MissKris

GAP year ideas?

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MissKris

My ds18 will graduate this year from highschool - hopefully :)

Trying to figure out what to do for a GAP year - even though he'll be almost 19 by then - think a year to expand and try things before knuckling down to college/university or what not - is a good idea.

Looking for ideas... open to all possibilities...

What have your dc done?

What do you wish you could have done?

What should you avoid?

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Moxie1

Dd went to work as a waitress and earned enough to buy a used car and spend  a month on the beach in Italy perfecting her Italian and a few weeks in Munich visiting relatives, friends and museums.  Very fruitful and maturing for her.

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MissKris
2 hours ago, Moxie1 said:

Dd went to work as a waitress and earned enough to buy a used car and spend  a month on the beach in Italy perfecting her Italian and a few weeks in Munich visiting relatives, friends and museums.  Very fruitful and maturing for her.

Now that is what I wish I had done. Sounds awesome

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Mazurka

Well,  we decided to hold my DS back a year.  I wish we had done it when he was younger, but I always thought he would mature and be ready by the time he was supposed to graduate, but that didn't happen. So we just basically turned his original 9th grade year into 8th grade, and sort of started over with high school, mostly due to maturity, but he also didn't have strong credits, IMO.  I could have stretched them, but I wasn't comfortable doing it.   He is now in 11th grade instead of 12th like he should be, but things are working out, and he has a strong schedule this year:  chemistry, physics, English, American history, government, economics and Spanish.  In the fall he'll ease into taking classes at the local community college -- maybe one or two, with a couple of classes at home, and then the following semester most courses at the CC, graduating in 2019 instead of 2018.  I'm hoping this will allow us some college savings, too, by having him take some CC classes while still in high school. 

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tess in the burbs

I wanted a gap year but my parents were so against it.  Funny b/c I paid for college, but whatever.  I did take a year off mid college.  I withdrew from college and packed up my meager things and drove across the country with a friend.  We moved in with her mom in the northernmost place I could in the main US lol.  I got a job, my own apt, and just lived.  It was this experience that made me realize how valuable college would be.  I made my way back east 7 months later, did an EMT course, passed the state exam, and worked a little bit more before going back to college.  It was a good year off.  One I really needed before college, not during.  

I'm open to my kids doing a year off.  I would like to see them work and then travel.  If they had the money I would suggest Outward Bound Semester.  YWAM is another idea(discipleship/missions) but again, costs some money.  I think allowing the freedom to just go do life for a year is great.  I do think you have to consider the kid and their interests.  I have one that might never go to college if given the opportunity to just work/travel.  It's a risk we may take though.  

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Heritage of Sons

Our eldest (17, but a homeschool high school graduate)  is working full time this year (still living at home) as a drafter in an engineering firm (the field of study he is interested in pursuing). It's been good for him, but I am anxious that he does indeed decide to go back to school.

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dee4

There's some great ideas on Jack Whitehall's Travels with My Father. Jack does his gap year with his dad. It's hilarious. It's on Netflix.

I believe that a couple of Australian comedians also did a TV series about their gap year. I can't remember the 2 guy's names, but they were really funny. 

 

On a serious note, my "gap year" (after I finished my undergrad at university) was spending a year at a Folk High School in Norway. It was amazing! They have stipends for international students. There was an American student at my school who received funding through the Rotary Club. You don't have to know Norwegian to go. If a school accepts you, it usually means that they have several international students and you take Norwegian language class together as well as participate in all the other activities at the school.  https://www.folkehogskole.no/index.php?page_id=44

 

Edited by dee4

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Debbie in Bailey

Did you see this thread?  it may have some helpful ideas.

 

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my cup of tea & me

I remember feeling like I wasn't ready to go to college when the time came.   I was 17 and didn't turn 18 till later that fall.    I went anyway because I didn't know what else to do.   In the end it was best to push on.  

My dd20 spent her first two years of college at community college.   It was such a good transition for a student who was homeschooled all the way through.   Ds17 has now started their for dual enrollment and it is so good for him too.   

Dd applied to the Disney College program and was accepted for this January, but we talked her out of it.   She was having a tough time adjusting to her 4 yr school (mostly a bad roommate situation) and was trying to escape.  We talked her off the cliff, and I think she is glad.  She changed dorms for this semester and is happier.   She can still do the Disney thing immediately after she graduates with her four year degree if she wants to.    I expect she will, but I hope she will find a friend to go with her.  I'm not crazy about her being in Orlando and not knowing anyone at all.   It sounds dangerous to me!

