This week on HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School
How do you help your homeschool high schoolers be best prepared for what comes AFTER they graduate?
There are 2 career-related experiences they really should do:
- Career Exploration: This is a course that helps teens explore their talents, strengths, interests, abilities, experiences and values to help them narrow down career possibilities. Download 7Sisters Career Exploration for a comprehensive but user-friendly course.
- Career Pathways: These are the courses that your homeschool high schooler will do that help prepare them for their future careers or college-majors.
Join Vicki and our wonderful guests: 7Sister Marilyn and our friend, Barb Varnell. You know them from our How to Get Started Homeschooling High School suite of episodes:
- The Nuts and Bolts of Starting Homeschool High School: How to get started (and still feel encouraged)
- Transcripts for Transfer Students: What happens when you start homeschool during the middle of high school? Here are tips.
- Bringing Teens Home for High School:How to handle starting homeschooling when teens have been in traditional school through 8th grade.
- Newbie Homeschool Moms, You Can Do It: You can, you really can!
- More Nuts and Bolts for Newbie Moms: Homeschooling high school, you can do it!
Barb has also given us great advice on homeschooling high school with intellectually gifted teens. She’s also a PhD chemist, so she and her daughter join Vicki for a fascinating discussion about whether you can be a scientist and a creationist at the same time.
Marilyn and Barb serve the local homeschool umbrella school as academic advisors. (Vicki retired from the academic advisor role there after 18 years.) They help homeschooling high schoolers have a successful high school experience and prepare for what they’ll do after graduation. They meet several times a year with teens and their parents to set their goals for high school, career and life. An important part of their discussions are about what teens are doing for their Career Exploration until they clarify some goals (as much as a teen can know). Then they help teens develop their Career Pathways goals that will help you prepare for career or college major.
- Log hours doing various *explorations* and a course to earn a credit for the homeschool transcript.
Today, we want to discuss, Career Pathways. Homeschool High Schoolers, here’s some great advice:
Insider tip from Barb: For college-bound teens, develop Career Pathways credits, extracurriculars, competitions and service to make you stand out from the crowd. You want colleges to not only like you, but like you enough to give you money to come.
Career Pathways for Homeschool High School: Career-bound AND College-bound teens
- Shadow someone working in the field
- Volunteer with an organization that is in the field
- Interview multiple people in that field, if possible. (Our friend, Ticia from Adventures in Mommydom, has a great post for teens on how do conduct an interview in this situation.)
- Get entry-level job in that area, if possible. Here’s how to log this on the homeschool transcript.
- For internships that are specific, capture the a specific title on the transcript. For instance: Computer Programming, Video Editing, Carpentry Training, Excel Spread Sheets Training, Portfolio Development, etc.
- Create an experiential resume. The experiential resume explains more about what you do in internships, volunteer work, leadership positions. Go into detail about paid and unpaid positions. Show off the details. To get started, download 7Sisters Experiential Resume how-to.
- DON’T LOSE YOUR DIPLOMA or TRANSCRIPT. Employers want them sometimes, even years after graduation.
- Include quirky classes. Check out this important post on why *generic* courses aren’t best on the homeschool transcript.
- Participate in extracurriculars (if you have an unusual extracurriculars, that’s a plus)
- Volunteer work in organizations related to interest
- Show leadership (ie TA at co-op or help teach Sunday School or other opportunities)
- Do some competitions. (Speech is a powerful opportunity for competitions. In fact, Speech is a life skill for all teens. Career-bound teens can do better on interviews, college-bound teens get some attention from many colleges for Speech on the transcript.)
- Say *NO*, to opportunities that steal time from what’s most important to you
- Build electives on transcript around the interest (for instance, if your teen is interested in Ballet, do an elective on History of Dance).
Career Pathways for Homeschool High School: Special advice for 9th and 10th graders
- Start keeping track of things to put on your experiential resume because you’re going to forget by the time you get to senior year.
- Think about what they need to be working on for their core academics (if they are interested in STEM but are behind in
- Explore interests if they have no clue
- If interested in military, try a quirky language for your World Language credits. That will make they stand out when they meet with recruiters.
- Find a couple of extracurriculars you can do each year. Colleges often want to see an ability to stick to an interest, project or organization. (Some college applications only ask which extracurriculars you have been involved in for 2 years or more.)
- Check out CareerOneStop.org and see what the employment outlook for that job (will there be jobs)
- Take a class outside home when you can. (This gives you a person who can write an academic recommendation.) Barb notes that some colleges want this recommendation needs to come from a teacher at their *school*. One college has asked for a recommendation from an upperclassman English teacher, SO make sure you have explored the college’s requirements not just for entrance but for their major. Barb gives the example of an art student who got lots of scholarship money based on her portfolio
- Show up to class on time
- Do the work
- Have a great attitude
Ninth graders sometimes don’t like to think about all this, so be gracious. By the time they are in 10th grade they really need to do some gentle thinking about the future.
Career Pathways for Homeschool High School: Advice to parents
Remember to allow your homeschool high schoolers to have TIME to do all this Career Pathways work.
- Barb and Marilyn have found that sometimes parents avoid Career Pathways involvements for their teens because:
- They are worried core academics won’t get done
- They are exhausted and don’t have time or energy to drive their teens all over the place
Want some specific ideas for Career Pathways opportunities?
- Engineering: Volunteer for an engineering professor
- Business: Work in family business
- Auto mechanics: Help in the office
- Other trades: Talk to the local union, take some community courses, shadow someone in that area.
- Counseling: Get HIPAA training, do some clerking
- Pre-vet: Volunteer at non-profit clinics or vet office. Shadow a vet.
- Music education: Volunteer for a local music education teacher, give lessons, get involved in local college community music programs
- Medical programs: Volunteer at the local hospital
Want more great ideas for developing your homeschool high schoolers’ Career Pathways credits. Listen to this HSHSP interview with Barb’s daughter, Sarah, who is now a large-animal veterinarian.