Unschooling College - What’s next?

Part 2

As you may have read, we have been exploring college potentials for my newly “graduated” 18 year old son.

Was college an answer? In what ways?

Were there other, cheaper ways to gain that knowledge?

His sister’s college was $52k a year. She had a huge scholarship, but we still had loans and a huge out of pocket investment. AND. . . . she graduated a year ago, with excellent grades, from a prestigious school, with a great degree, AND is nannying to pay her bills. She has job leads and has built up a great resume with non-paid internships, but. . . .

Think about it. What would your out of pocket investment in college be for a year or for 4 years? Even if your kid got a part time job through college and was earning $500 a month and took two months off a year,that’s still a $20k investment. Then there is tuition, books, food, WOW! How can we take all of that and end up better prepared? I just want to mention that the dollar amount here is to help open your mind to bigger possibilities and options. Why are we willing to invest so much in a college education that won’t necessarily provide a great career, let alone a rewarding income, and not be open to using that money in other ways that would be more likely to get them closer to the same goal? I can tell you that when we brainstormed with a $20k budget a year, we came up with much better ideas!

We sat down and asked this question: For $20k a year, what could our son do that would get him to his goals? This question changed everything for us! The brainstorming began full force!

Some of our ideas included:

  • Traveling around and attending entrepreneurship conferences for a year
  • Internships (Do them during the school year when the college kids are busy!)
  • Get a pilot’s license
  • Start a business
  • Get a business mentor
  • Get a life coach
  • Watch amazing college courses online (Some are free!)
  • Take online courses pertinent to his career choice
  • Train to become an F-1 Driver and or Stuntman (Not my favorite, but it is not my life!)
  • Travel the world, help build schools, teach English, etc. (You can live at a higher standard of living in some countries for pennies on a dollar and pick up the language through immersion. Way cheaper than a college BA in French or other language!)

And the list could go on and on!

I heard of one guy who decided to do an internship a month for a year and kick-started a book on it to cover the expenses. He did this instead of an MBA and now has all of those business connections, a great book in process and so much practical knowledge. I can’t wait to see how far he goes!

The world is their oyster. Maybe it is time for your teen to sit down and make a brainstorm list! They can do anything and now there are so many amazing options that don’t have to mean 4 years in college and a bunch of debt.

I would love to hear about your unschooling college ideas!

Unschooling College - Figuring Out What’s Next

Part 1

This question was floating around my home for several months earlier this year. It was the topic of many conversations.

At first, my son got caught up in the typical dilemma: college or not college. He even pulled me into exploring variations of those two options.

Finally, one day he mentioned in an unrelated conversation, that he was saddened by the ending of a job contract for a high profile person and then discussed how that would be his dream job/career.

That got me thinking─ finally! We were missing that magic that made it all work!  Hopefully you know exactly what I mean. We were caught in the traditional “other people’s” options. That isn’t how we thrive!

Time for quality questions! If this is his dream career, how does he get there? What was it about this that made it his dream career? Specifically, and yes, how did it make him feel when hereached this decision? It is those feelings that we are all striving for anyway. Might as well acknowledge them in the beginning of the process!

Now we had a goal, an outcome. Now we can talk about options! And, wow! There are so many more options than choosing college or not!

Maybe it is not about choosing a job path and a college. Maybe it is about seizing a dream, a passion, and figuring out if college would even help. Most importantly, find what is best for your teen and stop doing something because it is the “next step” and because everyone says that is the “best way.”