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Quill

Do you/have you had a kid who believes they will want to major in a specific field from a young age?

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If they are grown, did they go into that field? 

DS13 has a very specific idea of what he wants to study: marine biology. It’s interesting, though, because it’s not manifestly obvious that this is so important to him. IOW, it’s not like he has begged me for a marine aquarium (though we do have a tropical aquarium) or constantly pursues knowledge about this subject. If asked, though, he cites this as his dream job and believes he wants to attend the college dd currently attends, because it is known for marine biology. 

He is studying biology this year in our homeschool, but I wonder if I should be doing anything in particular to emphasize marine study. (We could go to the Aquarium in Baltimore, but besides that, I am not chock full of great ideas.) 

Do you do anything in particular when a kid makes claims like this? 

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My son decided at age 11 that he wanted to work in film.  He made countless videos through the next several years (self taught through books and YouTube videos), but he ended up majoring in a related field (got a BS in Recording Arts).  Interestingly, he is now working on film sets, as a production assistant, and he loves every minute of it.  It will be interesting to see what he ends up doing.  He may continue to float, learning and doing everything on set, and post production.

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dh was going to be a lawyer - then he went to law school and was *really* turned off by law, so he quit.   (his grades were good.)

1dd was the only one of mine who actually did what she wanted to do in high school - classics.  then she went and got marketable computer skills. does well.

my nephew  did say he wanted to be a fireman from a young age.  he's a paramedic.

 

I did work for a woman whose father was a surgeon - so she wanted nothing to do with medicine.   she was majoring in english when she took a microbio class and fell in love.   she decided she could do that.  her father sat her down and asked her if she wanted to take the orders or give the orders. . .. she's a surgeon.

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All I can think about is Seinfeld and George Costanza pretending to be a marine biologist. Save the whale, George! Or an architect: I always wanted to be an architect, or at least pretend to be one. He faked other jobs, but those were the funniest. 

Neither of my kids had a strong interest in a certain field from a young age. Oldest went through a filmmaking phase at about 14, but it only lasted a couple of years and one very expensive summer camp. She's currently a junior with language and business majors. Youngest took a more serious interest in art at about 11/12, but never said she wanted to be an artist until people started saying stuff like, I guess you're going to be an artist! It was her stock answer for a while because people ask you that all the time in high school. She's a freshman who has declared art and accounting, but we'll see. She already had 3 semesters of art in dual enrollment at this university, but microeconomics is her first remotely business-related class. 

Brother-in-law had a strong interest in science, math, and physics from a very young age, and did indeed become a physicist. 

I know several people who said 'engineer' from an early age and did become engineers, but so many people say they want to be engineers that some of them are bound to actually do it. I definitely know more people who said it and did NOT become engineers. 

 

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3 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

dh was going to be a lawyer - then he went to law school and was *really* turned off by law, so he quit.   (his grades were good.)

1dd was the only one of mine who actually did what she wanted to do in high school - classics.  then she went and got marketable computer skills. does well.

my nephew  did say he wanted to be a fireman from a young age.  he's a paramedic.

 

I did work for a woman whose father was a surgeon - so she wanted nothing to do with medicine.   she was majoring in english when she took a microbio class and fell in love.   she decided she could do that.  her father sat her down and asked her if she wanted to take the orders or give the orders. . .. she's a surgeon.

That last story is so awesome! 

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We don't have adult children yet, but dh and I both knew what we wanted to do before we were 10 and we both ended up in that profession.  (I wanted to be a teacher.) ?

 

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Two of my sons knew they wanted to go into a career with computers and both did (computer engineers).  One had no idea and he ended up as an electrical engineer.  Dd just wants to join the circus and has no other interests for a career.  It's been hard on all of us.  

Edited by Kassia
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6 minutes ago, Kassia said:

Two of my sons knew they wanted to go into a career with computers and both did.  One had no idea and he ended up as an electrical engineer.  Dd just wants to join the circus and has no other interests for a career.  It's been hard on all of us.  

I have to laugh about this. Our homeschool co-op has for years offered circus/clowning skills as a class. Although a lot of it is great fun and develops balance, coordination, performance, etc., I always thought, “Well, do I really want to put the idea in their heads that some people are professional clowns?” ?

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Math, both of mine loved numbers from a young age and said they were going to be math majors from the time they were about 4.   My fil was an engineer and was ecstatic at the thought of not one but two engineers and pushed engineering really hard at ds age 5, made him cry and we had quite a scene over it.   Neither kid has ever seriously considered any career with the word engineer in it.  Both are going into cybersecurity.....yes, they do have a math major too.

