Guest Author - Trina Miller
Some towns have noticed an increasing rate of students who are quitting high school.
Contrary to a typical high school drop-out , these students are in no way sitting on their bum playing video games, sleeping all day, or partying all night. These kids are moving on from high school to get their diplomas faster. They are moving into military services, early college, and internships. Some teens are moving in to the family business.
Is this a new trend? So, what is going on?
It seems teens have varied reasons for skipping the classroom. Among the top are:
-Lack of interest in academics
-Tired of testing all the time
-Are to far behind to catch up
-Violence in schools
Do teens see sitting in a classroom as a waste of time. Why should they sit glued to a chair when they can actually take steps toward their future. When put that way it does seem rational. In two years you could either still be sitting in a classroom, halfway finished with college, or already on your career path.
I, as a parent, can not condemn anyone for getting a G.E.D so they can move on in to the military services. Nor someone who is moving right into the family business. Any teen who has their head screwed on that straight deserves to move forward and be trusted to do so.
What about the whole high school experience? Will they regret missing the prom, homecoming, and other popular events. Or does any of that matter when confronted with the big picture. Socializing can be found in colleges, or on jobs.
My son has also jumped on this bandwagon. He sees no reason to continue sitting behind a desk learning trigonometry, advanced literature, or physical education. He’s already very athletic, reads a novel a week, and feels trig is a waste of his time. He wants to go in to the army. He has always done well in both public school and home school.
It seems my dear son has pulled a fast one on me in his quest to convince his father and I to allow him to quit school.
I received a phone call today from Youth Challenge. There are a few different programs that are similar in goals. Teens, starting at sixteen, are eligible. These are residential programs that last around five or six months. In this time they learn new skills, earn a high school diploma, and ready themselves for the real world. These programs help fit them into careers, and colleges. It is truly a wonderful opportunity for teens. Most programs like this are strictly for teens with behavior, drug, alcohol or school problems.
My son has heard me endorse programs like Youth Challenge to parents who have teens who are troubled or skip school. Now it seems my son is giving me the opportunity to put my words into practice. As a mother, I did not see this coming. As a fair and responsible adult I am forced to at least consider my sons pleas. As parents we only want what is best for our children. So much so that at times we do not stop to consider that we may be wrong. Sometimes our children really do know what is best for them. Even if we do not agree.
We have reached a compromise. We will all attend orientation and the class that follows in June before a decision is made.
Note to parents: No one can tell you what is right or wrong for you and your children. You have to establish that for yourselves. I do believe that if you have intelligent, responsible teens, listen to them. Research their decisions before you dismiss them.