 

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Mazurka
On 1/22/2018 at 7:02 PM, my cup of tea & me said:

 

Dd applied to the Disney College program and was accepted for this January, but we talked her out of it.  

This sounds interesting!

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my cup of tea & me
1 hour ago, Mazurka said:

This sounds interesting!

Oh, it is.   She wanted to be a photographer, but they put her in merchandising because she has work experience.   She has her second photography course this semester, so hopefully if she tries again she will get put in photography.   

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Aschenputtel

I did a gap year as an au-pair, it was one of the best things I could have done. My kids will likely graduate early and they already seem interested in a gap year of sorts. Some options they have thought about already is doing the Iris harvest school in Mozambique (pricey but life changing, about three months I think) or a ministry school with lots of outreaches, or stay with grandma in switzerland interning for a church there or getting a job.

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Momof4JackAttacks

My kids worked. They are paying for their own college. Dh and I are not helping them with college. In the summers and during the school year they work. 

At 18/19 yrs old they are adults. As adult children, I mostly don't regulate them except they are expected to work and/or go to school or both. All my boys had jobs at 16/17 years old.

Even if its a job at McDonalds during the gap year, its still a job and teaches them responsibility, the value of a dollar, self-esteem, autonomy, life skills and hard work. Nothing is free and they can't live off mom and dad forever. Our goal is to get them to leave the nest, as responsible adults.

Edited by Momof4JackAttacks
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Sandwich in Wi
On 1/22/2018 at 6:02 PM, my cup of tea & me said:

Dd applied to the Disney College program and was accepted for this January, but we talked her out of it.   She was having a tough time adjusting to her 4 yr school (mostly a bad roommate situation) and was trying to escape.  We talked her off the cliff, and I think she is glad.  She changed dorms for this semester and is happier.   She can still do the Disney thing immediately after she graduates with her four year degree if she wants to.    I expect she will, but I hope she will find a friend to go with her.  I'm not crazy about her being in Orlando and not knowing anyone at all.   It sounds dangerous to me!

 

One of my good friends did this about 10 years ago and loved it!  She was in customer service.  She actually went back and worked there again for a bit, maybe after college?  She looks back on it as a really positive part of her young adult years.

I went straight to college also and was only 17.  I went because it was what I was expected to do.  I don't know what I would've done for a gap year.  I think it would have scared me, but mostly because it was a really foreign idea.  What I DID do was study abroad my 1st semester sophomore year and THAT was life-changing!  It really helped me mature and gave me courage and independence.  Also a love for travel!

It also influenced my decision to encourage my 2nd dd to study abroad her 12th grade year.  She spent the year in Thailand through Rotary and loved it!  When she came home, she wasn't ready for college so she did a gap year working 2 jobs, 60 hrs. a week and saving for college.  She then tried a CC the following year, but just wasn't ready still, so she went back to work full time.  She then found an opportunity to volunteer with a family overseas, so she's doing that now.  Gap year #2.  She's 19.  I don't know what she'll do next.  More working until she is ready for college, I imagine.  She knows she needs to go and she mostly knows where she wants to end up in life.  She just doesn't know how to do the in between part. College seems like drudge to her.  Darn free-spirited, self-teaching homeschoolers!  LOL

Rotary Youth Exchange does gap year exchanges, but I think you have to go the year right after you graduate while you are 18, and it's too late to apply now for next fall.

The ELCA has a Young Adults in Global Mission program.  And YWAM, of course.  I personally think working and saving for college is a good course.  Our kids have to pay for their own college, too.

Blessings, Sandwich

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Sandwich in Wi
On 1/24/2018 at 7:57 PM, Momof4JackAttacks said:

My kids worked. They are paying for their own college. Dh and I are not helping them with college. In the summers and during the school year they work. 

At 18/19 yrs old they are adults. As adult children, I mostly don't regulate them except they are expected to work and/or go to school or both. All my boys had jobs at 16/17 years old.

Even if its a job at McDonalds during the gap year, its still a job and teaches them responsibility, the value of a dollar, self-esteem, autonomy, life skills and hard work. Nothing is free and they can't live off mom and dad forever. Our goal is to get them to leave the nest, as responsible adults.

This.

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JuliaK

Have you looked into World Race? We have a a friend who participated last year and it was amazing. He grew in many areas and is now attending school with focus and purpose. They have videos on youtube from participants if you would like to check them out.

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ding-a-ling

My dd went to Cambodia to help out a missionary family we know from these forums.  When she came back she went to the community college and worked.  That time away really matured her.

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MissKris
On 22/01/2018 at 3:37 PM, dee4 said:

There's some great ideas on Jack Whitehall's Travels with My Father. Jack does his gap year with his dad. It's hilarious. It's on Netflix.

