There is no denying that getting your kids on a good path for their future is challenging. I have 2 adult children who were homeschooled through high school and 2 currently in high school, so I do understand the feeling. Sometimes parents conclude that a traditional high school setting is just what their high schoolers need, even after years of homeschooling through the elementary and middle school years.
Hey, I’m not judging here. But sometimes we send ’em to high school just ’cause we’re afraid…
This post is to encourage those parents who are “just” afraid. I’m not trying to talk anyone into doing the “homeschool-high-school-gig” when there are reasons not to.
But I do want to come alongside those who may just be struggling with, well, let’s face it, self-esteem issues, and think they’re just not good enough to face the task.
Here are some wonderful resources that you can use, or make available to your child, that will net the same result as effective guidance counseling services. The 5+ areas below are primarily where good guidance counselors can offer much-needed assistance.
These resources will put their “magic” right at your fingertips!
Extra help with hard school subjects
- Beef up on problem subjects (or just get extra practice) here with the Khan Academy.
- EasyPeasyHomeschool, which offers a free elementary and middle school online curriculum, has a companion site for the high school years. All In One High School not only offers a free online college-bound program but lots of good suggestions and resources on test prep and homeschooling through high school, based on the author’s extensive personal experience!
- Get ideas on career choices here: Onetonline.org
- Your Free Career Test offers a short, online quiz (no registration necessary) to get your student thinking about future career possibilities. My favorite test, however, is offered by CareerFitter. This test is a bit more involved (60 questions) and while they offer a free version, too, there is also a fuller option available at a reasonable fee.
- Update: Help your student find his or her “dream career” with this easy-peasy free career test by certified career coach Mark Donatelle. (And moms, you can use it, too!)
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps tabs on career/job/employment trends. You can find statistics on what kind of jobs are in demand and perhaps even discover some new options.
This book is designed to help homeschooled teenagers determine their gifts, strengths, and talents as they choose a future career or college major. Contents include:
How Can You Know the Rest of Your Life as a Teenager?
It’s Only 4 Steps: The Career Exploration Process
Who Am I? Individual Inventory of Your Talents and Interests
You Can’t Fail These Tests: Personality Tests
Career Clusters and Elimination Rounds
Listing and Researching Possible Careers
Be in Someone’s Shadow: Interview and Shadowing
Creating a High School Plan
Preparing for College
This combination book and workbook can be used by an individual or in a group setting and will take 4-8 weeks for a student to complete.
Put all the pieces together to make wise decisions about what you will do with your life and how you can best go about setting and accomplishing your life and work goals!
Filled with charts, worksheets, and quizzes, Now What? is the cutting-edge guide for choosing a career that fits you perfectly — whether you’re a college student, a twenty-something already out in the working world, or a high school student just getting started.
Finding a good college
Packed with information and advice, The All-in-One College Guide shows you how to compile a list of prospective colleges that zeroes in on your specific interests, aptitudes, and lifestyle. It goes on to tell you how to judge the true merits of each school on your list, find the money for tuition and expenses, and get the most out of your years in academia. If one of those famous prestigious “killer colleges” happens to be on your list, you’ll also learn how to optimize your chances of getting accepted. Note: This is a much-enhanced and completely updated version of Dr. Nemko’s acclaimed previously published book, You’re Gonna Love This College Guide.
Getting into said college
- FastTranscripts is a service of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association. They offer an online option that will help you keep track of courses and grades, and create an official-looking transcript for you at the end of the year. View a sample transcript here.
- Don’t forget the value of including life experiences into your student’s transcript and/or portfolio. Here’s how.
Finding ways to pay for college
- Find scholarships at MyScholly.com
- Career Fitter (see Career Options, above) has a scholarship program your student can apply to. Just click on the Scholarship tab to get started with the application process!
- SouthEast Homeschool Expo has an excellent article on the subject and includes scholarship resources/articles. Homeschool Scholarships 101
Most scholarship guides are aimed only at the straight-A student, not this guide! Peterson’s The “C” Students Guide to Scholarships shows that it is possible for average or even below-average students to win some of the millions of dollars in available scholarship awards. It is the essential guide to finding scholarships when your grades suck! Author Felecia Hatcher has dedicated her life to motivating young people to look past their circumstances and get creative.
- If your student is truly struggling with the “what do I do after high school?” question, sometimes the answer is taking a gap year. Actually, Ivy League colleges are considering that a “plus” in their acceptance considerations these days. So if your student has a passion for some field, or the opportunity to work (paid or not!) as an intern, or has a desire to plan and undertake serious travel, work with them to make it happen! Find more info here.
- CollegeBoard.org is an aMAzing resource! I list it in this section to avoid duplication; they have loads of help regarding career selection, finding a college, getting into college, and paying for college, including tools and calculators and information on scholarships. Truly a valuable site!
- Khan Academy, also referred to above, has a robust section that serves as a wonderful “guidance counselor” resource! The College Admissions section covers the process of finding and attending college, as well as getting the most from high school, and exploring college options, through short, easy-to-digest videos.