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Are there parents on this board who have kids not headed for college? I'm pretty sure my guys will be going into skilled trades. Just wondering if there are others, and if your high school plans differ from the usual college-bound track. I don't see much on this board that isn't about DE and universities and AP, so I'm just curious.

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A close friend of ours went from home school into trades.  He does sheet metal fabrication and welding. His program had him taking classes at the community college in his trade and also doing a hands on apprenticeship. When he is done he will be a qualified journeyman and also have certifications from the college program.  

The school here has programs in carpentry, HVAC, and aircraft maintenance.  They also have a joint program with the Naval Shipyard.

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My current Senior is headed to Cosmetology school next year.  We definitely have done things different the last 2 years since she discovered that it is her passion.   Instead of doing a Trig course for her 4th math credit, we chose to do a Consumer Math program because I felt learning things like taxes, compounding interest, etc was really important to her goals of earning her own salon.   She also did multiple years of a foreign language which isn't typical around here for college bound students because they do a lot of career focused education.  I also didn't load her up on extra sciences, etc.  We have done more than the bare minimum so if she chooses to go to college later, she is prepared for that, but we certainly didn't put time and energy into DE, AP courses, etc.  Instead we have chosen to sink our funds into starting to purchase the tools to help her get started in her new life.

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If the student is able, I would still do at least a basic college-prep type of high school so that you leave options open for the student. You can do that without doing AP or DE courses, and still have a fair amount of flexibility for electives. So much changes from ages 14-18 or 20.

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You might check out the Blue Collar Homeschooling website, that is run by a WTM participant. :)

We did make sure both DSs had a basic set of credits so that college would always be a future possibility, but NO AP here, and the only DE was 2 semesters to outsource the 2 credits of foreign language in a shorter time frame.

DS#1 started at the community college, earned an AAS degree (the "degree to work" type of Associate degree), then went on to earn a BA, and is going back now for a BS in Mechanical Engineering. So college degree(s) yes, but not via AP and high test scores and prestigious universities. ;)

DS#2 got 2 years into the 3-year AAS for Interpreter for the Deaf at the community college, changed his mind, worked full time for a year, did a 9-month stint with a trail restoration group that is a partner program with AmeriCorps, and is currently working his 2nd season as a wildland firefighter. No need of a degree or more college at this time for this career.

Totally agreeing with MerryAtHope -- a basic college prep set of credits does not have to keep you from exploring interests; just shoot for completing the following, and take an ACT or SAT test along in 11th or 12th grade, and the student will have what is needed:

4 credits = English (typically 1/2 writing and 1/2 lit. -- but very flexible about what that looks like, allowing you to follow student interests)

4 credits = Math (at least Alg. 1, Geometry, & Alg. 2; Consumer Math or Accounting or Business Math could be the 4th credit))

3 credits = Science (with labs -- go with what your student is interested in, not just the "big 3 of Biology, Chemistry, Physics -- can go with things like Horticulture, Astronomy, Earth Science, Ecology, Meteorology, Environmental Science, etc.)

3 credits = Social Studies (1 credit = American History -- and most colleges accept the other credits as History, Geography, Philosophy, Anthropology, Archeology, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, etc. -- so lots of leeway for student interests)

2 credits = Foreign Language (same language)

1 credit = Fine Arts (can be something like Appreciation rather than "doing" or performing -- like, Film Appreciation)

4-8 credits = Electives

22-24 credits = minimum total for college prep

That's just 5.5 to 6 credits per year of high school, with room for 1-2 electives each year, and lots of flexibility as to how to accomplish the required credits. :)

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My oldest is starting DE as a sophomore, and is half day at DE/adv high school program and half day homeschooling.  This year she discovered welding, and really likes it. I wouldn’t be surprised if she finished her program with an associates and then went into a trade - she is wicked smart but she is more interested in working with her hands and seeing tangible results. We’ll see. But we are still doing the DE track to an associates, expecting high grades, and preparing for college as an option.  And she can take classes at the tech school too,

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My second ds will be graduating this a May and for the moment does not have any college plans or ambitions.  He is a young senior (17) and still has much maturing to do.  I agree that college is really not the right choice for him yet.  I would love to see him get some life experience and travel and work until he finds his gifts and passions.  I do feel bad that he will probably be bombarded by the "what are you doing now?" questions.

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I have one who isn't planning to go to college right away.  She wants to do missions work for the church or Americorps (but leaning towards missions work).  She was always a kinesthetic learner and has really needed to get out in the world and "do things".  Sitting in a classroom all day would be pretty boring for her.  I'm making sure she gets a college prep education, anyway...just in case.  And we are still taking the ACT...just in case.

