A GED rather than a traditional HS diploma?

Question:My 16 year old son, who tested as gifted when he was younger, hates school. He is supposed to enter the 11th grade in the Fall but I am considering letting him drop out. Besides the fact that he has not done well academicalIy I as his mother have witnessed his suffering over school for the last four years or so. He has been depressed over school and has felt badly about himself, plus he has developed Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The stress of school is a tremendous aggravator of these nasty symtoms! I have done some research regarding GED and think this path might be better for him. Our local community college offers GED preparatory classes and GED testing, etc. My question is how will this affect his chances later if he should decide that he wants to go to University. Will having a GED rather than a traditional High School Diploma negatively affect his future?

While it shouldn't in theory, the simple truth is that it does in practice. People, and that includes college admissions officers, generally assume a person with a GED was either too lazy or too disruptive to get a regular diploma. The only times that isn't the case is if it is extremely clear that the person had no choice but to leave high school, such as girls who get pregnant and live in a school district where there are no provisions for them to graduate from school with their age-mates.

I know how bad school can be when combined with IBS, as a friend of ours developed it very young (in elementary school--it later developed into Crohn's Disease). For him, the simple stress of wondering if a teacher was going to excuse him to use the restroom made the symptoms even worse. It took a lot of serious discussion with teachers and administrators for his mother to convince them to simply allow him to get up and leave the classroom when he needed to. He did continue on, graduate from high school, and attend college. But I digress...

What the GED does is prove that the person has the same knowledge that a person does when they graduate from high school. What it cannot do is prove that they have the social skills and discipline to stick to something. That's why it's such a tremendous set back for most people. I know people from high school who dropped out and got their GEDs instead. They attend our high school reunions, etc., because they were members of our class, but many of them have told me they wish now they had simply stuck with school and gotten a diploma, instead. One of them is female, and when it came time for her to go to college, which she decided to do at the age of 20, she had a very hard time. She was refused admission at any of our state universities, and ended up having to go to a community college where there are no admissions restrictions. That might appear to be alright on the surface, but when you consider that she wanted to teach school, and that that required a degree from a four-year university or college, you realize that the GED really screwed up her life plans. She ended up with an associates degree in general studies, which doesn't really do much for a person.

I think the best bet for you, since you have a very bright child and since he is having problems in school is to try one of the home-schooling programs which is accredited and which is allowed to give a high school diploma. You will need to look into programs in your area, and you will need to find out which ones are acceptable to your state's board of education. The sort of winging-it design your own curriculum faith-based programs often are not accepted by a state, but there are other programs which are. You can get information on them from your state.

There is one more possibility. If he is, as you state, highly intelligent, there's a chace the school district will allow him to stop attending classes and attend the local community college instead. The credits he gets in community college classes will count toward what he needs to graduate from high school, and he can graduate with his class. The advantage to doing it that way, if your school district and state will allow it, is that those credit hours basically count twice. For example, one year of English at a community college that is on the quarter system should yield between 12 and 15 college hours of credit (it would depend on the classes, and how many hours they are) if he attends 3 quarters, which is pretty normal. Those credit hours can often satisfy a school district, and then they also count as college credit, so he could, conceivably enter actual college or university as a junior.

Look into all your options before you go with the GED. I know it seems like it shouldn't make a difference, but people perceive a GED in a negative light a lot of the time.

Best of luck.
u should try home schooling
or just dont let him drop out he's made it this far and its only 2 more yrs and his senior yr. he can graduate at semester. high school also provides other stuff that colleges look for like involvement in school and community, letters of reccomendations. high school provides way more oppurtunities like scholarships.
i think he'd be happier if he got involved in school. i used to hate school but then i joined the soccer team and got more involved , and met new people, made great friends and grew some confidence. just because he has a medical condition doesnt mean he needs to leave school.
Does your city have the program where the teacher meets with the student once or twice a week..and the student does his work at home? It's not at home schooling..as it is governed by the school board. In my area, a student can do this, make all the necessary requirements for graduation, and graduate with his/her class. Getting a standard diploma sets better with most universities, colleges, and future hiring people. When my son lost some credit due to being ill, he caught up really quickly, by doing this. He went at his own pace....FAST...and graduated with his class. (Gifted, as well).
Before you do anything make sure he can take the GED. Some states are now requiring that students under the age of 21 not take GED classes because it goes against some parts of No Child Left Behind.
Also my brother has the same problem. I would recommend looking into a local alternative high school. Often these are seen as places drug users and pregnant mothers go but they can be very flexible in terms of attendance and in terms of what they expect in terms of work, meaning they would expect more from your son than they might someone else.
If you don't have a alternative high school nearby you could talk with the school he is attending about letting him attend classes for a half day.
Please do not pull him out of school. I know it seems like he doesn't need it but there are a number of other skills he will learn in high school that will help him later in life, outside of academic skills.
I would say. Let him get a GED and enroll him into a vocational, 2-year, technical, or community college programs. There he can learn skills such as carpentry, plumbing, real estate, teacher aid, ect. These schools are virtually stress free according to a lot of drop outs I know. Either that or let him live off the streets till he dies.

But he only has 2 years to go. It might be best to let him go to regular school despite the situation.

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