Education and Planning Take Many Forms and There's Always More Than One Way to Skin a Cat!

Kristen Marks

by Kristen Marks

Kristen Marks is a travel enthusiast, empty-nest mom to two young adult children, athlete, attorney, author, speaker, proud wife of almost three decades (to the same wonderful man!), and the founder of My Pink Lawyer®, Florida Estate & Legacy Planning attorneys. Kristen has been crafting professional estate plans for Floridians and their families for over 28 years.

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Cute kids

“So, Chase, what’s your favorite class you’re taking this year?,” I asked the eighth grader I was carpooling to the middle school five years ago.


“I’d probably say Spanish 2.”


The wheels in my head turned as I tried to make sense of his answer. Gulf Breeze Middle School did not offer foreign language classes when my kids attended school there.


“How are you taking a Spanish class?”


“Florida Virtual School.”


“You mean that any student can take an online class even if they are enrolled in an actual physical public Florida school?”


“I guess.”


What the heck?


Why, as a parent, was I never informed that my kids had options for their education beyond the actual classes offered at the public middle and high school?


Well, you better believe that I marched myself right into that guidance counselor’s office to find out more.


Sure enough, any Florida student can take a combination of both online and classroom classes.


This “revelation” reminded me of a book I had read a few years prior called “The New Global Student” by Maya Frost which described a family’s move out of the United States and how their four children all navigated in different ways their admission into college. One of their children was admitted to college without even finishing her high school diploma. Another finished her GED before going onto college and then graduate school. Another attended college overseas for a fraction of the cost of attending a U.S. university.


Mind Blown!


Other than the traditional public school path, private school path, or homeschool, who knew there were so many options available to kids today to complete their secondary education and pursue a post-secondary education?


Goes to show you that we all need to take responsibility for learning about all of the educational options available to us and our children.


Also goes to show you that just because most of society buys into a certain way of being educated, that it is not necessarily the only, or even the best, path to pursue.


Along these lines, there is also more than one way to get your estate planning affairs in order besides the traditional private client consultations. Which is why My Pink Lawyer® will soon be offering a new way for younger Floridians and families to begin their estate planning through group estate planning workshops. Each attendee will leave the two hour workshop with a fully executed basic estate plan in place for themselves.


These group workshops will be an easy, and cost effective, opportunity for those starting out to get a basic estate plan in place for themselves.


The first workshop will be held in our office on Friday, May 3rd at Noon. Let us know if you are interested in learning more.


Please note that because we will “keep it simple” at these workshops, they are designed for folks who have never done any type of planning before.


My son did end up taking an online Spanish class in seventh grade through Florida Virtual School. I think he preferred attending actual classes at the school but it was great as a parent to know that he had other educational options available to him.


Of course now he’ll be headed off to college himself in the Fall. He was admitted and will be attending the International Business Honors Program at the University of South Carolina.


Although my son won’t be joining his sister at the University of Alabama, at least I can probably get by with my crimson colored clothes in Columbia too.


Kristen “Go Gamecocks!/Roll Tide!” Marks


P.S. Although an online registration page will be forthcoming, you may call the office to reserve your spot for the upcoming Women Empowered group estate planning workshop to be held at our office on Friday, May 3rd at Noon. Your reservation fee of $397 will be collected to hold your spot. Space is limited to 8 attendees. You will leave the workshop with a fully executed basic estate plan for yourself, including a simple Will, guardian nominations for your children, financial and medical powers of attorney. Call Olivia now to RSVP: 850-439-1191


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