A Time to Explore

Time to Explore | HSLDA Blog

I received a phone call recently from an HSLDA member whose son was asked in a group setting to share his proposed post-high school plans. The question made him uncomfortable because he had no idea what he wanted to do after graduation. The mom wondered how she could encourage her son.

I reassured her and suggested that she give her son time and room to grow during the high school years.  Teens should not feel pressured into making life-long decisions while in high school. Instead, high school can provide a wonderful opportunity for teens to discover their strengths, uncover their abilities, hone their skills, and investigate a variety of career possibilities.

Here are three ways parents can help their teens in this endeavor:


For a teen who flounders and has no focus when it comes to potential career options, consider giving him a career interest test that can provide direction. Career interest tests come in many forms.  Some career tests are simply survey tests taken online, while other tests add features such as consultations with career specialists. Check out some career test options here.

See HSLDA’s High School Testing!

The ASVAB-Career Exploration test is free and offered at high schools nationwide. The test measures verbal, math, science, and technical skills. Call a local high school in your area to find out if it gives the test and whether your teen can be accommodated. Many ASVAB representatives will also give the test to groups of homeschool students, so contact ASVAB at 1-800-323-0513 to find out about ASVAB-CAP testing for your homeschool group.


Homeschooling provides the flexibility to set up several job shadowing opportunities for your teen. If your teen has an idea of several careers that she is interested in, suggest she contact a person working in the field. Job shadowing is an informal arrangement that enables a teen to explore the career up-close and discover what a typical day entails. Job shadowing provides your teen the opportunity to discover skills needed for the job, the environment associated with the job, and the disposition necessary for the job. Read Job Shadowing: Opportunities to Ignite Future Careers for practical ideas on job shadowing, and view a sample job shadowing proposal form.


Design a career development elective course to give your teen the opportunity to research the training, future outlook, salary ranges, and education required for specific jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics website provides helpful resources. Carol Topp’s book, Career Exploration for Homeschool High School Students, walks your teen through the process of researching careers and can be completed in 4 – 8 weeks. Gene Edward Veith’s book, God at Work:  Your Christian Vocation in All of Life, helps parents to better understand and be equipped to discuss the meaning of vocation with their teens.

Utilizing these ideas will channel your teen’s energies into exploring possible career options while removing the pressure to make life decisions in a vacuum. Your teen will gain confidence by discovering those occupations that are well suited to his skills, academic abilities, and personality.


Photo Credit: Graphic Design by Charity Klicka


7 Comments on “Ready or Not? It’s Time to Start (Advice for New Homeschoolers)”

  1. Nicole
    August 15, 2019 at 2:13 pm #

    Wow, this is EXCELLENT!! Seriously, thank you for sharing this. I’m going to have my husband read it too. Ha!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 23, 2019 at 1:08 am #

    I am so terrified! I never wanted to homeschool my son. My son has some disabilities and I was forced to homeschool for his safety and because of the treatment he was receiving by adults, it was either homeschool him or he would never pass any grade in middle school or he could just leave school during the day if he wanted to! So I am thankful for your site its really been giving me a little more courage! I still think the district should be in trouble for all that has happened but I dont know where to even start!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachelle Reitz
      September 4, 2019 at 2:21 pm #

      Stacy, you can do this. But don’t hesitate to reach out for help with special needs. It is hard to know where to start, and hard to both help your child get what he needs and fight a broken system. I wish you well this year!


  3. Kathryn Bravo
    September 4, 2019 at 5:09 pm #

    My son and I are newbies this year, just barely into the first week. It’s slow going so far, and I am already wondering about keeping up, as I am reading thoroughly the introductions to each book to get a feel for how they are laid out and how to pace. I am sure it will pick up. No worries for the long haul, though, because I trust that God has the wheel! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gina
    September 4, 2019 at 6:00 pm #

    Thank you so much for your encouraging thoughts! This is my first year homeschooling and am overwhelmed at getting it all done and being everything to everybody! Thankfully I have a very supportive husband and fellow homeschool moms to help me! But I can always use more encouragement!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sarah
    September 5, 2019 at 8:29 pm #

    Wonderful! Thank you! We haven’t started yet and already have so many negative opinions coming our way. This both encouraged me and made me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Stephanie
    September 7, 2019 at 12:22 pm #

    Thank you so much for this article! I am homeschooling all 4 of my children for the first time this year, and I really needed to hear all this after a roller coaster first 4 weeks! It made me feel a little less guilty about wanting to drop them off at school on rough days,haha I guess that’s normal! I’m happy with my choice though, it’s improved my relationships with each child.

    Liked by 1 person

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