Did we do anything special?  To some degree because math, codes, puzzle solving was an interest for both it was easy to gear our family  life towards those interests.  Lots of board games and puzzles.  We made time for mathy competitions etc.  but more because they enjoyed it together.  If only one had been interested they couldn’t have competed in a team code breaking competition for instance because I needed at least two (never managed to get a full team)....we did that completion which is UK resident only for three years. 

 

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46 minutes ago, Quill said:

 (We could go to the Aquarium in Baltimore, but besides that, I am not chock full of great ideas.) 

 

Student Summer Program https://aqua.org/Connect/Student-Programs/student-summer-program

“Benefits

Volunteering at the Aquarium provides a unique learning experience, full of benefits. As a guide in the galleries, you will enjoy:

a realistic look at marine biology as a career

an opportunity to fulfill your school's community service requirements

new friends with shared interests

training classes about marine life

social activities

free parking during volunteer hours

staff discounts and privileges

a summer of fun and learning.”

Youth Ocean Conservation Summit (YOCS) http://aqua.org/Connect/Student-Programs/youth-ocean-conservation-summit

“The Youth Ocean Conservation Summit (YOCS) was created by Sean Russell in 2011 to provide youth participants the opportunity to learn from marine scientists and conservationists about the current threats facing marine ecosystems, both locally and globally. This annual event also teaches participants about the ways other youth are currently working to protect marine ecosystems, and then allows them to work with their peers to develop action plans for their own ocean conservation projects.”

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My older son decided at age 9 that he wanted to be an engineer, and he would go to MIT.  He is a senior majoring in engineering but not at MIT.  For his entire life, it was very obvious that engineering would be where he would end up.

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6 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

 

Student Summer Program https://aqua.org/Connect/Student-Programs/student-summer-program

“Benefits

Volunteering at the Aquarium provides a unique learning experience, full of benefits. As a guide in the galleries, you will enjoy:

a realistic look at marine biology as a career

an opportunity to fulfill your school's community service requirements

new friends with shared interests

training classes about marine life

social activities

free parking during volunteer hours

staff discounts and privileges

a summer of fun and learning.”

Youth Ocean Conservation Summit (YOCS) http://aqua.org/Connect/Student-Programs/youth-ocean-conservation-summit

“The Youth Ocean Conservation Summit (YOCS) was created by Sean Russell in 2011 to provide youth participants the opportunity to learn from marine scientists and conservationists about the current threats facing marine ecosystems, both locally and globally. This annual event also teaches participants about the ways other youth are currently working to protect marine ecosystems, and then allows them to work with their peers to develop action plans for their own ocean conservation projects.”

THANK YOU! That would be amazing! 

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I always pushed a good college prep education. heavy into math & lab science, etc. I encouraged foreign language, an instrument, etc.  very hampered by outside circumstances in some things.

they all did calculus as high school seniors -except for 1ds. he'd stopped math after veering into statistics, as he was struggling with it.  he just had a hard time with math.  Now, he's a senior in aerospace engineering with plans for a MAE. he was my "least likely to go into a math dependent field" . . . . . is in a very heavy math field.

2ds wanted nothing to do with accounting because dh is an accountant....he took an accounting class on a lark - and is apparently quite the natural.  the head of the cpa firm where he works is really happy with him.  (he told me one day to "don't let him go into cost accounting" as it would be a waste of his talents.  he loved managerial accounting.)

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I have a sibling that did that.  My only suggestion is not to pigeon hole that child.  Keep their education open ended enough to change their mind.  Don't get overly invested in it as a parent.  Give them plenty of opportunities to reinvent themselves and to explore related or completely different interests.  Don't tell everyone who will listen "Joey is going to be an astronaut.  Our coffee table is loaded with astrophysics books.  It's going to be fun to see him on the Today show someday talking about his trip to Mars.".  It would be fine to say "Right now, Joey is leaning toward being an astronaut.  We'll see!"  if asked.  I do think pigeon holing your child can be stronger than expected.  Offer your child opportunities in that area.  But offer than other opportunities and interests too and see where they end up.  

I have a sibling who at 5 said they were going to be a meteorologist.  My parents just thought that was so charming and smart and RAN with it.  They talked about it at least as much as he did.  And guess what.  He got a meteorology and a communications degree.  He did work as an on air meteorologist for a while but quickly learned abut parts of that industry that he enjoyed less than expected.  Not to mention he moved out to the middle of no where to make peanuts and live in a hovel and was treated like a commodity.  He switched to a traveling sales job less than 5 years after graduating and has been doing that for 20 years.  No one ever talked to him about that as an actual career would look like or helped him explore this interests and others in more meaningful ways.  I feel like he could have combined a couple loves for a career he actually enjoys (which is not his current one)

Let your child explore, be supportive, but don't be more invested than your child.  This probably goes without saying for so many parents in this day and age but I have baggage about it even as a sibling.   I changed my major twice in college but still do contract work in the area I am educated in. 

