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Thinking about older DD here, if she is homeschooled for high school (we're looking at 50/50 chance right now, it could really go either way).  She has NO interest in college and none of her career goals require it (tech school/certificate, yes.  4 yr degree?  nope).  I realize things can change. If she changes her mind, she can go to community college, so no doors are being slammed shut.  But, all this has me rethinking what homeschool-high school could look like for her. 

 

What if creating a college-worthy transcript didn't matter?  What if the focus was on preparing her for being a responsible adult who is able to support herself in a way that brings her joy?  What would that look like?

 
I know for some people reading this it's hard to imagine any other way than high school as preparation for college to get your 4 year degree, so I'm asking you to stretch out of your comfort zone and brainstorm with me.
 
What if there was no college to think about?  How would that change your education plans for your child's teen years?

 

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Our district requires college-prep to graduate almost. I think we'd do thematic unschooling provided she had a part-time job. It would be exhilarating to think about. I might just say, start a business, when I see a plan I'll drum up $10k in investment capital somehow.

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I would still do college prep.  I would want my kiddo to have the possibility of walking into a 4 year university and doing the work, even if they thought they did not want to.  IMO, there is no downside to being able to write really well, do high school level  math and science and having read great works of literature.  All of these things will serve you well no matter what career path is chosen.  If there was an interest in a particular thing, like CAD design, I would include lots of computer courses and might replace one of the sciences with computer science.

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I know my son is only 7 (my oldest) but I don't see it changing the way I teach if I thought he was going to be a chef for instance (first career that popped into my head that doesn't have a 4 year degree requirement to my knowledge). My son would benefit from learning a second language. My son would still benefit from learning math and physics (molecular gastronomy!). He would still need to know history (anyone watch Top Chef last night?). 

 

I really don't see how things would change. Maybe WAY later on in his last 2 years of high school but not before then really. 

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Trade school and/or AA which ever is more applicable. I know many well to do hairdressers who went straight to hairdressing school while in high school. They did not go to college. I know many well to do bakers and chefs too, mostly freelancers.

 

The annual pay for electricians for my city according to vacancies ad by the city is about $88k-$132k. The requirements is a GED or high school diploma with 2-5 years relevant experience in the scope of work. A teacher's starting pay without experience for quick comparison is $48k annual.

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I started homeschooling my son last year, who was in 8th grade at the time, because he was really behind and has some learning disabilities.   I am realizing that a four year college is probably not going to happen right after high school.  There is a video game design program at the community college that he is interested in but that requires one writing class and an algebra/trig.  Therefore, I want to just get him to the highest level that I can in those areas.  Otherwise, I am really trying to figure this out too.  He might be signed up for a career exploration class, programming or a technology class next year for his electives, and then we can continue to work on math, writing, history and science at home. 

 

Have you listened to any of the Julie Bogart periscopes?  She's really inspirational, especially for people who do a more relaxed type of schooling. 

Edited by HeWillSoar
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I would still do the college prep.  What if 5 years after graduating they decide that they do want a college degree?  It will be more difficult if the high school education does not go that route.  I would look at skills that they could learn and use for their own business like upholstery,  sewing, sales, photography, etc.  Teach business sense as well, book keeping, payroll, marketing, people skills, etc.

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If my student did not wish to attend college, I would make doubly sure that she got a rigorous high school education - precisely because this might be the last time she is taking a math, science, literature, history and foreign language class.

So, I'd still do a "college prep" high school because that would be my graduation requirement - whether she plans to attend college or not.

 

Even if I did not have to think about college, I would want to graduate an educated young adult who is widely read, had strong math skills, a firm grasp on world history, the basics of physics, chemistry and biology, and is reasonably fluent in at least one language besides English.

 

ETA: Always assumed we are talking about a neurotypical student with no learning disabilities

 

2nd ETA: The above does not really limit students in the pursuit of other valuable activities - it takes only about five hours per day for the academic year. That leaves plenty of time for sports, music, art, relaxation, jobs, friendships, travel. My DS trains 10+ hours per week, works a part time job, spends time with his girl friend, plays video games with friends. My DD rode horses, sang in choir, read a lot, became an accomplished baker and cook, went hiking with us, volunteered. I think it is a myth that a college prep high school education prevents students from having a "life" - or from being prepared for "real" life (whatever people mean by that phrase...)

 

 

 

Edited by regentrude
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I've given it a lot of thought. College prep, even junior college prep, is not the default here anymore.

 

The community college that the state rehabilitation prefers to send students to has raised its prerequisites to non-selective 4-year levels. Certificates and basic degrees are being phased out; at least what I am seeing and being told about. I'm confused about how this is fully playing out. It certainly is not going to get more people off the system, if there isn't more going on quietly behind the scenes.

 

Many of my students are not going there, or would never graduate from there. I need to prepare them for what they ARE likely to encounter, and I refuse to sacrifice today for an unlikely tomorrow.

 

Grounding is a focus here. Time for the arts and nature study. Handcrafts. Cooking. Holy book study. Lots of real books instead of texts.

 

Nobody is purchasing or completing heavy tomes of advanced maths anymore. They are doing all sorts of speed and consumer maths and reviewing what they are still shaky on and that is USED in REAL life. We notebook math. We read real books about math, when I can get my hands on them. The history of math. A strong focus on the Hindu-Arabic number system and comparison to other systems. Books from the money management section of the bookstore.

 

Students work jobs and volunteer. They have hobbies and join community activities.

 

Preparing for 4 year college is a narrow and time-consuming and expensive activity. It limits what else can be done. I know that it does and no one is going to convince me differently. There is only so much time and money and mental focus; there are limits. Choices need to be made. Do it all is a myth. Keeping all doors open is a myth.

 

I'm happy to see a student go on a group bike ride or bake a loaf of bread instead of doing advanced maths. I really am.

 

 

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I would still want to provide an education that was deep and meaningful, but I would skip the "institutional schooling" bits — like integrating topics and following lots of rabbit trails rather than dividing things up into discrete "subjects" that match school categories, focusing "output" on things like discussion and projects instead of quizzes and busy work, and covering some topics (like math and science) in more applied and relevant ways (kitchen chemistry, botany, nutrition, A&P, physics of everyday things) instead of using standard textbooks. We would still study languages, but I would be less worried about ensuring 3 yrs of one language and be more open to trying a bunch of different languages for fun, and I'd want to include more travel and immersion experiences. I would still want to read and discuss literature and history, as well as making art and visiting lots of museums, but I wouldn't bother with texts or care about packaging things into "credits." Writing is important, obviously, but I'd focus on more practical writing skills and less on literary analysis essays and DBQs that have little relevance outside academia.

