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Thread: Gap Year?

  1. #1

    Default Gap Year?

    Thank you, Malia Obama. I have always thought a gap year would be a great thing for a student who's maybe not 100% ready for the responsibilities of college. You know the kid: a good but not self-motivated student, maybe a bit overinfluenced by peers (in the worst way), maybe doesn't have a fully formed self-identity yet. Volunteering or traveling and finding one's way/making one's own decisions might be a good option for that kind of kid...plus, of course, it doesn't need to be a full year!

    NYTimes article


    I often think about what a big transition it is for homeschooled students to leave home and go to a college dorm. I mean, at least b&m schooled high schoolers go somewhere every day and are forced to fraternize with other students whether they want to or not.
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  2. T4L In Forum Oct19
  3. #2

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    I LOVE the idea of a gap year for all kids! Especially if they don't really know what they want to do, they should go out into the world and try some things. Get a job! Volunteer! Intern if you can swing it! Try an apprenticeship!

    I'm one of those former "smart kids" who was one of the first in the family to get a BA...and you know, there was a lot of floundering. I don't know if I would have avoided all of the floundering, but I think it would have helped to develop some certainty about my skills and interests BEFORE college.
    FKA Hordemama
    Stay-at-home-librarian parenting a horde of two sons: Marauder 1 (M1) born in 2007, and Marauder 2 (M2) born in 2012.

  4. #3

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    I think my children may benefit from a gap year because they are a bit young for their grade.
    I didn't push them ahead; I simply enrolled them when they hit the proper age. I had no idea so many people held back. When I was young, the cut-off was December 31st so there were a lot of us attending college at 17, it wasn't a problem. But times have changed - at least in our area. At the two schools my children attended, they were the only students who would be graduating at 17.

    Of course, being HS'ers we can say they are in a grade lower, but my children don't want to. They consider themselves 6th graders. However, I think they would like a gap year if it included travel or some other interest.
    Last edited by dbsam; 05-04-2016 at 02:34 PM.
    homeschooled 4th through 8th grade - currently in public high school 10th grade
    Dumplett (girl - age 15) and Wombat (boy - age 15)

  5. #4
    Senior Member Enlightened
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    I'm planing and saving for a gap year for my son. I think he'd really enjoy seeing the world before going back to school.
    DS- 17 12 grade Dual enrollment, and 1 co-op.

  6. #5

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    I agree it depends on the kid. For those not quite sure what they want to do or want to explore careers during that year (interning, job shadowing, etc), I think it's a great idea.

    My two, though, are pretty adamant on what they want to do and are/were chomping at the bit to go to college.

    FWP, the transition for homeschooled kids can be a big one, depending on how they spent their school years. I think with part time jobs and dual credit classes, my kiddos had enough fraternizing with others to be used to it. That doesn't mean there's no anxiety--check out my dd's blog post from this week. Why I Blog About College
    Carol

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


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

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

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by inmom View Post
    I agree it depends on the kid. For those not quite sure what they want to do or want to explore careers during that year (interning, job shadowing, etc), I think it's a great idea.
    This is a good point.
    I s/h qualified my response as "Thinking about it now, while they are 11, I think my children will benefit from a gap year." A lot can happen in six years and they may be focused, determined, and know exactly what they want to do at age 17!
    homeschooled 4th through 8th grade - currently in public high school 10th grade
    Dumplett (girl - age 15) and Wombat (boy - age 15)

  8. #7

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    Yeah I agree dbsam it is hard to foresee!! (sheesh think about where they were 6 years ago!) My college, lucky for me, had a freshman year program that everyone took (some classes were different) and it did really help those kids on the cusp of dropping out or having problems finding a major. (But then again, most top-ranking schools do this: they fight like hell to keep you there if you get in. I know not all colleges work this way, thinking about my high school peers who flamed out after a semester or two, never to return; wonder if such a universal program could've helped them study/understand/find the strength to continue?)

    So yeah I agree a gap year depends on the kid and his/her level of motivation. Thanks for linking your daughter's thoughts, Carol! Good to have word from someone in the trenches
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  9. #8
    Senior Member Arrived skrink's Avatar
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    Still thinking through gap year issues. We're a few years away from this so it's hard to say what we'll be looking at by then. We'll follow dd's lead.

    Carol, I'm bookmarking your dd's blog for my kiddo. Although she'll likely have a different kind of college experience I think it'll be good for her to look at how other girls navigate.
    Skrink - mama to my 14 yo wild woman

  10. #9

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    I'm kind of in the mindset, that a gap year would benefit a PS kid more. Though a gap year could be fun, and beneficial to any teenager.

    Of course the big social change, going into college, is a lot to take in for any kid. But I'm seeing now, with my oldest, that because we homeschool in such a way that allows him the time to follow what he really enjoys....he's got a pretty good idea of the path that interests him. A gap year would be just a year to mess around. I have the suspicion that he will be eager to get started with college instead.

    I think that is a harder thing for a PS kid to find time for.....following interests and starting to specialize. They get to "the end" and are quite used to being told what to do, and how to do it....and being used to such hand holding and sheparding...well, that causes the floundering later on, IMO.
    Homeschooling two sons (14 and 16) from day one. Atheist.
    Eclectic, Slackschooler covering 8th and 10th grades this year.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by muddylilly View Post
    I'm kind of in the mindset, that a gap year would benefit a PS kid more. ...I think that is a harder thing for a PS kid to find time for.....following interests and starting to specialize. They get to "the end" and are quite used to being told what to do, and how to do it....and being used to such hand holding and sheparding...well, that causes the floundering later on, IMO.
    Very good point, ML. Yeah. Hmm. I think the idea is a good one for such a micromanaged kid to you know cut the cord completely with a gap year. (Like that happens with the helicopter type of parent though?) And yeah my homeschooled kid, albeit but a 6th grader, still has her classes selected and managed by a parent (with her input but still not 100% her choice). I still look to Carol for guidance here, that her kids stepped up and made more choices with age, and Carol just became their facilitator/sounding board. Sounds like your son, ML, has begun to self-select and focus and understand the path, yay!
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

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