This is Part 16 in a series about Homeschooling High School and is now part of my new ebook – Homeschooling High School – It’s Not As Hard As You Think. You can sign up for my daily or weekly posts delivered to your email inbox so you don’t miss out on any future Sweetness.
What If My Highschooler Doesn’t Want to Go to College
Let’s talk about some practical plans for Homeschooling in the High School years. Not every high school student will go on to college, homeschooled or not, so it’ important to look at the big picture and be able to help guide our teens in the most appropriate manner to help them succeed in life beyond high school.
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Does Your Highschooler Plan to Go to College?
Remember when we talked about our mission as home educating parents in the high school years is that of a Trail Guide and mentor, rather than a drill Sergeant or Captain, calling out orders to complete assignments.
Believe it or not, if your teen is adamantly opposed to going to college right out of high school, this may not be a bad thing. There may be some very good reasons that they do not want to head straight to college now or in the future. But as their guide and mentor, we need to flush out the reasons why they feel this way and help them make the best decisions as they forge ahead in life beyond our homeschool nest.
The concept of a Gap Year is not a new idea, many high school graduates decide to go this route before making plans for any future education, or not.
So, if you have a student that wants to take a Gap Year, cool. As home educators we can capitalize on this and make it work for our teen in the best possible way. A time of discovery is never a bad thing 😉
Let’s Look at Some Options and Tackle Some Practical Plans
First of all, take a deep breath. Realize that as parents, it’s natural that we only want the best for our child, and our model of going immediately to college may not be your teen’s idea. There are many other ways for your teen to find their passion outside of the university walls, your job is to help them find it.
Start With An Inquiry
What are your teen’s reasons for not wanting the college opportunity right away, or at all? This will certainly give you some insight in to their thought processes and keep the lines of communication open between you – this is a win-win.
Do they want to travel?
- How will they pay for that?
- Are they fluent in any languages?
- Are they going to work abroad or just traipse around at their leisure?
- Do they want to study while they are abroad?
- Do they want to travel in a group or with a few friends?
Do they want to work in the Peace Corps or some other such affiliation?
- Within the US or Abroad?
- Are they mentally equipped to deal with natural disaster relief or working in potentially less-than-ideal conditions?
- Do they have experience with first aid or life-guarding?
- Maybe they can work through their church community towards aiding and assisting the less fortunate or home-bound.
Are they inclined towards a technical skill or occupation?
- Can they find an internship or work/study option to feed this passion?
- Computer technology camps?
- Volunteer or assist in a garage or auto-mechanic shop?
Do they love nature?
- Research Forest Service jobs or volunteer opportunities
- Look at Conservation options in your area *TIP: The Student Conservation Association offers internships all over the country that just might be right up your nature lover’s alley.
- How about a summer or two on a fishing boat in Alaska?
Does a Chef in training live at your house?
- Culinary Institutes are located all around the country, or a school abroad might be just the ticket.
- Can they gain some experience by working within the food industry while they are training?
- Starbucks anyone – the Barista option isn’t half bad?
Do they have any work experience?
- Can they find their passion in the work force?
- Can they earn some money to start saving for the future with this job?
- Is there a work opportunity at a parent’s or relative’s place of work?
Wow, the Gap Year doesn’t look so daunting anymore. As you can see, the sky’s the limit when it comes to choices for your teenager after high school graduation. Or any combination of some of these options over the course of a year or two. With the current average estimated cost of attending a four-year university being anywhere in the $40,000 – $100,000 range whether in-state, out-of-state, or private, it sure makes the Gap Year a very appealing option.
What Will Your High School Student Do After Graduation?
I am ready to answer your questions, encourage you and share more of what has worked for us. Please let me know how I can help.
Next Up – Cultivating Independent Learning Throughout Highschool
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