 

And actually, we do a lot of that, although in DS's case I'm forced to give grades and package things into "credits" because of NCAA's ridiculous and inflexible requirements. But even with that, DS is not doing a very typical "high school program" and his transcript will reflect that, within the constraints of NCAA regulations.

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The past few years have not gone the way I thought they would. When I started tutoring, I have a very narrow focus of preparing students for tests and the local community college. It didn't turn out to be what they needed most.

 

First they need ME to be in a good state to interact with them. The HUMAN stuff that goes on in interacting is more important than the information passed from me to them.

 

Secondly, I learned that WORKING changes a person, and is a good gauge of what she can handle at a college. I refuse to invest in preparing for college with a student that is unable to work.

 

Colleges are overwhelmed with mental health issues right now. I think it is important to study a bit about that and come up with some personal conclusions about what is going on. Mental health comes first here, even if just because that is the most efficient thing to do.

Edited by Hunter
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1.  Strong grasp of and functionality in personal finance. Agree with above, checking and savings accounts and a teen credit card.  Teach her how to handle finances.

2.  As mentioned, start a savings account and side activities/investments.  Commit to a certain amount going into that savings account and it will not be touched for any reason except extreme emergencies.  Get her used to doing that.

3.  Apprenticeships/internships in whatever she is interested ASAP, as well as solid info on what she needs in the way of certifications and the like.  Get that experience and those connections going.

4.  Maybe shadowing people who actually work in the fields she has interest to see what the job is REALLY like.

5.  Solid cooking skills.

6.  Ability to do her own basic repairs and maintenance of a home and vehicle.

7.  Consistent exercise and solid dental hygiene as well as healthy eating (preventing health issues as much as possible).

8.  Lots of rabbit trails.

9.  Lots of reading, including in areas she may not immediately have an interest (truly this can help in so many ways).

 

 

FWIW, DH and I started out in the same career (Broadcast TV).  I got a 4 year degree at a solid University but had a lot of loan debt when I graduated.  I also had very little experience working in our field when I graduated.  The school only had a 3 month internship at a local TV station as part of their degree plan even though the school had a good reputation for a solid program (lots of great hands on classes at the Uni but almost no direct contact with those in the "real world").  It took quite a while to build up contacts and I worked for minimum wage for a long time, with terrible hours.  I enjoyed it but by the time I got a full time job, DH (who is younger than me) already had been working full time and running a computer business on the side for at least a year and had an IRA and owned a house and a car and he was only 21.  

 

DH went a different route than I did.  He got an unpaid internship in Broadcast TV while he was still in High School.  It led to a paid internship and then a part time job within months.  That led to a full time job working odd hours while he was a Senior in High School.  He started at the local Uni then transferred to another Uni in another city when he was offered another full time job in Broadcast TV in that other city, with much better benefits and pay.  He got certifications in his field (Engineering) but he never actually finished his degree.  He didn't need to.  He kept getting promoted and then a company in another city offered him Assistant Chief Engineer because of his reputation in the industry.  That led to an even better job which led to better contacts and eventually the job he is in now (and has been for over 16 years).  He is respected in his field, successful in his field, and enjoys what he does.  He is in charge of the Engineering departments for several TV stations.  In some ways, yes he was lucky.  But what really, really helped was working, getting experience, making great contacts, and developing a solid reputation in the industry from the time he was still in High School.

 

You might find this interesting...

 

https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity?language=en

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I've given it a lot of thought. College prep, even junior college prep, is not the default here anymore.

 

The community college that the state rehabilitation prefers to send students to has raised its prerequisites to non-selective 4-year levels. Certificates and basic degrees are being phased out; at least what I am seeing and being told about. I'm confused about how this is fully playing out. It certainly is not going to get more people off the system, if there isn't more going on quietly behind the scenes.

 

Many of my students are not going there, or would never graduate from there. I need to prepare them for what they ARE likely to encounter, and I refuse to sacrifice today for an unlikely tomorrow.

 

I'm curious what you mean by this.  Do you mean the CC near you has prerequisites akin to a 4-year?  And that it's decreasing its certificates and basic degrees?

 

I'm finding that odd, as I've been really impressed with the wide variety of certificate programs and hands-on tech degrees our local CC has (and we're in the same state).  For example, dd may be interested in graphic design.  The CC has both a certificate and an AA, the latter of which includes an internship.  The certificate doesn't require any gen-eds at all, just on-point coursework.  I know they also have a great dental tech program (which is for the people who make dental prosthetics, like crowns, implants and dentures).  A large part of the program is working hands-on in a local lab, rather than academic.  It's the same for a lot of the health type certifications and degrees they offer, and there's a wide variety.  With all the partnerships they have to give work as well as academic experience for these degrees, I've been thinking it's a lot like some of the apprenticeship programs in Germany, where you work to learn and take classes on the side.  And I don't know of any entrance requirements other than a pulse and a diploma or GED if you're over 18 - there's a placement exam, but you just start taking classes where you place (and for certificates, I'm not sure that's even an issue, as you don't have to take math or English to complete them).  There's another CC a bit further west that has a program for high school dropouts up to I think early 20's where they don't even require a GED, and then classes are free. Are they really decreasing or restricting these kind of thing in the city CC? 

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I would start with your state's requirements for a high school diploma, and your local cc's requirements for entrance (for a baccalaureate-transfer program, our CC requires: 4 years English emphasizing writing, lit, and communications, 2 years social studies including government, 3 years math--geometry is needed, 2 years lab science--biology is needed, 4 years electives like foreign language, art, music, vocational course work, extra units of the above subjects, etc...)

 
 
That's only 15 credits, and it would be easy to keep that door open and still have time for more electives each year and end up with 20-24 credits. (24 credits is pretty typical for a 4-year college student, and that's what we aimed for. Also, our local highschool requires almost that many credits required for graduation.)
 
So much can change between 9th and 12th grade--I think it's in their best interest to at least make it easy to get into a CC. I did aim for a regular college-ready transcript, with a third year of social studies and science, and some foreign language, made sure they had at least a year of fine arts. Beyond that, things I felt were important:
 
PE (some form of exercise--good for life-long habits)
health
personal finance
college and career exploration (they can be interested in a field which requires college or not, but learn more about it now)
world views
Bible
following their interests as much as possible in every possible subject area. My son did robotics, Japanese history, back-stage theater work, guitar, and had a lot of freedom in choosing paper topics for history and English (so, writing or speech was required, topic was whatever my kids wanted to explore--similarly I often tailored lit. to their interests as well). He also had time for youth group and hobbies. My dd has done violin, voice, psychology, art, science fairs, and has had time for extras like youth group, babysitting twice a week, her own mini-sewing business, etc... 
 
