Plato wrote that Socrates says people make themselves appear ridiculous when they are trying to know obscure things before they know themselves. I feel very strongly that teens that "Know Themselves" have a better chance of success in life. We do a lot of "know thyself" tests around here.
One of the most important tests I had the kids do was: Strengths Quest - Strengths Based Test for Teens. As many of my readers know, I love the Strengths Based Tests. So do my kids. It was fun to see similarities and differences between my two teens, my husband and me. I think discovering this information has helped us all to be a little more tolerant and understanding, too.
For example, my teen son's highest strength is: Positivity. Now, anyone that knows my son would see that. But combine that with Individualization, Woo, Communication and Activator, you have someone that can get people to get things done. He's a ring leader in the most positive sense. He has a future in Sales or Recruiting or Teaching. And since he can read people well, he is very good at finding the right gift or book for someone. He's my go-to guy for buying presents in the family.
My daughter, on the other hand, scored highest in Input, like her trivia-loving dad. She has to research, collect and research some more. No surprise here, but learning that she also has Maximizer, Intellection, Harmony and Responsibility, means she has a combination that means she's reliable, thorough and fair. If we want to know the "right" thing to do in a situation, we ask her. Unfortunately, those traits can set her up to not want to decide on things because she never has enough information (input), wants to give the RIGHT answer (Harmony and Responsibility) and the BEST answer (Maximizer and Intellection). She's truly the fairest in the land, or at least at our house (and I mean that both ways).
I also spent the money to have them do the Strong Interest Inventory. High school is a time to consider your strengths and interests to know what vocation you might pursue. The results here, too, were extremely interesting because they took into consideration my children's interests in combination with their strengths.
As we do high school, I want my kids to know themselves better than I knew myself at that age. I had an abysmal high school counselor who just wanted girls to go to college. However, no one ever took into consideration any of my strengths when counseling me. I had good grades in Math, Science and English. So, I was directed to go the Math/Science route. Surprise, surprise, my highest scores on my SATs were English (or whatever they called it wayyyy back then.) So, I enrolled in a predominantly male high technology program because I was assured that I would be guaranteed a job because I was a woman (no one ever spoke of my abilities). And, then, I made sure that I did my best, got scholarships and good grades. I don't regret what I did. However, the program really didn't fit my strengths.
Have you ever heard the adage "Do what you love and the money will follow?" Once I changed direction in my career to better match my strengths, I did very well and looked forward to going to work EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. That was not the case on my first chosen career path (Laser Engineering) but it was the case before I left the work world to stay at home with my children (Curriculum Development, Subject Matter Expert, Training Development and Delivery).
So, given my kids don't have a high school counselor, not that mine really helped me, I wanted to give them things to think about and information about vocations that matched their strengths and interests. I do not receive any kick back for this, but you can purchase the Strong Interest Inventory (now called iStartStrong) at www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org for half price. It's a good place to start and if you have a child that is unsure of their future interests, this might be a place to start.
The Homeschool Buyer Co-op is a free homeschooling organization for both new and veteran homeschoolers. Co-op membership is free and confidential, and entitles homeschooling families to GroupBuy discounts on high-quality curriculum. On the site you'll find lots of free information, such as databases of free curriculum, field trips, and educational contests and scholarships. Highly recommended. Click here for more information.