If you’re homeschooling a child that is not college-bound, no worries! Eli is 15, and he is not absolutely sure about the career path he will take. As of right now it’s a toss-up between taxidermy, Motorcross racing, and “I don’t really know”. However, Eli does know that he does not want to go to college directly after high school graduation. So what do you do when you are homeschooling a child that is not college-bound?
What to Do When Your Child is Not College-Bound
Understand college isn’t the only option.
First and foremost, remember that college isn’t the only option for kids to take in order for them to be successful. In fact, some of the most popular masterminds we know of today – think, Elon Musk – do not have college degrees. What has naturally happened over time is the creation of more colleges and an increase in some jobs requiring a college education. This still doesn’t mean that every job requires one.
Explore other options.
Another helpful idea is to encourage your child to explore different options. Some kids decide to join some branch of the military, while others pursue an apprenticeship/job shadow kind of plan. Even then, there are opportunities for starting a job and working their way up the ranks.
Encourage your child to explore their passions.
If your child is not college-bound, they could very well have a particular passion that could be turned into a business. Encourage them to write down things they’d like to do, problems they could potentially solve, and/or business ideas they’ve wanted to pursue. They may want to take a few business-related courses, but going to college still wouldn’t be necessary.
What does homeschooling look like for a child not college-bound?
Core subjects are still important.
Although your child may not be college-bound, it is still important for them to master certain subjects of study. Subjects such as English and Math will always be used whether they choose to go to college or get a job straight out of high school. There’s no doubt that some academic classes still have a place in a child’s educational plan.
If your child will not be attending college, they may not have to take some of the rigorous classes or take tests that colleges usually require. In all honesty, this also relieves pressure on your kid and yourself. You won’t have to worry about meeting standards or requirements, and they can rest much easier knowing what the light at the end of their tunnel looks like.
Focus on life skills.
An often ignored area of study that’s used more than anything are life skills. Can your child manage their time, do a job (or chore) with integrity, and/or be responsible? These characteristics are just as important as core subjects and shouldn’t be ignored. Teaching them how to cook, sew, and fix minimal issues will follow them throughout adulthood.
If your high schooler has no interest in attending college, it’s okay to focus more on what will prepare them for getting a good job and all that comes with adulthood. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Provide them with opportunities to volunteer. Local businesses, non-profit organizations, self-employed business owners, libraries, farms, and animal shelters are always on the lookout for a little extra help.
- Encourage them to get a job. This doesn’t have to be their dream job, but something that will help them foster those non-academic skills, such as: time management, social skills, accountability, and so on.
- Sign them up for creative courses. These are often seen as electives, but can help your kid get a feel of something they’d like to pursue as a career.
Homeschooling a child that is not college-bound doesn’t mean they won’t be successful in life. Use their high school years to prepare them for life after high school. Help them foster their natural talents and gifts and brainstorm goals they’d like to reach. Even if they do decide to attend a community college or take online courses, they can still prepare for it!