I would consider apprentice-ships, job-shadowing, and on-the-job training in an area to be valuable experiences as well.
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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Interesting. I know quite a few returning college students have to take remedial Math or English if it has been a few years since they were in school, even if they did graduate with an advanced High School Diploma. In some cases it us use it or forget it.

 

If that was my thought process I would concentrate of economics, an internship in their area of interest, and continuing research skills, and editorial skills.

 

I would drop foreign languages, and concentrate more on formal logic. Then follow the child's interests deeper instead of a wide base of knowledge. I would also require more volunteer work.

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I would start with your state's requirements for a high school diploma, and your local cc's requirements for entrance (for a baccalaureate-transfer program, our CC requires: 4 years English emphasizing writing, lit, and communications, 2 years social studies including government, 3 years math--geometry is needed, 2 years lab science--biology is needed, 4 years electives like foreign language, art, music, vocational course work, extra units of the above subjects, etc...)

 

 

What?  I didn't know some CC's had pre-reqs for certain programs.  That's crazy.  Here anyone with a high school diploma can enroll in any program (except the nursing programs have separate requirements).  They do require math and English placement tests and the remedial courses don't count toward AA or transfer degree requirements.  So, it's in DD's best interests to be ready for College Algebra and  English 1.  But other than that....

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I focus heavily on entrepreneurship for my not so into college kid.

I love the idea of an entrepreneurial focus.  Home Fry does love making money and she is an extremely motivated, diligent, hard worker when it comes to "real" work, whether it's volunteering or paid.  

 

Academics, on the other hand....  (and I understand where her reluctance stems from, but... oy.)

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If my student did not wish to attend college, I would make doubly sure that she got a rigorous high school education - precisely because this might be the last time she is taking a math, science, literature, history and foreign language class.

So, I'd still do a "college prep" high school because that would be my graduation requirement - whether she plans to attend college or not.

 

Even if I did not have to think about college, I would want to graduate an educated young adult who is widely read, had strong math skills, a firm grasp on world history, the basics of physics, chemistry and biology, and is reasonably fluent in at least one language besides English.

 

ETA: Always assumed we are talking about a neurotypical student with no learning disabilities

 

2nd ETA: The above does not really limit students in the pursuit of other valuable activities - it takes only about five hours per day for the academic year. That leaves plenty of time for sports, music, art, relaxation, jobs, friendships, travel. My DS trains 10+ hours per week, works a part time job, spends time with his girl friend, plays video games with friends. My DD rode horses, sang in choir, read a lot, became an accomplished baker and cook, went hiking with us, volunteered. I think it is a myth that a college prep high school education prevents students from having a "life" - or from being prepared for "real" life (whatever people mean by that phrase...)

 

Are you confusing learning disabilities with intellectual disabilities?  I ask because I used to think they were one and the same.  With accommodations, a student with LDs absolutely can be academically successful if they're motivated in that direction.  So, no caveat was needed :)

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What?  I didn't know some CC's had pre-reqs for certain programs.  That's crazy.  Here anyone with a high school diploma can enroll in any program (except the nursing programs have separate requirements).  They do require math and English placement tests and the remedial courses don't count toward AA or transfer degree requirements.  So, it's in DD's best interests to be ready for College Algebra and  English 1.  But other than that....

 

If they want to enter the program to be able to transfer to a 4-year school, yep, they have requirements. There are other ways to work around the requirements (A GED, a combination of testing and proving oneself in certain classes, taking remedial classes first etc... one way or another, the student has to demonstrate a breadth of knowledge/ability that shows they are college-ready. So, it's not that someone couldn't get into the program if they didn't have everything on their high school transcript, but that there would be more hoops to jump through later.)  But really, the requirements aren't any more than what my state expects. 

 

Now, if a student wants to enter one of the many certificate programs, the requirements are lesser. 

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I would make sure my student was solid in arithmetic, Algebra, and Geometry.

 

I would want my student to do a course in introductory Physics.

 

I would want them to have a basic grasp of history, geography, and gov't.

 

I would have them read a variety of quality literature.

 

I agree with the training in finances mentioned above.

 

Outside of these items I would allow interest-led learning: in science, in composition, in humanities, and anything else they want.

 

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Thinking about older DD here, if she is homeschooled for high school (we're looking at 50/50 chance right now, it could really go either way).  She has NO interest in college and none of her career goals require it (tech school/certificate, yes.  4 yr degree?  nope).  I realize things can change. If she changes her mind, she can go to community college, so no doors are being slammed shut.  But, all this has me rethinking what homeschool-high school could look like for her. 

 

What if creating a college-worthy transcript didn't matter?  What if the focus was on preparing her for being a responsible adult who is able to support herself in a way that brings her joy?  What would that look like?

 
I know for some people reading this it's hard to imagine any other way than high school as preparation for college to get your 4 year degree, so I'm asking you to stretch out of your comfort zone and brainstorm with me.
 
What if there was no college to think about?  How would that change your education plans for your child's teen years?

 

 

First, I would take everything she says with a grain of salt -- she's twelve years old. If you think there is any possibility that she will change her mind at 16 or 18 or 20, then don't give her the opportunity to come back and blame you for not having "prepared her for college." ;)

 

That said, there are many options for college these days, and more than one path to get there. I'm not sure that "college prep high school" is the only way to go, especially for a young person who doesn't become at least somewhat internally motivated and self-directed.

 

I do think that there is enormous pressure in the US for every student to be college-bound. It's almost like a failure for a parent, if their child doesn't go to college right out of high school. This is a ridiculous level of ONE SIZE FITS ALL conformist "thinking," and it can be disastrous for some young people and families. College is not a fit for some people. But there are other paths to a successful, meaningful, healthy, and productive adult life.

 

Me, personally? I wouldn't want to single-handedly push my (15 to 18 year old) daughter up College Prep Mountain, to satisfy my preconceived ideas of what those years should be. I would insist that she accomplish something of value during that time. This could be an advancing level of competence at a technical skill and/or a strong set of practical (life) skills, including personal financial management. It could be beginning mastery of a body of valuable knowledge, or a disciplined and balanced work ethic, or a positive community reputation and network, an apprenticeship or technical school, or responsible performance at a consistent job (and a growing bank account) -- basically, anything that will stand her in good stead in adult life.

