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[Book Excerpt] Options After High School

This is a chapter from my book, Options After High School. You can get your copy in print or Kindle version here.

Early Graduation


I sometimes get phone calls from parents asking whether they should graduate their child early since they've heard graduation requires only 24 credits. Their children may only be 16 years old and already have 24 credits. High school graduation occurs around 17 to 19 years old. It's difficult to tell if early graduation is a good idea, because it varies from family to family, child to child, college to college, and even year to year as your child matures! Your child can start high school early, or graduate early, or both.

I can tell you what worked for me. I waited until it was time to graduate my son, then I arranged the previous four years of education and called it high school. His final year became senior year, the year before was junior, and the year before was sophomore. He had already collected college credits, so he graduated high school at 16 and entered the university with credit for freshman year and started with junior year status. If you are confident that your homeschool transcript is honest and true, you can graduate your child early.

There are benefits and drawbacks of early graduation.

The benefits of graduating early:

  • Get a head start on college or career.
  • They can take college courses when eager and ready for them.
  • Less senioritis.
  • Busy students can focus on college applications during that busy time of life.
  • They can graduate college earlier than their age-mates and enter the job force earlier.


The drawbacks of graduating early:

  • The possibility of being overwhelmed by more mature students who are seeking a spouse or engaged in partying in college.
  • Instead of excelling, your student may become a couch potato and experience failure to launch.
  • Colleges or employers may see it as senioritis or a gap year.
  • The student may be considered less mature and therefore less desirable by colleges and employers.


If you're just not sure that early graduation is right for your child, there are other things you can do to satisfy your child's needs.

Instead of graduating early:

  • Keep curriculum challenging but not overwhelming.
  • Consider homeschooling a few college classes with CLEP® or AP® tests.
  • Your child can take a gap year.
  • They can enter community college while living at home.
  • Your child can take more high school credits than necessary to strengthen their application, so they can get into a more selective college as a much stronger applicant.


Regardless of what you decide, remember that your goal is to nurture your child into a self-supporting, independent adult.

Options After High School is one of my Coffee Break Books. What are Coffee Break Books? These are books designed for YOU - a busy homeschool parent feeling frustrated by something, and needing information NOW - all put together in an easy-to-read, short, simple format. Coffee Break Books are perfect for overwhelmed, sleep-deprived moms with a baby on their hip. Simple, large font makes them easy to read even when distracted or pulled in a million directions. They are designed to help parents tackle just ONE issue of homeschooling during just ONE coffee break! Each book combines a practical and friendly approach with detailed, easy-to-digest information. Never overwhelming, always accessible and manageable, each book in the series will give you the tools you need to tackle the tasks of homeschooling high school, one warm sip at a time.

Learn more about Options After High School in my video review below!

This is a chapter from my book, Options After High School. You can get your own copy in print or Kindle version here.

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Friday, 01 July 2022

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