Edited to add:  This is my oldest (the 16 yro).

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7 minutes ago, Blossom'sGirl said:

I do feel bad that he will probably be bombarded by the "what are you doing now?" questions.

We do worry about that from family members, too.  In our family (on both sides), it's just a given that after high school, you run out and attend the most expensive university you can find.  *rolling eyes*. And no one in our family has ever done missions work, so they're going to think that's strange, too.  Oh, well.  

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My dd was quite sure she wouldn't be going to college, but I wanted to make sure that option remained open.  She completed the minimum required to get into the majority of colleges in our state (though probably not the top ones -- and that's okay).  She's 24 now and hasn't changed her mind yet, but you never know.

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1 hour ago, Blossom'sGirl said:

My second ds will be graduating this a May and for the moment does not have any college plans or ambitions.  He is a young senior (17) and still has much maturing to do.  I agree that college is really not the right choice for him yet.  I would love to see him get some life experience and travel and work until he finds his gifts and passions.  I do feel bad that he will probably be bombarded by the "what are you doing now?" questions.

 

"What are you doing now?"

"I'm working and traveling and getting some life experience until I find my gifts and passions." 

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I agree with the "you need a college prep curriculum if possible" folks. You don't have to homeschool aiming for the Ivy League or anything, but making sure that when they make decisions college isn't completely off the table is a good idea.

Even if they do wind up in the trades, the amount of knowledge needed to function successfully in the world has never been greater. Everything is more computerized and technical than it used to be. Contracts get ever more complicated if you're buying a house or car, or even just reading the terms of service on your new TV. We're being bombarded with foreign propaganda that many citizens are not able to recognize and process for what it is. Being a voter requires understanding which politicians are speaking truth and which are pandering.The solutions to problems like climate change require everyone understanding a certain amount of science. And so on. 

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I would agree with others regarding the college-prep route just to be safe. However, even if you didn’t plan accordingly, your child could still attend a community college later in life without issues of being accepted. He would just have to take remedial courses before he could move into his general core.  At least that’s how it works here. 

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4 hours ago, JanetC said:

I agree with the "you need a college prep curriculum if possible" folks. You don't have to homeschool aiming for the Ivy League or anything, but making sure that when they make decisions college isn't completely off the table is a good idea.

Even if they do wind up in the trades, the amount of knowledge needed to function successfully in the world has never been greater. Everything is more computerized and technical than it used to be. Contracts get ever more complicated if you're buying a house or car, or even just reading the terms of service on your new TV. We're being bombarded with foreign propaganda that many citizens are not able to recognize and process for what it is. Being a voter requires understanding which politicians are speaking truth and which are pandering.The solutions to problems like climate change require everyone understanding a certain amount of science. And so on. 

I also think that it is easy to look at what really high performing kids are doing and conclude that if your kid isn't doing that, then college is off the table.

The college benchmark scores on the SAT are around 510.  For the ACT it is around 22 (26 for STEM).  That is the score at which a student has demonstrated achievement such that they are 50% likely to get a B or higher in credit bearing college classes and are 75% likely to get a C or higher.  

You don't have to score in the high 700s to be ready for college.  

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HOLLYHOCK: For more stories about non-college-bound students, or non-"superstar" students ;) , you might also enjoy reading through these past threads :) :

"Does anyone on this board have a NON-superstar high school student?"

"Launching an average kid"

"I get so depressed reading some posts on this board"

"Anyone with extraordinarily AVERAGE students attending college?"

 

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I have one who isn't college bound. She isn't planning on homeschooling high school, though. She wants to go into cosmetology eventually (at least, that's the current plan).

My little guy may go to college, but we won't necessarily encourage heading straight there as fast as possible, even if he continues on his present gifted/high performing track.

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My DD says she doesn't want college but wants to do mission work and then get married and have babies and homeschool ;) She really does have that as her current dream, but she's only 14 and that might change ... and mostly she was trying to get out of algebra 2 :)

I told her this bit of wisdom that I totally stole from these boards somewhere: "Well, then high school will be your last formal education experience so we'd better make it worthwhile! And if you want to homeschool your kids then you still need math through precalculus because maybe you'll get a future engineer as a child." That made her argument bite the dust lol

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17 hours ago, hollyhock2 said:

I completely agree that we should do a college-prep sequence anyway, just to make sure we have all the bases covered if they suddenly want to go. I just like hearing stories about other non-college kids, and knowing they are out there. :)

 

Check out Rethinking School, the latest book by SWB. There is some insight and information for the parent of the non-college bound kid that you'll find helpful.