 

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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Well, no and yes. (lol)

In answer to the first part of your question, no -- neither DS ever made claims of wanting to do something as a career...
However, in answer to the second part of your question -- yes, when DSs expressed an interest in something I *did* try to support that interest by including it in our schooling.

From your description, it sounds like this is more of a vague interest, and perhaps is fueled by thinking big sis's school is "cool", so he wants to go there too. And that's okay -- college is still almost 4 years away for him. Make it clear that if he wants to go to big sis's school for this program, that you need to see that he is genuinely interested by him finding out more about that career, and what kinds of education he'll need to do that job so that you can help him tailor his high school education to support and prepare him.

Are there local opportunities? Like a teen program or volunteering or learn how to become a teen docent at the local aquarium to volunteer? What about the local university -- does it have a Marine Biology program? If so, they may give the occasional evening public lecture, or even allow a teen to volunteer/intern there at the campus. At this age, I'd help by researching what's available, and when it happens, and offer driving support, but also make it clear that he will have to show interest and initiative, too.

You might have DS do a little career exploration research to learn about what Marine Biologists really do, what kind of education he'll need, and what a future college course of study would look like. A few quick resources:
- Learn.org: Marine Biologists
- NOAA Fisheries: Careers in Marine Biology
- The Balance Careers: Marine Biologist Career Description

And if he is not a vocal child or is overwhelmed by the idea of initiating, why not make 0.5 credit (1 semester) of his high school sciences be Marine Biology? Dipping a toe in now might help your DS realize he *does* or does *not* want to go in that direction. Or even start informally including a Teaching Company lecture from a Marine Biology series into your week. Here are some possible resources for a course:

course ideas: texts
- Pearson: Marine Science (secular)
- Apologia Exploring Creation with Marine Biology (Christian)
Marine Biology dissection kit

course ideas: teaching company lecture series
- Oceanography
- Life in the World's Oceans

course ideas: online
- Coursera -- list of Marine Biology courses (various lengths and different topics/focus)
- Universal Class: Marine Biology 101 ($55 no certificate/$80 with certificate) -- 17 lessons, each with video and written lesson component, assignment, and quiz
- Ocean First Education -- choice of: Explorer (snippets for exposure); short courses (12 to choose from, 1 is FREE; $15 or $20 units); full semester course ($99)

 

BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.

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I always knew what I wanted to do. My husband did not. He figured it out after college and went back.  Unless your child has a history of jumping around, claiming he wants to do this and then that, then I would take him seriously. Especially since it is a realistic dream.

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Before my DD22 was 10, she wanted to be a meteorologist.  When she was very young, she had been hyper afraid of storms, and as a result, I tried to impart as much info as possible, under the idea that the more you know the less scared you are.

 

Well, it worked, and by the age of 10 she was obsessed with tornadoes and storm chasing and all things weather.  

 

She took ALL the classes science and weather offered by her high school.  To be honest, I found high school courses related to this sort of thing very lacking.   But she took everything she could and in her senior year, she was struggling to find enough classes to fill her schedule, AND she did an internship for high school credit with the NWS that she specifically sought out to fill her schedule.

 

She had a scholarship to an in state school and selected her school based specifically on the fact that it was one of only 3 in state that had a meteorology major and the only one she could afford with a storm chase team.  She even participated on the storm chase team and LOVED it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When she started college, she hooked up with a guy about halfway through her freshman year.  They got serious.  He was..................lacking.  I don't want to disparage him because he was not a terrible person.  But, to quote my younger sister..."we have higher standards than 'he doesn't do drugs.'"   This guy, being the underacheiver that he was, basically had her convinced that she couldn't handle the math necessary fro a meteorology major.

 

SO, she switched to GIS (geographical information systems.)   This is essentially........computer maps...........as best as I understand.  She did a lot of research, and ultimately it was not a bad choice.  I just feel like he held her back from her dream.

 

Her discussing last year about getting a masters in meteorology made me more sure.  BUT, ultimately...................she changed to GIS.  She graduated with a BS in GIS.  She has gotten a good job within her field, which has nothing to do with meteorology and she DOES enjoy.  She always enjoyed the computer mapping aspects of meteorology.  So, she's happy and that's ok.

