Chapter 1: Introduction

Table of contents

1.1 Welcome

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A sailboat sailing on the water in calm weather.

Welcome to Charting Your Own Course (CYOC)! We’re so happy to have you here. A team of educators and homeschool alumni developed this resource specifically for homeschooled teenagers, their families, and homeschool alumni in order to offer guidance on higher education, trade and vocational education, and career preparedness. 

CYOC is a project from the Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE), the only organization advocating for homeschooled children and their rights. At CRHE, we believe every homeschooled student has the right to an education and experience that prepares them for an open future. Unfortunately, not every homeschooled student gets the support they need. We hear from dozens of homeschooled students and alumni every year who need help getting to the next step in life, such as:

  • The homeschooled student who wants to go to college but whose parents won’t help them with the process
  • The homeschooled student who’s interested in taking up a trade but doesn’t know where to start
  • The homeschool alum who wants to live independently and needs advice about finances
  • The homeschool alum who doesn’t want a traditional career but isn’t sure what options are available to them

We created CYOC with these and many other experiences in mind, including our own. Our team is full of homeschool alumni, and we know firsthand that homeschooled students and alumni often face unique challenges as they pursue their goals. No matter if your homeschool experience was positive, negative, or somewhere in between, this guide is for you. 

Whether you’re interested in pursuing college or trade school or jumping straight into the workforce, CYOC offers practical guidance for achieving your goals. We also walk you through core financial skills such as budgeting, banking, and other important topics to help young adults achieve independence and financial stability. 

CYOC is designed to be a resource you can reference depending on your needs. We’ve organized it by topic, so that it’s easy to find the exact information you’re looking for. 

Chapter 2 offers general advice on envisioning your future and some practical advice on basics of adult life. This chapter has something to offer all readers, regardless of how confident they are in their next steps after homeschool.

Chapter 3 is geared toward readers who want to enter the workforce directly after homeschool, but is also useful background information for everyone who plans to get a job someday. 

Chapters 4-6 are for readers who are interested in pursuing higher education, such as a four-year degree from a university. We walk through the steps of this long (and sometimes confusing!) process in detail. 

Chapter 7 concerns the trades and gives an overview of vocational school and apprenticeships.  

Chapter 8 gives practical advice about financing your education and is relevant both to those aspiring to higher education and the trades.

Chapter 9 explores other options available beyond conventional paths, such as starting a small business and homesteading

1.2 Disclaimer

CYOC does not constitute the giving of legal or financial advice. For specific legal or financial advice, consult with an attorney or financial advisor.  

CRHE and the creators of CYOC are not liable for any outcomes based on using CYOC. The views expressed by third parties cited within CYOC do not necessarily represent the views of CRHE or CYOC’s creators. CRHE and CYOC are not liable for content published by the third parties cited within CYOC.

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