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Career Education Class at Co-op This Fall

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Posted 7/16/18
Tiffany Michaels


One of the benefits of homeschooling during high school is students' ability to custom tailor their own education. As parents, we often feel trepidation as our students begin upper level courses. We wonder if we should continue to homeschool or if our children should go to a "regular" high school. Will they have difficulty getting into college if they homeschool through high school? In our current society, homeschooling is a fast growing educational trend. Over 1.7 million children in the US are homescooled, which is 3.4% of all students in grades K-12. Because homeschooling has become more mainstream, over 900 colleges accept homeschool students, and some top level colleges such as MIT, Stanford, and Harvard actively recruit homeschoolers because homeschoolers generally perform above their peers.

I have been reading several books about homeschooling though high school, and I'm super excited about students' options for their education! No longer is the choice either a public/private high school or homeschool. There are many options available to teenagers. Here in Walla Walla, students can mix homeschool with a few part-time classes at Walla Walla Valley Academy or Walla Walla Community College. There are dual enrollment options online at a number of colleges. Students can study to take CLEP tests for college credit. They can combine subjects they are learning at home with internships or job shadowing. Since homeschool courses take less time than traditional high school, students have more time for music, athletics, or a part-time job.

With so many options available, how do families choose? Well, if you want to reach a destination, you first need to know WHERE you are headed! For that reason, career education is very important. If students start thinking early about what they may want to do long term, they can custom-tailor their high school educational experience to fit their long term plans. So how do students start thinking about what they may want to do long term?

At Eastgate Home School Cooperative this Fall, I will be teaching a Career Education class for 7th-12th grade students. During this class, students will:

  1. Take personality tests to determine what types of things they like
  2. Take assessment tests to determine what types of careers might best fit their interests
  3. Listen to and interact with 10-15 presenters from a variety of careers (such as plumbing, floral arranging, nursing, taxonomy, programming, massage therapy, marketing, business, social work, psychology, etc)
  4. Go on 3-4 local field trips to explore some career options (Vivio Technologies' data center, possibly WWU Engineering Lab, and I am exploring options for 1-2 other locations)
  5. Research information for 3 careers students think are the most interesting
  6. Learn about various educational options, including the art of batching (combining research with real-world experience on a transcript), job shadowing, CLEP tests, and dual enrollment
  7. Create a presentation of student's top career interest and present it to the class

I'm really excited about this class for my 7th grade son, and the class will be beneficial to any upper level student who is starting to think about high school, college, and beyond.

This class will probably be on Tuesdays because that is the day we have extra volunteers who can help with transportation on our field trip days. This class is available as part of a full or half Co-op day or even as a single class if your student only wants to take this one class.


College Without The Campus, Hillary Harshman, 2016

College Without High School, Blake Boles, 2009

Concerns About Homeschooling Through High School, Catherine Jaime, 2017, Creative Learning Connection, http://creativelearningconnection.com/homeschoolinghighschool/

Measuring the Homeschool Population, 2017, National Center For Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/blogs/nces/2017/01/04/default

Yes! Many Homeschoolers Are Admitted To Top-Tier Institutions, Michael Goran, 2016, Ivy Select College Consulting, https://ivyselect.com/blog/yes-many-homeschoolers-admitted-top-tier-institutions/