Children are constantly asked what do they want to be when they grow up. From a young age it's fun to dream about all the different things kids can be when they leave the nest. This question gets more critical as they enter high school and get closer to graduating. Parents start stressing about a plan for when their child turns 18 and graduates high school. On the other hand, our high schoolers stress when they don’t know what they want to do and worry about making decisions that seemingly determine the rest of their lives.
For many parents and kids they think the only option is to go to some type of college and obtain a degree. Author Stephanie Haynes wants parents to know that there are many options outside of the traditional four year college route and wrote the book College in Not Mandatory to help parents and children navigate this next major milestone.
Haynes wrote the book after realizing there is a cultural stigma if children don’t plan to attend college after high school. Many people think that a person can not be successful without at least a bachelors degree. After one of her own children went through college and at the end found they wanted to do something that didn’t need the degree they got, she felt the need to let parents and kids know the other options that exist. College and formal education is not always where a child thrives and she lays out a process parents and their children can follow to ask the hard questions of what to do after high school.
The book covers five main options that exist after high school graduation. The five options include:
With each option Haynes details steps the parents can take with their child to help them navigate what might be new territory to them.
Helping to assess your child and their goals for after graduation is a main purpose of College in Not Mandatory. Listen in to episode 22 where I go into more detail with Haynes about the five options and how she suggests we start the conversation with our kids.