With the blink of an eye, your precious little newborn grew into an adventurous, independent, dreamy teen that is about to graduate from high school. Where did the time go!? Just as you taught them to walk, talk, eat, brush their teeth, and get dressed, you will need to teach them the life skills they’ll need for life after graduation. It can be a daunting task when you think of all the things they need to know, but we broke down the key areas to give you some pointers on how to prepare them for the next chapter of their life.
Some teens are encouraged to get a part-time job while still in high school while others are encouraged to focus on their studies and extracurricular activities. If your teen won’t have a job until after graduation, sit down and discuss with them good places for them to apply. They will need money for gas, car insurance, food, activities, etc. so a job will be necessary. In addition to making money to support their lifestyle, they will gain valuable interpersonal skills through employment along with the skills needed to do their job. You can even offer to help fill out their first application and teach them what key words to use to sound marketable and attractive to a potential employer.
You should have a serious conversation with your teen to determine the income they need to generate to cover their expenses while emphasizing that they still need time to complete their higher education, should your student decide they wish to enroll. It’s a delicate balance, but it can be done.
If your teen doesn’t already have their driver’s license, now is the time to get it. Once they graduate, they will need a vehicle to drive (or access to one) to/from work and college and in order to do that, they’ll need a license to drive.
Help explain how insurance works to your teen and let them know that valid insurance is required at all times to operate a vehicle. Let them know what to do in case they are ever involved in an accident. Show them the insurance premium for the vehicle they are driving and go over their responsibilities in regards to it. Driving is a big responsibility and privilege. They need to treat it as such.
One of the biggest decisions that needs to be made is whether or not your teen will pursue a higher education after graduating from high school. This decision should not just be left up to the teen but rather it should be a discussion within the family. Ask questions such as how will college be paid for, what area of study interests them, what will they do with their degree, and will they qualify for any scholarships?
If they are interested in going to college, you should direct some attention during their senior year to expanding their resume. Encourage them to enroll in some extracurricular activities. Ask if they will volunteer with you at the local soup kitchen. Help them study and boost their grades. All of these factors look great on college applications and enrich the lives of your teen.
Once you know what colleges they are interested in, make a call to the admissions offices and see what the requirements are for enrollment. They also have guidance counselors that can advise you on obtaining financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Arrange a tour of the college campuses so your teen can see where they would be living and attending classes. These tours are invaluable and could make or break your teen’s interest in the college.
Come to the conclusion that a higher education just isn’t right for your teen? There are plenty of technical programs where your student could still obtain a certification and/or licensure that would allow them to enter directly into the workforce. These certifications typically allow someone to enter a profession and make a decent living. Plumbers, electricians, and mechanics are always in demand.
Some students choose to have a “gap year,” which is a year break between high school and college where they explore, travel, and work before they enter their higher learning commitment. Should your student mention wanting to go this route, explore the pros and cons as a family.
Hopefully up until this point, your children have had chores but if not, it’s definitely not too late to start. Helping around the house teaches kids responsibility and what goes into making a house function. Vacuuming, dusting, doing laundry, grocery shopping and cooking prepares kids for when they are on their own. Your teen should also be taught how to budget their money, use debit and credit cards responsibly, and balance a checkbook. You would be surprised how many teens leave home without having any financial skills. That puts them at a severe disadvantage.
Enjoy Your Teen
Before you know it, your teen will be out on their own. Enjoy the time with them while they are still under your roof. Make memories as a family and dream about their future with them. While they embark on this new chapter of their life, things will be different so cherish these moments.
At My Virtual Academy, we prepare your teen for the best life possible upon graduation by providing them with a stellar education as well as a $500 scholarship upon graduation. Would your teen benefit from being a virtual learner and learning at their own pace, in the comfort of their own home? Give us a call at 800-297-2119 or visit us at www.myvirtualacademy.com to check out all we have to offer.