 

With that in mind (for a few years down the road), if my daughter was still only 12 years old, then I would push her now. I would insist on her absolute best effort (and my own absolute best effort) on the strongest and broadest academic preparation that we could manage together. This doesn't mean that we couldn't work on some of those practical skills or areas of personal interest. These middle years are good years for that, IMO. But I do think it's too soon (at 12) to shut the door on academics.

 

If you think you have about three years to work on academics with this daughter, before she wants to shift gears, then here's what I would do:

  • Be 100% certain that her reading skills are as strong as possible. Really check this, don't just assume. Read aloud together, ask questions, have discussions, and aim to stretch her reading abilities.
  • Continue diligently with some kind of math, even if you ditch "college prep math." I'll go against the likely consensus (here) and say that, for a non-college bound student, a course in Personal Finance or something similar may be more fruitful than the typical sequence in Algebra and Geometry. If she ever does decide to go to college in the future, colleges all over the country teach Algebra 2. She's not locked out for life if she doesn't earn an Algebra 2 credit in high school.
  • Consistently work on strong composition skills, including grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and typing. Can she write a well-executed essay when given a topical prompt? Can she write a clear and concise business letter? Practice writing summaries, narratives, and descriptions. I would work through something at the level of WWS 1 (at least).
  • Build general knowledge (science, geography, history, philosophy, religion, literature, music, art, and human relationships) through any means possible -- reading aloud (if she is not an avid reader), audiobooks, videos, field trips, hands-on work, discussions, book clubs, co-ops, church (or whatever is applicable), music lessons, art class, sports, pets, and so on.
  • Build a solid work ethic and a set of strong practical life skills, because if your daughter doesn't spend 4-6 years going to college, she is likely to enter into the workforce and adult life a bit sooner than most who take the college route.
  • And finally, I would enjoy and nurture the daughter I have, and not give a rat's patoot about what other people think, college or no college.
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First, I would take everything she says with a grain of salt -- she's twelve years old. If you think there is any possibility that she will change her mind at 16 or 18 or 20, then don't give her the opportunity to come back and blame you for not having "prepared her for college." ;)

 

That said, there are many options for college these days, and more than one path to get there. I'm not sure that "college prep high school" is the only way to go, especially for a young person who doesn't become at least somewhat internally motivated and self-directed.

 

I do think that there is enormous pressure in the US for every student to be college-bound. It's almost like a failure for a parent, if their child doesn't go to college right out of high school. This is a ridiculous level of ONE SIZE FITS ALL conformist "thinking," and it can be disastrous for some young people and families. College is not a fit for some people. But there are other paths to a successful, meaningful, healthy, and productive adult life.

 

Me, personally? I wouldn't want to single-handedly push my (15 to 18 year old) daughter up College Prep Mountain, to satisfy my preconceived ideas of what those years should be. I would insist that she accomplish something of value during that time. This could be an advancing level of competence at a technical skill and/or a strong set of practical (life) skills, including personal financial management. It could be beginning mastery of a body of valuable knowledge, or a disciplined and balanced work ethic, or a positive community reputation and network, an apprenticeship or technical school, or responsible performance at a consistent job (and a growing bank account) -- basically, anything that will stand her in good stead in adult life.

 

With that in mind (for a few years down the road), if my daughter was still only 12 years old, then I would push her now. I would insist on her absolute best effort (and my own absolute best effort) on the strongest and broadest academic preparation that we could manage together. This doesn't mean that we couldn't work on some of those practical skills or areas of personal interest. These middle years are good years for that, IMO. But I do think it's too soon (at 12) to shut the door on academics.

 

If you think you have about three years to work on academics with this daughter, before she wants to shift gears, then here's what I would do:

  • Be 100% certain that her reading skills are as strong as possible. Really check this, don't just assume. Read aloud together, ask questions, have discussions, and aim to stretch her reading abilities.
  • Continue diligently with some kind of math, even if you ditch "college prep math." I'll go against the likely consensus (here) and say that, for a non-college bound student, a course in Personal Finance or something similar may be more fruitful than the typical sequence in Algebra and Geometry. If she ever does decide to go to college in the future, colleges all over the country teach Algebra 2. She's not locked out for life if she doesn't earn an Algebra 2 credit in high school.
  • Consistently work on strong composition skills, including grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and typing. Can she write a well-executed essay when given a topical prompt? Can she write a clear and concise business letter? Practice writing summaries, narratives, and descriptions. I would work through something at the level of WWS 1 (at least).
  • Build general knowledge (science, geography, history, philosophy, religion, literature, music, art, and human relationships) through any means possible -- reading aloud (if she is not an avid reader), audiobooks, videos, field trips, hands-on work, discussions, book clubs, co-ops, church (or whatever is applicable), music lessons, art class, sports, pets, and so on.
  • Build a solid work ethic and a set of strong practical life skills, because if your daughter doesn't spend 4-6 years going to college, she is likely to enter into the workforce and adult life a bit sooner than most who take the college route.
  • And finally, I would enjoy and nurture the daughter I have, and not give a rat's patoot about what other people think, college or no college.

 

Love this...

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I would still go for rigorous programs or requirements but I would feel free to choose from more subjects.  I would do more interest led science,  history, literature and not worry about having exact classes.   I know personally we would probably skip chemistry and physics.

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:iagree: with Sahamamama.

 

 

I'd be asking her thoughtful questions about what she envisions for her life when she's 25, 35, 45, etc...  Does she want to own a business?  Be a mother?  Where would she like to live?  What will her hobbies be?  (I do this at 12yo with any child.)  

 

Start building for HER future.  If she wants to own a bakery, let her bake every day.  Help her organize recipes and document how changing ingredients changes the final product. Help her find customers.  Fund the printing of the business cards she whips up on the computer.

 

 

I agree with idea that we cannot do it ALL.  Choosing to push for college-bound math means deleting other stuff off of the schedule.  If she dreamed of being Dr. or an astronaut, you'd clear her schedule to focus on math & science.  She has other dreams.  Clear her schedule to focus on them.  Calculus or Personal Finance & Business math?  That is a no brainer.

 

 

Build habits. Successful and happy people have certain habits in common.  Everything from personal hygiene to double-checking a measurement before cutting...those little things make a huge difference in quality of life. 

 

Seek out Apprenticeship type opportunities.  Her good name in the community is priceless.

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The annual pay for electricians for my city according to vacancies ad by the city is about $88k-$132k. The requirements is a GED or high school diploma with 2-5 years relevant experience in the scope of work. A teacher's starting pay without experience for quick comparison is $48k annual.

