catholic homeschool teen

Homeschooling High School When Your Teen is Unsure About Their Future

“My teen has no idea what she wants to do after high school. How do I plan a curriculum?” Don’t worry! It’s simpler than you think.

Navigating the high school years can be a daunting task, especially when your child isn’t sure about their future career path. And, to be honest, it is a bit much to expect our teens to know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their lives. High school is a great time for exploration to help guide them and learn about various options.

As Catholic homeschoolers, we have the unique opportunity to provide a well-rounded education that prepares our children for their future career/vocation as well as for Heaven. The following are ideas on structuring a high school curriculum that keeps doors open and fosters a love for learning, even when the future is uncertain.

A Good Liberal Arts Education: The Foundation for All Paths

A strong liberal arts education is invaluable, regardless of whether your child is inclined toward the humanities or a STEM field. This can include subjects such as classic literature, philosophy, mathematics, and social & physical sciences as distinct from technical subjects. Here’s why it matters:

  • Critical Thinking: Liberal arts studies emphasize the analysis and evaluation of complex ideas. This is essential not only in fields like philosophy and history but also in scientific research and problem-solving.
  • Communication Skills: Whether your child becomes a writer, engineer, or entrepreneur, the ability to articulate ideas clearly and persuasively is key. Courses in literature, history, and the arts foster these skills.
  • Ethical Reasoning: A well-rounded education includes discussions on morality and the human condition. This foundation helps students navigate the ethical dilemmas they will inevitably face in life.

Formal Logic: Sharpen the Mind

Formal logic should be a core subject in any high school curriculum. This discipline teaches students how to construct sound arguments and identify fallacies, which is beneficial in every field of study and in everyday decision-making. Logic courses improve problem-solving skills and enhance the ability to think systematically and critically.

Good Writing Skills: Essential Across Disciplines

Strong writing skills are crucial for success in both academic and professional settings. Encourage your child to write regularly and explore various styles, including creative writing, technical writing, and essay writing. This practice will help them communicate their ideas effectively and confidently, no matter what career they pursue.

Theology: Deepen Faith and Understanding

I like to say that we have the four R’s in our homeschool—Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmatic, and Religion. Integrating theology and apologetics into your homeschool curriculum not only strengthens your child’s faith but also enhances their understanding of the world. A solid theology education will help your child recognize his or herself as a child of God and their place in His creation. It will also provide a framework for ethical decision-making and instill a sense of purpose and vocation. Study of the Catechism, Church history, and Sacred Scripture can inspire and guide your teen, regardless of their future career/vocation.

Extracurricular Activities and Electives: Broaden Horizons

Extracurricular activities and electives are vital in helping teens discover their passions and develop new skills. Here are a few ways you can incorporate a variety of these into your homeschool plan:

  • Drama, Sports, and Music: Participation in drama can improve public speaking and confidence. Sports teach teamwork and perseverance. Music enhances creativity and discipline.
  • Academic Clubs: Joining homeschool clubs related to subjects like debate, robotics, or math can ignite a passion for these areas and provide valuable social and intellectual engagement. If you don’t have anything like this in your local community, start one!
  • Electives: Offer a diverse range of electives to keep your child engaged and curious. Consider courses in:
    • Computer Science: A basic understanding of coding is important in today’s tech-driven world.
    • Fun Science: Hands-on experiments and exploratory courses can spark an interest in scientific fields.
    • Fiction Writing: Creative writing fosters imagination, improves narrative skills, and aids in literary analysis. (Though I would argue this is a core subject and not an elective.)
    • Culinary Arts: Practical life skills are important, and cooking can be a rewarding elective.
    • Political Science: Understanding political systems and civics is crucial for informed citizenship.

Create a Flexible and Adaptable Plan

When planning your teen’s high school education, remember to remain flexible. Allow their interests to guide some of your choices, but also don’t be afraid to challenge them to try out new things. Encourage exploration in various fields. You never know what will light a spark. Conversely, your teen may learn that a certain field is NOT for them. For example, when I insisted my son take a one-semester introductory programming course, it became apparent quickly that was not an interest for him! So, be prepared to adjust the curriculum as needed.

To help you plan, meet with your teen regularly to discuss their goals and interests—schedule it in the planner!


Homeschooling high school when your child is unsure about their future can be a roller coaster ride. Yet, it can also be an enriching journey. By providing a solid liberal arts foundation, incorporating diverse electives and extracurriculars, and emphasizing critical skills like logic and writing, you will prepare your teen for any path they choose. Most importantly, grounding their education in faith will guide them in making moral and meaningful life decisions.

Embrace the uncertainty and use it as an opportunity to create a well-rounded and inspiring high school experience.

Online Resources and Classes

Homeschool Connections provides a wide variety of online courses covering all of the above. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Do you have homeschooling tips to share? Join me and other homeschooling parents at our Homeschool Connections Community or our Facebook group to continue the discussion!

Resources to help you in your Catholic homeschool…

Catholic Homeschool Classes Online

Homeschooling Saints Podcast

Good Counsel Careers

The Catholic Homeschool Conference

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