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Jennifer in VA
10-04-2012, 08:19 PM
How much would you push a college degree for your child?

I ask as I had an odd conversation earlier today. Talked about our co-op and a question was raised about teaching a foreign language in a co-op setting (mom taught). Mentioned it was not a huge worry as there are many dvd sets that can teach a bunch of different languages. This led into how we are thinking of tailoring high school credits and that some subjects like science don't always build on an earlier science class, like math does. We're looking at different classes to teach and want to have some shadowing/internships so that careers can be narrowed down and trade school or college can be figured out.

It sounded like the person was implying that college was the best foundation for ANY career. I'm not so sure about that one. What are your thoughts?

ETA: Our oldest is just starting 7th and we're trying to formulate a plan given his learning glitches. Yes, I'm formulating a plan now, leaving it open to change, and using Beyond to look into potential careers. Not that any of this has any barring on your responses.

wende
10-04-2012, 10:28 PM
I would not push college for my children. I encourage them to be goal oriented, and help them to achieve that goal through whatever means best suits it. For my 15yo, this includes a certification program, but not college, at this point.

Heather (WI)
10-04-2012, 11:05 PM
As liberal as most colleges are today, (even some Christian ones), we do not push it, although we would support our child(ren) if they wanted to go and had a clear career plan in mind. I think that Technical College is an awesome option that we plan to use! And, as a SAHM who has an Associate Degree and worked several years before becoming a Mom, I've always been relieved that I didn't spend all that money on a 4-year degree and then stay home full-time for all these years. :)

Renee
10-04-2012, 11:23 PM
My sophomore ds will be going to college when he graduates even though he will be going into business with his grandfather. I would definately NOT encourage him to go except that my dh works at the university in town and so the kids go for free. DS will be taking Business and Political Science (he loves politics) my dd13 who wants to be a dancer (there is no dance program at this Uni.) will be doing Business and Interior Design (her back up as of now) My dd10 has plans to take Art and Business (she wants to be an illustrator).
As you can see, we are encouraging the kids to take business, because it is a valuable TOOL for any career path. But if their tuition wasn't free, we'd be looking at college for none of them. DS has done an internship with my father, DD13 is currently dancing 16 hrs a week and assisting teaching a 4 yr old class. DD10 has been working on copying her favorite illustrators - I think those things are more useful than sitting in a French class or listening to some feminist philosophy professor.
That's not to say that college isn't a useful option for some kids, but not for all kids.
Just my opinion.

Jennifer in VA
10-05-2012, 06:10 AM
Thanks everyone!

There are times when I just feel like I'm swimming up stream and getting my feathers ruffled. The way something gets phrased can be alarming and be taken the wrong way. If our kids want to be a mechanic or a/c guy or something along those lines, I can see where an associates and trade school might be beneficial. Learn the basics of the business side, in case you own your own business, and the trade stuff for the skill set you need. I just don't think that if you want to be the mechanic, a 4 year degree at the local University is best route to go.

CINDY LB OH
10-05-2012, 09:30 AM
I look at it this way... prepare you kids for college, even if they don't end up going. Either way, you've given them a good foundation for whatever they choose in life.

I would never hesitate sending my child in the direction of a trade if that's where they want to go. The community needs good, honest, hard working mechanics, plumbers, etc., and we always will. We love our mechanic... he's honest, hard working, and doesn't overcharge. We find him very trustworthy, and because of that he is always swamped with business.

Susan Seaman
10-05-2012, 03:17 PM
I'm with Cindy. It never hurts to be prepared for college.

That said, if I could tell that college was going to be a true intellectual struggle for one of my children, I would definitely back off. I would try to push them toward what I thought they could be successful in. College is certainly not for everybody, and I think it's a mistake to go into large amounts of debt for it.

In the case of my kids, there will be no backing off. I want them to be prepared to go to college and to choose any major they want. The work that they do in middle school and high school will prepare them not just to go to college but to get the scholarships that will make it affordable. If they can at least score a 26 on the ACT, they will be insured of having free tuition at the local state U. With their tuition covered, they can live at home while going to college if necessary. If they score better, they can get more scholarship $$ which will allow them to go to college out of town or to live on campus.

If they decide after high school that they want to pursue something else, I will be fine with that. I could see my boys choosing a trade school or entering the military.

WendyW
10-05-2012, 04:26 PM
Like someone else said, I encourage my kids to reach the goals they have set, by whatever path that requires. I do not encourage college just for the sake of acquiring a piece of paper.

My dd decided early on that she wanted to be a teacher. She remained focused on that goal, and she's an academic by nature, so college was very much within her reach. She worked up to 3 part time jobs at one time to pay her own expenses, took out loans for the rest, and is working to get those paid off.