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14 hours ago, Momto5inIN said:

My DD says she doesn't want college but wants to do mission work and then get married and have babies and homeschool ;) She really does have that as her current dream, but she's only 14 and that might change ... and mostly she was trying to get out of algebra 2 :)

I told her this bit of wisdom that I totally stole from these boards somewhere: "Well, then high school will be your last formal education experience so we'd better make it worthwhile! And if you want to homeschool your kids then you still need math through precalculus because maybe you'll get a future engineer as a child." That made her argument bite the dust lol

Maybe she's a geometry kid. I told my dc "Algebra is just a way to kill time till you get to GEOMETRY!" lol

I'm glad you blasted her argument. Well done, mama. 

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I'm pretty sure that DD wants to go to circus school instead of college right away. I'll admit that it's taken a lot of deep soul searching for me. DD is gifted 2e, and we have an academically rigorous approach to school. I've been preparing for college for sure. But, she's very physically and creatively gifted, and if she wants to this, the time to do it is when she's young and physically strong. She has put together a very strong case for this approach, including concerns about debt, acknowledgement that she can always go to college later, etc.

I'm still torn about whether she should do DE and earn AA before high school graduation, or if we should just keep doing what we want. I can't help but continue to meet basic guidelines for college, but I am likely going to be customize things even more. Like, we'll do physics but probably focus more on how it applies to rigging and other circus things, biology will be A&P heavy, I'll do a class on circus history, and I'll do a writing course on grant writing. I'm also much more interested in creating courses she wants to do--9th grade lit will be focused on LBGTQ+ modern YA literature, for example.

I doubt we'll bother with AP tests and perhaps not even SAT or ACT. Her 2e issues will require additional test time which will require us to do another neuropsych eval which is a lot of time, money, and stress (on her) to update the last one we did in 3rd (which clearly outlined need for additional test time, etc.). This point is still weighing on me a bit.

 

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4 hours ago, deerforest said:

I'm pretty sure that DD wants to go to circus school instead of college right away. I'll admit that it's taken a lot of deep soul searching for me. DD is gifted 2e, and we have an academically rigorous approach to school. I've been preparing for college for sure. But, she's very physically and creatively gifted, and if she wants to this, the time to do it is when she's young and physically strong. She has put together a very strong case for this approach, including concerns about debt, acknowledgement that she can always go to college later, etc.

I'm still torn about whether she should do DE and earn AA before high school graduation, or if we should just keep doing what we want. I can't help but continue to meet basic guidelines for college, but I am likely going to be customize things even more. Like, we'll do physics but probably focus more on how it applies to rigging and other circus things, biology will be A&P heavy, I'll do a class on circus history, and I'll do a writing course on grant writing. I'm also much more interested in creating courses she wants to do--9th grade lit will be focused on LBGTQ+ modern YA literature, for example.

I doubt we'll bother with AP tests and perhaps not even SAT or ACT. Her 2e issues will require additional test time which will require us to do another neuropsych eval which is a lot of time, money, and stress (on her) to update the last one we did in 3rd (which clearly outlined need for additional test time, etc.). This point is still weighing on me a bit.

 

My fitness trainer had a background in competitive gymnastics and did silks and similar routines in a circus for several years.

She is an amazing trainer because she is very aware of muscle groups and how they work together. She has certifications from a couple different fitness certification groups. She is an employee of the gym, but is paid based on number of clients and how many sessions she does each week.

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At this time I don't see my oldest going to college.  However, I am encouraging her to at least go to the local CC.  I am choosing a lighter course load for science & math, but I do want it to look good on paper.  So we are making sure to cover biology, chemistry, math through algebra II, etc., but we are using publishers like Power Basics or Pacworks that are a bit lighter for some of these subjects. She is my artsy child and will likely focus on arts or humanities if (when) ;) she gets a degree.

My next oldest will likely go into a STEM field, so I plan on choosing different science books and getting him a bit farther down the math road. 

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5 hours ago, deerforest said:

I'm pretty sure that DD wants to go to circus school instead of college right away.  

 

 

It's pretty cool to have a kid who wants to run away to the circus! 

I would just keep doing your own thing. It's valuable and relevant to her now and in the immediate future and it does prepare her for college. The only way I would pursue an AA is if DE is at a reduced rate and having those credits is the only way for her to complete college. If four years of college is doable, I think being authentic to her interests and immediate goals is the way to go. 

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6 hours ago, deerforest said:

I'm pretty sure that DD wants to go to circus school instead of college right away. I'll admit that it's taken a lot of deep soul searching for me. DD is gifted 2e, and we have an academically rigorous approach to school. I've been preparing for college for sure. But, she's very physically and creatively gifted, and if she wants to this, the time to do it is when she's young and physically strong. She has put together a very strong case for this approach, including concerns about debt, acknowledgement that she can always go to college later, etc.

