My 16-year-old wants to drop out of school: Advice?

If your son is a gifted student he is bored and that’s why he wants out of high school, he wants to challenge himself. I would let him attempt at the GED and let him go to college, he needs the challenge and an opportunity to apply himself in.

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Why continue and education he doesn’t need if he can pass the exit exam?
I think it’s awesome.
A lot of children do not do well in a high school environment. College is different.
It’s more independent, you take the classes that you want and ones that will further where you want to go. It don’t sound like dropping out.
He sounds like he has some great ambitions and wanting to accomplish them sooner. I’d support him in any way I could. As long as they are working hard To accomplish something to better themselves, I’ll help.

My high school had a program that let you attend duel enrollment, so I suggest checking to see if he can do something like that. Talk to the school and local colleges to see if he can get high school credit for taking college classes. Maybe he would be more interested in that than normal highschool


Sorry lol I’m no mama but my 17 year old wanted to drop out of school at the ages of 15 &16 now here he is on his last year of school. I myself as a drop out had some experience with this so a little persuading is what it takes dropping out got me no where yes I did eventually get the GED and also College but you have to push the reality of the real world

I wish I knew…I had 3 kids and none of them graduated, but I went through a Computer Based Class to finish his high school…he’s done well! My 2 girls got their GED and then on with their lives, and I working hard, but are all three wonderful adults! We don’t get to make their choices; just love them unconditionally!

Eh hes still planning on going to college. Thats what truly matters.

I was the same straight A student never missed school. Teachers was writing letters of recommendations for me for programs. I was chosen to do a foreign exchange student several times. In The Who of Who’s for different things. I got tired of the drama. I dropped out and received my GED a month later. I still got to wear a cap and gown and walked a line. Sounds like he’s mature for his age and tired of it. I can’t say I blame him. I wouldn’t force him to keep going if his mind is set. Starting college early and finishing sounds like a goal of his. He doesn’t want to drop out because he’s a good for nothing he wants to accomplish things.

He’s not that smart if he wants to settle for less (a GED over a high school diploma)…

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It’s a good idea to graduate high school but colleges will accept a good GED score. There can be real reasons that kids dont want to be in school. I think that high school can be a waste of time if it’s not doing anything for the kid. Get the GED and go to community college early.

I dropped out and went back 3 times. The first time I was so depressed because of how AWFUL the teachers were. I was a 4.0 GPA taking every advanced and college course aloud. I was by no means a bad kid or a slacker or lazy. I had to decide that I wanted it. If an alternative school is available, maybe try that. That’s what I did and it was the best move I’ve ever made.

I’ve known people who dropped out, got a GED and be successful. Just depends on the kid and how goal oriented he/she is.

Talk to h about his college goals. Where does he want to go to college, and for what degree. A lot of colleges aren’t too fond of a GED.
If he can talk with his high school counselor, perhaps they can look into colleges in the area that offer classes to high school students so that he is technically remaining in school, but he’s already working towards his college degree.

Does the school offer dual enrollment, where he can take college classes and regular classes

Some GED programs have you walk in a cap and grown. Sound like he may know what’s best high school isn’t for everyone. I dropped out got my ged within a month then started college.

You can see him walk with his college degree

A ged and a diploma are seen completely differently on college apps and job applications. Don’t make urself look dumb bc u are being lazy and don’t want to finish school. No judgement that’s what I would tell my own son. Why waste ur intelligence.

Having a GED instead of a diploma will disqualify you for many scholarships & financial aid

My Son was in the same predicament. I let him get his GED and enroll in College. While his friends Graduated with their HS Diploma, he received is B.A. , he has also just completed a Second Degree, is very successful compared to his friends and has a fantastic life, and is way ahead of them, they are in the beginning of their College program, or those who didn’t go one to College are working, but my Son is able to support a very comfortable lifestyle because of his Degrees.
This doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Listen, support and encourage.

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More than likely there is a bigger issue, anxiety or something making him not want to be there… don’t force him.

Another thought is, schools will pay for college classes a lot of the time if there no is higher level class available at the school. Try that option and maybe he can still walk…?

Sit down and have a talk with him , there is a reason behind this! Maybe the school is no longer appealing to him, maybe not getting the help he wants/needs, could be that he is being bullied. Ask! Communication is key!:wink:

I dropped out. Biggest mistake if my life. I’m not sure what my parents could have said or done to change my mind. I hope he rethinks his decision

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You should speak to his school counselor to get all the options. The minimum number of credits to graduate is 22. He may already be very close and could be encouraged to actually graduate by taking other course options or testing out of remaining courses. There are lots of options.