I believe that a couple of Australian comedians also did a TV series about their gap year. I can't remember the 2 guy's names, but they were really funny. 

 

On a serious note, my "gap year" (after I finished my undergrad at university) was spending a year at a Folk High School in Norway. It was amazing! They have stipends for international students. There was an American student at my school who received funding through the Rotary Club. You don't have to know Norwegian to go. If a school accepts you, it usually means that they have several international students and you take Norwegian language class together as well as participate in all the other activities at the school.  https://www.folkehogskole.no/index.php?page_id=44

 

Will look for the show. Thanks for the tip.

 

And Norway - was not some place we'd contemplated. Will check that out.

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MissKris
13 hours ago, ding-a-ling said:

My dd went to Cambodia to help out a missionary family we know from these forums.  When she came back she went to the community college and worked.  That time away really matured her.

I remember her going - should look into that for ds.

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MissKris
On 31/01/2018 at 8:49 PM, JuliaK said:

Have you looked into World Race? We have a a friend who participated last year and it was amazing. He grew in many areas and is now attending school with focus and purpose. They have videos on youtube from participants if you would like to check them out.

i have heard of it - and followed some people on it.

Should check it out more thoroughly.
Thanks for the idea.

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MissKris
On 24/01/2018 at 8:57 PM, Momof4JackAttacks said:

My kids worked. They are paying for their own college. Dh and I are not helping them with college. In the summers and during the school year they work. 

At 18/19 yrs old they are adults. As adult children, I mostly don't regulate them except they are expected to work and/or go to school or both. All my boys had jobs at 16/17 years old.

Even if its a job at McDonalds during the gap year, its still a job and teaches them responsibility, the value of a dollar, self-esteem, autonomy, life skills and hard work. Nothing is free and they can't live off mom and dad forever. Our goal is to get them to leave the nest, as responsible adults.

Good points.

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MissKris
On 22/01/2018 at 6:04 PM, Debbie in Bailey said:

Did you see this thread?  it may have some helpful ideas.

 

Nope. Will check it out.

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Twentyshoesmama

My two graduated sons have both had gap years.  My soon to be 20 year old (and oldest) struggled with school, and still isn't certain what he wants to do with his life full time.  Last year he took the year off of any school and just worked a couple jobs.  This year, he is still working and taking a couple classes at the Community College.  We are hoping that something clicks with him soon.  We will not force any path on our kids once they are adults.  But, he is required to do certain things to remain living at home (job, contributing to the household etc.).  My 2nd oldest graduated at 16. He took last year off of school to work a job and lead some children's ministries in our church.   This year he was given the opportunity to go to China and serve in a school/mission there.  So, he is on the other side of the world currently, living in his own apartment.   He plans to go to a local four year college in the Fall, unless he decides to go back to China.     He turned 18 in December.     My 16 year old son, is working on a Mechatronics Degree at the local community college (dual enrollment), and will likely finish a year after high school graduation.  He will be almost assured a job that will earn close to 50,000 a year after he gets his Associates.  

Everybody is different.   I think they all have to start learning to listen to God's voice and look for open doors and opportunities as they come.  Our oldest really frustrates us at times with his overall lack of vision.  But, we also know if we push him in one direction, it may not really be the path where he belongs.  That's hard at times.  Of course, we see things we probably could have done differently with him to teach him to have more of an intentional mindset with his life.  But...looking back hasn't produced results either :).  I am really feeling the weight these last couple years of having "adult"  children.  It's probably the hardest place I've been as a mom.  But, it's definitely boosted my prayer life significantly!!  

Edited by Twentyshoesmama
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MissKris
1 hour ago, Twentyshoesmama said:

Everybody is different.   I think they all have to start learning to listen to God's voice and look for open doors and opportunities as they come.  Our oldest really frustrates us at times with his overall lack of vision.  But, we also know if we push him in one direction, it may not really be the path where he belongs.  That's hard at times.  Of course, we see things we probably could have done differently with him to teach him to have more of an intentional mindset with his life.  But...looking back hasn't produced results either :).  I am really feeling the weight these last couple years of having "adult"  children.  It's probably the hardest place I've been as a mom.  But, it's definitely boosted my prayer life significantly!!  

Oh I hear you.  Looking back should not be our permanent posture. Forward  momentum eh?

And definitely agree that parenting "adult" children is not for the faint-of-heart and stretches us in ways we never would have expected....  all those blogs on "empty nest" and "life after teens" .... wow - reality check.  Not that easy. Prayer is essential. So humbling.

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