Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Son Isn't Going To College

My son isn't going to college.

I had an exchange via email recently with another homeschooling mom.  Our sons are the same age.  16.  Finishing up 10th grade.  This mom is trying to put together a game plan for her son's junior and senior years of high school.  She wanted my advice and input.

I didn't know what to tell her.  Daniel isn't the academic type.  He really has no desire to pursue a college degree (at least not in the foreseeable future).  So my response to her went something like this:

We will most likely be focusing on some theme projects as well as working our way through a series of GED workbooks.  Daniel is mostly just ready to be done with the whole school thing.  Sorry I can't be more help in your planning.
The response back explained that her son was definitely going to college, has high goals, blah, blah, blah.

Being homeschooling moms...heck, being moms in general...we tend to judge our success on the perceived success of our children.  Generally that success is measured in the manner society measures success.  For kids it's grades.  For budding adults it's which college they are attending.  As established adults it's how much money they make.


My son isn't going to college.  So freakin' what?

Do you know how awesome this kid is?  There is no way I can look at this funny, creative, artistic, compassionate soul and think he somehow falls short because he doesn't want to go to college.  His talents don't fall within the realm of academia.  But he is marvelously talented physically and mechanically.

A college education doesn't guaratee success anyway (especially not in this day and age).  I'm still thrashing around under my massive load of college debt, something I wouldn't wish on any of my children.  Was my degree worth the debt...probably not by society's standards.  I've "wasted" most of my adult life diapering children and folding laundry.  The best thing I got out of college was my husband, the father of the four most beautiful wonderful children in the whole universe (and I mean that with all sincerety.  Sorry your kids aren't as awesome as mine.)

So what will my dear son do once he turns 18?  Anything he wants.  In fact, he can get a headstart on life rather than waiting 4-8 years pursuing degress which don't guarantee happiness or success.  All I want is for him to be happy anyway.  And happiness doesn't come automatically with a college education anyway.  I know a lot of "successful" college graduates with broken homes and prescription drug addictions. 

Basically, what I'm saying is this:  I want more for my son than a college education can provide for him anyway.  I want him to pursue whatever makes him happiest.  Period.  And his level of happiness and fulfillment is what I will measure his success by.

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