I'm still torn about whether she should do DE and earn AA before high school graduation, or if we should just keep doing what we want. I can't help but continue to meet basic guidelines for college, but I am likely going to be customize things even more. Like, we'll do physics but probably focus more on how it applies to rigging and other circus things, biology will be A&P heavy, I'll do a class on circus history, and I'll do a writing course on grant writing. I'm also much more interested in creating courses she wants to do--9th grade lit will be focused on LBGTQ+ modern YA literature, for example.

I doubt we'll bother with AP tests and perhaps not even SAT or ACT. Her 2e issues will require additional test time which will require us to do another neuropsych eval which is a lot of time, money, and stress (on her) to update the last one we did in 3rd (which clearly outlined need for additional test time, etc.). This point is still weighing on me a bit.

 

 

We are struggling with a similar situation.  Dd is incredibly bright with great stats and we've always assumed college was the right path with her because she has the potential to succeed in anything she chooses.  But she wants to run away and join the circus.  She does aerial silks, hand balance, juggling, tumbling, a little trapeze, etc.  She is doing DE now but not for an AA degree.  She's taken the SAT once and scored well, and plans on taking it again later this year and is hoping for National Merit with PSAT.  I am deep in the college search process for her, but she absolutely doesn't care about college right now.  Her passion is circus.  

What circus school is your dd interested in?  

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2 hours ago, Kassia said:

 

We are struggling with a similar situation.  Dd is incredibly bright with great stats and we've always assumed college was the right path with her because she has the potential to succeed in anything she chooses.  But she wants to run away and join the circus.  She does aerial silks, hand balance, juggling, tumbling, a little trapeze, etc.  She is doing DE now but not for an AA degree.  She's taken the SAT once and scored well, and plans on taking it again later this year and is hoping for National Merit with PSAT.  I am deep in the college search process for her, but she absolutely doesn't care about college right now.  Her passion is circus.  

What circus school is your dd interested in?  

Okay, this is hilarious! I've never met another homeschooling mom with such a similar kid! Mine does silks, rope, stilting primarily and is a troupe currently. I'm going to send you a message! 

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4 hours ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

My fitness trainer had a background in competitive gymnastics and did silks and similar routines in a circus for several years.

She is an amazing trainer because she is very aware of muscle groups and how they work together. She has certifications from a couple different fitness certification groups. She is an employee of the gym, but is paid based on number of clients and how many sessions she does each week.

Yes, she really loves teaching too so I suspect she'll do that too, but I've tried encouraging her to consider PT as a career. But, many of the PT we know say you really need to go to PhD now for many career opportunities. We know many PT/circus folks though. DD is really interested in conditioning and A&P.

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3 hours ago, katilac said:

 

It's pretty cool to have a kid who wants to run away to the circus! 

I would just keep doing your own thing. It's valuable and relevant to her now and in the immediate future and it does prepare her for college. The only way I would pursue an AA is if DE is at a reduced rate and having those credits is the only way for her to complete college. If four years of college is doable, I think being authentic to her interests and immediate goals is the way to go. 

Yes, that's really how I'm leaning now. I know things can change since we're just starting hs now so I'm trying to just keep track of all our options. Mostly I can't believe she'll be here for only 4 more years. 

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On 4/18/2018 at 7:22 AM, katilac said:

 

"What are you doing now?"

"I'm working and traveling and getting some life experience until I find my gifts and passions." 

???

My kids are too little to have opinions about this and I've got them on an academic track for now, but honestly, to me the answer "I'm working and traveling" is a great one. What if that is your gift and passion? I spent 10 years doing that and I cannot wait until my kids graduate and before they have kids so I can do it again! True, I had a bachelor's degree but so what?

Working and traveling is a life goal in and of itself. I don't think there is shame in working. Now, nothing but recreation and consumption of media--that's different. But I don't think that's what OP is talking about.

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When my oldest graduated homeschool, she was not interested in college.  She wasn't sure what she wanted to study and didn't want to "waste money not knowing what she wanted to do." She took a gap year to work, volunteer, etc.  She had many different experiences during that year.  After the gap year, she went to the local community college thinking she would *maybe* get an AAS.  Well, fast forward....she graduates with an AA this May.  3.9 GPA, Phi Theta Kappa.  Accepted to several universities and 4 year colleges.  In 2 years she will have a BS.  She is talking about getting a masters after that. Oh, and she still wants the AAS, but will come back to that after the BS or the masters. 

We did college prep for our high school including 4 math, 4 science, 2 foreign language, etc.  You never know what the future will bring or what interests might awaken down the line. 

