How can dropping out of high school be a good educational choice for your teen?
Actually, I like to call it Opting Out. Dropping out is sooo…negative, and tends of course to have a bad stigma. Many teens and parents alike view dropping out of school as akin to dropping out of life. Opting Out is the real solution. Opting out of a system that is broken. Opting Out of teen years of drudgery and boredom, and Opting In to real life learning.
Your teen can benefit in many ways by OPTING OUT of high school and pursuing his education at home or elsewhere.
1. He would have time to pursue his true interests. Teens in school are overburdened, overpressured and overstressed. They view learning as something they have to do rather than something they pursue because they want to. Leaving school opens up a whole new world of unstructured time in which to find and follow his real interests.
Unstructured time? Won’t my kid waste his days away? He needs direction! The importance of unstructured time in a child’s life have been gaining popularity in educational, scientific and parenting circles. Here is another article that describes why teens are anxious and depressed these days– not enough unstructured play time!
Our ideal students at Pacific Sands Academy are hungry for time to pursue their own interests- and often times these interests seem to lack value to the adults who love them. Video games for example: we as adults often undervalue our teen’s obsession with video games. But this is their world– and can be part of their education! Video games can in fact make us smarter!
2. Your teen can leave the typical “rat race” of traditional education, and find real learning and thus meaning in his life.
Most of us have memories of cramming for a test, and remembering nothing moments after it’s turned in.This is the “learning experience” of so many of our teens these days. Stress, cramming, forgetting, grade grubbing-pretty much in that order. If you step away and consider that your teen should be learning real life skills, finding real interests and passions and how to excel that these, you can see that other options are available! You and your teen (not the government) can design the scope of his education.
3. Your teen can still receive a high school diploma and of course have opportunities to pursue a college education!
As a home school parent, you can create your own high school diploma. There are several ways to do this and even books written on the subject.
You can also enroll at Pacific Sands Academy– and get weekly, monthly, or semester by semester support in pursuing individualized interests and goals. If you want your teen to pursue more diverse interests, we can help facilitate that. If you want your teen to get deeper into his own interests, we can help facilitate that. Pacific Sands Academy will provide a high school diploma when your teen has demonstrated the interest and ability to take the next step in life, whatever that may be- applying for a four year college, community college, or trade school, or starting a small business, or whatever! This may take weeks, or years. You, your teen, and your support staff from PSA determine these goals and this time-line together.
Many parents worry: Am I ruining my child’s chance for a college education? Am I ruining her future?
We often as parents consider childhood as a time to prepare for adulthood, yet as adults we all wish we could get back some of that child-like innocence, sense of wonder, and being in the moment. We all want our kids to enjoy and have wonderful, magical childhoods. Don’t we all, more than anything, want our kids to be happy? If your teen is unhappy now, isn’t that a reason enough to worry?
Your teen’s future will be healthier and happier if she has the opportunity to develop her creativity, self-reliance, and ingenuity. Unless your teen thrives in the school environment and takes advantage of interesting extracurricular opportunities available there, she is likely not developing these other aspects of her life her creativity, ingenuity, etc..– and in the end these are the things that matter- that test score do not and cannot measure.
In the Learn Your Way Program of Pacific Sands Academy, we look for these developing qualities:
Creativity, critical thinking, resilience, motivation, curiosity, enthusiasm, reliability, self reliance, self awareness, and resourcefulness.
Our teens develop these qualities by finding and pursuing what they are interested in.
High school credits, boredom and test taking need not apply.