Graduating Early: Your Child can Do it!

Posted on January 31 2011

Are you dreaming of seeing your child in the proverbial toga as a symbol of their graduation from high school? And are you wondering if this can be done at an earlier age? Mind you, it is not only the intellectually gifted child that can graduate early. With the right strategy coupled with your child's determination and hard work, your child can finish the required school work and be eligible to graduate from high school. They do not need to be limited to the requisite number of years in order for them to earn the right to get to the next step which is college.

Graduating early will mean that your child can have a richer college education. It allows them to take on more coursework as they have more time. Also, if they plan on getting a job soon, this means that they can get started on their employment a lot sooner. Spending fewer years in high school also means fewer expenses for you. It also allows the student more time to enrich their education, particularly if he is homeschooling. You can provide more avenues for learning – in the areas of music, theatre, arts and foreign languages, among others. That way your child has a well-rounded education before he is ready to go off to college.

Here are some things you should take into consideration as you help your child decide whether graduating early is the best way for them and then look into how you can make this a reality.

  • Is this the right path for my child? It is tempting to say "yes" to this immediately. After all, there is a special honor and an almost instant respect if you say that your child has graduated early. It can actually give you some bragging rights as a parent! However, this may not actually work for everyone, especially if the child graduates at a very early age and may not have the maturity that college requires. Another consideration is whether your child can actually thrive in college and not just get by.

    Child prodigies are amazing! Think of how the child can actually cope with social pressures in a suddenly "grown up" world. You as the parent can be a good judge of your child's level of maturity and whether you think that he can handle this as well as the academic requirements. Of course, the closer your child's age is to those that normally enter college the easier for them to adjust.

  • Have a plan. What is your child's plan after they graduate? Do they plan to take a year off and go on an "educational tour" abroad? Do they plan to go straight to college? If so, what college? What courses of study is your child considering?
  • Do some fact checking. Aside from asking the school about what is needed to graduate early, you should check from the department of education in your state since there may be some regulations as to how old your child should be before he is allowed to graduate. There are also some states that have basic requirements for graduation.

    Another area to check is the college where your child is planning to enrol in. They may also have their own regulations as to how they will accept those who graduate early from high school. If you are thinking of applying for a scholarship, you should take one step further and ask how graduating early will impact the chances of your child getting a scholarship.

  • Meet the requirements. For those who are homeschooling, earning credits towards graduation and college entrance is not that simple. In fact, the credits may not be readily accepted. Most states don't issue a diploma in this instance. Usually it is the parents who do the homeschooling that issues that diploma but this does not mean that the diploma is accepted by high schools and colleges. But, the student can use his GED test scores to validate that he is indeed eligible as a college student. The student will also need to pass any entrance tests the college will require.

    The advantage of The American Academy is that it allows you to earn a high school diploma and not simply pass the GED. Most colleges prefer a high school diploma as opposed to a passing GED score. The American Academy provides over 100 online high school courses and electives that allow the child to meet the credits requirement at their own pace. This may mean that your child is able to do it faster and can thus be ready for college quite early. These courses are also accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission. When you get accredited through the NAC, the credits earned through The American Academy can be recognized by schools, colleges, and even employers, based on their own admission policies.

Parents and students, particularly those who are home schooled, may want to avail of the opportunity to earn credits faster and graduate earlier. And more and more are actually taking this opportunity. This includes not just gifted students and athletes, but also those who crave for the more rigorous academic challenges of college.

However, let us stress that early graduation may not be for everyone who are homeschooling. After all, the underlying principle behind homeschooling is the child's personal growth.

Another consideration is whether the credits will transfer easily to a college or university. The American Academy's NAC accreditation will mean that most colleges in the United States and the rest of the world will accept the credits earned. But it is best to consult with the college to check what other requirements they have.

For inquiries about the courses provided by The American Academy, feel free to contact us. We have experienced student service representatives on hand to answer your questions. Let us help you get your child on his way to early graduation.