 

I do have a little part of me that feels she isn't following her dream.  But then, I am sitting here at home earning no money from a job and wondering if my mom thinks the same thing.  

Edited by happysmileylady
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My dd said she was interested in marine biology in early high school. She spent two summers at UNCW’s marine science camps (specifically Oceans and Oceans-17). They weren’t cheap, but they were an incredible, academic experience for her. After the first camp, she was sure she wanted to major in marine science at UNCW. After the second, even more intense Oceans-17 camp, she was sure she didn’t, lol. She still really enjoyed it, but decided to lean more general chemistry or biology rather than marine. 

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49 minutes ago, Quill said:

I have to laugh about this. Our homeschool co-op has for years offered circus/clowning skills as a class. Although a lot of it is great fun and develops balance, coordination, performance, etc., I always thought, “Well, do I really want to put the idea in their heads that some people are professional clowns?” ?

 

I'd be interested to know what the job prospects are and what the pay looks like! :) Just for giggles. All that make-up can probably be deducted on the taxes...

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10 minutes ago, Liz CA said:

 

I'd be interested to know what the job prospects are and what the pay looks like! ? Just for giggles. All that make-up can probably be deducted on the taxes...

Well, the first teacher was a professional clown. Later, some of his students got seriously into circus skills and clowning and they ran the class. He did withdraw from teaching the class because, as he told me, “It makes no sense to turn down an $800 gig on a cruiseship so I can teach homeschoolers for pennies.” I do think he was one of the more prosperous people in that profession, but he worked his clowny-pants butt off.

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59 minutes ago, mumto2 said:

 Neither kid has ever seriously considered any career with the word engineer in it.  Both are going into cybersecurity.....yes, they do have a math major too.

My dd#1 is a senior and will likely go into college with a declared math major. Both DH & I are engineers and we have carefully not pressured her into engineering. If she chooses it on her own, it will be despite us, almost. Math does not always equal engineering.

On the Op's question, my kids aren't far enough down the road to know how it'll all turn out. I try to help the ones who show an interest in something to get exposure to that subject. But, realistically, where we are located, there aren't a huge number of opportunities. I do what I can. (I sometimes wish my kids had a really awesome mom, but they just have me.)

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4 minutes ago, Quill said:

Well, the first teacher was a professional clown. Later, some of his students got seriously into circus skills and clowning and they ran the class. He did withdraw from teaching the class because, as he told me, “It makes no sense to turn down an $800 gig on a cruiseship so I can teach homeschoolers for pennies.” I do think he was one of the more prosperous people in that profession, but he worked his clowny-pants butt off.

 

My dd would love to be in Cirque du Soleil but being a part of any circus performance would make her happy.  She does aerial silks, tumbling, hand balance, juggling, and some trapeze. It's hard on me and DH because it's time to look at colleges and dd is so bright and could succeed in almost any career but all she wants to do is perform.  So we are focusing on finding colleges close to aerial silks studios and/or colleges that have circus clubs on campus but it really limits her options.  It's been frustrating for all of us.  

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1 minute ago, RootAnn said:

My dd#1 is a senior and will likely go into college with a declared math major. Both DH & I are engineers and we have carefully not pressured her into engineering. If she chooses it on her own, it will be despite us, almost. Math does not always equal engineering.

On the Op's question, my kids aren't far enough down the road to know how it'll all turn out. I try to help the ones who show an interest in something to get exposure to that subject. But, realistically, where we are located, there aren't a huge number of opportunities. I do what I can. (I sometimes wish my kids had a really awesome mom, but they just have me.)

Now, come on! You are the one and only person who can be their mom! 

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2 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

(I sometimes wish my kids had a really awesome mom, but they just have me.)

 

You are definitely an awesome mom!

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Oldest dd was always interested in medicine. She did morph a bit from wanting to be a doctor to becoming a pediatric icu nurse. She loves it, and is now working on a nurse practitioner's degree in pediatric critical care. Her special preparation involved watching many, many surgery shows, drawing wounds on her sisters with red pens and then treating those wounds, cutting open her stuffed animals for surgery and putting rocks in them, then sewing them back up, etc. She also did some shadowing of actual medical doctors. In her actual training, she did an internship at Mayo while in nursing school, worked for two years at a children's hospital that was the hub for children's care for a large area, did travel nursing for a couple of contracts to determine if she wanted to move to a very large city, where she then took a permanent job. She is very, very good at what she does. Our other children meandered a bit before they settled on their majors. It remains to be seen what happens with the youngers.