Do home schooling he can advance a lot quicker. I wanted to do the same thing my 10th grade year did home school and graduated before my class did

Some schools will let you use just credits to graduate. When I turned 17 I only needed one more English credit so they let me take that class early and only had to go to school for an hour a day to graduate and walk across with my cap and gown. However if he can get into the college he wants with a GED I don’t see a huge problem with him quiting. I would make sure he is serious about it, like make sure he is already signed up and all that stuff before he quits. That’s why I didn’t quit because I was afraid I wouldn’t go on and get my GED.

Maybe hes just like to get away for a bit and have a change. Perhaps try looking into an excahnge program where he could go away and experience a new culture for a semester or 2 and still get credits for it.

To be honestly almost all employers don’t care if you’ve graduated high school or not. They care about college degrees. If he not dropping out because he’s failing and wants to quit then I’d let him.

Look into online options?

He can start college classes while in HS. My friend started college classes in HS and graduated with an AS 2 days before she got her HS diploma.

School isn’t for everyone. Remember his goals and your goals are not the same. Hard to make that big decision as a parent- but sometimes it’s best for your child.

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I did this with my daughter and she was able to start college sooner. She was miserable in High School with all the bullies and anxiety.

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I dropped out of high school at 16 also. I was also in the gifted program and was an all A student. I didn’t want to go to school because I felt that the curriculum was not challenging me or stimulating me enough and my mom could see that after talking to me about it. So I got my GED and took the ACT. And I got into my dream university into the program I’ve always wanted. I’m about to graduate college at 20 with a bachelors degree and I will be continuing my education to get a masters degree. I fully believe if I didn’t drop out I wouldn’t be here. College challenged me in the ways high school couldn’t. Maybe that’s what he needs.


If he’s struggling with mental health after years of doing well he may just want to quit so he doesn’t fail, makes it his own choice, I was a great student until one day I just panicked because I fell the tiniest bit behind I regret it to this day but really he may just need some extra support you should sit him down and discuss it with him

It doesn’t matter what your 16-year-old wants to do

I didn’t graduate because I had a job and felt like school was a waste of time, and I turned out fine. BUT I’m as old as a millennial can be, job experience still counted as education, and I have a strong work ethic. To each their own.

Why does he need to walk with a cap and gown? Dows he have an acceptance letter to university?
While 16 is young for university life, it seems your wants are your wants and not his.
Maybe compromise and have him home school under his chosen curriculum at his level, work a job to help pay for college until the maturity level is more capable of college atmosphere.

He can have his school transfer his credits to an online school and easily get his diploma in a month if he works diligently. Sounds like you need to call the school and set up a meeting with the counselor. Sit down and talk to him and more importantly LISTEN to what he has to say.

I dropped out at 16 to go to work and help pay bills. My dad had become disabled. I went on to get a Masters Degree. Not a single person has ever batted an eye at the GED. I don’t believe it matters as long as he actually obtains that college degree, technical or Academic. The parts he may miss would be prom and things like that. I’d sit down with him and see where his head is at. There could be something going on at the school that can be fixed. It’s important to have an adult to adult talk with understanding rather than an upset parent conversation.

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I had my first son at 16. I always kept good grades and had honors classes. I dropped out due to no childcare, got my ged, and was in college all while the rest of my class was still in high school. There’s no right or wrong way to do things, as long as they’re getting done.


I wouldn’t let him just drop out and get a GED… if you can get him into an online home school type of program that he would be able to go at his own pace so he can graduate a lot sooner but still have an actual high school diploma and not a GED

I wanted to do the same but my school had a alternative program that I’m in now and it’s amazing

Some colleges won’t accept drop outs that do that

Does his school have an alternative program? My son’s school offered a program that allowed the student to complete the credit hours on their own time (within reason) and still graduate with a diploma and walk with his class.

Maybe he is not challenged by school anymore and he wants more and that is why he is seeking out college, you can always see he graduate from college. Or another option I did was take college classes while I was still in high school, I got my high school diploma and Associates on the same day.

Let him get hisGED if that don’t work send him back to school…and be specific on that …let him take the test and go from there …once he’s done straight to college …I think that’s kind of smart now to do that and straight to your college credits he will graduate at college you can see them then …

GED is just as good as a diploma, ESPECIALLY if he plans to continue his education.

