I know homeschooling is amazing… all these years learning together with our children. Yet, in the back of our minds we know that all good things must come to an end. We see these beautiful little people growing into awkward pre teens, and then blossoming into amazing adults. What in the world do we do now? Well, homeschooling highschool is just as exciting as homeschooling the little ones. Though it presents a totally different set of challenges, it is something that each of us can do!
One of the biggest challenges in homeschooling a highschool student is that of directing them and encouraging them to find a career or life work that plays to their strengths, interests, and passions. The best way to really really prepare them is to encourage them in middle school. Using seventh grade online curriculum to prepare for highschool career centered courses can give them the preparation they need. As adults we all know that getting stuck in a job that we hate can be the worst “life sucking” experience that we ever have. Starting early on with tips on career exploration is the best way to help your child avoid falling into that disappointing job experience.
1) The first thing that I like to encourage my children to do is to understand why it is so important for them to choose a career that plays to their passions. At first my teens looked at me like I was crazy. Then I explained. If they LOVE doing something, and they are able to get paid for doing that… that equals job satisfaction. Of course, there are the other factors that play into making that job something they love… like a good boss, job perks, and colleagues that are kind and easy to work with.
2) The second important aspect of finding the right career is getting to know yourself. I usually have my teens write down at least ten things that they love to do, five subjects or topics that they are passionate about, and what they feel they actually “do” best.
3) I love to encourage my kiddos to sit down and take a few of those “career exploration” tests and quizzes. Though some of those online tests and quizzes aren’t all that statistically sound… taking several of them helps round out the margin of error and allows them to see if there is one specific career that keeps surfacing. Most likes that career is really one they should consider.
4) Once they have a career area in mind, it is time to do a little research. We usually get online and find out everything there is to know about that specific career. It’s beneficial to find out what educational requirements, job skills, and even actual demands that are placed on the individuals holding that career.
5) Finally, if that specific career requires college or vocational training… now is the time to start preparing for it. During your student’s high school career make sure that they take the courses needed to prepare them for that training. It is also a great time to find a place where they could volunteer to get a realistic “feel” for the career they have in mind.