This is a union position, though right? I mean, they have to get "in" to earn that kind of pay. Its not just anyone with the certification as an electrician.
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This is a union position, though right? I mean, they have to get "in" to earn that kind of pay. Its not just anyone with the certification as an electrician.

Does Arcadia live in a Union state/city? I don't know. We don't so I hadn't thought about the Union wrinkle. This brings up a good point for the OP.

 

OP, do you live in a city where Unions would be a factor?

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This is a union position, though right? I mean, they have to get "in" to earn that kind of pay. Its not just anyone with the certification as an electrician.

The employer is my city. My city has its own electricity utitlities board. I do not know if it is a union position as it is stated nowhere on the 4 page letter size job ad stuck to the library's job notice board. There are six different electricians positions in that salary range with different job scopes and different experience requirements. All six however require 2-5 years of relevant to the job experience so we are not talking someone with no experience but we are also not talking about many years of experience.

 

ETA:

All positions have their own 4 page ad. I live in Silicon Valley, no idea about unions.

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Does Arcadia live in a Union state/city? I don't know. We don't so I hadn't thought about the Union wrinkle. This brings up a good point for the OP.

 

OP, do you live in a city where Unions would be a factor?

 

Not for any of the careers she's interested in.

 

I would be dumbfounded if she went into anything besides an intensely creative field.  She's looking into the areas of computer animation, make up artist/stage make up, body art, and chef (she's an awesome cook already, and no I'm not saying that just because I'm her mom :))  I suspect an interest in costuming is developing as well (she's helping the costume mistress for a live production at the moment, and is having a great time.)   These could absolutely change.  But the trajectory she's on is becoming pretty clear.

 

Here's what I keep coming back to (and someone else already pointed this out): for every hour I push on "academics that you might need in case you develop a burning passion that requires a bachelor's degree and, furthermore, you decide you must go straight into a 4 year school instead of beginning in community college" that's an hour that she's not using perfecting her computer animation skills, for example.  

 

I mean, when else in her life is she going to have the opportunity to spend nearly all of her time focusing on her passions, figuring out what she's great at?

 

The college door will never be closed to her, because the community college route is so accessible and has transfer agreements with some very good schools.

 

Having said all that, she might end up choosing the b&m private school with a regular academic course sequence.  So... we'll see, I guess.

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OP, I applaud you for helping your daughter pursue her passions.  I understand the concern not to close doors expressed by many here, especially in a student so young.  Absolutely I get that.  I also think, though, that very often these days doors do get closed, unnecessarily so, because a child's interests are not supported, only the heavy push to get into a respected college, regardless of a child's passions.  I guess finding balance is the name of the game.  Good luck and best wishes.  :)

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I had a really bad high school education.  So, many of my ideas are in response to that and the missing pieces that I feel have actually affected me in real life.

 

I am affected by never learning geometry and having a limited science background.  I did biology (very good, very important course) but I wish I'd been allowed to take physics and chemistry.  If we go this route I need to find solid science courses designed for kids who struggle with math.  I might just use  Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy for a year and then let her rabbit trail from there.  Learning science as an adult has been immensely more difficult than if I'd learned it as a teenager.  I simply don't have as much time to focus on it as I would have back then.  So, I want something better for her obviously, but I also have to be realistic about her math skills.

 

She will take both algebra and geometry.   I can't believe I was allowed to graduate without geometry.  I also want a solid year of consumer math.  I'm not sure how to make this happen, but know what would be immensely useful for every teen?  Spending time with a bankruptcy lawyer or court trustee listening to the many ways people have screwed themselves over and ended up bankrupt and  broke.  Sort of a consumer finance version of "Scared Straight."  

 

I want her to read a little from many eras and genres to find out which types of books she enjoys.  We'll discuss them, but I am absolutely unwilling to spend even a moment forcing her to produce the most utterly useless form of writing: the literary analysis essay.  Trust me.  I have an English degree and once wrote a paper on the meaning of the phrase "lonely impulse of delight" in Yeats' poem "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death."  (Spoiler: the phrase means that the airman loves the freedom of flight more than he fears death.  There.  I just saved you 10 pages of dragging out my point.) I still love that poem, but I have to roll my eyes at the utter uselessness of that skill.  It's strictly academic, serves no purpose beyond college and is the pinnacle of busy work.  (If she goes the college route, she can learn it in English 1A, use it in the one required Lit class, and then forget it forever with no ill effects.)

 

Types of writing that are worth mastering (of the top of my head):  business letters, professional emails; persuasive writing, including letters to the editor or a politician; and personal narratives.  

 

I want to teach her to research.  Maybe write a short research paper or two.  The purpose is not the writing as much as just learning how how to evaluate sources, focus in on what's important, spot contradictions, avoid plagiarism, and so on.

 

I want to teach her LOGIC.  I want the fallacies so ingrained in her being that she's mumbling them as she sleeps or, better yet, yelling "Ad Hominem!" (or whatever) during political debates.  

 

I want to continue to immerse her in current events.  I want her to be ready to vote intelligently and not be swayed by cutesy slogans and pie-in-the-sky promises.  I want her to weigh issues carefully and think for herself.

 

 

 

 

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I used to focus on everything I didn't learn, and minimized the importance of what I did learn. "Educational neglect" meant I had the time and energy to unschool myself and my kids. More recently, spending a ton of time and money exploring all that is now available for self-education and homeschooling, and am sooooo thankful I didn't have access to any of this earlier. I like being me. I wouldn't be me if I'd been locked into a rigid and rigorous scope and sequence. And the feedback I get here and offline, is that I make a difference exactly BECAUSE I had an atypical life and education.

 

I'm tired. Really tired. I been exposed to SO many different and competing worldviews and subcultures. A rigid scope and sequence would result in me being less tired, I think. I would have more of a one-sized-fits-all worldview and that is like having a shortcut to thinking about everything. I would have a narrower mainstream way of judging people and events. I would believe in right and wrong, and use those words to label what I encounter. But I wouldn't be me.

 

And I wouldnt be there in those oddball situations that happen in real life, with a bunch of mainstreamers crowded around the problem, with no or little idea of how to handle something not fixed with their shortcut thinking.

 

It is not sustainable to force all children into a one-sized-fits-all future. Our society would crumble. Do we only let PS kids carry the burden of sustaining our culture? Are maybe homeschoolers the BEST candidates for sustaining certain parts of our culture?

