In our homeschool environments, we can spend a significant amount of time exposing our kids to different interests and career paths. Anxiously looking for that twinkle in their eye and listening for hints of excitement as we explore.
As parents, we have a pretty good idea of what is easy and difficult for our kids. A key factor of being rooted in confidence as teens mature is encouraging them to grow in their own awareness of their strengths, talents and gifts. A self-aware teen is a confident teen. They know who they are, what’s for them and where they’re going.
The primary objective of career exploration in our homeschools should be rooted in self-awareness. We always start with teens knowing their aptitudes – the things they are naturally great at. After there is a firm foundation established, we begin career exploration. You can assign research projects and writing assignments based on careers that are a good match for their aptitude. Teens are able to do Virtual Job Shadowing for most careers through YouTube to see what a day in that career looks like. As early as 14, teens can begin to see what skills will be needed in a career field and start learning those skills. Math lessons can look like salary research, income tax differences by state and income fluctuation by region. Especially for teens with an entrepreneurial spirit, you will be amazed at how quickly they find motivation. You can show interest in their career exploration by asking really great questions.
- What skills would it take to do great in that career?
- I wonder what a day would be like in that career? Do we know anyone who chose this field?
- Which parts of that career would be difficult for you? What options do you have for overcoming that difficulty?
It has never been more convenient to gain skills. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, and Skillshare offer low cost platforms where marketable skills can be learned. After skills have been established, teens can start looking for apprenticeship and internship opportunities.
At home, you have such a wonderful opportunity to walk through this season in such a fruitful way with your teens. Talent-based career exploration for teens cuts out so much of the confusion and broken methods of finding a future they are passionate about. They can keep their future well spent when they know who they are, what they’re great at and where they’re going.
Beth Muir is a proud homeschool mom to three girls and founder and CEO at Well Spent Solutions. At Well Spent Solutions, we believe self-awareness and consistent use of your strengths and talents is the key to living a life Well Spent. Beth has had the privilege of helping families navigate the higher education landscape and assisting institutions with streamlining their business processes, communications and services for the last 17 years. Watching people light up when they find the way they’re wired and live joy-filled lives brings me deep gratification.
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