Ds1 has never been the academic type. He waffled for a while between graphic arts and engineering, and graphic arts won largely because it was a 16mo accelerated course to an associates degree, while engineering is a 4yr university program. He had NO desire to sit in a classroom for 4 more years. He has not totally ruled out going back for engineering in the future, but it will be while he's employed with the graphic arts.

Ds2 for many years has wanted to "build things". He started off wanting to do construction, but has recently widened his goals to architecture. He is talking about getting the construction certification first in order to have employment while he works on the architecture degree.

All the co-ops here that have classes for the high school level are focused on CLEP and AP credits. They are VERY much oriented to the college-bound child, and as a family that does not have that focus, it's gotten really old. I'd love to find some HS group opportunities for my son that are more in line with his strengths.

Rebe
10-05-2012, 06:08 PM
If they can at least score a 26 on the ACT, they will be insured of having free tuition at the local state U. With their tuition covered, they can live at home while going to college if necessary. If they score better, they can get more scholarship $$ which will allow them to go to college out of town or to live on campus.



Really? :surprise: How do you find out about things like that? I don't even know where to begin.

Maybe my state has never had this, or it's recent? :unsure: I had a higher ACT score than that and no one ever told me anything about going tuition-free to any college, 2- or 4-year. But that was a long time ago.

Jennifer in VA
10-05-2012, 09:04 PM
If they can at least score a 26 on the ACT, they will be insured of having free tuition at the local state U.


Really? :surprise: How do you find out about things like that? I don't even know where to begin.

Maybe my state has never had this, or it's recent? :unsure: I had a higher ACT score than that and no one ever told me anything about going tuition-free to any college, 2- or 4-year. But that was a long time ago.

Susan - I'm with Rebe, never heard of (well first of ACT while in HS that I remember anyway) getting tuition free for a good score on the ACT's. Will have to look into that.

Susan Seaman
10-05-2012, 09:43 PM
Well, TN has the Hope scholarship which is about $6000 per year. So it's not "free tuition" per se, but it's an amount that will cover tuition at most public universities here in the state. It covers nothing if you go out of state. It can be used at private schools in the state, but of course it won't go nearly as far towards tuition at a private school. Here in TN if you make a 29, you are eligible for about $2000 more. If you make a B average, you continue to get the $$$ all four years. What's really sad is that in TN, less than half the people who use the scholarship actually keep it all four years.

I think Georgia and Arkansas both have a similar programs, but I don't know what's going on in the other states. We've had this scholarship here for at least five years. It started when they added the lottery. And I'm wrong about the score - you just need a 21. Here's the Tenn website:

http://www.tn.gov/collegepays/mon_college/hope_scholar.htm

Colleen OH
10-06-2012, 10:26 AM
I know it's pretty much known that my dc aren't on a fast track for college. Sinking time and money is a hard sell for my dc whose latter schooling experience has included working and making an income. Their dad has definitely modeled hard work and enterprising skill. ;)

I sometimes feel alone about that as everyone else keeps talking about "high school graduation" stuff and college stuff. My dc just don't even care about all of that.

Colleen OH
10-06-2012, 10:31 AM
Thanks everyone!

There are times when I just feel like I'm swimming up stream and getting my feathers ruffled. The way something gets phrased can be alarming and be taken the wrong way. If our kids want to be a mechanic or a/c guy or something along those lines, I can see where an associates and trade school might be beneficial. Learn the basics of the business side, in case you own your own business, and the trade stuff for the skill set you need. I just don't think that if you want to be the mechanic, a 4 year degree at the local University is best route to go.

Having a son who is a mechanic, I have to agree. He would just be finishing his four year degree if he went for one. Instead he is four years into his own business and has invested as much cash/profit in capital into his own business as most people his age owe in student loans. The U route for him would have been a total waste of time and money.

Colleen OH
10-06-2012, 10:57 AM
Not directed at any poster (I love everyone :kiss: ), but I am mulling the idea of it never hurting to prepare for college.

Not that being ABLE to go to college is a bad thing, but does raising dc with trade skills prevent them from being able to go to college if they want to? In what way is preparing them for college vs trade putting them at an advantage/disadvantage?

I'm just thinking, what if some families use the philosophy, instead, "It never hurts to prepare them for a trade." It is sort of the reverse thought of prepping for college. If they don't end up with a trade, they can always go to college instead.

Some people seem to be full of book knowlege (which isn't a bad thing, per se) but they don't really have any practical skills. It seems like we tend to prize the book knowlege over practical skills.

Amy Joy
10-06-2012, 11:12 AM
For me, I just want to help my children become what God has in store for them. My oldest ds wants to go to uni, not college! He makes me laugh. My oldest dd has never wanted to go to any type of post secondary, but recently thought maybe a year program of something (no idea what!) might be okay. If she could do anything and know she would not fail she would like to be a missionary in China. So we'll see. The younger two, who knows!

