Many children can finish or graduate early from high school and begin their trade or college degrees a lot earlier than most of their school peers. By doing so, these early school-leavers can also finish their college or trade studies much earlier than is normal. The trick is encouraging students to pursue the things they love and showing children they’re capable of doing many things they think they might not be able to do. By building their confidence, you’ll find your learners rise to the challenge and gain a significant advantage over their high school peers.
In this article, we’ll look at how to graduate high school at age 16 (or earlier), the benefits of finishing high school early, and what to do after you’ve made this move. Let’s get started!
Benefits of Graduating High School Early
Many parents ask themselves, ‘Should I let my child graduate early from high school?’ Some feel they might be negligent and deprive their children of something vital the final year or two of high school offers.
But, there seems to be very few disadvantages of finishing early and, in fact, many good reasons to graduate high school early. These benefits include:
- being able to finish a trade or college degree earlier than your peers to get a headstart on a career or business plans
- not wasting age 16 to 18 in unnecessary work
- giving your children more motivating study as students usually choose their own trade or college degree
- getting a financial headstart by saving earlier (as students finish tertiary education earlier)
- spending more time on the entrepreneurial opportunity of their choice
- a love of learning is promoted when students study what they love
Many children with special interests or giftings discover that finishing high school early is a good choice as they can get the academic challenge they longed for at school but never got.
Disadvantages of Graduating High School Early
Are there some things you might miss out on if you finish or graduate high school early? Some have proposed the following disadvantages:
- If you love the social life in high school and you have many friends, leaving secondary studies will cause some pain; however, you’ll have to leave eventually, and you’ll soon find new friends that might be just as good in your upcoming tertiary study or work situation
- You’ll miss out on activities that your high school offers; however, by pursuing a college, trade, or entrepreneurial opportunity you can find even better activities that might suit your fancy more than limited high school opportunities
- You won’t be able to get high school credits if you leave early; but, the benefit of leaving at 16 and getting a two-year headstart will usually far outweigh credits high school will give you as college won’t usually knock off two whole years from tertiary study.
Unless students love high school (and there are many reasons they might, such as the fun social life they have), it seems finishing their studies early can be a good choice for many students.
Do I Have to Finish High School Completely to Start College of a Trade
30 years ago, schoolchildren were motivated to finish Year 12 as they couldn’t enter (1) college without a Year 12 completion certificate or (2) a trade without a Year 10 completion certificate.
Today things are very different and many colleges are allowing students to start at any age, provided they prove they can do the work and pass the entry exams. This means that you don’t need to graduate high school to start college, but you can effectively be a drop-out or a non-graduate to start a college degree – so long as you pay the fees.
How Early Can I Graduate High School?
You can finish or graduate high school quite early, so long as you can continue your studies in tertiary education or pursue your entrepreneurial goals. For example:
- if you wanted to graduate a semester early from high school, you can do this by pursuing online schooling options (online schooling options often allow you to fast-track your studies and finish early. I was able to finish my Year 10 in 5 months and my Year 11 in 6 months) or
- you can finish high school at age 16 or 17 without graduating and enter college or a trade directly by enrolling in an online college or trade school near you
Today there is no need for teenagers to slog their way through high school if they don’t enjoy it. There are so many options that can satisfy adolescents who don’t feel a high school is a good place for them.
Do I Have to Move Away from Home to Study College?
The great thing about many online colleges or trade schools is that you don’t have to move away from home early to study with them. You can do some degrees completely at home. Similarly, you can do many diplomas, masters, doctorates, diplomas, or graduate certificates through online websites like EduRef.
Can I Graduate College at 16?
If you’ve ever heard about the rumors of homeschoolers finishing college degrees at age 16, you may have wondered if this really happened. Could a student really finish high school at age 11 and start their college or trade careers then?
The phenomenon of homeschoolers finishing high school early is quite common. My own brother, Neville, finished high school at age 16 and began online college classes a year earlier than most schoolchildren his age. He studied a Law/Economics double degree and finished college earlier than most of his peers.
I finished high school at age 15 and began working part-time and studying a nursing trade part-time. I then gained a trade diploma which I studied by moving away from home at age 17. I graduated at age 18 being the youngest in my class. This worked out well as I wasn’t interested in studying Year 11 or 12 but was very motivated to study a nursing diploma (especially as I was already working in the nursing field). Eventually, I studied a Medical Science Bachelor and went into Medical school (which I discontinued after a year due to ongoing illnesses).
But, some homeschoolers start college much earlier and manage to finish their whole degree at age 16.
The Harding family, who say there are no geniuses in their ranks, managed to send 7 of their homeschooled children to college by age 12 (the rest are too young to go to college at present but hope to follow the same path). The family, whose graduates now include a doctor, engineer, and architect, claimed interest-based-learning (that is, letting your children study what they love) accounted for their success in finishing college early. Because they graduated early from high school, they were also able to graduate early from college. You can see their amazing story on Youtube below.
There doesn’t seem to be many disadvantages of graduating high school early. These days a student can easily skip two unnecessary years of secondary education and enter college early. This isn’t a new idea and many people, especially homeschoolers, get a start on their careers earlier than most. Finishing high school sooner than is normal offers students a host of advantages that makes one wonder why more people don’t pursue this option.