 

I don't know. Maybe more people have me on "ignore" than I know about and don't like me so much that they ignore me instead of responding to me.

 

I don't think I am arrogant to talk about myself this way. Neither do I think I'm being humble. :lol: I know I'm different. I know there are SO many things I cannot do--especially because of the PTSD! But, and this is a big but, I CAN do SOME things that others cannot and those things are not insignificant.

 

I had a terrible time letting go of a typical high school experience for my oldest. But he outweighed by over 100 pounds, and due to the domestic abuse in our home, and some of the teaching he received at the charter school, I couldn't make him. I focused on getting him to do what I could get him to do. And his way turned out to be an excellent one!

 

And my younger son. :lol: Typical wasn't happening at the PS, or the charter school, and didn't happen at home either.

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I've had a lot of thoughts on this lately.  

 

I was that "smart" kid that was tracked for college in elementary school.  I was told repeatedly that I could be whatever I wanted to be when I grew up (which, I realize now...is a fib).  I was told often that I was the only hope my family had for a college grad.  

 

I had scholarships offered to me (but no full rides....smart but not THAT smart) and so, despite not really knowing what I wanted to  be when I grew up, I went to college right out of high school.  Looking back, I can now see how my weaker primary education weakened me.  My math skills had been great in elementary, good in middle school, but poor in high school.  I mean...not really poor...I got As and Bs.  But I didn't learn anything conceptually.  I was a good test-taker.  

 

So science suddenly became very hard.  A physiology class and lab with a weak math base ==== disaster.  Same with chemistry and physics.  

 

So I switched to a non-math intensive field...education.  And to this day, I regret it.  I NEVER wanted to be a teacher (ironic, considering I homeschool).  But...at least I was still getting those As, right?!  And at least I made honor societies, right?  And I made my family proud, right?!

 

 

I don't want to do that to my kids. 

 

Then there's my husband.  High school dropout in 9th grade.  Undiagnosed dyslexia and probably dyscalculia.  Very smart with hands-on stuff...would have been an AMAZING student in one of the tech fields, drafting, electrician, pipefitting, etc.  He LOVES that stuff.  Instead, his education was full of holes and he did not obtain his high school diploma until he was nearly 40 years old.  This, after several years of getting the diagnosis, attending tutoring for the GED, deciding to utilize the NEDP instead.  In the meantime, we started a family, our family grew, and his doors kept closing.  

 

Want to become an electrician at 40+ years of age?  Well...if you can find a program that will take you at that age, you still have to start as an apprentice making less than $15/hour.  You'll need to do that for, what...2? years?  Not an option when you have a family to support.  It doesn't matter that he has more practical experience than most journeymen.  You still have to start from the beginning.  

 

Want to go back to school?  Well, sure...if you can find the time after working 40+ hours a week to support your family.  Oh wait..you don't have the prereq math, or language, or whatever.  

 

 

I don't want this to happen to my kids!  

 

 

So I am aiming for a balance.  

 

Now...I have four kids.  My eldest wants so very much to be a veterinarian.  She has moderate LDs, particularly in math, but is an overall weak student.  College is an unlikely prospect for her.  BUT...I would never tell her that.  At the same time, I'm not going to set her up for failure, either.  So I smile and tell her it's a lot of hard work.  That's it.  Right now...my goals for her education revolve around helping her survive as an adult.  She needs consumer math, for example.  IF she masters these basics...THEN we'll focus on higher level stuff.  

 

My second...he's "probably" college-bound.  He's very bright.  But I'm not going to push it.  And while he is in his teens, I want him (and my other boys, for that matter) to work towards a trade.  I don't care what it is....but I want them to have a trade they can fall back on.  And...this might sound silly...I want them to have a CDL.  You can get a job almost anywhere in the country with a CDL.  And many CDL jobs pay very well.  

 

Also...I'm not going to encourage them to go to college right after they finish their primary education.  I want them to take some classes here and there at Jr. College or the community college.  I want them to volunteer with Red Cross or Peace Corps or something else.  I want them to see the world, mature a bit and THEN decide what they want to be when they grow up.

 

How many of us have friends that obtained a college degree after high school and then went back to school in their 30s or 40s for something completely different?

 

I mean...look at me...lol.  I'm 36 years old with a Bachelor's in education and, if I could go back to school, I would probably go back for something science-related.  AFTER shoring up my math first.  ;-)  

 

 

 

 

Edited because after all of that...I forgot my main point!  That is...I hope to give my kids all of the tools they will need so that they will never come to a door that is closed, solely because I didn't equip them properly in primary school.  And if I don't directly hand them that tool...I hope that I equip them with the knowledge and ability to obtain that tool on their own.  

 

 

 

Edited by Sweetpea3829
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I had a really bad high school education.  So, many of my ideas are in response to that and the missing pieces that I feel have actually affected me in real life.

 

I am affected by never learning geometry and having a limited science background.  I did biology (very good, very important course) but I wish I'd been allowed to take physics and chemistry.  If we go this route I need to find solid science courses designed for kids who struggle with math.  I might just use  Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy for a year and then let her rabbit trail from there.  Learning science as an adult has been immensely more difficult than if I'd learned it as a teenager.  I simply don't have as much time to focus on it as I would have back then.  So, I want something better for her obviously, but I also have to be realistic about her math skills.

 

She will take both algebra and geometry.   I can't believe I was allowed to graduate without geometry.  I also want a solid year of consumer math.  I'm not sure how to make this happen, but know what would be immensely useful for every teen?  Spending time with a bankruptcy lawyer or court trustee listening to the many ways people have screwed themselves over and ended up bankrupt and  broke.  Sort of a consumer finance version of "Scared Straight."  

 

I want her to read a little from many eras and genres to find out which types of books she enjoys.  We'll discuss them, but I am absolutely unwilling to spend even a moment forcing her to produce the most utterly useless form of writing: the literary analysis essay.  Trust me.  I have an English degree and once wrote a paper on the meaning of the phrase "lonely impulse of delight" in Yeats' poem "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death."  (Spoiler: the phrase means that the airman loves the freedom of flight more than he fears death.  There.  I just saved you 10 pages of dragging out my point.) I still love that poem, but I have to roll my eyes at the utter uselessness of that skill.  It's strictly academic, serves no purpose beyond college and is the pinnacle of busy work.  (If she goes the college route, she can learn it in English 1A, use it in the one required Lit class, and then forget it forever with no ill effects.)

 

Types of writing that are worth mastering (of the top of my head):  business letters, professional emails; persuasive writing, including letters to the editor or a politician; and personal narratives.  

