Homeschooling grants students an incredible opportunity to impact their community. The freedom of a homeschooling schedule allows homeschoolers to do much more with their time than the standard student. Because of this, many homeschoolers graduate high school with both a diploma and an extensive resume.
This is an enormous advantage when these students reach college. Too many college students graduate with little if any experience in their field of interest. The sooner a student contributes to the community and workplace, the better for his long term goals!
How does this apply to your ninth grader? While he may not be seeking volunteer and work opportunities at fourteen years old, you can start keeping track of what he does do in anticipation of future achievements.
Begin documenting achievements and awards.
Even the little things matter. They might not stay on his transcript forever; he’ll need to update these each year. But by documenting each achievement you create a cohesive picture of your child’s passions and strengths. These can gain him a summer job or internship opportunity that will open up more opportunities in the future.
Where should you document these? Try adding an “Awards and Achievements” addendum to his high school transcript, and create a separate document that will become his resume.
Create a resume to be regularly updated.
It may seem silly to create a resume for your barely-out-of-middle-schooler, but think of it as a framework for the future. As he grows older you’ll flesh it out with each year’s work. This is also a great way to stay up to date on references, who he will need for jobs, internships, and college applications. Resume templates can be found online or even in Microsoft Word. A simple template kept with his transcript will provide direction as your child considers majors and potential careers.
Identify weak areas and find support.
As you record strengths and achievements, you can pinpoint which areas need more work. Improvement may require anything from more one-on-one attention to a new curriculum to hiring a tutor, specifically in subjects that have a significant influence on test scores (such as math and reading comprehension). Sometimes a change of environment (such as switching to a co-op or university style class for a subject) or one-on-one teaching (such as from a tutor or fellow homeschooler more skilled in the subject) is enough to help a student grasp the concepts that don’t come naturally to him.
Continue to watch your student through the spring term of his ninth grade year, particularly at the subjects where his strengths and interests intersect. These subjects could lead to a potential major or, down the road, a fulfilling career!