Monday, August 27, 2012

Thoughts on college from homeschooling parent...

  • The attitude about college as a be-all, end-all, you must go, etc. is insane and ignorant.  All your child's eggs are in one basket.
  • On the other hand, college is easily accessible and can be very affordable, so why not?
  • College education has been dumbed down to the point where it's worthless, yet expected by society.  No unlike having a nice car. 
  • Freshman year, on campus living, lazing around in the dorms, partying, etc. is a very obtuse form of higher education. It’s a lifestyle.  It's not the only way of life. It’s not required.
  • Just because you could get a sports scholarship doesn't mean you have to take it.
  • Going to college to pursue something technical can make fiscal sense.
  • Going to college to pursue a liberal arts education and becoming your very own self-educated person makes a lot of sense. 
  • When the desire to learn kicks in, kids will determine their own path and desire for college level work. Or they won’t.
  • It's hard to develop a desire to learn when it's forced on you.  It turns out scallops are delicious.
  • Pay as you go.
  • People won’t understand if your kids fail to go directly into four year boarding schools at the age of eighteen. You’ll get funny looks at Thanksgiving dinner. 
  • Double-down on this if you homeschool.
  • What kinds of students become teachers?  What kind of teachers stay teachers?  What kind of people teach teachers?
  • How many go to college with/or to pursue acedemics?  By acedmics, I mean to learn something academic, such as critical thinking, not something political or secular-social-citizen behavioural in nature. 
  • Justification for taking an against the grain approach will take a good ten years to come to fruition. By then, your critics will have forgotten.  In the meantime, I guess they can think what they want to.
  • Community colleges, online programs (university-now: ), early adoption programs, free courses (MIT), etc. are all excellent educational opportunities on the lower-cost, non-traditional approach.  Plus the bonus of picking and choosing what you want to pursue.
  • I think the student should work and save to pay for education, not receive it as a gift. Use a matching approach - be it half, a quarter, or three quarters.  If they have to pay for it, they will choose frugally and they'll hold the school accountable for quality.  They're paying for it, they'll want their money's worth.
  • No borrowing. You're young and can work your way through.
  • When you're not held captive to the potentially staggering fiancial obligation of college (as with most things, you can spend as much as you want) just to fit in with society's definition of what college should be, you have options.  You're free. 
  • Most people are so afraid of the cost, so afraid of not sending their kids, that they throw very good money after very expensive risks.  What if Jimmy quits, or Jody gets married?
  • Do an ROI calculation of a college education, comparing the cost of the education and resulting professional career income with simply investing the money.  Wait, I already did that for you over here.

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