 

I want to teach her to research.  Maybe write a short research paper or two.  The purpose is not the writing as much as just learning how how to evaluate sources, focus in on what's important, spot contradictions, avoid plagiarism, and so on.

 

I want to teach her LOGIC.  I want the fallacies so ingrained in her being that she's mumbling them as she sleeps or, better yet, yelling "Ad Hominem!" (or whatever) during political debates.  

 

I want to continue to immerse her in current events.  I want her to be ready to vote intelligently and not be swayed by cutesy slogans and pie-in-the-sky promises.  I want her to weigh issues carefully and think for herself.

 

This all sounds great (we had many of the same goals). I'm not really seeing how it's not college prep? What is it that you think is "college prep" that you think is either different or would keep you from meeting these goals? 

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I was a National Merit scholar.  I went to a flagship state uni on full scholarship (out of state).  I knew from I guess 5th grade that I was going to college, and from at least 9th that I was taking the hardest classes I could, getting the best grades possible, and going to college on the best scholarship I could get.

 

It was almost 100% useless in my life.  I got an English BA and learned just about nothing.  I tested out of all math and science; English major classes taught me almost nothing I couldn't have learned from a Great Books + wikipedia course, and my history minor taught me just as much nothing.  I filled out my hours with Swedish (remember none of it), Western Civ. (required, I showed up for the tests and passed using previously acquired knowledge), Spanish (a follow-on from high school, where a foreign language was required though I hated it by college), and random thisses and thats.

 

DH and I run a small crafty business online.  I would *love* to have had a business education, even just in high school! 

 

I chose the college route, largely because of peer pressure - there is a lot of pressure for bright kids to pursue an academic career instead of starting a family (boy were they nervous when I had our first DD at 20!) and instead of starting a business or anything else non-academic.

 

I wish the culture had been different.  It would have been *awesome* to have a way to know what I actually wanted to do with my life separate of the pressure, and then to have been supported in doing it :)

 

 

Just a view from the other side.  College prep is valuable for kids who are going to college.   Not everyone needs to go to college.  The only good thing about my college experience was that it was free, though it cost 4 years of my life.

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This all sounds great (we had many of the same goals). I'm not really seeing how it's not college prep? What is it that you think is "college prep" that you think is either different or would keep you from meeting these goals? 

 

To my mind, it's not "college-prep" because it's first of all, not enough math (just algebra 1 and geometry, no alg 2, pre-cal, etc.), no lab science (probably), no foreign language (unless I can sell her on Spanish),  no traditional history/civics sequence, no traditional English courses (instead subbing in "read widely"), and just enough writing to become competent at a few essential formats. 

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After geometry go and dual enroll for business accounting and business law. If your daughter intend to be a freelancer/entrepreneuer, those two courses would be a lot more useful than college prep courses.

 

My cousins, nephews, nieces and I learnt that from the cradle but hubby had it hard understanding bookkeeping and contract law when he was self employed.

 

Spanish would be useful depending on your locale.

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I'd look at state graduation requirements and fulfill those.

 

Then strong reading skills b/c with those a lot could be learned if desired in the future. As strong in math as possible, and certainly at least practical lifeskills math.

 

Thinking skills, not formal logic, but practical everyday logic, to see behind advertising and propaganda.

 

Life skills, life skills, life skills.

 

Internships and/or paid work experience.

 

Health and cooking and nutrition capabilities.

 

Cleaning, time management, organization.

 

Computer skills--not coding, but facility with use.

 

Skills related to the intended work field.

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Do all states have graduation requirements? I'm thinking not? Private schools can offer diplomas that are not acreditted diplomas based on whatever they want to, right? Accreditted schools are bound by whatever the accreditting agency requires, right? What the public schools do is not ever/always required of private schools?

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To my mind, it's not "college-prep" because it's first of all, not enough math (just algebra 1 and geometry, no alg 2, pre-cal, etc.), no lab science (probably), no foreign language (unless I can sell her on Spanish),  no traditional history/civics sequence, no traditional English courses (instead subbing in "read widely"), and just enough writing to become competent at a few essential formats. 

 

Many colleges only require through alg 2, so it's close on math. The writing and literature absolutely could fit with a college prep course (I see a variety of essay types and research--that's exactly what you need. You don't have to have "creative" writing and you don't have to do formal lit analysis papers--many students will never even do one in college but they'll write essays, speeches--persuasive essay writing experience will come in very handy for this, and research papers.) The literature types that you suggest would still probably outstrip what many public schools offer--thoughtful variety. You've got "current events" and "government" wrapped up--it would be so easy to expand that just a bit with some US and World (think modern US history, modern World history, mixed in to current events--and really, can you understand current events without some knowledge of history? I think you'd have to work hard NOT to include learning a bit of history, and if you plan on talking current events for a couple of years, I think it would be easy to meet this requirement). Our local high school requires personal finance, so that would fit in well in my area. Many colleges only require one science to be a lab--add a lab to your biology class and you're golden. I suppose there could be differences in what you imagine and what I read--but it's really incredibly close. 

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I have been talking to my DH about this recently, I'm not sure if our kids will go to college or the Vo-Tech route, but either way I would really like to see them get an AA at our local CC because they will not have HS diplomas (if we HS, which we are planning).  I want them to start classes their Jr. or Sr. years, to get a jump-start on it  If they don't have a specific field they are interested in, I'll recommend business.  I don't think anyone can go wrong taking the beginning basic business courses- if you want to be a welder, beautician, cupcake baker, photographer - really any self-employment job- you will need some basic accounting skills.  I want all of my kids to really understand finances because I feel it will make the biggest impact on their life!  Knowing how all that works- IRAs, compound interest, dividend income, tax brackets and rates, will *always* be helpful, even if they are nothing more than a SAHParent!

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I mean, when else in her life is she going to have the opportunity to spend nearly all of her time focusing on her passions, figuring out what she's great at?

 

I still do this. I make time to do this. Life is way too short to confine one's dreams to the years between elementary school and high school. IMHO.

And twelve is too young for her to fully comprehend what she wants out of life. Note that I said fully comprehend. It's perfectly normal if she knows exactly what she wants to do when she grows up. I knew at age five. And I did exactly what I planned. But as to what I was going to "be"--well, that is still a work in progress. I would never have guessed that I would be teaching twin boys. I did not anticipate having chickens. Or bees. Or having to fix a deck. Or hang drywall. Or get up to speed on higher math so that I can teach it. Or get serious about my creative writing. Or cook. All not in my playbook at twelve.

