How to Graduate High School Early with Online Courses

how to graduate high school early, multiple students graduating

Graduating from high school early in the public school system is almost unheard of. There is a strict curriculum, and not many students can steer too far away from the set number of credits and state public school requirements. Entering into the homeschooling arena, parents begin to drift from the public school mindset and embrace the freedom that homeschooling allows for their child’s education. An option available to homeschoolers is the opportunity to graduate high school early.  Here are tried and true options on how to graduate high school early with online courses.

You may find yourself having discussions with your homeschooling students about the possibility of graduating high school early. Most parents’ first response is a plain, “No.”  We can all agree that the “No” comes from many legitimate places.

When parents think of graduating their children early, a flurry of thoughts rush to mind. Some parents may feel homeschooling is already chaotic, therefore getting a student to complete their requirements in less time may seem too overwhelming – even impossible. 

If your student is already struggling but wants to finish school early, you may feel like you have failed. You may feel like they are just being lazy or you start wondering what they will make out of themselves after finishing high school. The list of concerns for graduating high school early go on and on. 

Parents may need time to wrap their minds around the idea that homeschooling “looks” different from “traditional” school. We are free from the restrictions that are set in private or public school when it comes to graduating.

If the topic of finishing high school early comes up with your homeschooler, then there needs to be a serious discussion before any decisions are made.

You may very well encourage your child to graduate earlier than usual. However, when the idea comes from your child, you may need to dig deeper and decide if this is what they really want to do. 

How to Graduate high school early, young girl in graduation gown

Here are a few things to consider before deciding to make the necessary steps on how to to graduate high school early in your homeschool:

There are conflicting views out there when it comes to how colleges view graduating early. Some sources say it has no benefit at all. Others say that those who graduate early are looked at more closely in competitive college application processes. 

You may also want to discuss the following with your child:

Is there a career path your child wants to follow that leads to an internship or apprenticeship?

Is your child just plainly tired of school? What is the root of this?

Does your child want to get a head start in college or a technical school?

Does your child want to take a GAP year off for a particular reason?

Does your state offer financial incentives for students graduating early?

Once these discussions are had, you may also need to discuss the ramifications of graduating early along with the expected responsibilities at home. Most parents would want to ensure that graduating early doesn’t mean the student will just lounge around and do nothing after graduating. Set healthy boundaries early on as to avoid stressful conversations in the future.

Aside from these considerations, there are clear benefits to graduating high school early. 

What you and your homeschooler now are free to explore is developing a plan to graduate high school early. Having a set plan and path to follow to graduating high school early is a must. 

Homeschool mom planning graduation

Here are a few ideas to get you on the right path for planning for early high school graduation:

Set a goal date to graduate your high school homeschooler early.

This is the most simple yet crucial part of graduating early. Make a date, then your student can start working towards that date. 

Aim for college always — as a baseline — and determine the courses needed for admission.

Even if your child is not planning on college at this time, preparing for it at a possible later date will keep the door open for college in the future. Trade schools and other educational avenues will look highly upon a sold transcript that includes courses typically required for college admission.

Look at local college admissions requirements and build, with your student, a list of courses they need to attend a few colleges in the area or their desired college (if they know they are college bound).

As a general reference, typical college admissions core subject requirements look something  like this:

English: 4 years 

Foreign Language: 3 years 

Math: 3-4 years 

Science: 2-3 years including lab science 

Social Studies and History: 2-3 years 

Art: 1 year

Remember these do not include electives and other courses recommended for the intended college major.

Set up a schedule of all the courses your student needs to take.

Developing a schedule with your student to fulfill the college requirements will give you both an overview of how the high school years need to be planned out and how to graduate homeschool high school early.

You will need to make a calendar outline of what each year and semester will look like. After you fill in the calendar, establish how you can fit in the extra classes in less time. This may mean summer courses, or it may mean doubling up on courses and homeschooling on a Saturday. 

Note: Graduating a whole year early may require your discussions to happen as early as the beginning of freshman year (or when your high school homeschool is being planned out).

Homeschooling allows you the flexibility to adjust, but your student will begin to see that this will not be an easy journey. It will either motivate or discourage. You will get a good feel of where your student is and if they want to proceed or not. Let it be their decision, so that they develop a sense of ownership and accountability to make it happen. 

High school students in science class

Now that your plan is set in place to help your student graduate high school early, you can determine “how” to get the ball rolling.

There are various avenues for your child to take to graduate high school early. One route to take is to graduate high school early using online courses. You will find that by using online courses, graduating early from high school isn’t as challenging as it may seem. 

Your homeschooling family can easily find a vast selection of online courses taught by top-notch Christian professionals — at amazing prices — in Luma Learn. The online courses provided by Luma Learn can supplement your private, public, or homeschool curriculum. As an educator, you can even create a full curriculum using the Luma Learn marketplace. 

When you look at your curriculum plan to set your student on the path of graduating high school early, you can choose which courses to provide to fulfill those requirements. Luma Learn’s online marketplace offers courses to meet their homeschool math requirement or to get your student started early on a language. Your child can even enroll in a fun technology course to round out his education for the year. 

Shopping for online courses in Luma Learn is as easy as a point and click.

Know that as long as you are within your state’s guidelines for homeschooling, graduating early is perfectly fine. Some states require students to be at least 16 years of age before they can leave school, so keep that mind. 

Try to keep your plan a simple and well organized. There is comfort in knowing the next steps along the way.

Where you able to graduate a child early from homeschool with online courses? Please feel free to share your experiences or ask any questions in the comment section. We are glad to help!

How to Graduate High School Early with Online Courses

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