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2 hours ago, StellaM said:

I should say that very early I made it clear to her that she could go into medicine! She's always had female GP's etc. So not the tyranny of low expectations. But she was clear she doesn't want to be a doctor. I wonder if I should have pushed it more. 

See, what with the tyranny of insurance companies and high malpractice insurance, when my then three year old daughter said she wanted to be a doctor, I told her nurses did a lot more to take care of people and that she should consider nursing or being a nurse practitioner.  It was a pretty short lived phase, however.  If she'd shown any evidence as she got older of an interest in medicine or science, I wouldn't have been so directly discouraging.  But the folks I know who are doctors are discouraging the people they know from that direction.  

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My DS thinks he’s going to make a living from writing or creating in some way. I actually think, even being super critical, that he has some talent there. I don’t know exactly how to encourage it, I mean here’s some books, read them here’s a laptop, write the words. I think if he sticks with it, he might do something because he often writes by choice in his free time, ie has some discipline about it.he went to a writing camp this summer, he wrote several of our travel blogs, he has a writing mentor who’s a published author that goes over his stuff with him—he hasn’t met her in forever though as we haven’t been here. Sometimes when there’s a talk by a writer he likes, we take him.

I don’t actually think he would be able to make a living from it no matter how talented, so we will probably always support him somehow. 

If all fails, there’s always law school ?

Edited by madteaparty
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Dd has known since she was 10 that she wanted to go into cetology. In high school, she took a lot of biology, ecology, and chemistry classes at CC (basically all the science classes we could afford-lol!) Over the last two summers, she did independent study and research with both her chemistry and biology professors. In dd's case this plan really paid off. She is right on track with her goal of a BS in biology (marine science minor, although she is now contemplating a double major in chemistry instead) at William and Mary, and hopes to enter their graduate school for marine science (Virginia Institue of Marine Science.) 

Other than encouraging her to take as many college level science courses as she could, we did nothing special for her. She just read whatever scientific journals she could get her hands on, and made her own plans! 

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Wow I am impressed with all these kids who know what they want to do in life.  I am 40 and I still don't know.  When I was 10, the list was something like a ballet dancer, a singer, a navy seal, an astronaut or the first female pope.  I always had at least 4-5 ever rotating choices for what I wanted to be when I grow up.

I guess that hasn't changed actually.  I still have 2-3 I am pondering now. In retrospect the whole "you can be ANYTHING you want when you grow up" speech I heard growing up wasn't particularly helpful.  I was definitely never going to be any of those things lol...  

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Ds has been circling around a computer science area since he was about 10. He's now a math major, considering switching to computer science (long story why he didn't start there). He has a couple years of college left, so we'll see where he heads. I pretty sure he'll end up there, won't be surprised if he ends up in the space industry in some form. 

Years ago I worked with a girl who wanted to be a doctor. She ended up working with Mother Theresa for a bit and now is a practicing physician. I think she was about 14 when I knew her, so not super early, but boy was she dedicated. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Quill said:

If they are grown, did they go into that field? 

Do you do anything in particular when a kid makes claims like this? 

my oldest ds knew form the age of 2 that he wanted to be an engineer . He got his first set of real set of lego just before he turned 2 and his first set of technic lego at 4.

 He started his degree in Aerospace Engineering at 17. He currently works at CSIRO doing research - as an engineer

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5 hours ago, RootAnn said:

My dd#1 is a senior and will likely go into college with a declared math major. Both DH & I are engineers and we have carefully not pressured her into engineering. If she chooses it on her own, it will be despite us, almost. Math does not always equal engineering.

On the Op's question, my kids aren't far enough down the road to know how it'll all turn out. I try to help the ones who show an interest in something to get exposure to that subject. But, realistically, where we are located, there aren't a huge number of opportunities. I do what I can. (I sometimes wish my kids had a really awesome mom, but they just have me.)

I think you are a terrific mom who is listening to her kids interests and trying.    I think listening and trying are pretty much everything!  After lots of recent reflection on my parenting journey I think the key is being there to offer whatever exposure you can.  Take advantage of whatever opportunities come your way.  My kids have always loved rabbit trails and we followed many over the years!

