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would you let your son drop out of school for a term to make decent money?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

DS was homeschooled till this year.  He has been in school since September.  He enjoys it. 

 

About 3 weeks ago we noticed a program for teens and young adults in our town who are not in school. It starts in 2 weeks.  It is a job training program.  It pays about 4000$ for 12 weeks work.  This is double what he could make in the summer, if he is lucky enough to get summer employment.  He would  return to school next September  - so essentially, one semester off.

 

Pros:  money, some job training and experience.

 

Cons:  leaving school for a semester after having found a groove there.  The opportunity is supposed to be for disadvantaged youth who are not in school who face obstacles to employment.  He has no real obstacles to employment, other than lack of experience (there is a mild ethical concern of taking place of a person who could really benefit - but as long as he is honest in answering their questions, I see no issues. ) He may graduate later than his peers, but if he does summer school, etc, he might not.  I do not really care about him graduating later, but I think he does.  

 

Would you let your child leave school for a semester for a financial opportunity?  (I know no one can make this decision for me or my son, just curious what others would do)

 

 


Edited by purslaine - 2/13/12 at 8:07pm
post #2 of 31

I wouldn't b/c, looking at it from a long term perspective, if he doesn't go back and finish his long term career options and earning potential will be harmed.  I recall reading once that kids who took a year off post high school, for instance, were less likely to go back and finish their college degrees than kids who went right on to college.  I know that you're not talking about that type of situation, but wonder if the same might apply -- he might find himself working, making money, and just not go back to finish.

post #3 of 31

Ok, I only have a toddler so take this with a grain of salt.

 

I *might* let him do it if I thought he was likely to go back to school and not be seduced by the thrill of earning money and want to get another job and leave school for good.

 

Also I would be concerned about the ethics of participating in this particular program. If he had to apply and have his situation assessed before getting a place then I'd be fine with that as, presumably, the organisers would give priority to the people who really needed the opportunity.

 

Those are my thoughts.

post #4 of 31

Probably not.  It might depend on the program.  But, if it's the program where a van full of young people park in a neighborhood and go door to door selling things, I'd say "Absolutely not".  

 

If it were an internship where he was actually going to learn a trade that interested him, and he felt like it could be a future for him.  Then maybe I would.  

post #5 of 31

That's not really that much more than minimum wage. $8.33/hour. My vote would be no.

post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post

Probably not.  It might depend on the program.  But, if it's the program where a van full of young people park in a neighborhood and go door to door selling things, I'd say "Absolutely not".  

 

If it were an internship where he was actually going to learn a trade that interested him, and he felt like it could be a future for him.  Then maybe I would.  


6 weeks of job skill training - everything from how to make a resume, conduct a job search etc, to 1st aide training, WHIMISS training, etc followed by 6 weeks of renovating a community building.

 

He would only being doing this for the money (although I see the 1st aide being attractive to employers).  He is university bound, focus on history, anthropology…that sort of stuff.

 

 

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

That's not really that much more than minimum wage. $8.33/hour. My vote would be no.


It is big money to him, though.  I expect it would take him 2 summers to make that kind of money, if he is lucky enough to find full time employment during the summer. 

 

post #8 of 31

Nope, no way

 

The first 6 weeks can be done on his own. More highschools offer classes in how to get a job & writing resumes. The middle schools here offer those classes. They are more for the kids who are highly at risk for not going to university. It is also something you can easily teach him yourself. 

 

First aid and whmis are weekend classes he can take.  Are they certifications he would need for his career goals?

 

Does a kid his age need $4000?

 

Would he be taking a spot away from someone who truely needs this as an advantage?

 

Is the job market really that bad there that he could not get a job for the summer?

 

 

post #9 of 31

Depends on the opportunity. Education comes in a lot of forms and if this were particular skill related to a field of passion, perhaps. I've let both my kids miss school for work in a field of interest however, they still attended part-time and kept up with independent study. However, if this is just about the money, then "no," it's not something I'd encourage.

post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post

 

 

First aid and whmis are weekend classes he can take.  Are they certifications he would need for his career goals?

 

probably not - and they can be done independently.

 

Does a kid his age need $4000?

 

He wants it.  He will probably buy a laptop, which he could use for school and a few games.  I would imagine he will save some - whether he uses it for travelling (which he wants to do eventually ) or University (which we will not completely pay for - it is not financially possible) is up to him and fine with me.  I would not be amused if he blew it all on video games and the like, though.

 

Would he be taking a spot away from someone who truely needs this as an advantage?

 

Maybe.  This is very hard to determine.  

 

Is the job market really that bad there that he could not get a job for the summer?