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2 hours ago, Tsuga said:

???

My kids are too little to have opinions about this and I've got them on an academic track for now, but honestly, to me the answer "I'm working and traveling" is a great one.  

1

 

It is a great answer. My answer was just pulled directly from the poster's remark, "I would love to see him get some life experience and travel and work until he finds his gifts and passions."  

There are many great answers to that question, including:  I have a job; I'm looking for a job; I'm still figuring things out; I have no earthly idea. 

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2 hours ago, deerforest said:

Yes, she really loves teaching too so I suspect she'll do that too, but I've tried encouraging her to consider PT as a career. But, many of the PT we know say you really need to go to PhD now for many career opportunities. We know many PT/circus folks though. DD is really interested in conditioning and A&P.

You might look into Massage Therapy, or Physical Therapy Assistant, which are 1-year certificates or 2-year AAS degrees. :)

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58 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

You might look into Massage Therapy, or Physical Therapy Assistant, which are 1-year certificates or 2-year AAS degrees. :)

She’s interested in massage therapy but honestly she can make more as a circus performer and if she isn’t going to college, I’d rather she focus on that.

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11 hours ago, Plum Crazy said:

Ds will be graduating this year with enough college credits to get an associates quickly if he wants to. He was accepted to the local U, but the problem is, he is not really interested in any of the available majors. He heard they are working on a music production major, they are currently offering several music technology minors and certificates. He's halfway through a music technology and business certificate at the cc. He's decided to take a gap year, maybe longer. He's also commented that he was tired of being the youngest in the class. So he's going to take a break. He has so many interests that he could pursue without having to get a degree. He plans to start a band, record, write a ton more songs, take voice lessons, teach himself photo editing, try to get into an internship or apprenticeship at one of the production studios here and work work work. I waiver from worried to not worried, but I'm pretty sure I'd be the same way if he were going off to college. I know that he is good at making connections. He's always been a self-starter and internally motivated. Luckily, we are in a good town to pursue many of his interests and make a career out of them. I've advised him he could just get an AAS in something that would make him money while he pursued those interests, but he's not ready to go down that path right now. 

We've actually seen a fair number of homeschoolers in our area take this approach and some of their bands are starting to gain popularity. I love that we've created these artistic opportunities for them! His thoughts remind me of DD and her goals too. Good luck to him!

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Both my highschooler probably won't be going to college. My ds 14 would make a great engineer but he is so hands on that the academic aspect would kill him. He's also almost certainly dyslexic/dysgraphc. He spends most of his spare time inventing things from trash, desoldering circuit boards to reuse the components or setting off homemade rockets in our back yard. I could see him becoming an electrician or a mechanic. With my 15yo dd, i don't really know yet.

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On 4/17/2018 at 8:56 PM, Lori D. said:

You might check out the Blue Collar Homeschooling website, that is run by a WTM participant. :)

There's also a facebook group.  I had no idea she was a boardie.  Cool :) 

Older DD is not college-bound and is getting a "community college prep" education.  So, IOW, the goal is that she could choose academic classes at the CC with only minimal remediation.   The plan right now is to go to cosmetology school first so I never have to pay for a haircut again so she always has a way to make money doing something she enjoys and then after that do a tattoo and piercing apprenticeship.  We'll see.  Wherever she lands it will be something involving art and making.  I might encourage her to try her hand at floral design, cake decorating, etc. Lots of creative options to explore. 

My younger DD is "maybe" college bound.  She just discovered that you don't need college to be an author, so her goal is to publish her novel in the next few years and then decide at that point if she wants to go to college.  She may just continue taking creative writing classes and keep working on her own projects.  My pocketbook supports this plan :) but it really is up to her.  Either way is fine.

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On 4/17/2018 at 9:56 PM, Lori D. said:

You might check out the Blue Collar Homeschooling website, that is run by a WTM participant. :)

 

Haha Thanks Lori for mentioning our web site!  I haven't been around WTM as much these past couple of years as our older kids are not on a college trajectory for a variety of reasons, largely learning disabilities that grew more obvious the higher we went in high school.  We are adding all kinds of links on an ongoing basis to the web site, many garnered from our very active FB group which has grown to 2800 people since October...there are plenty of families out there like us who need more guidance and resources for those non-college bound kids.  We are in the process of researching more unusual trade and tech training programs and are gradually adding those links, too.  

