Written by Shannon

This month’s theme is turning work experience into high school credit.

Previously, I shared the Work Experience credits and course description examples, which I also shared in the Course Description Basics workshop.

These came directly from the narrative transcript I put together for my sister during the semester she lived – and homeschooled – with us.

But as I mentioned, employment-related skills are not the only skills our teens are gaining while employed.

More than likely they are learning and building valuable soft skills

And, depending on what job they have, hard skills too.

One or more of these may also translate to high school credit.

For my sister, because she and I spent a lot of time and energy building her interpersonal skills that semester, not only did she earn the work experience credit, she also received an interpersonal communication skills credit.

Yes, the work experience credit had workplace communication wrapped up into it.

But the work we did, the mentoring, the conversations, the skill building we did in the area of interpersonal communication was above and beyond just what would be considered a part of the work experience credit.

So I gave her an interpersonal communication credit as well.

This summer a friend’s son worked as camp counselor. The job required leadership skills training prior to starting the job, plus a huge amount of on-the-job leadership experience.

To the point, he said he learned more about leadership from working than he did during all his training.

In this case, if they choose to, he has enough learning, experience, and skills to be given a Leadership Skills credit.

So these were two “soft skills” examples.

Depending on what work your teen is doing, you may have enough to package up a hard skills credit – or, combine it with other learning, experiences, and skills for another credit.

For my son Josh, his first job, at 14, was with a STEM education company. Part of his job – aside from sorting Legos and helping facilitate classes, was setting up Minecraft servers for parties and events.

The learning, experiences, and skills he gained were combined with other technology related things he was doing, and were included as part of his technology credits.

(His transcript is the one you see on the Anatomy of a Transcript example, available in the Free Resource library)

Another part of Josh’s job was researching technology to solve specific problems and reporting back to his employer his findings and recommendations.

Those experiences, which exercised his research skills, analytical skills, and his written and oral communication skills, were included as part of his English credits.

These were on top of the Work Experience credit he earned.

In my son, Zachary’s case, his work experience – from an internship and an apprenticeship – were trade-related skills in property management, construction (and demolition), as well as animal care.

The work-related learning, experiences, and skills developed were developed over months of full-time work – well above the 120-150 hours needed for one high school credit.

So he earned credit for his hard skills in addition to his Internship credit and his Apprenticeship credit.

We also incorporated some of his animal care experiences with his other animal care experiences into an animal science credit.

So the possibilities are very contextual, based on what your student is learning and experiencing, and what skills they are developing as part of their work experience.

Hopefully this has helped give you some ideas on what is possible, and what might work for your teen’s experiences.

Until next time,

P.S. For more on credits or naming courses, please see the Understanding Credits workshop and/or the Course Titles workshop found in Getting Started with Homeschool Transcripts

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