 

Yes. He will turn 16 this month, so is on the young end for employers to consider. We also live quite rurally with few local job opportunities.  He cannot drive, will not drive by summer and we do not have a spare car.    Both his father and I work (in my case part time) - getting him to jobs might be difficult.  Many kids around here do not work during the summer for these reasons.  This opportunity takes place locally.  

 

 

 

 

 

 


A bit more of the story:  When Ds first saw the ad about 2 weeks ago, he was more eager than I.  He went and made an application.  Today, prior to me making the post - we got a phone call.  They want Ds to come in for an interview.  When DS came home from school, I told him about the interview, and he started to waffle about it  (we have flip-flopped - I am now more sold on the idea than him, although I will not urge him to drop out of school for a semester  if his gut says no).  The second semester just started - he could drop the classes without it showing on his transcript at this point and for the next couple of weeks (he would know if he got in before the deadline for dropping classes has ended.)

 


Edited by purslaine - 2/13/12 at 2:48pm
post #11 of 31

I tried doing something similar until I found a better program.  We had one at school that offered the ability to go to school and work.  You got credit for both.  The one I wanted to do would have me dropping out for a semester and my mom said no I could do the other program though.  She was cool with that.  I did have a friend that did it and he ended up leaving the program before it finished.  He was out of place and the program lacked a lot of real skill training.  He was then stuck at home afterwards and couldn't get back into school til fall semester.  It really didn't benefit him in the long run and he ended up doing night classes because he wanted to graduate with our class.  I would honestly find out if you can meet with anyone who has done the program before and see if it would really be something he could really get into.  Otherwise he'd be stuck and behind.  Fast money sounds good until you have to give up a lot of other things you really want to be able to do.

 

 

Edited to add

 

Some of the programs have after training requirements they do not tell you about until later.  And when I mean later... like a week or two into training. 

post #12 of 31

No.  He doesn't need the first 6 weeks, and he can arrange the experiences associated with the second through volunteer work or conventional summer employment once he can drive.  It's great that he wants to work, but he can stay in school and get all those benefits at the same time.  The gross pay might not be as high, but he can do better hourly.  

 

It's kind of academic though - once he shows up at the interview, they will realize he is not their target demographic.

post #13 of 31

Another thought is about the classes he'd be missing and how that would affect future scheduling. HS courses are often not offered every term, and he may find that he cannot take everything he wants/needs to. I really don't see how this program would give him an edge wrt college/university. To me, that would be more important than the money.

post #14 of 31

If he wants to make money, tell him to do some training so that he can get a higher paying summer job. For example, I was a lifeguard in high school and earned more than $11/hour. If I had guarded in the summer on the local lake I would have made upwards of $14/hour (I chose to work at my childhood summer camp instead - it was more fun and a better experience). That's more money, hourly and gross (in my city full time guards worked 45hr/week - OT paid time and a half, and you were guaranteed more time if you wanted it). Guarding was also easier - sitting in the sun, playing on the beach, the "lifeguard games" were always a big hit too (each beach staff competed in different events), and it teaches responsibility, way more first aid training, CPR for the professional rescuer, etc.

 

The first 6 weeks might be helpful to him, but the second 6 weeks sounds like hard physical labor (you said its renovating a building - and you didn't say he wanted to do construction as a career path). I would not be supportive, as he may not want to finish once he starts. And, even if the first 6 weeks are helpful, he will get that other places. The Resume building stuff may not even be that helpful, since my resume has been a different format every time I've searched for different types of jobs.

post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks all.

 

The whole thing might be moot, anyway.  DS was supposed to call for the interview yesterday or today…. and I don't think he is going to.  

 

I am a little surprised no one thinks it is a viable idea - I wonder if I do because I come from a HSing background, hence see school in a more flexible light that others ? I always expected his teens years to be a mix-mosh or studies, working, maybe travel, devotion to interests…..so skipping a working opportunity that falls in your lap seems odd to me.  I might need to adjust expectations :)

 

The other part of this might be the easy money.  I might have $$$ for eyeballs, lol.  I just know how hard it would be for him to earn 4000$ in other ways while in school.  As I said, I expect it would take a minimum of 2 summers, if he gets lucky.  

 

I can and will talk to him about other ways to beef up a resume.  The 1st aide might be a good thing to do on a weekend, for example.

 

To re-iterate:   none of this is relevant to  a career path.  It is all about the money, and perhaps using some of that money to fund a career path.  


