Should I drop out of high school and focus on teaching myself?

I feel miserable in my curriculum of taking the hardest classes possible, and wish to drop out of high school, using the Internet and textbooks to teach me everything I need to know before heading off to college, including taking AP tests, SATSTs, and the ACT again. Is this wise?

Written Sep 29, 2016

That depends …

on your goals.

First, determine your goals. If your goal is to get into college, you should define several things:

  • what do you intend to study
  • do you have a preference for a college, or colleges
  • what is your goal after college

Once you have established your goals, next step is to determine what it takes to accomplish the goals:

  • what are the admissions criteria for the colleges you plan to attend
  • what is the likelihood for admission
  • does the college have specific criteria for homeschoolers

Next, does your situation, and plan for teaching yourself, match the admissions criteria? If not, then you may be better staying and completing high school. In my opinion, it may be very difficult for you to shift from public school to self-learning, and to demonstrate that you have adequately prepared for college.

If you determine that self-learning can allow you to achieve your goals, then you need to complete some administrative tasks. Check your local school district requirements for homeschooling (this is usually the legally recognized method for pursuing self-learning at the high-school level). Usually, your parents or guardian have to notify the school district (by letter) that you will be homeschooling. You will also probably have to demonstrate, annually to the school district, your academic progress.

Once you have completed these steps, you have entered the world of homeschooling. Your education is now the responsibility of yourself (and your parents/guardian).

Tread carefully, as there are many monsters lurking there. If you are not careful, you could completely derail your options, which can have huge implications for the rest of your life.

On the other hand, self-learning may be perfect for you, and open many doors. Only you can determine, and decide, how to proceed.