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 to 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 their births, 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.”

We’d like know… Is college something your children are interested in?

“Seek the LORD and His strength, seek His face continually.”
~ I Chronicles 16:11

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Higher Education

When all is said and done, when twelve years of at-home-schooling are finished, major changes stare our kids in the face. They are legal adults, they are expected to start making some major decisions, and the world can seem like a scary place.

One of the largest choices looming before them is whether or not they are going to college. By now they have hopefully researched where they would like to attend, they have applied for grants, and things are running smoothly.

On the other hand, perhaps they have slacked off and waited until the last-minute to figure things out. Maybe they have yet to decide what they want to do with their lives.

On a completely different level are the kids who never intend to acquire a higher education in the first place. College just isn’t for them, but they have a plan for their lives and are going to actively pursue it.

As a parent, it can be hard to watch our children grow up and start to take control of their own lives. After spending years making major decisions on their behalf, we wait with bated breath to see what they will do with their new-found freedom.

As homeschooling parents, we can be doubly anxious, wondering if all our hard work has “payed off” and our children have what they need to move into adulthood.

One hot topic in the homeschooling world seems to revolve around the idea of “higher education”; meaning college. Do we plan for our children to go? Do we force them to attend? Exactly how is this all supposed to work out?

I have some friends who are absolutely against the idea of their children attending college. They are concerned about their children’s faith and not at all sure the expense of college is worth the end product.

I think there are some valid arguments against whether or not college is for everyone. Not every child should go to college. If you plan to go into a trade, why waste the money? However, if you plan to be a doctor, college is a must.

For those worried about their children’s faith, I would start questioning the discipleship that is taking place in your own home If your children haven’t learned enough about their faith and cannot defend their beliefs, why weren’t they challenged more when they were under your care? Our job isn’t just to fill their heads with facts, but to give a reason for why we believe. (1 Peter 3:15) College shouldn’t be a worry if they have a good, strong foundation in their faith.

Others would argue that college is an absolute must! There is no way their child isn’t going to college. It is not debatable, they go or they get kicked out.

This position also seems to have problems, to my way of thinking. Again, what if the child simply wishes to attend trade school or wants to work until they can be a stay-at-home mom (in the case of girls).

For some, not only are they adamant about their child attending college, but mom and dad are picking out which school they will attend. After all, they know which are the best, and why should such an important decision be left up to the kids?

While I am sure all of these parents are well meaning, it seems to defeat the purpose in both being a parent and homeschooling. My job as a parent is to work myself out of a job. In other words, I am supposed to do such a good job training them to be functioning adults, that one day they will no longer need me and can make educated, well informed decisions on their own.

Whether or not my child attends college, isn’t my choice! Would I like for my child to appreciate my input? Yes! If I have done my job right, my child will not only want my input, but respect what I have to say.

However, the actual choice for higher education remains completely in my child’s hands. My job has always been to train them up to the best of my ability, to give them the skills they will need no matter which field they find themselves. Their job is to heed the voice of the Lord and do what He tells them, not I!

I have one daughter who more than likely will go to college and I will do my best to guide her on the path the Lord lays before her. I will help her do research, locate some colleges that might fit her major, and do whatever else she might need. Ultimately though, she is the one who will have to decide if this is best for her. She will have to choose which school is best and make those choices for herself.

My second daughter has no interest in college. She intends on pursuing the domestic arts. She wants to sew, bake, crochet, and knit. She would like to spend her time working at the church and perhaps helping in a day care until she finally gets married and “does what mommy does”. That is perfectly acceptable!

My two younger children are a little too small to know which paths their lives are taking, but I am sure with time they will begin to develop a sense of where the Lord is leading.

My point is simply this… If we have done our jobs correctly and raised our children to be mature adults, then all decisions regarding higher education are out of our hands. These are decisions that our children should be making for themselves.

Our children’s adulthood should not be something we fear, but something we look forward to with great anticipation. For years our children have been developing their wings and learning how to succeed; now is the time to watch them fly.

Are your children planning on college?