Overview: Voyage is a life skills curriculum for teens that will teach them all the things they refuse to hear from you in a fun and interactive way. Note: This article was sponsored by Voyage, but all opinions are my own.
What do you think is important for your teen to know? Other than academics, I mean.
Do you want them to be able to put a decent dinner on the table?
Or to take care of small children?
Or to drive the car without rearranging the bodywork?
There are lotsa ways to teach life skills and to give your teen high school electives credit at the same time. You can teach them yourself, you can have them learn on their own, you can hire them out to someone—I’ve done all of the above.
One of our daughters cooked enough meals over time that she got Home Economics credit. I helped a little bit, but not much!
She also worked as a nanny for my friend and got Early Childhood Development credit for it.
All of my kids got Driver’s Ed credit for stripping a few years off my life during the training process; they received a P when they had successfully passed their driver’s test and received their license.
(Pass/Fail can definitely be a thing for life skills electives. All you care about is that they can DO the skill, not necessarily how they got there. I’m not going to grade them while they’re learning something; that’s hardly fair. But I’m also not going to give an A for something that is either a can-do or cannot-do; it doesn’t seem right to me to skew their GPA that way. But that’s just me; you do you, as always.)
Related: Episode 67 – How to Decide about Extras for Homeschooling High School
In all of these cases, we kept track of how many hours were spent in the activity and gave .5 credit for anything over 60 hours and 1 credit for anything over 120 hours. (These numbers apply to electives; I recommend more hours than that for core courses.)
Related: Planning Electives in Your Homeschool
Related: 4 Keys to Unschooling High School Successfully
But sometimes it’s easiest to use a pre-packaged curriculum for life skills, so you can feel more comfortable giving an actual grade –especially when these skills can hugely impact the rest of your teen’s life!
I recently became acquainted with Voyage, a course by Thrive Academics that teaches life skills for teens, and I think it’s a solid choice for a life skills curriculum.
Voyage is an online course with five modules that cover everything from discovering one’s purpose, to career and college planning, to financial responsibility and everyday living. I’ve worked through some of the course myself, and I think it would be a great fit for many teens.
Why I recommend Voyage life skills curriculum for teens:
Voyage is reasonably priced.
I’ll be excruciatingly honest and say that one of the first things I look at in a curriculum is cost. This has always been reality for me, y’all. If I can’t afford it, then why look at it further?
Well, Voyage is ridiculously reasonable at only $60 for all five modules. When we’re talking about giving our kid the skills needed to succeed AT LIFE, hello, then we might be willing to spend much more — but with Voyage, we don’t have to. I’m a fan of that.
Voyage is interactive and entertaining.
I’m always up for non-boring, and I think teens feel the same, am I right? Voyage has cute and captivating animation, without being too young, if you know what I mean. Students navigate through the course not by tabs or a standard outline, but by moving around on a map. At each place they learn and practice something new.
Interesting characters are introduced along the way, and activities are not the same ‘ol same ‘ol you see in every other life skills curriculum. For instance, in the first module, students create a personal brand. This is current terminology, y’all, but many life skills courses don’t even address it. Voyage explains your brand as “what other people say about you when you are not in the room”, which is a great way to make it applicable at this age. Why not start now building a life of integrity? Which overlaps with my next point:
Voyage is in-depth and meaningful.
This is the thing about Voyage that I am most impressed with. ALL of the information and activities and resources will help your teen in a real way, not just the blah-blah of information imparted but content that could literally change the direction of their lives. The first module is especially applicable in this regard, but all of them provide substantial and worthwhile knowledge at a time when your teen is making long-term decisions and setting their course for moving forward.
There is access to several different pertinent resources throughout the course, such as an interest profiler that will recommend jobs based on your teen’s answers to 60 questions. There is full information about each job, including how much preparation it would involve and what the employment outlook and salary range would be.
Activities throughout the course are super practical, from filling out a W-4 to researching travel costs to inventorying your communication skills (that one was an eye-opener for me! Ack!). All of the information given throughout the course is the type that you want your teen to know but that they might not necessarily take from you, LOL.
Voyage is all about encouraging your teen to take personal responsibility for their life and the individual duties therein.
Isn’t this what we want a life skills curriculum to do? Be honest!
Voyage has built-in evaluation.
There is a final exam for each module of the course. It’s not difficult but will show how seriously your teen embraced the learning process as they worked through the course. Also, you can always evaluate each activity your teen completes — they can be printed out or uploaded as needed.
Voyage is designed to be a semester-long course.
This would make it worth .5 credit as an elective. I anticipate some kids would work through this much more quickly than 60 hours, while others might utilize that full amount of time. But since the creator says it is a semester course, you can count it for that .5 credit regardless of how long your teen takes.
Some modules will take longer than others; do keep an eye on whether your teen is being thorough or just breezing through. This would be the case for any life skills curriculum, but Voyage provides reports so you can check the competency of your teen as well as the time they’ve spent in each module (or on each section or activity) and more.
I think a year on life skills such as these might be too much to expect; a semester is just right to give it importance without creating stagnation for your teen. And they can use what they learn in this course for perhaps a follow-up course based on completing the research for careers or colleges — the possibilities for how to use their knowledge after this one are endless.
Will Voyage teach your teen to cook? No, but it will show them how to create a balanced meal! Since my 22yo now comes home most of the time with a McDonalds bag in his hand, I’m feeling I might have missed that somewhere along the way!
Take a look at the Voyage life skills curriculum for teens TODAY. You can do so here: VoyageCourse.com.
You can find them on Facebook here: Thrive Academics.
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