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Thread: Gap Year?

  1. #11
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    Y'all have such great ideas and make really good points. I think lots of students would benefit from a "gap year." Or three.

    But, ok, maybe this is me being in a ranty mood today (it's been a doozie of a couple of weeks) - when did it get called a "gap year" when somebody decided not to go to college right away? I mean - I started CC as a high-school aged person, then took almost 2 years off. Was better for it. Worked. Got some medic training/experience. But no one called it a "gap year." They called it - "your life is your own but if you are not in college you're going to have to figure out how to pay all your own bills. Good luck. There's always room for you at my house if you need it." They were supportive of my plans, and most of the things I actually did. They were just not interested in keeping their kids as "kids" past 18. Or in supporting them financially except for help with college costs.

    So I think it's awesome to encourage people to take some time past high school before diving into the time/expense of college. But I wonder - when does it stop being a plan made with the 'student.' And when is it just said young adult living their life? Like, will you financially support your young adult's gap year? If you do, will you influence the choices made - subtly or directly? Just wondering.

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  3. #12
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    I'm going to fund as much as I can but we're going to match $1 for $1 as much as we can. FSU has gap year scholarships up to $5,000 per gap year. There's always the option of americorp or peacecorp. My money has to go to room/board.
    DS- 17 12 grade Dual enrollment, and 1 co-op.

  4. #13

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    Ummm...any gap year taken by a kid in my house will have to be fully funded by himself! Not because I can't fund it, but why would I?

    I'm with you Pdpele, it's called adulthood. Pay your own damn bills, and if you need to continue to live here...you will have a job and contribute to the household. IMO, to do otherwise is to hobble a kid and keep them needy.
    Homeschooling two sons (14 and 16) from day one. Atheist.
    Eclectic, Slackschooler covering 8th and 10th grades this year.

  5. #14

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    I think a gap year activity would be good for about anyone. Before ending high school, one is considered too young to do something independent. Then there is college, then youre supposed to get a job (hubby tells me that tech companies now hire their recruits fall of their senior year of college)... and theres never a good place for a break then.

    18 is when i was pretty idealistic - and had the energy to do something about it. Judgement isnt all there yet, but what better time is there to join SeaSHepherd, Habitat for Humanity, Greenpeace, Doctors without Borders, etc?
    Errr, but thats not imagining having a kid on an extended vacation to Europe, or mooching off me from his room in the basement.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  6. #15
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    I view the gap year as the 5th year of high-school. That's why I'd pay half. I don't plan to have him actually live with me during the gap year. Now, if he has to move back in after college for a short time then fine. In no way do I plan on him living with me much after high school graduation.
    DS- 17 12 grade Dual enrollment, and 1 co-op.

  7. #16

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    There is no such thing as a 5th year of high-school. Just sayin'
    Homeschooling two sons (14 and 16) from day one. Atheist.
    Eclectic, Slackschooler covering 8th and 10th grades this year.

  8. #17

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    I do think a kid on gap year should be paying at least some (or all) of his or her own way. Actually, I'm of the opinion kids should get some part-time work, if possible, as soon as they are able. It teaches responsibility and resourcefulness, and if they're lucky, transferable skills.

    Sort of off topic, but my kids started earning money around 11 or so doing yardwork for neighbors--nothing strenuous, just raking sort of stuff. Then they both worked at a cafe from age 15 until leaving for college (ds also has another concurrent job programming). Then they are/will work 10-15 hours/per week in college, if possible. DH and I both worked in college and he had a semester or two when he didn't work. His grades were always better the semesters he worked, since he was forced to schedule his time better. These jobs were all instigated or sought out by my kids, not by dh or me. This was also along with academic teams and 4-H...

    And we've never paid for grades; I think that removes the intrinsic motivation I was hoping to instill through homeschooling--love of learning and all that.

    OK, I'll now step off of my soap box.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  9. #18

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    I can imagine keeping my boys stuff for him while he is off gapping. Or having him live at home if he colleges near enough.

    I think the distinction is that for gap year one is expected to be a bit independent, not still dependent, like a high schooler. Just my opinion though, and my oldest is a mere 10 years old.

    Ive a friend in London who says most English now cant afford to live on their own. Who knows if that sort of situation is going to happen here as well. (He has rattled off median dwelling prices and income statistics, along with how much loans one qualifies for (which is different than in USA).)
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  10. #19
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    I graduated at 17 and was ready to get the hell out of the house. I cannot imagine choosing to take a gap year. In my senior year I did an internship for part of my second semester from 8-3 M-F at an art gallery, had a 3-day-a-week night job bussing and dishwashing, and took art classes downtown Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings. If I'd taken a gap I basically would have just continued on doing the same thing - but probably with a paying day job. It would have been all about making money to move out and smoking weed with my group of older work friends who did not attend college. (Because all of my other friends moved away.) I wouldn't have stayed at home for another year. I probably would have moved in with my boyfriend, tbh. Yuck. Glad it didn't go that way.

    So I'll go ahead and be the devil's advocate here. Sure, rah rah gap year for European kids. Where it seems to be a cultural norm to take a year off. But as for American kids? Their similar aged peers are leaving for college, socializing with college students, and having a college experience. Meanwhile the gap kid is left at home, trapped between childhood and adulthood. "Do I have a curfew still? Can I bring my (multiple, experimental) sexual partners home? Will I have to introduce them all to my parents? My same aged peers have left, and I'm surrounded by older adults or kids who won't be attending college. My friends have gone off to learn and party, and I'm stuck here working and living with my parents and siblings still."

    If you have money to travel or explore, great! But I imagine a lot of kids are going to be ready to get out of the house. And if they're not transitioning to a college dorm, they might end up transitioning to a buddy's couch - and staying there forever.
    I'm a work-at-home mom to three, homeschool enthusiast, and avid planner fueled by lattes and Florida sunshine. My oldest is 6 and is a fircond grader (that's somewhere between first and second, naturally), my preschooler just told me she wants to learn how to read, and my toddler is a force of nature.

    I gather all kinds of secular homeschool resources and share them at TheHomeschoolResourceRoom.com.

  11. #20
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    I don't see the gap year as being with your parents. I see it more as a time to travel, volunteer, meet people, see what you like. You only get 4 years in college taking 16-18 cr. a semester. Yeah you have the parties on the week-ends but you're stuck in one place having to get a 3.0 gpa or risk academic probation, loss of scholarships, and all manor of other negative stuff. A break is a good thing.
    DS- 17 12 grade Dual enrollment, and 1 co-op.

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