The Timing of College?

Who doesn’t know an individual that after attending college right after high school and getting their degree decided to return to college for a totally different career field?

Many juniors and seniors have ideas of what they want to be as adults and will direct their education in that direction but often their ideas are based little on the facts of a career. Very few get the opportunity to really see what their planned work will really be like. You know, the pre-med or nursing student who faints at the sight of blood. The accountant that can’t stand looking at numbers all day.

Children mature at much different rates. While some teens are prepared to make lifelong decisions many are more interested in what outfit to wear. Public school pushes the idea that a certain age child should have reached certain goals. Not all 5 year olds are ready for Kindergarten, not all first and second graders are ready for reading. And contrary to popular opinion not all seniors in high school are ready for college and the independence associated with it.

Homeschooling generally prepares teens better for the more independent studies of college. I said generally because all parents homeschool differently. Some parents are more hands-on and directing about a teens education while others assign work and supervise but allow the student more independence similar to college.

But even if a child is prepared for the academics and the less directed studies in college, all high school graduates are not mature enough for the college environment. This is where a parent can be most helpful. Parents should know their children well enough to determine if their child is easily influenced by others, peers and/or teachers. Use to be worrying about negative peer influences was the biggest concern, yet today there is just as much concern about the negative influence of teachers. Homeschooled children are often accused of being gullible and easily swayed by others. I’m sure that there are some homeschooled students that are like that, just as there are some public schooled students like that. But generally most homeschooled students are independently minded enough not to believe everything they are told, especially if parents have taught them to analyze false claims and advertising gimmicks. Also many parents work at preparing their students to be discerning and to determine the truth of what they hear no matter who said it.

What is a parent to do if they realize their child is not prepared for college?

Should a student attend college and hope to settle on a major while attending?

Has your child any real idea what their declared major is like in real life? Here is where an internship would be invaluable if it is an unpaid job.

What if your student is not academically ready for college level classes? The child that has to be constantly reminded to get projects in on time or forgets about things until the day they are due will struggle in college.

What if your child is not mentally ready for the peer pressure and influence of questionable teachers?

These are several things to consider in relation to college for high school graduates.


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