Helping Non-College-Bound Teens Find Success- Special Replay

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This week on  Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Helping Non-College-Bound Teens Find Success! Special replay of a favorite interview with Angela O’Shaughnessy.

Helping Non-College-Bound Teens Find Success- Special Replay

Helping Non-College-Bound Teens Find Success

There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school AND there’s not ONE right way to do life after high school.

Many teens are gifted by God to go into a career without going to college. That’s good. Why spend tens of thousands of dollars and four years of life on college, when a young person was created to do something else?

Huge numbers of teens have gifts and interests that they can develop without going to college. This is good. Career-bound teens can have a high school experience that is completely different than the academics for college-bound teens. With this in mind, Vicki asked her friend, Angela O’Shaughnessy, to talk about her two homeschool graduates who went right into careers that did not need college.

Today Angela and Vicki will discuss helping non-college-bound teens find success

Vicki and Angela are old friends who have worked together at Pike Creek Psychological Center. They have also had years of homeschooling together in their homeschool co-op (Angela always did the most fun history-related activities with the teens!)

Angela (who also joined us for more about homeschooling high school with career-bound teens) has two sons are loving successful lives that did not require college! How did Angela help guide them through high school to prepare them for life after graduation? Here are some tips from Angela.

Angela O'Shaughnessy used by permission

Top Tip: Notice interests as they grow

Angela is skilled in noticing. As her oldest son was growing, she saw that he loved:

  • History
  • Music
  • And especially figuring out things by working on them with his hands

She kept an eye on these interests as he progressed through high school. Angela and her husband concentrated on helping her sons:

  • Explore their interests
  • Develop their strengths

Therefore, she was not surprised when he told her that he did not want to go to college, but rather, to trade school and learn to be a machinist. This is what he did and is now a highly successful leader in that trade.

For more on helping teens discover and develop interests and strengths, check out our interview with Anita Gibson about helping teens discover their star.

Tip #2: Help teens develop strong life skills

Angela and her husband worked to model and teach the character, and life skills that her non-college-bound teens would need to have success in adulting. As adults, her sons have reported that they find these skills (that they developed during high school) highly valuable:

  • Enjoying hard work
  • Taking opportunities when they come
  • Getting technical training when they needed it
  • Learning job-hunt skills
  • Practicing interview skills

One of the most important skills her sons learned was networking. Networking has helped Angela’s son in:

Tip #3: Find mentors

Mentors can help teens make connections that will open doors for their future careers. However, even more important is the fact that mentors can be guides full of advice, encouragement and resources for teens. Angela and her sons looked for mentors at church, volunteer and small jobs. For instance, they looked for folks who had:

  • Skills that she wanted her sons to explore
  • Good character qualities

Mentoring situations can look different according to the family needs. For instance, you could invite the mentor to spend a little time over coffee or a family dinner. Even more valuable is the opportunity to have an apprenticeship or internship with that mentor.

For information on mentoring relationships and resources for teens with special needs, check out our interview with Dr. Rochelle Matthews-Somerville. BTW- Dr. Matthews-Somerville is one of our special 7Sisters’ Cousins, who shares tips and resources for homeschooling high school at EMF Consulting.

Tip #4: Do not rush

As moms, we tend to worry about our teens. It is easy to fall into the trap of becoming heavy equipment moms who micromanage our teens. When Angela worried about the future for her son who struggled with learning disabilities, her husband would remind her,

“Life is long, he has plenty of time to figure it out.”

Isn’t that great advice?!

Both of Angela’s sons are experiencing success in their different careers AND in their interests AND in church AND in other adulting areas. Your homeschool teens can, too!

Join Vicki and Angela for an inspiring chat. In the meantime, check out these posts.


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Helping Non-College-Bound Teens Find Success

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