I’d say don’t push the issue.

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I would definitely explore other options with him. School isn’t for everyone and if he is willing to work or find alternatives then I would allow him. He is almost a man and taking control of his life is healthy. Be supportive and help him thrive where he will thrive.

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Instead of dropping out, consider doing Cyber School.

In Pennsylvania you can not take your GED class till the year you would have graduated

If you know he can and will follow through i would say let him.

You need to separate your wants for him vs. His wants for him.

Some teens are bored in high school. My daughter dropped out got her GED and finished college

Who is the parent don’t let him tell you that he not going to school. In Tennessee if our kids miss school we go to jail. If he doesn’t go to school send him to boy scouts school. Ada

I can say from personal experience that I’m going back as an adult to get my LPN and a GED is not acceptable. I needed to have a high school diploma. Some comments on here are scary for people who are just letting kids drop out. A GED is NOT the same.

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It’s not your life. Sit him down and treat him like an adult. Lay out all his options. He clearly has a plan, and a pretty good plan. He wants to go right to college.
He doesnt want to drop out, smoke dope and play video games… give him some credit and see what he decides

My son did an online program and has regular diploma. He graduated early, and is now in a diesel mechanics trade school program. He too was in gifted program, but I think in general, kids are just bored. In our school systems today, it seems that testing is priority.

If it’s the school try an alternative school. A Diploma is a diploma as long as he can get into college with the necessary test scores let him go for it. I would not be happy either if it were my child but neither would I want him or her to just quit it all. Prayers I know raising kids these days with all they have to face isn’t easy. Above all , pray and ask God for his direction.

My oldest child did. And got her ged. She dropped out in 2016 and had her ged in 2016. Idk.

I wonder if something happened and theres a reason he doesnt want to go back to school… is he being bullied? Is something happening at school?

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Oh and the places around here when you get your GED do a ceremony and you get cap gown tassels and all. Real fancy.

I will try to figure out the Why. Somethings got to be going on if he’s an A B student and all of a sudden wants to drop out of school. I can see if he wanted to drop out completely but if he still wants to get his GED and continue his education, then there’s something going on at that school.

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He maybe bord with school he may need a challenge :point_up: he wants to go to college get him some on line college course see if that helps , are tell the teachers he needs harder work at school

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Its not like he doesn’t have a plan,maybe talk with your sons school and see if he finishes his GED before graduation, if he can be apart of the ceremony


Some high schools offer on line schooling. Check with his counselor. He will be able to graduate with his class. The program is amazing.

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My oldest had issues with high school also. She is doing virtual school now and she likes it so much better.

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There is night school you can do to get a normal diploma. I dropped out senior year and only needed to take English. Paid 300 to take it and got my diploma.

I was booooored in high school, if your school has a dual credit program for juniors and seniors it’s WORTH IT! :grin:

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A GED is not the same as a diploma. Dropping out will be a permanent negative mark against him. Future employers will frown upon it because if he couldn’t even finish high school, how can they count on him to stick the job through? Maybe look into online high schools for him, so that he is not having to go to a standard highschool building, but will still get an actual diploma.


What is he planning to do while he’s getting his diploma?

Have him do online schooling. Maybe public school isnt for him

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Dont let them just keep pushing them


I don’t mean to be an ass but I have done just fine with a GED. My path wasn’t a straight line for other reasons but only having a GED didn’t stop me from getting an associates and didn’t stop me from graduating summa cum laude with my bachelor’s either. I’ve never had it count against me for a job, I’ve gotten one within days of looking each time. Things have changed a lot.

Getting a GED is harder than going through regular high school. A 16-year-old isn’t the one to be deciding what to do especially when it comes to finishing school. Yes, it is important to find out what is going on to cause him to think this way, but he can’t just drop out of school.


He’s not dropping out. He’s moving on.


What’s he gonna do all day if he’s not in school?

Post secondary an option? As long as he’s in high school it’s free college

They have online high schools or online home schooling. You should have him finish and get an actual high school diploma. It isn’t that hard to graduate high school. I know many people who dropped out and never got the GED. I’d push for him to continue with high school and have him finish that and then go to college. Most school districts have bridge programs with local community colleges where they have college level courses junior and senior year at the college or at the high school.

If he has a plan let him do it. Talk to guidance. Maybe sign him up as a “homeschool kid” so he is legally enrolled.

