Take my advice! Homeschool career exploration: Don’t go to college without it!
Homeschool Career Exploration
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars on college education, if your homeschool high schooler does not know what to study?
This is a problem I see frequently in my work as a career coach and in my many years as academic advisor for local homeschool high schoolers. If teens go to college without a clear (or clear-ish) sense of direction, they will likely waste some time and money taking courses that will not need.
And they may end up changing majors several times
While many college students hop majors at least once, those who do not have a clue either hop several times (a big expense in wasted credits) or do not have the stamina to finish college at all.
Don’t let this happen to you!
In my years as a homeschool academic advisor, I noticed that many parents of high schoolers concentrate so much on the high school transcript that they neglect solid Career Exploration. When I talk to the teens, they are worried about their career future (unless they are of the few teens who are born knowing their callings).
So make time! Include Career Exploration on the homeschool high school transcript!
Here are three ways to do help prepare your teen for the future:
A solid Career Exploration curriculum will include investigations of:
- personal strengths
- values and
Plus: A good curriculum will include looks at the ways God has already been working in a homeschool high schooler’s life.
That is exactly why, using my training as a counselor who often works with teens, I developed our Career Exploration textbook. These are the resources that have helped guide our local teens for over two decades and now lots of teens through 7Sisters. A great post for explaining Career Exploration was written by our friend, Marcy, at Ben and Me.
Homeschool Career Exploration: Note life experiences
When teens do not have a clue what they want to do for a career after homeschool graduation (this is actually a majority of teens), one of the best things you can do is give them lots of different life experiences. Include:
- Service projects and other volunteer work
- Field trips
- Unusual phys ed experiences
- Concerts of different kinds of music
- Interviews with people in various jobs and/or stay at home moms
- Help them develop skills for thinking about others with the experiences in this post
Life experiences often open doors of interest OR make clear things that are NOT interesting to your teens. Not only that, but sometimes experiences lead to involvement in new things. This can lead to networking experiences, which are good for teens…or might even help them clarify and choose a college major.
Once homeschool high schoolers have narrowed interests down a bit, it is an excellent idea to shadow a professional, volunteer, or do an apprenticeship.
This is a great way to eliminate or solidify career choices.
My kids have apprenticed with videographers, photographers, counseling offices, and resorts. Some of my advisees have apprenticed, volunteered or shadowed at doctor or vet offices, with Easter Seals, daycare centers (especially after working through our Early Childhood Education text), churches, engineering offices, and family stores. While it is not an apprenticeship, our homeschool high schoolers who do Civil Air Patrol have lots of apprentice-type experiences.
Homeschool Career Exploration: Use electives and core courses as Career Exploration
Make sure your homeschool high schooler has some out of the box courses on his transcript. Sometimes, in learning a totally different subject, teens find a college major. My teens completed psychology, human development, History and Philosophy of the Western World, and Early Childhood Education to build a rich transcript and varied experiences. My oldest son liked philosophy so much that he got his PhD in Philosophy and now teaches college (and re-wrote the History/Philosophy text for me PLUS our full philosophy text for teens: Philosophy in Four Questions).
One of our local teens’ favorite credits has been 7Sisters Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective. This lighthearted but solid psychology course can be supplemented with our asynchronous, online Introduction to Psychology course.
And for teens in states that reimburse for curriculum purchases, here is a version of Introduction to Psychology that fits those requirements.
Don’t let your teens head off to college without homeschool Career Exploration! It is worth the time and investment!