Todd’s Note: The info. presented in this article is not only relevant to high school students who are artist and atheletes, but what about students who don’t believe that education is as necessary as everyone else. Oh my gosh…did I just say that? There are many dropouts who don’t want to finish school because they don’t see the relevance. Or, what about a student who prefers to be out on the farm or ranch or woods? They could do what they enjoy and love, and also finish up their education. The big picture here is that school doesn’t have to be a classroom with four walls and a desk. Students should have alternatives to finishing high school. After all, couldn’t a 17 or 18 year old make an important decision? That might be another article altogether!
Your child’s special talents may seem at times both a blessing and a curse. Whether your child has shown artistic promise as, for example, an actor or dancer, or is athletically gifted, it can often be difficult for him to keep up with his schooling. For actors, there are often last-minute casting calls, while many athletes, such as ice skaters or hockey players, have practice times that can conflict with school hours.
Studies show that only about 40 percent of high school dropouts can find employment. In stark contrast, over 75 percent of college graduates are employed, according to nasdaq.com. While it would be wonderful if your child could become an Olympic gymnast, a famous actor or the next Michael Jordan, very few kids ever reach these lofty heights, so finishing high school is—at the very least—an important backup plan.
Often, however, the only way your budding star will be able to finish high school within any kind of reasonable time frame is to ditch traditional educational institutions. Fortunately, there are several options available today that can work with even the busiest of kids’ schedules.
Some parents choose to homeschool their talented kids because it gives them the flexibility to work classes around a child’s schedule. In addition, the actual time a child is homeschooled is often less than a public school day, which will typically include such subjects and activities as art, physical education, recess, library time, lunch and other, arguably, non-educational subjects. If you decide to homeschool your child, he will be joining approximately 1.5 million other students who are also being homeschooled, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Although some parents worry they won’t be capable of teaching all the subjects to their children, there are now a number of different tools available, including online resources and home schooling cooperatives that can help you give your child a complete and well-rounded education.
If you can afford it, you could always hire a private teacher to come to you. You could also split the cost with others, if you know of any other children in need of a private teacher. A private educator can, however, be quite pricey. The New York Times places the cost of a private in-home teacher between $70 and $110 an hour.
If paying for a private educator is out of your price range and you don’t believe you have the skills or patience to homeschool your child, consider having him take classes with an accredited online program. Pennfoster.edu, for example, offers both high school and college classes, as well as career certificate classes. With online courses, your student will be able to take high school classes at times that are convenient for him.
If your child is close to graduating, consider having him take extra courses so that he can complete high school ahead of schedule. Another option is for your child to attempt to get her General Educational Development (GED) degree. Check your state’s guidelines, but a number of states do allow students who are at least 16 years of age to take the GED test.
This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.
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