Pressure for a career at a young age is terrible.  The sad thing is I suspect my daughter would love engineering but their rather messy saga of their adored grandpa not letting that career drop meant they didn’t want to ever consider being one.  They actually wrote grandpa a letter explaining they did not want to be engineers at one point.   If Grandpa was alive today he would be so proud even though he didn’t get a single engineer(yet), I do think HE was simply proud of the math but had learned.....  My in laws raised Dh to be a Doctor which didn’t go well either.  He went as far as being accepted to med schools but refused to go at the last minute with my total support.......mil never forgave me for that, but among other factors my husband hates blood.   From the time we were first friends at 14 he was squeamish and hated things like dissecting in biology classes, good at it but did not enjoy it.  There was a reason he got into med school via being a chemistry major and she just never grasped that.  How could she not know????? In terms of daddy taking care of injuries he has had tons of advanced first aid and is awesome but it stresses him hugely, and obviously.

I really hate the pressure to be something particular and think it is overall damaging.  For my daughter I have been a bit more enthusiastic about the math then I really wanted to be because she kept meeting people who were negative.....math is “too tough” for girls is something we heard many times.  I tried to support the interest not necessarily the major, if that makes sense.  I have always pointed out women with careers in technical fields.....your dd is lucky to have an engineer for a mom.  Mine got an accountant!  

 Our kids do only have us which is the reality in the home ed world.  I think everyone who is active on the Wtm boards is searching for the best path for their kids.  My kid’s paths appear to be a bit more firm at this point but you never know.  Somehow taking the GRE brought an inquiry from a med school dd’s way and she is intrigued.  ? ?  cannot figure out how??????

On a side note, Dh and I spent last night looking at a report reflecting the state of our borough, which essentially means the small section of England we actually live in with comparison charts to the rest of England and comparable areas.  Our village (which seems to be filled with retired teachers) is not reflective of the borough and the schools are dreadful which we always knew.  We were surprised that opportunities for careers in technical fields just do not exist without leaving this immediate area considering that we have a good University turning out technical degrees a half hour away in a different borough!   It really made me glad we were able to home ed and glad for this board.  Things like Coursera, which I discovered on this forum, gave my kids free exposure to areas of study that we never would have been able to provide.  So very grateful we decided to home ed!

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I wouldn't say that my kids declared *careers early, but we've definitely pursued learning opportunities in their interest areas.  

My oldest (music major) didn't get as much formal music study as I would have liked because our location and budget limited things, but instruments were procured when possible, private lessons happened when affordable services were available, and self-study resources were always available.  When his interest was history, we did a ton of history. When his interest was English, we did a ton of ELA stuff.  Music was always there though. He began learning about the different periods of classical music around age 4, and could place just about any piece with ease.

The next two got really into environmental stuff.  I started dropping them off in the woods and on farms with mentors around 11/12, lol. Our area has a million classe/workshops/events, etc. and are generally inexpensive.  One dd took a summer college course before officially starting 9th grade.  Both still intend to be camp counselors at the annual conservation camp.  Even though they're not currently set on careers in that area right now, they did develop what is most likely a serious lifelong interest.

Both girls are currently interested in emergency service careers. They spend more time on related activities than all of their general studies and that's fine by me. (As long as the other stuff gets done.). I think the odds are high that they will wind up in that area. (They're 10th and 11th grade this year.)

My 11yo hasn't hit on any big obsession yet.  I kind of wish he would now that the older ones are more self-directed!  My 7yo likes firefighting, which takes care of itself in our house.  (I feel like, statistically, kids of firefighters, who say they want to become firefighters, are pretty likely to become firefighters. Have not fact checked my gut!) I'm kind of sitting around, waiting for something new and interesting to sink my teeth into for them, lol.

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Yes.  Although not as specific.  We knew he was going into Art of some kind, we just didn't know all the options out there back when he was young.  Hey is majoring in an art field and we are so excited for the possibilities for him. He is a junior in college.

Second son is also going into a creative field and again, not as specific when he was younger, but we knew he would end up in something creative.  So we will see where that takes him.  He is a Freshman in college.

Youngest.....not a clue!

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Since he was 5, DS13 wanted to be an aeronautical engineer (he even made up a notebook for designs, with aeronautical engineer (spelled eronotikl njner)* on the cover).  I am about 99.999% sure that will hold up.  I keep telling myself I need to add in courses for him that are relevant, or get him involved in Civil Air Patrol, etc.  I feel like a bad mom for not doing it.  I've looked, but haven't been very successful in finding anything.

When I was 7 I told my parents I was going to be a judge.  When asked why (we never had any lawyer or judges in our family or circle of friends) I told my them that I wanted to boss people around. ?   My parents told me I had to be a lawyer first.  That was my focus all through high school (even taking Latin so I could do well on the SAT)  and college (I studied international finance because I wanted to be a corporate attorney). I went to law school and worked in BigLaw in Washington, DC for 9 years (hating just about every second of it).