I think there is a reason why he doesn’t want to be in school anymore and I would look further into it especially if he has never been a trouble child like skipping not doing homework etc. But I believe something more serious is happening possibly bullying and I would talk to him and maybe you might just change your mind also and let him just get his GED you never know it’s worth asking what is going on bullying is out of control these days I hope that isn’t why he wants to drop out but it’s a huge possibility good luck

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My daughter does all college classes at 16. School pays for everything including books. She doesn’t even go to the high school unless it’s for extra curriculars but she’ll graduate with a high school diploma and 2 years of college. If he wants to do college why not do it now for free.


My son had problems in high school. Grades went down. I placed him in at a community that had a high school program and his grades went back up and graduated with college classes as well. College just wasnt for him and enlisted in the Army. He did 20-years in the army.

There were a lot of gang related problems at the time in high school. He hated having to face their bullying every day. He kept it quite for a long time. I just happened to ask the right question and his response was so stressed. It just broke my heart, but we found an alternative plan for him to get through it.


Find out why … My daughter at 16 wanted the same thing turned out she had one teacher that was making her life at school heck … I went in and had her removed from that class and it got better for her


In my town we have alternative high school my son loved it. It was all kids that hate schoollater hours less hours and no homework my son got to graduate w cap and gown w his class and a diploma


Definitely look into a cyber school that lets him move at his own pace or if it’s an option for you, homeschool. So he can still get his diploma and “graduate” but listen to him and his needs too.


Who is the PARENTS YOU OR HIM? He is a minor!


Running start. Still technically a high schooler, but get an early start on college classes. Might not even have to go into the high school during the week, depending on hoe they schedule it.

High school really sucks for some kids. And that’s okay. But he cant just not go to school any more.


It isn’t his decision .
You need to talk and see what really is going on. Then fix it together . Look at other high schools and options . Maybe have him take a class at your community college to challenge him more . He is smart . Maybe he just needs a break from a place that pushes for high grades all the time. Maybe he can do sports or music in school .
Talk with him
Good luck Mama
I have a strong feeling this will turn out great for both of you :two_hearts::two_hearts::two_hearts::mortar_board::balloon::mortar_board:

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My son went to a continuation high school just so he could do the school work on his own and actually finished up his credits 9 months early. He was still able to walk with his graduation class at the end of the year. But he didn’t have to go to school the remainder of the school year since he was done with credits he got a full time job at 17. He’s now 18 I got to see my baby graduate and he was able to save up enough money to buy himself his 1st brand new car right when he turned 18.


He should be able to enroll in college part time as a HS student.

Idk if they have one near you, but we had an alternative high school where you did all you leave work on a computer, at your own pace, and could finish early and get a diploma. We also still had the option to walk with our class. Of course it wouldn’t be till the actual graduation date, but maybe you could look into it. Just try sitting down and having a serious conversation with him about it. My dad was determined to not let me go that route because he was worried, but now he wished he would of let me.

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Let him breaks for sometime and I am certain he will go back to school

a high school diploma is better than a ged tell him

Most colleges want a diploma

If this is the worse blow he hands you or has handed you… consider yourself lucky. Let him get his GED… it won’t keep him out of college.

Depending on the college he wants to go to they won’t take him with a GED.

Ooh. That’s rough. Unfortunately in my state. You are allowed to drop out at 16. Parent or not…it’s their choice. I wish you well and I hope you can get him to stay in school. I am not a great advice giver. Sorry. But I feel your pain. My 17 yr. Old wanted to do the GED program but with a lot of talking to from his big brother…he’s doing better than ever in school.

I’d talk to him to see if there is another reason as to why he doesn’t want to go to school anymore. He could be getting bullied or be the victim of peer pressure. If he’s been a great student and school is easy for him, he’s either dealing with boredom or there’s something socially wrong. I’d make sure to talk to him first.

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You could also try an online program. Some of them allow you to work at your pace. I did my senior year this way and I stead of taking 6 classes because the school wanted me to I only took the ones I needed. Having an accelerated program might help him

Let him move to an online or alternative school.

If you decide to homeschool make sure at the end of it he gets his GED. Talk to him and see what is going on. I know I hated high school and wanted to skip certain classes because of certain boys in the class. He could be too smart for the class and is getting bored.

Give him every opportunity to stay in school and complete his education. Suggest changing schools or moving to an online program.

I have also heard of parents who make their children pay rent in the summer between school semesters if they are considering dropping out so they will have to get a job and consider their options with a different pet selective.