Rebe
10-06-2012, 11:49 AM
Well, TN has the Hope scholarship which is about $6000 per year.
Here's the Tenn website:
http://www.tn.gov/collegepays/mon_college/hope_scholar.htm

I'm so glad you posted this, Susan! I did a quick search and found that my state has two similar scholarships (plus several more). The ACT requirement is much higher, though -- last year it was 31. :eek: Ds is bright and tests well, but I'm not sure about a 31! We'll see.


I'm just thinking, what if some families use the philosophy, instead, "It never hurts to prepare them for a trade." It is sort of the reverse thought of prepping for college. If they don't end up with a trade, they can always go to college instead.

Some people seem to be full of book knowlege (which isn't a bad thing, per se) but they don't really have any practical skills. It seems like we tend to prize the book knowlege over practical skills.

I actually do know families who have that attitude -- to prepare for a trade (or a practical skill) in addition to college. I don't think there's a huge bias against trade skills. There is a lot of lip service given to "all students should go to college" among politicians (because it's a good sound bite) and some educators, but I don't think it's everyone thinking that.

And as someone who's better at book knowledge than practical skills, I can attest that there are definitely people who look down on book knowledge -- very much so. I've been the recipient of that bias in my own family many times, from early childhood on. I also hear that bias from certain politicians. So we all just need to be kind and accepting of one another's strengths (which I know you are and I try to be, too!). Many people just want to make themselves feel better by putting others down -- whether it's book knowledge or practical skills. :( It's sad, but I suppose that for some it's just human nature to be snarky about others' strengths.

Susan Seaman
10-06-2012, 01:18 PM
I'm just thinking, what if some families use the philosophy, instead, "It never hurts to prepare them for a trade." It is sort of the reverse thought of prepping for college. If they don't end up with a trade, they can always go to college instead.

I really agree with this, Colleen. Ideally, I want my children (esp. my boys) to be prepared for both. To that end, they are learning carpentry, electrical, mechanical and plumbing work by working with their Dad and grandfather. We are looking into apprenticeship opportunities for them as well, but I think they'd need to have a real interest in a particular trade to be successful at that. So we're sorta preparing them to be a "jack of all trades" at this point.

My husband made a list of all the practical things they should learn and they are working their way through them. So far, they have built a deck entirely by themselves, hung drywall and installed light switches. They've also done lots of grunt work in crawl spaces,hauling debris, pulling up carpet, helping lay tile, painting, etc.

I don't think mine will be totally prepared for either path (always some gaps, it seems) but I'm trying to keep their options open.

For my daughter, we didn't do so much toward the trades. She did learn to mow and paint along with cooking, sewing, etc.

I would like to see more co-ops offer trade-type classes. For one thing, I am reluctant to let my sons apprentice with just anybody.

Heather (WI)
10-06-2012, 02:06 PM
For me, I just want to help my children become what God has in store for them.

:yes: This! I agree with everyone here, (and Rebe, I'm one of the "book smart" less practical skilled people, too!!)

I think it's easy to get caught up in the world's perceptions of what we *should* be doing, but as long as we are following God's leading for each particular child, we can't go wrong! :)

If our dd was really set towards something that required a college degree, we would support her in that as best we could! And, if she chooses something else (which is what she is leaning towards... a 2-year Veterinary Technician degree and a Photography certification), we will support that as best as we are able!

I think it's equally great that there are kids on BOTH sides of the college/trade issue, because we need all kinds of people to make the world go 'round! :)

Colleen OH
10-06-2012, 03:26 PM
I feel like God sent me a whole collection of children who would have withered up and died in a traditional classroom environment. I sit back and listen to the conversations that happen at our house and I am aware that my dc all seem to have an atypical view on life. Not sure why God gave me such a desire to TEACH self learners, though. :/

Sometimes I wish another mom (especially one who seems to be able do all the traditional academic stuff with her own dc) could step into this picture and tell me what she thinks.

Loree'
10-06-2012, 10:12 PM
Here in CO, a high ACT score & gpa guarantees admission to state universities, but no guarantee of $ going with it.

Both of my guys' career goals require college. Jason is studying to be a commercial pilot. That requires at least a bachelor degree. He plans to continue to grad school for aircraft design to have someone to "fall back on" when his flying career is done. Aaron wants to be a doctor. He hopes to go through the Air Force to finance his schooling.

AmyinWI
10-07-2012, 11:41 PM
I used to think college was the only way to direct my kids.... I no longer feel that way, as I see so many kids going into college and having to deal with different situations. If my child really felt they needed to go, then I would support that.
So far I have one that went into the Navy, one that went to cosmetology school, one that is working and doing online college (Collegeplus!).
My next one to graduate is steering towards tech school, but maybe a gap year first.
The one after that is looking into the police academy.
They are all so different. Obviously some careers require college, or schooling of some sort. But can you be successful without a degree? YES!
My dh is completely satisfied at his railroad job that requires no degree, he has worked there for many years, has good pay,excellent benefits, railroad retirement and he enjoys it.