When our children reach the ninth grade, they are faced with the task of choosing their school subjects for the next few years to come. Not only are these subjects they are expected to diligently stick to for the next few years, these subjects could also influence their after school studies, ventures and career path that they will follow. What a daunting decision to make! Especially at such a young age. How can we equip our children to choose the right school subjects that are best suited to their personality, without forcing our own ideas on them? Here are ways you can equip your child to make this very mature decision for themselves.
1) Research your child’s role models/people that he/she admires, and find out what path they took to get to their current careers. Often your child has an image of the end result in his head, but isn’t aware of how to get there. This activity can be very educational and eye opening!
2) Visit http://www.futuremorph.org/ to find out about various careers that they may have taken an interest in. This website also has a fun game to find out what career best suits your child. These may not always be accurate, but can help steer your child in the right direction. http://www.futuremorph.org/16plus/play/game-what-might-you-be/
3) Encourage your child to talk to you about the subject choices that are available, and why/why not they might appeal to them. In my family, we always made a point to talk it out. Whatever we may have been going through, needed to be discussed and worked through. This sort of openness not only strengthened our bond as a family, but helped us to deal with choices, problem solving and emotional distresses in a healthy manner.
4) Encourage your child to speak to the teachers that offer the various subjects he/she might be interested in. Sometimes the students can have a picture in their minds of what a subject could entail, only to find out a week into taking the subject that it wasn’t what they’d hoped at all! My High School used to host an annual subject choice evening that was compulsory for all ninth graders and their parents to attend. This evening focussed primarily on informing the students of what they could expect from each subject. It is always important to make an informed decision, so that you know what you’re getting into!
5) Talking to friends, neighbours and other adults that have chosen to follow a particular career that spikes your child’s interest could help. Again, your child may have an idea of what a certain career entails, but they may be surprised to know what that career is really about.
6) Try to organise a “Job Shadow” week. Sometimes the only way to see what a job would be like, is to actually do it for a while. Many schools in the area have what they call “real life week”. In this week, they find a place to shadow an employee and experience what working in that field would be like.
7) Encourage your child to choose a subject that they enjoy. Even if that particular subject may not help your child follow in the direction of a high earning successful career, if it’s something that they really enjoy- they will do well at it! Allowing your child to do something they are more passionate about will also mean that they would put more effort into it.