*I have saved this and will frame it for him for graduation, LOL

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DD13-Herpetology. Like, since forever. She was obsessed with snakes at the zoo and pet store extremely early-like before age 2. We had one Christmas where she got plastic containers and a bookshelf that she turned into a rack for toy snakes, each labeled with it's scientific nomenclature, with feeding schedules and vet records.  Somewhere I have a field study on a stuffed snake, including anatomic diagrams, eventual decision on taxonomy and the justifications as to why, and suggestions that it be reviewed by ICUN as a possible threatened or endangered species due to small endemic range. The first paper she ever wrote was to get a pet snake.  She went through every book the local library had, then the college library, and was reading papers by early elementary school.  I figured she'd eventually outgrow it. Instead she just expanded outside the house.

In DD's case, we have lucked out in many ways-she has an amazing mentor couple, who are also her best friend's parents. That got her into the academic world, so she has been able to go to conferences, participate in research, and present her work. She has led a local group of kids, with my help, in education and advocacy projects and raised funds for multiple organizations and research projects, and started taking this online about a year ago when she was asked to teach a herpetology class for Athena's Academy.  She is pretty well known as "one to watch"-and now that she's starting the college application season, she's getting about the most targeted recruitment I've ever seen-not only the stuff from admissions and the science departments, but often personal letters, invitations to come to dissertation defenses and guest speakers and field projects, and suggestions on which specific scholarships and grants to apply for that would let her work on research. She is starting to pick summer programs and research opportunities that will benefit her eventual goals, but also let her expand on them. She is applying for the state governor's school in agricultural science because she has discovered that many of the programs that seem to have what she wants are at schools where Ecology, Evolution, and Biology are in the Agri school.

She thinks she wants ethology and cognition in reptiles, which is a growing area of interest and awareness, and is looking for multidisciplinary programs that will let her focus on that as soon as possible, instead of waiting for grad school. In many respects,her undergrad search looks more like a graduate search, where she's visiting and interviewing with specific labs. This is particularly important because she's realized, as she has gotten older, just how much of a "Good old boy" world herpetology can be and that there are some extremely well known, respected people in the field who have histories of being not at all good for young women to work under.  It is highly likely that she will end up in a less well known school that is able to give her what she wants, as opposed to a really, really big name-because many of the people at the really big names have been honest and told her that they would love to have her for grad school, but cannot offer that level of support to an undergrad because they need to support their grad students. Because of this, she has little pressure in her college hunt-she has multiple schools that are at the safety school level for her, but where she knows that they have something to offer her. 

My feeling has always been that even if she ends up completely outside of herpetology, the background that she has gotten in the academic world, in science, and in research, and her comfort level at navigating that world will serve her well.

 

As far as homeschooling goes, we didn't really set out to do what she needed, just what came available or seemed interesting. She has had FAR more biology than most kids-two general biology classes, plus additional classes in entomology, aquatic biology, epidemiology, and microbiology, plus lots of interest based focus on vertebrate anatomy, herpetology, herp husbandry, and animal behavior. She will be taking anatomy and physiology as her science classes for her associates as part of her high school classes. . She has also had two classes in chemistry, one more organic/biochem focused. Her writing has been fairly focused on academic writing-she learned to write abstracts before she actually did a formal essay. While at the CC, she is focusing on psychology, which she is quite enjoying, and her advisor is encouraging her to really dive into animal psychology and animal models since that's where her interests lie. She's also taking the opportunity to take classes that might be useful skill-wise. She plans to do some marketing and PR classes, for example.  She's also doing classes and workshops for teachers, particularly science education and environmental education ones. It seems possible that maybe one of these might eventually lead to a career, too.

 

Please note that DD is an extreme AL, so we have a lot of extra time for exploration, since she doesn't want to graduate before age 16-and I'd just as soon see her wait until 17 or 18.

Edited by dmmetler
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On Marine Bio-there are several Junior Instructor classes at Athena’s in it, and would be worth the $35 for an interested kid just to get to talk to others interested in the same things. I think thaf’s About half of DD’s herpetology class-kids who love the animals and just want to be able to hang out with others who do as well. 

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2 hours ago, DawnM said:

We knew he was going into Art of some kind, we just didn't know all the options out there back when he was young.   

 

 

To be fair, not all of the options existed back then! 

1 hour ago, dmmetler said:

My feeling has always been that even if she ends up completely outside of herpetology, the background that she has gotten in the academic world, in science, and in research, and her comfort level at navigating that world will serve her well.

 

 

Learning is never wasted! 

