10 Reasons Your Child May Not Want to Attend College

10_Reasons_CollegeFor years we’ve been planning this day. All the hard work has finally paid off, college applications are starting to pile up and we’ve narrowed down which grants our student should apply for. We sit down with our baby, excited to narrow down which colleges they’d like to focus on. Then, our child hits us with a bombshell. “Mom, I don’t think I want to attend college.”

Wait… what? Wasn’t that the goal of our learning? Isn’t this what we’ve been aiming for all these years?

Before we have a panic attack or start convincing our child why they have to attend college. We might want to take a step back, pray, and ask a few questions. Maybe the Lord has other plans in mind.

  1. They Are Scared – Let’s face it, becoming an adult is a big step. Instead of judging our children or passing off their fears as immaturity, we should take the opportunity to pray with our child over this matter. Encourage them, help them seek comfort, and take steps to calm their fears.
  2. They Don’t Know What They Want to Do – While we’d all like to think our homeschooled children finish their learning with a goal in mind and purposeful steps toward achieving it, that’s not necessarily true. Instead of criticizing and nagging about needing make some decisions, we need to pray and give them time to hear the voice of the Lord. Trust God to speak to them and guide their futures. We should council our children in their strengths and help them see their own potential.
  3. They Don’t Understand the Importance of Higher Education – Our child might be an artist, a writer, or already have a job (see below). While it might be true, getting that piece of paper might not make you a better artist, our children need to be made aware of the other benefits of attending college. Connections, discipline, and business management. Besides, who says it can’t fine tune those God-given talents?
  4. They Want to Take Time Off – They’ve just finished twelve years of solid learning. If we were planning for college, the last four to six have been heavy-duty studies. It’s not shocking for some students to want down time. For some, it’s the best thing we could do for them.
  5. They Already Have a Job – Some view college as a means of obtaining a job. If they’re already working, going to college seems pointless. This might be a good opportunity to point out that higher education will help them further their careers. Even if you stay at a job for several years, you’ll want to work your way up the ladder. You will need to take business courses and managerial courses to do this.
  6. They Want to Attend Vocational School – Not all careers require a four-year university. Instead of immediately jumping on the college bandwagon, we might want to consider local schools which focus on our children’s interests and gifts. Vocational school is not a step down, but a clear path towards the goal.
  7. They Want to Run Their Own Business – Some don’t want to climb a ladder, but build their own. That is an admirable goal. Instead of discouraging our children, this is a great opportunity to lead them toward focused classes which will help them meet their goal. We need to help them think of this as a business investment.
  8. They Want to Join the Military – Joining the military is an honorable endeavor. If this where our children are being led, my only advice is to pray. Pray a lot; pray tons. Then, we need to give them our blessing and continue to pray until they are home. May the Lord go with them and protect them.
  9. They Want to Be a Missionary/Pastor – The Lord has called our child into the field. It can be a scary step for a parent, knowing our children might be in danger or rejected. But, if God has called them, who are we to stand against? Pray, seek the Lord for confirmation, and then help them prepare for the journey ahead.
  10. They Want to Be a Stay at Home Mom – A noble career often looked down upon, even amongst ourselves. (Isn’t that sad?) Some of our daughters are not going to seek jobs and that’s not a bad thing. Until the day the Lord blesses them with families of their own, this is a great opportunity to help them learn the fine art of making a home. If we’re concerned about them providing for themselves while they’re waiting upon the Lord, this might be a great time for them to work in fields which help promote such gifts. They might work at a crafting store, a bakery, or in any other establishment which helps them further their gifts and serve the Lord while doing so.

We must remember our children are becoming adults. We may council them, guide them, and disciple them, but our children need to make their own decisions about their future. If our children are floundering or making seemingly poor decisions, we need to be praying on their behalf.

I would also encourage us to not wait until high school years to start praying over our children’s futures. From birth, may I encourage each of us to constantly be lifting our children before the Lord, asking Him to speak clearly to our children and make His paths known to them.

As I am constantly telling our own littles, “This is not about what I want for your future. This is not about what you want for your future. This is about what God wants of you. My job is to prepare you for whatever He has called you to. My prayer is that you hear the voice of the Lord clearly and then, that you obey it wholeheartedly. Seek God first.”

🔔Time to Chime In: You’re a college student and joining a social club is required. What one club would you join and why?

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20 thoughts on “10 Reasons Your Child May Not Want to Attend College

  1. Excellent post! I am tired of everyone else pushing me to make my children go to college. I have had very heated discussions with other family members over this. They do not understand that my goal for my children is what GOD wants them to do. Thank you for posting this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! After homeschooling three, one went directly to college. One entered the Air Force, where he is currently stationed in Europe and exploring all he possibly can, while he’s taking college classes through the Air Force. He should graduate a little later than the normal 4 years, but what other education he’ll have beyond classroom walls will be priceless. The last wanted to go to culinary school, but we asked her to work at a few bakeries before she (we) spent all that $ for that one particular degree. We wanted her to be certain she couldn’t imagine any other job. Turns out after a couple different experiences, and being absent from the classroom, she’s now making inquiries and applying to 4 year colleges! We werw a little disappointed with our 2 youngest decisions at first, but no family or child is the same. They’ll all get to where they’re supposed to be somehow, even if it doesn’t look like what we think its supposed to.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. For those who are scared…My homeschooled son just called. I asked him how Chemistry and Physics were going. He said it is mostly review right now. He studied from Wiley Publishing self-teaching guides, Chemistry, Physics, Algebra. A friend’s son didn’t know what he wanted to be, so he took everything. He ended up taking 30 credit hours, sometimes. He decided to become a therapist. How funny and gratifying to see someone we knew as a little kid blossom into such a wonderful young man. I have a violin student whose gift is incredible woodworking skills. He is now repairing violins and doing a very masterful job.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: 10 Reasons Your Child May Not Want to Attend College | Homeschooling in the Middle East

  5. My children are required to get at least a 2-year degree because not everyone recognizes a homeschool diploma. That’s just our family, though, and if one of the kids approached us and could convince us that God had a different plan for them, I’d be okay with that. In fact, one child only has one year of college, then took a year off and is in the middle of a YWAM DTS. When she gets home she will figure out what direction to go next. I don’t believe that every person needs to attend college, but as you point out, all need to prayerfully consider what God has in store for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: We ask children,”What do you want to be when you grow up?” When we should ask “What problems would you like to solve when you grow up?: 10 Reasons Your Child May Not Want to Attend College | Sieking, Finding

  7. Pingback: Do Homeschoolers Lack Discipline? | A Homeschool Mom

  8. Great post! I do encourage my kids to seek higher education or training of some sort, but focusing on their callings and gifts, finding their passion is so important. Going to college is no guarantee, they need to have marketable skills. I do believe strongly that we should prepare our children for higher education so they have a choice. Preparing our kids for the future, whatever it brings, is our responsibility.

    Liked by 1 person

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