Monday, July 29, 2013

Homeschool Seniors | Senior Year| Planning a Senior Project

With a little planning, your homeschool student can experience a Gap Year as a senior. Having a year free of required courses offers flexibility and a head start on the future...

From the beginning of our homeschool journey, I always hoped that when my kids were seniors, they would have a year to explore different career fields, dual enroll, work, and generally have a Gap Year in which to pray, plan, and prepare for life after high school. I had a lot of ideas in mind for how this would look. Of course, for my daughter, who graduated in 2010, and my son, who just graduated this year, the Gap Year has looked nothing like what I imagined.


My daughter's senior year. My daughter was on the road with her band touring the southeast, playing at camps, clubs, and concert festivals. Her senior project: recording her third CD. She also took a songwriting class in downtown Nashville where her instructors were some legendary names in the business. It was a great year that literally set the stage for her first year of college and further prepared her for balancing her current life's roles as the worship pastor at Generation Church and the front woman for her band.

My older son's senior year. Like Danya, my son David took his Gap Year and piled as much into it as it could possibly hold. He's interested in all things business, primarily entrepreneurship. His Gap Year began with a Summers Scholars program at a university that was on his short list, then continued over the fall/spring with holding down a couple of part time jobs, dual enrolling at our local community college, taking on his own senior project (a website dedicated to helping others prepare for the ACT), and it's just now concluding with a summer internship at The Nashville Entrepreneurship Center.

What does it take to build in a Gap Year? If you want to build in the option of a Gap Year, there are a few things you can do now to prepare.
  • Know your state's requirements for high school credits. By taking two or three high school credit courses in 8th grade, then having a full class schedule for the 9th, 10th, and 11th grade years, you can easily have all your required courses and be able to plan a senior year of electives that go along with your child's senior project.
  • Look for tutors, internships, and instructors. Always know who your people resources are.
  • Prepare to step back. You have raised an adult. Let your student have this year to prepare to launch. Back off and let him have control of the schedule. Let him make the contacts and arrangements. Let him take responsibility for the details and deadlines of dual-enrollment classes.
In just another year, my youngest will be ready for his Gap Year. As I'm writing this, he's traveling home from a two-week tour along the east coast with his band. Who knows what God has prepared for him as that year approaches! One thing I know absolutely: The Lord has been all over the Gap Years that my kids have had, providing opportunities I could have never imagined (or manipulated). Make your child's senior year a matter of prayer, and trust that as he is preparing for launch, you are preparing to watch him soar!

Learn How to Choose a Senior Project HERE.
Be encouraged to Set Up Your Student for Post-High School Success HERE.


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