As homeschool parents, we attempt to train our children in the way they should go. Encouraging career-minded learning in high school for our homeschool kids is a goal for most of us. We teach our children for years, but then we must take a paradigm shift that focuses on adulthood.
Scary, isn’t it? For me, it’s a little scary to think about. Our children, our babies, will be out of the home soon or on their journey to being productive adults one day.
If we have the ability, we do our very best to encourage a career-minded approach to learning for our high school kids. This would prepare them for choices and commitment as they grow into productive and independent human beings.
That is right, parents. You have now added another role to your many titles. Now you have transitioned into an Educator/Guidance Counselor. Hopefully, you are a better Guidance Counselor than I had in school. I had no idea I could even go to college without being rich. We can do better than this, homeschool parents. I am determined to.
We have a vested interest in ensuring that our students make successful academic or post-graduation career choices. We also have a duty to expose our students to as many interests as our finances and time allows.
Career-minded learning in high school can be developed through real-life experience:
Look for other homeschool families or even dads seeking an apprentice, either in a homeschool group newsletter or in your co-ops. Career choices like mechanics or cabinetry lend themselves well to apprenticeships. Students get hands-on practice with an expert in their field of choice.
Some internships are paid, and some not. Homeschool students have an advantage in that, they can intern when most traditional students are in school. Internships are great opportunities to learn more about a field while understanding how it is to work full time.
Should your student want to pursue graduate studies, dual-enrollment is an excellent option to better transition into college life. Your student can also explore dual enrollment for vocational trade schools. Learn how to make dual enrollment work for your family.
Choosing volunteer opportunities that align with their interests can help your child understand acts of service and get an idea of what their field of choice may be like.
Do your kids love animals? They can volunteer at a zoo or animal shelter. Do your kids love to work with kids, have them volunteer at an after school program. Check out these 20 volunteer ideas for teens to give you some ideas of where to start.
Following a person who is in the career your child aspires to be in will allow your student to ask questions and get a live view of what happens day in and day out in a career. Job shadowing exposes students to professionals with valuable skills, trained abilities, and subject knowledge.
Developing and maintaining career-minded learning in high school doesn’t have to take intense time or money. There are also some simple steps your high school student can take to develop career-minded learning in preparation for adulthood.
Career-minded learning in high school can be encouraged with:
Role models – What people around your family would make a good influence on your teen? Setting up short meetings with people in careers that your student is interested in is a great way to motivate your student and for your student to pick the brains of those actually in the field.
Self-knowledge of interests – My daughter is only 13, but she already knows some things she is interested in. Last year she knew she wanted a ukulele. I was like, a “ukulele?” “Why?”
Now, a year later, she has taught herself over ten songs and practices almost daily. Given the opportunity, our students can gauge what their interests are and can actually pursue their dreams.
Research – YouTube is a fantastic resource for research. Seek out career paths and search out videos on careers your student may be interested in. If he or she is intrigued by any career from teaching to orthopedics, there is a video out there that can help them get an idea of what a day in the life of that career path is like.
Believe it or not, a new study shows that high schoolers are more career-minded than college students are. As a matter of fact, 50% of companies are creating high school internship programs.
Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Well, it’s because in high school, students are well aware that they need to know at least the things they would like to try as adults in the future.
Many students seek real-life experiences as stated above, to get an idea of what they like and don’t like for careers. In college, often times minds aren’t entirely focused on the future.
High school is the perfect opportunity for students to explore the maximum amount of career-minded learning as possible. Therefore, encourage your career-minded learner in every way you can.
Encouraging your high schooler to explore careers and interests is equivalent to your preschooler learning the alphabet. It is essential to prepare them for their future.
If you are looking for resources to use with your career-minded highschooler, check these out:
Homeschooling for College Credit: A Parent’s Guide to Resourceful High School PlanningCollege Planning Using Dual Enrollment: Optimizing High School for College Admission & Financial AidCareer Exploration: for homeschool high school studentsUncle Eric Talks About Personal, Career, and Financial Security (An Uncle Eric Book)What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens, Third Edition: Discover Yourself, Design Your Future, and Plan for Your Dream Job (What Color Is Your Parachute for Teens)The HomeScholar Guide to College Admission and Scholarships: Homeschool Secrets to Getting Ready, Getting In and Getting PaidFocus on Your Future: High School Planning for Career/College Choices
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!