haves for high school homeschool, and this is what they said....
  • Organizational skills - 'because my mom gets mad when I keep losing things'
  • Motivation - 'otherwise you just want to sleep or read all day'
  • Moral compass - 'I don't know why I said this....it just seemed like something everyone needs'
  • Interesting course material - 'if it's boring, I don't care about learning it'


1 comment:

  1. Binders are so important for our homeschool! Makes it so easy to store papers and information.

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