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I was that child. I wanted to be a nurse since I was five. All my life I was going to be a nurse. I got into a good nursing college, did well in prerequisites, got into the program and dropped out after 2 months of practicum.  I hated it!!!  The only time I regret that decision is when I would like to have a part time job. I really wish I would have done some sort of internship or work experience before, so I really know what I was getting into.

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My older son's favorite word to sign at 1 year old was "airplane". By age 2, all he talked about was Thomas the Train and transportation systems. By age 7, he declared he was going to be a pilot and/or an aeronautical engineer. He's now 14, took his first flying lessons this summer, taught himself air traffic control codes, spends hours flying on an extremely realistic flight simulator, and still insists he will be a commercial airline pilot. Time will tell, but it is looking more and more realistic that he will be!

Edited by FairProspects
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This is my oldest -- from a very young age, he knew he planned to serve in the Air Force and be a pilot. He went to university on a ROTC scholarship. He's now in the Air Force and in pilot training.

This is NOT my other two, at all, middle has no overarching idea at this point and he's 17. 13 year old -- well his interests shift and so do his plans. He did his first flight in a small plane a couple of weeks ago and has been knee deep in aviation materials for a while. We'll see if that sticks.

 

 

Edited by theelfqueen
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One of my kids is very much a planner.  She not only knows what she wants to do, but she knows where she wants to work after she graduates.  She has had this career as at least an alternative plan since she was 8 or 9 years old.

Time will tell, but I predict she will do this unless she meets with a major road block.

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My own kid, no--in 5th grade and at the moment would like to be a race car driver and/or king of the world, neither of which mama will help with.

However, a young woman I used to tutor started asking for piano lessons as soon as she could talk. Her parents held off until she was 4? because what little kid has that kind of commitment? But eventually they gave in, and she could read music before she could read English. At ~7 she added violin, and just fell in love with it.

By 6th grade she was asking her parents to withdraw her from private school and homeschool her so she could practice more than just a couple of hours a day. They agreed to try it for a year with the understanding they'd re-evaluate at the end of the year. It went brilliantly. Completely of her own volition, she practiced violin 5 hours each morning, did her school work in the afternoons and evenings year-round, still played piano a little, took violin lessons at an ever-higher level, played in local youth symphonies and formed her own chamber group with friends... She's now finishing a master's degree in performance and will be looking for a position as a concertmaster. She knew her own mind very well.

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One of my kids seemed to be an engineer from the time he was a toddler. He became very interested in electronics and electricity when he was in elementary school and spent lots of time experimenting and doing related volunteer work. At one point in middle school or early high school, he thought he might be a sound engineer, but after talking to a few people doing that job, he realized he already had more experience than many people working that job and decided to be an electrical engineer instead. Yes, he is an electrical engineer and works for an international corporation.

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My oldest wrote on the wall (the kids trace their hands, date them, and write on them) at the cabin at the age of 7 that "I will be a violin teacher". She is, at ABD for her doctorate, married to a conductor. My next one didn't really hear the call of the military until 16, though I could see it looking back. The next one was in AROTC, had to drop because of injury, and finally changed her major to Ag Business. Her goal was ALWAYS to come back to the ranch, and she made it, a few years earlier than planned due to dh's health. Ds and dd caught the computer bug quite early on. Ds reports in one week to cyber school for the AF. Looks like dd may not be able to continue in AF due to injury, but will graduate in computers and cyber security. 

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My daughter has always pretty much known she would do something with art. I used to say she was born with a crayon in her hand. She was an arts/crafts kid from a very young age. A few times she's veered a little, but she always comes back to art.

My son, not so much. We used to joke that his ideal job was the blacksmith at a living history museum, and he has taken some blacksmithing courses. But he's had various ideas along the way. He finally settled on majoring in history with possibly a concentration in historic preservation so it may turn out  he knew what he was destined to do all along.  

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Dd is only 11, but has wanted to be a builder since she was about 6 and a boss lady since she was about 7. 

Now she's planning to do a carpentry apprenticeship, get a forklift licence, go overseas to work, then come home to be a boss lady. "Oooh!" she said, when I told her she can learn to drive a two ton excavator without a special license. ?

We did some architecture lesson plans for small kids back when we homeschooled and I'm learning carpentry in part so I can teach her. One of my carpentry buddies has bought her a good quality tape measure for Christmas. He now has enough tools to work with, and I have enough money for some materials, so we'll probably get her started on a real project when she's up here next week.

She still has her egg business, that she's had for three years now, and will be buying a bee hive in the next few months. That's only sole trading though, not being an actual boss lady. ?

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