Options Other Than College
As we march into spring, you may find that your older children are itching to put their studies aside and experience "life!" And if your juniors and seniors are having second thoughts about whether college is really for them at this stage of life, we suggest that you assure them that options other than college are legitimate and worth investigating. This newsletter will help to guide them on their way.
Students interested in entering the marketplace and earning a salary right after they graduate can gain experience in a business establishment, an office environment, or an apprenticeship which will prove educational, challenging, and may ultimately lead to a lifelong career. Some companies are actively seeking motivated high school graduates who are willing to forego college for on-the-job training.
Some high school graduates will want further skills training without attending college. For these students, vocational and technical/trade schools offer certification programs for numerous careers. As students work through these programs, they will have opportunity to develop skills and form relationships with teachers who, in turn, may open doors for interviews and jobs in the workplace. To begin your search for more information on resources for this type of training, we invite you to look at our Vocation section of the high school website. Read more about it at: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=2879.
If the 9-to-5 workday isn't attractive to your student and he or she wants to go in a different direction, consider the military. Today our military is opening its doors wider and wider to homeschool grads, offering them the same benefits and incentives as other high school graduates. Your grad will receive superb training in the defense of our country and our freedoms as well as training in a particular skill. At the end of his or her term of service, if desired, there will be the opportunity to attend college with federal money. See http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=2881
Maybe your child needs time after high school graduation to stop, take a breath, and consider what the next step should be. The gap year concept is gaining in popularity giving our children the time to mature, expand their horizons, and gain "real-life" experiences. This gap year can help them narrow down what it is they want to pursue. So, how can they do this without it being a wasted year? Following are some suggested resources; however, please understand that discretion should be used since some of the chapters in the books are written from a non-Christian worldview.
If the budget allows, traveling can quickly broaden a student's horizons. This can take the form of pleasure trips or short-term mission trips. Be sure and check out our website for mission organizations offering short-term trips for high-schoolers. See http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=2885
For longer mission involvement, your student may wish to raise support and go for a year or two with a group such as Operations Mobilization on board one of their ships. Through volunteering their time and talents, your student has the opportunity to see the world--or at least a part of it.
Parlez vous fran�ais? No hablo espa�ol! Are languages what your student finds fascinating? How about a language immersion course? There are many offered with various time commitments. Some have the student live with a national family while others use school dormitories. These programs provide flexibility to fit each student's level of expertise, schedule, and budget. See Estudio Sampere
It's exciting to see all the choices your children have as you begin launching them on a life of their own where they will accept the responsibility for creating their own homes and families. This is an opportunity to pray with and for your children as they make decisions as young adults. You can help them incorporate possible post high school plans into your homeschool day. Consider "Career Development" as an elective course and help them investigate their ideas and develop an outline that includes their various options, any necessary training required, websites to check out, resumes to complete, etc.
Remember that even if college is not a consideration, you should still maintain good records of coursework completed in high school, and create a transcript for your child. Later, your child may decide to attend college so taking the SAT/ACT tests now while the information is fresh on his or her mind is recommended.
Lastly, and most importantly, help your child to see that planning for the future does not need to be an apprehensive time, but instead a time full of promise as godly counsel and advice is sought in this next phase of life. The Lord will give you and your child direction and guidance. Let the familiar words of Proverbs 3: 5-6 (NIV) encourage you as you lead your children in this endeavor:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
Have a blessed day walking in joy,
Becky and Diane
This resource is an article from the Homeschooling Thru Highschool newsletter (3/2/2006), and is provided by the Home School Legal Defense Association as a service to the homeschooling community.