What My High Schoolers Did for Career Exploration
In my decades as a homeschool mom, my teens and I have done a LOT of high school Career Exploration! I wanted my high schoolers to be well-prepared for life after homeschooling AND I didn’t want to spend tons of money on college unless they had a pretty good idea of what they were doing.
In freshman or sophomore year, each of my high schoolers completed our Career Exploration course. Also in each year, they took courses that developed their interests and talents AND they completed contrasting courses (totally out-of-the-box courses). These courses served to enrich their transcripts, expand their interests, and broaden their personalities.
Here’s what my 5 high schoolers did for Career Exploration:
High Schooler 1 Career Exploration:
My oldest was interested in computers. In high school, we made available to him as many computer courses as we could afford. He also completed math through calculus and science through physics.For contrasting courses he studied philosophy, psychology, human development, and critical thinking. He also played flute in the homeschool orchestra and guitar in a local rock band.
Micah got his BA in mathematics/computer science. He went on to use those skills in earning his PhD in philosophy. He teaches philosophy at college level (and co-wrote 7 Sisters History and Philosophy of the Western World).
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High Schooler 2 Career Exploration:
My second son was interested in history and politics. We had SO much fun with this! He enriched his basic American history with in-depth studies of the Civil War (including tons of field trips, reading real books, writing research papers, experiencing period music and watching documentaries and movies). His world history included in-depth studies of Russia (including reading real books, writing research papers, experiencing Russian music, and learning Russian). He kept abreast of current events and studied our American documents in-depth to expand his experiences in politics. We also started a homeschool Student Congress as well as a Debate and Public Speaking Team to add to his political experiences.
For contrasting courses, he studied philosophy, psychology, and human development. He played clarinet in the homeschool orchestra, sang in the homeschool choir, and studied art and sketching.
Nathan earned his BA and MA in History, taught English at a university in South Korea, and is currently working on his PhD in Comparative Literature (combines history and literature) at University of Maryland.
High Schooler 3 Career Exploration:
From a young age, my daughter was determined to be a photographer. She specialized in art theory, drawing, and photography. During her junior year, she began taking photography and graphic design courses at the local community college, along with her academics at home. When she graduated from high school, she concurrently graduated from the community college with certificates in photography and graphic design.
Her contrasting courses in high school were early childhood education, philosophy, psychology, human development, Debate and Public Speaking Team, drama, and homeschool choir.
Joanna earned a double BA in Photography and Graphic Design. She has her own photography business serving individuals and businesses.
High Schooler 4 Career Exploration:
Third son loved a LOT of things: filmmaking, writing, reading, drama, music, and art. We felt no need of “narrowing down” his interests, so he earned high school credits in all the above. We started a homeschool cinematography club, he was in numerous drama productions, took art classes, sang in homeschool choir, learned several kinds of creative writing styles. In junior year, he began to take Visual Production courses at the local college.
His contrasting courses included philosophy, psychology, human development, public speaking, and critical thinking.
Ezra completed Visual Production courses at the community college then transferred to Lancaster Bible College, where he earned a double BA in Middle School Education and Religion. He teaches history to middle schoolers and produces videos on the side.
High Schooler 5 Career Exploration :
Fourth son had diffuse interests through high school. We spent the first 2 years of high school exploring broad topics- solid academics with emphasis in language arts, various languages (Spanish, Latin, Russian), drama, choir, sports. By junior year, his interests had narrowed to Music (choir, voice lessons, guitar lessons, playing on church worship team and in rock band), language arts, and drama.
His contrasting courses were psychology, philosophy, critical thinking, apologetics, human development, public speaking.
Seth has just finished his freshman year at Cecil College as a Music major.
The many rich courses all my homeschool high schoolers experienced help enrich their transcripts, broaden their personalities, and narrow their career interests. Starting off with a solid Career Exploration course and completing many different types of courses helped prepare them for wise choices in college.
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