And, I agree with you and others here on this thread.  If a student can handle the work, definitely teach to their highest ability!  For many students though, college prep is just beyond reach, and there are plenty of great alternatives to still provide a meaningful education without AP classes and SAT's fretting.  It is just different, but can still be "meaty" for their own life path.  I have my first graduate (Yeah us!!! We did it!) who actually is 2E and could have gone to college, but elected to self study computer tech at home post-high school.  He did pretty much the traditional college prep high school path without AP, and we weren't quite as concerned about honors and AP because he would have done community college to start no matter what due to cost.  He is well prepared should he decide later on to pursue a degree, even though we knew he was highly likely not to go that route.

My next three are not college material.  All three have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and a wide array of learning disabilities.  To push them with the same level of academics as our first would be a farce, and YET, they DO have a strong foundation, all will be reading at a college level and writing at least at a 10th grade level by graduation.  Math and science...not happening...it just can't and would be cruel to expect it.  However, we are filling in with courses that really do matter to them, strong personal finance, social psychology (really helping them and being retained and used daily!), and more.  My last one is college material for sure, and will be college prep all the way, whether he decides to attend or not.  He can handle it (He is gifted, and could graduate very early credit-wise) and we expect him to work at the highest level he can, just like everyone else...though that level is truly different for each of ours.

It isn't about "settling" for some learners, it is about their true ability and teaching the learner you have, not the learner you wish you had.  

Nice to be back and catching up!  It's been too long :-)

Cindy LaJoy

www.bluecollarhomeschool.com

www.lajoyfamily.blogspot.com

Mom to five, all adopted from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, all adored more than they could know!

 

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2 hours ago, CyndiLJ said:

Haha Thanks Lori for mentioning our web site!  I haven't been around WTM as much these past couple of years as our older kids are not on a college trajectory for a variety of reasons, largely learning disabilities that grew more obvious the higher we went in high school.  We are adding all kinds of links on an ongoing basis to the web site, many garnered from our very active FB group which has grown to 2800 people since October...there are plenty of families out there like us who need more guidance and resources for those non-college bound kids.  We are in the process of researching more unusual trade and tech training programs and are gradually adding those links, too.  

And, I agree with you and others here on this thread.  If a student can handle the work, definitely teach to their highest ability!  For many students though, college prep is just beyond reach, and there are plenty of great alternatives to still provide a meaningful education without AP classes and SAT's fretting.  It is just different, but can still be "meaty" for their own life path.  I have my first graduate (Yeah us!!! We did it!) who actually is 2E and could have gone to college, but elected to self study computer tech at home post-high school.  He did pretty much the traditional college prep high school path without AP, and we weren't quite as concerned about honors and AP because he would have done community college to start no matter what due to cost.  He is well prepared should he decide later on to pursue a degree, even though we knew he was highly likely not to go that route.

My next three are not college material.  All three have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and a wide array of learning disabilities.  To push them with the same level of academics as our first would be a farce, and YET, they DO have a strong foundation, all will be reading at a college level and writing at least at a 10th grade level by graduation.  Math and science...not happening...it just can't and would be cruel to expect it.  However, we are filling in with courses that really do matter to them, strong personal finance, social psychology (really helping them and being retained and used daily!), and more.  My last one is college material for sure, and will be college prep all the way, whether he decides to attend or not.  He can handle it (He is gifted, and could graduate very early credit-wise) and we expect him to work at the highest level he can, just like everyone else...though that level is truly different for each of ours.

It isn't about "settling" for some learners, it is about their true ability and teaching the learner you have, not the learner you wish you had.  

Nice to be back and catching up!  It's been too long :-)

Cindy LaJoy

www.bluecollarhomeschool.com

www.lajoyfamily.blogspot.com

Mom to five, all adopted from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, all adored more than they could know!

 

 

What a beautiful post. 

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4 hours ago, CyndiLJ said:

Haha Thanks Lori for mentioning our web site!  I haven't been around WTM as much these past couple of years as our older kids are not on a college trajectory for a variety of reasons, largely learning disabilities that grew more obvious the higher we went in high school.  We are adding all kinds of links on an ongoing basis to the web site, many garnered from our very active FB group which has grown to 2800 people since October...there are plenty of families out there like us who need more guidance and resources for those non-college bound kids.  We are in the process of researching more unusual trade and tech training programs and are gradually adding those links, too. 

4

Your fb group is AWESOME.  I've discovered this whole other world of homeschooled kids who don't need college for their chosen field or simply aren't cut out for it for some reason.  No one has to apologize, no one has to explain, "Well, learning disabilties, blah, blah, blah," (I'm SO sick of explaining DD's LDs!!) because no one cares (and I mean that in the best possible way).  Thanks for starting it :)

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6 hours ago, CyndiLJ said:

Haha Thanks Lori for mentioning our web site!  I haven't been around WTM as much these past couple of years as our older kids are not on a college trajectory for a variety of reasons, largely learning disabilities that grew more obvious the higher we went in high school.  We are adding all kinds of links on an ongoing basis to the web site, many garnered from our very active FB group which has grown to 2800 people since October...there are plenty of families out there like us who need more guidance and resources for those non-college bound kids.  We are in the process of researching more unusual trade and tech training programs and are gradually adding those links, too.  