 

Fortunately, I was taught how to learn. In the end, that seems to have been what I most needed out of life. You can do that with any subject that is tough. Running up against something hard gives you the opportunity to figure out what you need to do to at least crawl through the material. It gives you the opportunity to do your best, fail at it, and know why. And to figure out if you care or not. Some things aren't worth the hassle, and that's a great life lesson to learn! But you do have to try them to find that out. There's also the life lesson of realizing that a passion (writing, designing, whatever it is!) comes with real-life drudgery. There will be long hours of not having creative energy flowing and wondering if you'll ever come up with an original idea again. There will be the real pain of having beautiful ideas and running up against people who will crush your spirit, grind it into the ground and spit on it, and you have to come back from that. There is the truly annoying truth that everything in this world costs money and sometimes you get paid enough, and sometimes not. And you have to live with that or figure out ways to change it. Then there are people skills to polish. The best ideas in the world must be sold. You have to get good at selling yourself and your ideas. That's pitching you idea orally or on paper. 

 

I don't know if there is anything in there that would be of use to you, and probably if you told a kid this, they would roll their eyes most eloquently. But it's the truth that school isn't about college at all. And college isn't about college. It's about life, and trying to give a young person the personal skills of facing things head-on, figuring out how to deal with them, assessing whether it's worth the effort, letting things go when it isn't worth it, and putting in the blood, sweat and tears when it is. And there's a lot to be said for learning how to deal with the black night of the soul when you can't see the end but have to keep walking anyway.

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I have been talking to my DH about this recently, I'm not sure if our kids will go to college or the Vo-Tech route, but either way I would really like to see them get an AA at our local CC because they will not have HS diplomas (if we HS, which we are planning).

 

Just want to comment on the bolded:

they will have high school diplomas if you issue them some.

 

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I had a really bad high school education.  So, many of my ideas are in response to that and the missing pieces that I feel have actually affected me in real life.

 

I am affected by never learning geometry and having a limited science background.  I did biology (very good, very important course) but I wish I'd been allowed to take physics and chemistry.  If we go this route I need to find solid science courses designed for kids who struggle with math.  I might just use  Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy for a year and then let her rabbit trail from there.  Learning science as an adult has been immensely more difficult than if I'd learned it as a teenager.  I simply don't have as much time to focus on it as I would have back then.  So, I want something better for her obviously, but I also have to be realistic about her math skills.

 

She will take both algebra and geometry.   I can't believe I was allowed to graduate without geometry.  I also want a solid year of consumer math.  I'm not sure how to make this happen, but know what would be immensely useful for every teen?  Spending time with a bankruptcy lawyer or court trustee listening to the many ways people have screwed themselves over and ended up bankrupt and  broke.  Sort of a consumer finance version of "Scared Straight."  

 

I want her to read a little from many eras and genres to find out which types of books she enjoys.  We'll discuss them, but I am absolutely unwilling to spend even a moment forcing her to produce the most utterly useless form of writing: the literary analysis essay.  Trust me.  I have an English degree and once wrote a paper on the meaning of the phrase "lonely impulse of delight" in Yeats' poem "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death."  (Spoiler: the phrase means that the airman loves the freedom of flight more than he fears death.  There.  I just saved you 10 pages of dragging out my point.) I still love that poem, but I have to roll my eyes at the utter uselessness of that skill.  It's strictly academic, serves no purpose beyond college and is the pinnacle of busy work.  (If she goes the college route, she can learn it in English 1A, use it in the one required Lit class, and then forget it forever with no ill effects.)

 

Types of writing that are worth mastering (of the top of my head):  business letters, professional emails; persuasive writing, including letters to the editor or a politician; and personal narratives.  

 

I want to teach her to research.  Maybe write a short research paper or two.  The purpose is not the writing as much as just learning how how to evaluate sources, focus in on what's important, spot contradictions, avoid plagiarism, and so on.

 

I want to teach her LOGIC.  I want the fallacies so ingrained in her being that she's mumbling them as she sleeps or, better yet, yelling "Ad Hominem!" (or whatever) during political debates.  

 

I want to continue to immerse her in current events.  I want her to be ready to vote intelligently and not be swayed by cutesy slogans and pie-in-the-sky promises.  I want her to weigh issues carefully and think for herself.

 

Just wanted to mention something regarding Science Matters. Although I don't agree with every aspect of the authors' viewpoints, I do recommend this book as a good survey for the science fields. In fact, when I started homeschooling several years ago, I studied and took notes on that book, just to fill in some of my own gaps. You may want to pick up a copy from your library, and study it yourself, just to have that background. For someone without a strong science background (that would be me), it was well-worth the time invested in studying it. HTH.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

If she's interested in computer animation, I would recommend looking more into what would be useful knowledge for that. Linking to UTD here, not because it's a good program (I have no idea how they rank wrt computer animation), but because I'm familiar with their website - you'd have to do your own research to find out what other places say.

 

http://catalog.utdallas.edu/now/undergraduate/programs/ah/arts-and-technology

 

http://catalog.utdallas.edu/2015/undergraduate/courses/cs4392(computer animation, which has data structures & intro to algorithms, and linear algebra as prereqs, which have calculus 1 & 2, and probability & statistics for computer science as prereqs)

 

Now, the ATEC program does not require as much math as the CS computer animation course does, but when I was in college some of the kids I knew in ATEC did a double major or a minor in CS in order to take the CS computer animation course (and some others) to just be stronger in that regard.

 

Long story short, if your daughter is interested in computer animation, she may at some point want to learn calculus and linear algebra and algorithms and all that to be better versed in computer animation. Which means she'd need college prep math. And everybody can benefit from good reading and writing skills.

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No real advice because I'd have to sit here and think about it for a long time.  I have a friend in your boat, only 4 years ahead of you.  Her daughter insisted over and over and over that she did NOT want to go to college.  She was going to go to beauty school...done. 

 

But now that all her friends are going to college, she's announced she wants to go to a four year college.  I'm not sure if it's a whim or what, but at this point it would be incredibly difficult for her to go to a 4 year college. She doesn't have the background.  That door is shut for her.  She never made it past Algebra I (I think she must have a math learning disorder or something.)

 

My advice would be to at least do minimum "college prep" so that doors aren't closed.  The minimums aren't too bad--I think 2 years of lab science, 4 years of English, etc.  You can browse some random college websites for "admission requirements" to see what they are.  After the minimums are done, I'd work on personal finance and basic computer skills and how to know who to vote for and a home ec class that teaches how to prepare food and do basic plumbing/car repair: things adults need to know how to do on their own.

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