Think back to when your child was a newborn. Now think of what a child is like at 4 years old. That's the amount of difference you can expect before graduation. Your child may think they have a career plan, but in four years, their goals will change dramatically.
Now think about how many times your child has changed their mind this week, or even today. Think about how many times he or she has changed career goals over the past decade. Firefighter, astronaut, doctor, bricklayer, homeschool parent, chef, engineer? What kids don't understand is that you can't pivot in 12th grade and make dramatic goal changes. This is why homeschool college prep is so important for homeschoolers!
The easiest way to plan 9th grade is to prepare your child for ANY future plans. That way, no matter how much your child changes, and no matter how much career plans change, your student will be ready for literally any career. College or no college, bachelor's degree or law school, engineering or entrepreneurship, military or missionary, or anything else under the sun, your child can be prepared for any future goals.
That's what I help parents do - prepare for literally anything the future holds. This is not a specific plan for just one college or just one career, because you don't know what the future holds - it's still years away. It's a plan for the future.
As a 9th grader, your child can't possibly know their future job will be. They can't make these kinds of plans. We don't even know what the world will look like in four years, or what kinds of jobs will be available. We don't know how much technology or education will change over the years. It's up to us as the parents to make sure all options are open - as open as possible. Homeschool college prep is the best way to prepare for those possibilities.
What will happen if you prepare a child for college admission, and the student doesn't go to college? Nothing! Nothing bad will happen! You end up with an adult that is better educated, knows more math, and is more confident homeschooling their own children. You produce a student that knows more about the world in order to vote responsibly as an adult.
What will happen if you prepare a child for college admission and are shocked that they DO go to college? Nothing bad will happen. Instead, your child will get better scholarships, have lots of admission offers, and may be able graduate debt free.
What will happen if you avoid homeschool college prep, and the student decides to go to college? Then what will happen? Few scholarships, likely debt, and perhaps taking a longer time to graduate, especially if they are trying to avoid college debt and need to work. This has unintended consequences, and the student may pause marriage and family plans as an adult due to late graduation or high debt load.
I guess what I'm saying is that I'm old enough to have seen all these scenarios play out within my closest friends and family. This isn't an intellectual exercise for me; this is my friends and I learning together the hard way. This is me listening to other moms who tell me to "please tell other moms," and so I'm telling you.
Here are some additional resources that explain homeschool college prep for normal homeschool families, so you can keep learning more. You can be ready for the coming job market and economic environment by preparing for maximum flexibility.
Of course, even if the child doesn't want to go to college, we still include college prep in the schedule. Just to be open to all the options.