I have a high schooler, and college is right around the corner (sniff…sniff). We’re spending more and more time talking about his interests, what he thinks he might want to study, colleges, financial aid, etc. Because of this, I was really happy when we were given the opportunity to work on the Thrive Academics Voyage review.
Voyage is an online College and Career Readiness course for high school students – with four different modules:
- Who I Am (Personal Development)
- Career Planning
- College Planning
- Financial Responsibility
Thrive Academics Voyage Review – Module 1:
The Who I Am module contains important information – and many thought-provoking questions are asked. These include: Who are you? What’s important to you? What are your passions? Yes, this is heavy stuff!
Specifically, the module covers the importance of identifying one’s purpose and strengths, having a vision statement, the difference between short and long term goals, the idea of SMART Goals (goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely), the need for action plans, and more. The PDFs and exercises that go along with the module and reinforce the topics are really good/very helpful. My son complained about starting the program but once he dove in, he was excited to finish each module.
Here’s an idea you might want to think about: Take this part of the course with your teen. Explain that passions and strengths can change over time – then share your results with each other. It’s a great opportunity for meaningful dialogue. And you can learn more about yourself and your child at the same time. So, it’s a win-win.
Thrive Academics Voyage Review: Module 2 – Career Planning.
The career content is aligned to the National Career Development Guidelines. It covers the differences between jobs and careers; how to research career options and choose a career with a future; as well as how to fill out a job application, write a resume, and more. Yep – it’s important information for sure! Information that might be hard to discuss and prep your child for if you didn’t have a program like this in place.
The College Planning module is especially valuable –and you’ll appreciate this material too. It’s aligned to the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards and it discusses community colleges, 4-year universities, and tech/trades school options. The course doesn’t assume a student will be going the 4 year route – which I appreciate. My son was looking into trade schools for a very long time and I was glad this didn’t push in one direction or the other.
Other important info: As a college student, you need to know where each class is before the day classes start, high school and college grades are determined in a different manner, internships are very valuable, and more.
The PDFs for this module are extremely helpful – especially The Federal Student Loan Program PDF and the My Schools Profile PDF.
Even though I really like this module (my son did too), there are some topics that are omitted. These include – the importance of the PSAT, dual credit courses, and the option of online college courses. Dual credit and online options are especially important to homeschoolers. Be sure to discuss these with your teen.
The Financial module is chock-full of information. It includes info on budgeting and wants vs. needs; how to open a bank account and balance a checking account; credit cards, compound interest; taxes; financial responsibility; even retirement, and the importance of starting a retirement account at a young age.
Thrive Academics Module 5: Everyday Living
This module teaches important topics students will need to master to live on their own. These include health and nutrition, communication, healthy relationships, traveling, getting a driver’s license, and learning how to buy a car and rent an apartment/home.
I really liked all four modules. But what did my son think of them? I asked him, and here are his responses (positive and negative) –
- The content is important –I pretty much needed to know all of it– especially the college and financial stuff.
- Having to fill out my personal profile and my purpose statement was a valuable experience – I had to think about my strengths and my goals. Not stuff I normally spend a lot of time on.
- I liked a lot of the PDFs. Some were really useful – so I liked them because of that – and I liked the ones that looked like infographics. You can print off all the PDF s which was good for assignments – and as Module 1 suggests, good for taping to your wall/mirror.
- I liked the animation including the drag and drop activities and the avatars. Much better than clip art and boring power point slides.
- The final exams in each module were good – even though I’m not big on exams.
- It’s online….so it’s self-paced….I could complete it when I wanted to – I like working at night.
- There are a few things I’d change – 1. you can’t skip a screen. So if you already know how to write a check, you still have to go through the screen. 2. Each module includes summaries – what we discussed/what we learned – they are kind of a waste of time (although, not much time – they’re not long). 3. There’s no pre-test option. I appreciated the college info, but some of my friends that have older brothers and sisters kind of know lots of this stuff already. If you could take a pre-test first, you could skip the stuff you already know. A lot of online programs have this option and I guess I’m kind of used to it.
- The good info certainly outweighs my pain points with the program and I am glad my mom worked with me on this. I learned a ton and will take all of this information with me to college.
On a personal note (from me, the mom), I found Voyage to be exceptionally valuable. It’s kind of your one-stop shop for college and career readiness – and I liked that Voyage is a course full of information and activities, not just a resource. So many college and career readiness programs out there are just resources, which is fine, but Voyage has an element of engagement that we really appreciated.
And I was thrilled with the financial responsibility component! Even though my son knew some of this info already, a refresher is always welcome.
So, yes, I would recommend this course to any family with a high school student.
Just FYI – one more bit of info – Thrive Academics also offers
- In-home or online tutoring for grades K-12 in math, language arts, reading, writing, science, history, and foreign language.
- Test Prep for the ACT, GED, GRE, ISEE, PSAT, and SAT.
- College Advisement.
So far, I haven’t used these services, but I like that they are offered. Ancillary products/services are always a plus in my book – especially when it comes to college readiness.
Voyage offers competitive and affordable pricing for home school students at $60 per student for a 1 year subscription.
Learn more here: http://www.thriveacademics.com/voyage.php
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Thrive Academics Voyage Review
- Thrive Academics Voyage Review