From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


6/9/2008 10:32:18 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- June 2008

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter
-- Gap Year--Transitioning from High School to...What Next?

Dear Friends,

Congratulations to all parents graduating their teens from high
school. Our hats are off to you, Moms and Dads!

Some of your teens may have definite plans for the next step, but
often high school graduation brings up the question of "What next?"
especially for students who do not have clear direction for the
future. Honestly addressing your teen's indecision can take some of
the pressure off and prevent hasty decisions not in your teen's best
interest. A gap or transition year immediately following graduation
will give your teen time to gather his thoughts, look into career
possibilities, or simply grow and mature. Let's investigate some
available opportunities and benefits a gap year affords.


Children don't necessarily mature at the same rate. There are those
who are "born old," while others are "late bloomers." Usually the
former group knows what they want to do in life and how to go about
doing it. The latter group, however, are often at a loss as to the
next step and may feel anxious about it (especially when continually
asked "What's next?" by well meaning friends and acquaintances). So,
encourage your teen to discover what the Lord has in store. It will
save both of you time, money, and anxiety through the following years.
"God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life" by Gene Edward
Veith, Jr. (provost of Patrick Henry College) is a good resource to
promote meaningful discussions in this regard .


Maybe your children need a year or more to earn money for future
prospects. Taking time to work not only provides necessary income but
also gives your teens new responsibilities and skills that often
continue to be profitable throughout their adult lives. The people
they meet and/or work alongside of may be used by God to direct them
into a path not previously considered while also providing advice on
how to accomplish your teen's goals. On our website, there are some
resources to aid in helping your teens create resumes and improve
interview skills .


Another possibility for a gap year could include participating in
short term missions. This is often more doable when our children are
single. Taking time after high school for cross-cultural experiences
broadens their view of the world and reminds them of the need to share
the gospel. Many mission agencies offer opportunities for various
lengths of time and encourage young people to participate. We
recommend investigating agencies your church supports or mission trips
it may be sponsoring.

In addition, Torchbearer Bible School and Saints Bible Institute offer study abroad
opportunities in the context of mission work that may, in some cases,
earn college credits. We also list a number of other mission
organizations on our website which offer programs for teen involvement .

Your teen will come to more fully understand the Lord's command to go
into all the world with the gospel while experiencing it firsthand.
Afterwards, trust the Lord to use these opportunities to instill a
desire in your teen to be an ambassador for Christ at home, on the
college campus, or in the workplace.


For some teens, seeing the world or at least a part of it is their
dream. A gap year can provide them the time and opportunity to travel.
This may take the form of traveling with family. Or it may be in
conjunction with a music tour (
), an academic tour ( ),
visiting missionaries you support, or visiting family members living
abroad. There are many possibilities to meet every budget.

Remember, if your teen is planning a trip abroad, he or she will need
to have a current passport. Leave plenty of time to acquire the
necessary documentation and any required inoculations. Should your
teen be very adventuresome and wish to travel with other adventurous
friends, staying in hostels may
reduce travel costs.


Before launching into college, a career, or the military, your teen
can obtain additional training in a particular area of interest. This
will help him or her gain a broader perspective of career
possibilities while being strengthened academically and spiritually.

For example, if your teen enjoys learning languages and wants to
become fluent in one, this year would be a good time to delve into
this pursuit. It may be as simple as working with someone in their
community who is a native speaker or possibly through an immersion
program. On our website we list a couple of language programs .

On the other hand, if emergency preparedness is what rings his or her
bell, then have your teen check out such programs as ALERT Academy . Maybe a year taking
interesting classes while being involved in challenging volunteer
activities will transition your teen to the next step. In this regard,
Impact 360 or other similar
programs would be worth considering.


We've provided only a sampling of the many opportunities available to
your teens. For additional ideas, check out resources and books on
the subject, some of which are referenced on our website . Others can be found in
bookstores or on the Internet.

Also visit the College Board website for information on how colleges
view a gap year.

Homeschool families whose teens benefited from a gap year are another
reliable source for help. So don't hesitate to ask about their
experiences and seek their advice and suggestions.


Remember that a gap year is a year to further the development of your
teen, not an excuse to escape from studying or being engaged in
worthwhile endeavors! If you think a year of transition would be
beneficial for your teen, know that the Lord will bring just the right
solution to you.

Join us next month for a look at being wise and prudent in developing
friendships. We know how much pressure there is today for teens to
conform to our culture.

Transitioning to summer,

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators

Diane and Becky's Speaking Engagements:

June 14, 2008 - Eastern Panhandle Home School Conference of West

April 2-4, 2009 - MACHE (Minnesota)
(Becky & Diane)

May 1-2, 2009 - LEAH of Long Island, NY

May 22-23, 2009 - CheNH (New Hampshire)

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membership is well worth the investment. HSLDA members receive free
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Summer Enrichment Courses

Elections - Civics
KONOS is providing a four-week
civics course for the month of June pertaining to our upcoming
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There will be opportunity to participate in a mock election,
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"Next Step After High School? Some Alternatives to College" by Dr.
Randall S. Hansen
This is an informative article on options for teens not wanting to
pursue college at this time

-> For as little as 27 cents a day...

There's not much you can get for 27 cents a day. Why not put your
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More reasons to join HSLDA...

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