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Getting your teen started in life planning

The hardest part of this process is getting started. Respecting your teen’s input and independence is crucial. In the end, they will be responsible for their life, but we can resource and equip them for the journey. Creating an overall 4-year plan for high school is a great way to start. Of course, expect twists and turns along the way, but having a clear path, to begin with, will give you a simple guide that can be easily modified.
When talking about your child’s future, it’s very easy to share your own career story. It’s also easy to over plan for your child without letting them give input into their hopes and goals after graduation. On the other hand, a teen’s “I don’t know what I’m doing next” is a cry for structuring in the decision process. How do you give them this balance of independence and structure?

Brainstorm 

With your kids, come up with a list of things your student loves to do or study. Don’t edit as you brainstorm that defeats the purpose of brainstorming. The sky is the limit. The power and purpose of brainstorming is not to be practical; it’s to generate ideas.

Use a graphic organizer or a mind map, if that will be helpful to you. Get a big whiteboard and add to it over several days.

What are some great sources for brainstorming?

  • What are your child’s favorite books, movies, and TV series? Many young kids are discovering interests based on T.V. shows. NCIS has generated an entire group of students fascinated by Forensic Science.
  • What does your student do in their free time? My history loving, botany loving gardener, has been thinking about paleoethnobotany since our visit to Mt. Vernon. 
  • Youtube is an excellent source of recorded interviews of professionals explaining their careers and talking about how they got where they are at today. Check out our friend Alex Steele for inspiration on many levels.
  • Research careers on the Bureau of Labor Statistics and  Occupational Outlook Handbook. These websites allow you to look up specific job titles or find different jobs within a field and see how much education level, salary, career growth.

Do you have Career goals for your high-schooler?

  • Take steps to help your high-schooler find a post-graduation plan: are they work, vo-tech or college/ university-bound, military, marriage, or entrepreneurs?
  • Brainstorm and make a game of researching options
  • Explore job -shadowing and volunteering. Kids may discover areas of interest they didn’t even know existed. They may also find that they dislike certain things. A friend of ours was totally sold on Forensic Science as a Career until they job shadowed at a Mortuary.
  • Research Clubs, Activities, Camps in areas of interest to build skills and explore jobs.
  • Think about Test Prep. Test scores can make or break scholarship and career opportunities.
Need more great tips on life planning for your home-school high school student?  Our Orienteering Course is specifically designed to help students take ownership for high school and beyond!  Check out our other career planning posts.

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for, our High School Life Planning Giveaway!  You can win one full year of a live, online writing club; our Surviving High School Ebook, or a FREE Academic Advising session.  Don’t wait, enter this one today!

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Are you propelling your homeschool students toward a successful career? Life planning is an essential part of establishing, and maintaining, a fulfilling career. By taking important steps during your homeschool student's high school years you can set them on the path of success. Find out how today! #careerplanning #homeschoolinghighschool #TrueNorthHomeschoolAcademy
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