Edited by purslaine - 2/14/12 at 8:07am
post #16 of 31

I know part of the hesitation for me is wondering what type of student he'd be working with. In our area, these sorts of programs tend to be for drop-outs or young adults who are forced into them by their frustrated parents. I know, I know... there are great kids who drop-out or don't continue on with their education but it's an environment that I feel my own kids would find frustrating.

 

Maybe our schools run differently too. Almost all the courses in our area are year long and so missing a semester means having to retake the entire year. You can't take 2nd semester calculus in September and you can't join in for spring semester having taken a year off from the subject. What could you even take that first semester back? There are a handful of schools that do an entire course in one semester but they are either run through the community colleges or they are high schools for which kids only take 3 or 4 subjects at a time instead of 7. Summer school is also a luxury for most of our districts and they tend to only offer remedial courses. While he hasn't been in school long, will it bother him not to have a graduation ceremony if he finishes school half-way through a regular year? Will he care that he won't be with the friends he's with now. How old is he? If he has to redo the year how old will he be senior year?

 

Like I said, I do think there are some fantastic opportunities outside of school. My own kids worked in professional theatre much of elementary and middle school but they were also required to keep up with school or else their entertainment work permit would be revoked. It was fantastic for them, they made a lot of money, met some phenomenal people, developed a strong work ethic, ect. This work program you speak of could be great but I guess I'm suspicious of programs that require a minor not be in school. Why aren't they offering this in the summer?

 

Another option... can he do this program while keeping up with his work homeschooling or independent study? 


Edited by whatsnextmom - 2/14/12 at 9:22am
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post
 There are a handful of schools that do an entire course in one semester but they are either run through the community colleges or they are high schools for which kids only take 3 or 4 subjects at a time instead of 7.


This actually depends on the district/area. The majority of high schools in our area have block scheduling - four classes each semester. So the kids actually take eight classes/year, as opposed to the standard seven. Nor are all the courses run through the local community college. Some are, most are not. As an example, AP Calc AB/BC are taught fall/spring semester. You have to take AB to take BC. Generally, it's a senior set of courses. Miss AB, you're not taking BC. In general, block scheduling provides greater opportunities to take higher-level courses, since a student can get pre-reqs done in one semester, and the higher-level class in a subsequent.

 

I hadn't even thought about how missing one semester would affect a traditional scheduling system.

 

post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post


This actually depends on the district/area. The majority of high schools in our area have block scheduling - four classes each semester. So the kids actually take eight classes/year, as opposed to the standard seven. Nor are all the courses run through the local community college. Some are, most are not. As an example, AP Calc AB/BC are taught fall/spring semester. You have to take AB to take BC. Generally, it's a senior set of courses. Miss AB, you're not taking BC. In general, block scheduling provides greater opportunities to take higher-level courses, since a student can get pre-reqs done in one semester, and the higher-level class in a subsequent.

 

I hadn't even thought about how missing one semester would affect a traditional scheduling system.

 

 

Yes, it is regional and I don't know what is the norm in the OP's area. I'm just commenting on our own. In our area, this is not the norm and the few high schools that offer it (outside the middle college programs) don't actually offer more in ways of advanced classes than the traditional schools. They offer the kids more "electives" but academically, their kids don't end up any further ahead than the traditional schools. 
 

 

post #19 of 31

If he was excited about the opportunity to get into the building trades and struggling to stay motivated in school because of a lack of relevant coursework, I would be OK with missing a semester of school.  But he's not.  His interests would be just as well served by a fairy godmother who waved her wand and produced a $4000 check.  The College Financial Aid Fairies are much more likely to visit a kid who completed high school in 4 uninterrupted years. 

post #20 of 31
Thread Starter 

Op here:  in my area, the school is broken into 2 semesters.  The second semester just started.  Courses only run the length of the semester.  Leaving school now would cause him to lose one semester - not one year.  

 

Yes, this would mean he might graduate in the middle of the year.   I actually see this as a bonus, as he could work and earn money for university (we cannot pay for all of university).  Graduating in June with a September start date for university would be tight, financially. 

 

He is in grade 10, in a system that graduates kids in grade 12.  He will be 16 in 2 weeks.

 

All of this might be a sign to me that I figure out/ help him figure out how to pay for his goals.

 

whatnextmom - The program is for 15-24 yr olds.  The program stipulates it is not for students, but for those not currently in school. On the young end of the spectrum, I expect most will be high school drop outs; among the older ones, it might be people who have graduated but are having trouble finding work.  I do not think he will be unduly influenced by a roughish crowd (if indeed it is rough) but I don't think he will get much out of it either, except money. Maybe I just need to explore/suggest he explore other ways to make money.  

 

 

 

 


Edited by purslaine - 2/14/12 at 11:20am
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