And, I agree with you and others here on this thread.  If a student can handle the work, definitely teach to their highest ability!  For many students though, college prep is just beyond reach, and there are plenty of great alternatives to still provide a meaningful education without AP classes and SAT's fretting.  It is just different, but can still be "meaty" for their own life path.  I have my first graduate (Yeah us!!! We did it!) who actually is 2E and could have gone to college, but elected to self study computer tech at home post-high school.  He did pretty much the traditional college prep high school path without AP, and we weren't quite as concerned about honors and AP because he would have done community college to start no matter what due to cost.  He is well prepared should he decide later on to pursue a degree, even though we knew he was highly likely not to go that route.

My next three are not college material.  All three have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and a wide array of learning disabilities.  To push them with the same level of academics as our first would be a farce, and YET, they DO have a strong foundation, all will be reading at a college level and writing at least at a 10th grade level by graduation.  Math and science...not happening...it just can't and would be cruel to expect it.  However, we are filling in with courses that really do matter to them, strong personal finance, social psychology (really helping them and being retained and used daily!), and more.  My last one is college material for sure, and will be college prep all the way, whether he decides to attend or not.  He can handle it (He is gifted, and could graduate very early credit-wise) and we expect him to work at the highest level he can, just like everyone else...though that level is truly different for each of ours.

It isn't about "settling" for some learners, it is about their true ability and teaching the learner you have, not the learner you wish you had.  

Nice to be back and catching up!  It's been too long :-)

Cindy LaJoy

www.bluecollarhomeschool.com

www.lajoyfamily.blogspot.com

Mom to five, all adopted from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, all adored more than they could know!

 

Cindy! So lovely to "see" you again, and what a terrific update! :)

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6 hours ago, shinyhappypeople said:

Your fb group is AWESOME.  I've discovered this whole other world of homeschooled kids who don't need college for their chosen field or simply aren't cut out for it for some reason.  No one has to apologize, no one has to explain, "Well, learning disabilties, blah, blah, blah," (I'm SO sick of explaining DD's LDs!!) because no one cares (and I mean that in the best possible way).  Thanks for starting it :)

How wonderful it is to read this, thank you so much!  It is exactly what we are hoping to develop...a group that respects the college path yet supports and encourages non-college bound learners and families in their unique pursuits.  With four of my own five with learning disabilites (some quite serious, one will never live independently) and one of those 2E, and the fifth testing as gifted, we are all over the map and respect ALL paths, for sure!  

The fact that we can just be who we are there and our kids are viewed as also having worth helps so much, I am learning.  Your words affirm we are headed in the right direction, thank you!

 

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I would definitely add a personal finance course if your child plans to live on their own. Our state requires it for public school students, and ds did a .5 credit class. It's not just consumer math, it covers taxes, rents, credit cards, etc. I ended up pretty much cobbling something together from a couple of workbooks. Dave Ramsey has a course as well. 

I would also insure they know that college could be an option down the line if necessary. It's not just go at 18 or don't go at all. There are definite benefits to starting later. 

One caution I would give, which is hard for 18 year olds to understand, is that if they are going into a physically demanding career, as in the trades, they need a back up plan, a good savings, and transferable skills. Even skilled people slow down in their 40s and 50s. Retirement can be earlier for the trades, sometimes forced by physical injuries. 

Two anecdotes,  not necessarily tied to college, but relevant: my ex was a carpenter, skilled, hard-working, ADD, and he had to slow way down in his 40s. As a self-employed person that greatly affected our income and his self-esteem. He is currently on disability because he can no longer work in a physical job and that is all he knows. He considered exploring IT when he was in his 30s, but did not because his business was booming and he often worked late nights. 

One of the professors at school recently had both hips replaced and he's not that old. He was using a cane and in considerable pain off and on for a few years before surgery. Because he used his mind to work, not his body, he was still able to move forward in his career and work, even with the pain. Without 1. a job that not physical and 2. good insurance, he would have also been out of work and on disability. 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, elegantlion said:

I would definitely add a personal finance course if your child plans to live on their own. Our state requires it for public school students, and ds did a .5 credit class. It's not just consumer math, it covers taxes, rents, credit cards, etc. I ended up pretty much cobbling something together from a couple of workbooks. Dave Ramsey has a course as well. 

