Monday, June 20, 2016
Homeschool affords us such flexibility in our focus and studies. Lately Apple has been thinking more about the future. She's been asking questions and showing general interest in college and certain careers. I was thinking one afternoon that I wish there was a career day she could attend to learn more. Then I realized that career day in a public school doesn't always allow for the kids to learn more about the areas that they are really interested in.
I talked with a couple of moms of public schooled kids and they feel the same urge to give their middle schoolers more information on what's out there and what it takes. Even Speedy has recently proclaimed his future "occupation". Now I know my kids are still young and it's a few years before they need to really settle on a career. I feel like this is an optimum time to present them with more information on careers that may suit or interest them.
So I set about seeking the best way to give them that information. I have a short list so far that I thought would interest you.
1. Find people you know that can talk with your kids about their jobs. Or find people in specific careers that may be your child's biggest interest. I think talking with someone in a small group setting is really the best way for students to ask their questions and get a general idea of what is involved in a specific career. I haven't figured out how to make this happen for my kids but I will.
2. Some larger hospitals and companies offer job shadowing. This is a chance for older teens (usually 16-18) to actually go in to a work place to see a career in action. This is a great opportunity for real life experience but the student probably needs to already be very interested in a particular career for this to apply. Perhaps if they are trying to choose between 2 similar occupations, this would be a way to see both and make a final decision.
3. The library is our biggest and best resource for all things homeschool. The nonfiction sections in the children's and adult's areas offer loads of books on all types of jobs from farmer to chef to police officer to doctor. If your child has questions or is seeking more information on a particular area or career, help them find some books to give them a little more knowledge!
4. The other "library" we have at our fingertips now is the internet. I've spent a few hours doing searches to find information on particular areas to share with the kids when we have some "free" time. I'm still searching but I've found 2 government sites made for kids and teens with particulars about many occupations including required education and median salary.
I think I'm most surprised that there isn't more information available for kids to learn about available careers! No wonder so many students go off to college with no clear path or direction before them. How are they suppose to learn more about all the options available?
I intend to continue talking to people locally including the librarian to see if programs exist or can be started to educate students on career choices. I'm also planning to continue my internet searching and may go to social media to see what other resources are available for homeschool, private, and public schooled students.
Do you have any advice for parents wanting to educate their children on real life occupations?