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Teen May Drop Out

3031 Views 37 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  contactmaya
What about a teen who may be on the brink of "dropping out" of high school? "drop-out" has a very negative connotation. What are some of the postitive options to a traditional high school experience that you have experienced or know of? How can we rename the negative term "dropping-out"? How about "opting-out"?

Any suggestions?

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Teenage Liberation Handbook

I also suggest that you visit the Learning at Home and Beyond boards here.

Congratulations to you and your teen on beginning a wonderful, exciting, amazing adventure.
I dropped out at 16 to get my GED and I am sooo glad I did! I got my bachelor's degree last year (at 22), after having spent 2 years travelling the US, Mexico, and Canada, and living on my own before starting college and having kids. I wouldn't go back and change a thing, dropping out was the best choice I made in high school! Also, I got a full scholarship and then some to college, I used the money to support myself and kids for 4 years.
I did that too. I dropped out at 15. I actually didn't do home-based learning though, I just kind of "found myself".

I think i needed it (although my poor mother who thought i was on my way to hell in a handbasket...). I did enjoy the social aspect of high school, but I just felt constrained. I went back when i was ready - at 18 and fast tracked through in 1.5 years. Got my bachelors, then masters, then a full scholarship for a PhD.
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My husband decided not to finish high school. He just went out one day and got a full-time job, and he worked until he could figure out what he REALLY wanted to do. He got his GED, and after 3 years went on to college. He ultimately became an attorney. Dropping out of school does not have to equal "failure".

I second The Teenage Liberation Handbook. It was a great resource for me when it looked like my daughter might not finish high school.
oh, this thread is right on time...i just started having this discussion with DS. he has no idea what he wants to do, but knows he's not finding it at school either. i have really mixed feelings about it and am slowly coming around. i should know better too, considering i left 'traditional' school @ 15. but that was b/c i got pregnant. independent study was the best thing that could've happened to me though, and made me 1,000% more interested in school. i still finished w/ my class @ 17.

i like the term 'opt-out' susie, and wish you the best. it is not an easy choice.

p.s. what happened to the popcorn smilie? i was going to put that, but it seems to have disappeared?
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another opter-outer here
I finished 7th grade and then unschooled myself until I was 17 and decided I wanted to go to college. I still didn't quite know what I wanted to do with my life (I still don't) but I knew I was interested in children and took Early Childhood Education and earned an AS by the time I was 19. I don't work in the field but am glad to have had that pre-requisite before having children

There are alternatives out there. There are on-line schools, our town has a couple of high school programs that cater to vocational type learning, he could just take a break and start college classes he is interested in. If he knows what he would like to learn more about perhaps he could do an apprenticeship with a local business.
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I think Wes Beach in California coined the term "rising out." He runs a high school that is designed for kids who decide to rise out. It is completely non-traditional (it doesn't have classes or a building or teachers--just him in an on-line conversation with the student). He offers guidance, diplomnas. I don't think it matters where you live. Anyway, he is a very interesting man, inspiring. His website is interesting and if you were really freaked out it would be worth it to invest a little money in having a chat with him, I would think. Here's the link:
I left HS at 16 to go to college. I had a 4.0, got a 34 on my ACTs and a 2100 on my SATs... I even have a National Merit scholarship. HS just wasn't for me
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i opted out of school for good at 16 and went to alternative schools traveled and finally finished high school at 18 and started community college right after that. I am going to be starting a 4 year college in the fall. I think that alt. schools are the best for kids, you go at your own pace and get to study what you want. I hated the sceen in high school (I continue to dislike the adults that carry it on, all that drama
> But i think that it is not the end of the world. I want to start off my girl in those kind of schools. In SLC we have the open class room starting in Kindergarden , I plan on starting her in that. If she is anything like i was, which she is then it will help her from the beginning.
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I TOLD my guidance counselor I was dropping out during my first quarter of my senior year, and she convinced me to stay for the remainder of the quarter. (We had block scheduling so it was similar to the semester.) Then she sent me to another school to sign up for night school.

I went to sign up for night school and they said they couldn't let me take night school to graduate early. (A whole semester, whoop de doo!) I told them Ms. H said I could. They called her and she must have set them straight because they allowed me to do it. I went 4 nights a week for like 2-3 hours. (Or was it two nights? I really don't remember anymore!) I had a history class, and an "English" class that was really a film class where we watched movies (most of them fairly popular) and critiqued them. It was wonderful. And just what I needed. No more of that "high school" pettiness that I just couldn't take any more of!!
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Im 16 years old, and I am a Junior and next year will be my senior year. I am pregnant however and I am going to go to the end of this year.. and not actually stopping highschool, but for the first few months of my senior year I will be homeschooling until I can go back. Consider maybe getting a tutor or homeschooling works too. That way a highschool degree still gets to him/her but isn't actually going to highschool. It's easier and you can have as much time need be.

<33 Italy
A great thing that the area I grew up in had was junior college. When kids were sick of high school they could go to this school and earn the rest of their credits and be done in about a 1/3 of the time.

My dh did this(he had cancer and wasn't healthy enough for school) and has now gone on to have his own very successful PR/marketing company.

I think that alternatives are a great thing that should be offered to teens.

Originally Posted by sweetfiend View Post
I think Wes Beach in California coined the term "rising out."
Dangit, I was going to mention "rising out". Clearly we're on the same wavelength - we must have a lot in common - maybe I'll go visit you or something.

I thought it was Grace LLewellyn's term, though, but I could be wrong...

I rose out of high school, aced the GED, got a 35 on the ACT, went to college, and now I'm in grad school. I don't think I missed anything by not going to high school.

Oh! And my daughter got her formal letter of acceptance to our state university on Wednesday, so she can start taking classes there this fall... at the age when most kids would be starting high school.

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I also "opted out" at 16. Got a GED, went to a 4-year university and earned a BA. High school is largely unnecessary in my opinion.
just popping in to say that this thread is making me feel so much better. i'm watching DS sleeping (they always look so sweet/peaceful when they're sleeping!) next to me on the couch and just smiling. he's going to be alright, he's going to be alright, he's going to be alright...

(i'm off to read the wes beach site!)

thanks mamas!
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I also dropped out of high school at age 16, half way through grade 11. I decided four years later to continue my schooling, and graduated from university with a BSc in 1991. High school just wasn't for me at that point in my life, and I think it's great that you're supporting your son - my parents didn't support my decision.
Another one who "dropped out", got my GED, and went to college. I don't like the environment in high school, nor the curriculum(it's very dumbed-down and "new agey" in the US). I was homeschooled throughout middle school and learned everything that I needed to know for high school then. So, for me, high school was boring. I dropped out in my junior year, and went back a couple of years later and ACED the GED. I don't like the schedules in high school, nor the the way the classes are set up, nor the rules, the lack of students being able to express themselves, the censorship, and to top it off, the education isn't exactly stellar. College, on the other hand, was great fun and very good educationally. I learned more in college than I did the entire time I went to public high school, and most of the studies I did in college I could have easily understood in high school. I'm all about encouraging kids to either try to graduate early or get their GED, or do alternative programs and start college early.
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I actually liked HS and graduated with the rest of my class, but if any of my children want to stop formal HS early that's fine with me. I do, however, expect them to either get a diploma some other way or a GED and go on to college.
i tested out at 15.5, went to jr college, left at 18 and started traveling. i've had so many amazing adventures. i know i can always finish school if i feel the need, but my life has been great without it.
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