I would also insure they know that college could be an option down the line if necessary. It's not just go at 18 or don't go at all. There are definite benefits to starting later. 

One caution I would give, which is hard for 18 year olds to understand, is that if they are going into a physically demanding career, as in the trades, they need a back up plan, a good savings, and transferable skills. Even skilled people slow down in their 40s and 50s. Retirement can be earlier for the trades, sometimes forced by physical injuries. 

 

 

 

Absolutely about the personal finance! Honestly, we did a rigorous course this year, including a Great Courses course on Stock Investing, a workbook course on personal finance from Starline Press, a couple Blue Stocking Press books, and much more.  We have worked on personal finance for years though, including self employment and accounting skills.  

The truth is, you can lower your need for higher income if you spend more wisely.  For some of us with kids who truly can not move into professional careers due to cognitive delay, learning disabilities, etc. it is even more important to teach frugal spending, how not to allow yourself to get into debt, etc.

 

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On 4/17/2018 at 7:37 PM, hollyhock2 said:

Are there parents on this board who have kids not headed for college? I'm pretty sure my guys will be going into skilled trades. Just wondering if there are others, and if your high school plans differ from the usual college-bound track. I don't see much on this board that isn't about DE and universities and AP, so I'm just curious.

 

I have two who aren't exactly 4yr college-bound.  One plans to do community college and is interested in 911 dispatch or finding a paid firefighting position. She may or may not go on to get a higher degree in Fire Science (or similar.)  The other currently hopes to become a paramedic, which could be an 18-24 month program.

I do think our high school plans differ a bit, but mostly in the fact that I'm less uptight about how they look on paper, lol.  I'm not really freaking out that they're taking longer in their math progression than I would have liked them to. I'm not as afraid to get creative with transcripts as I would have been.  BUT... I do think I'm trying to shove a lot more into their high school years than I would have, otherwise.  Knowing that their studies after graduation are going to be narrow and specialized, I do feel obligated to cover as much as possible now, and to get them interested enough to keep self-educating.   But, again, with flexibility.  Our literature is broad, their sciences are eclectic, there's usually another social science overlapping with history, and that history is dissected relentlessly.  Lots of (outsourced) Arts.  Lots of leadership opportunities. Lots of (non-transcript) life skills and a wide range of activities.  Some of that would have gone by the wayside in order to focus on higher scores in the areas in which traditional schools are most focused.

Where I was once very concerned about preparing them for the next level of education, I'm now more concerned about preparing them for... forever!

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My middle child (rising 9th grader) is not planning on going to college. She wants to own a bakery someday, so she plans to enroll in the CC's baking and pastry certification program after high school. Her high school courses will be designed with that as the goal. She will need to be able to pass the math course for non-degree-seeking students (approximately algebra 1 level) and she will need to write well. Her high school courses will include subjects that will help her be a well-rounded individual (logic and French) and an informed citizen (government and economics) and reach her goal of owning a business (business math). Since she is not planning on going to college, she will not be on a college-prep math or science track. She understands that if she ever wants to go to college (always an option as an adult), she will need to enroll in remedial math courses at the CC and get caught up; and she is fine with that.  

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5 hours ago, Clear Creek said:

My middle child (rising 9th grader) is not planning on going to college. She wants to own a bakery someday, so she plans to enroll in the CC's baking and pastry certification program after high school. Her high school courses will be designed with that as the goal. She will need to be able to pass the math course for non-degree-seeking students (approximately algebra 1 level) and she will need to write well. Her high school courses will include subjects that will help her be a well-rounded individual (logic and French) and an informed citizen (government and economics) and reach her goal of owning a business (business math). Since she is not planning on going to college, she will not be on a college-prep math or science track. She understands that if she ever wants to go to college (always an option as an adult), she will need to enroll in remedial math courses at the CC and get caught up; and she is fine with that.  

 This sounds like such a well rounded, practical plan!  I think we often have a gut feeling about our kids, and worry too much about making sure they get all the "right" classes done in high school, and in doing so they lose their enthusiasm for a real life path.  As you pointed out they can ALWAYS take whatever is missing at CC!

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5 hours ago, Clear Creek said:

Since she is not planning on going to college, she will not be on a college-prep math or science track. She understands that if she ever wants to go to college (always an option as an adult), she will need to enroll in remedial math courses at the CC and get caught up; and she is fine with that.  

I love how you're collaborating with her to give her what she'll need and not just check off some boxes. 

I just discovered this gem: Customer Service Academy, AND our local CC is participating. Since older DD will be working with the public and likely own her own small business eventually, anything that builds up her business skills is a huge plus.  

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