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The Teenagers Guide to Opting Out Not Dropping Out of School

The Teenagers Guide to Opting Out Not Dropping Out of School

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Published by Lisa Velmer Nielsen
This guide provides teens with information on how to take ownership of their learning and become successful and happy without going to school.
This guide provides teens with information on how to take ownership of their learning and become successful and happy without going to school.

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Published by: Lisa Velmer Nielsen on May 13, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/28/2012

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The Teenager¶s Guide to Opting Out(Not Dropping Out)of Outdated & Traditional School
Ideas for escape and freedom... A practical guide to directing your own education.
By Lisa Nielsen,The Innovative Educator  Introduction from Laurette Lynn,The Unplugged Mom Contributions from Deven Black, Amanda Enclade, Erick Brownstein, Leah Miller 
 
 
Welcome to the start of your exploration into taking control of your own learning and discovering your own path to pursuing your passions and achieving success. Whether you take the traditional route or an alternative, it is important that you are aware of options and are empowered with information to decide what is right for you! In this guide you will find the following.
IntroductionYou Live. You Learn. ± Your way?It¶s all a matter of perspectiveIt¶s no accidentYou didn¶t know you could opt outPaper trained validationLearning is life. Life is learning.Why opt out?Hope is on the horizon and it begins with a choice!Let¶s Get Started!Brief history of schoolingYou¶re in Good Company! Successful People Who Opted Out of SchoolKnow the LanguageKnow the Law in Your StateFind other who are home educating in your area and onlineWhy opt out? True stories from an adult and teen who made that choice.Convincing your parents that opting out is bestOnline education options Alternative education optionsGetting your GED Attending college without going to high schoolHow to Prepare for College AdmissionOpening educational resourcesExploring, discovering, and pursuing your passionsBuilding your personal learning networkCreating a Personal Success PlanDeveloping an Authentic ePortfolioOptions for consideration before, or by the time, you turn 18Further Reading About the Author  About the Contributors
 
Introduction
Dear Reader,You are about to experience something unlike anything you¶ve seen before. It willappear to challenge or even defy much of what you¶ve been taught to believe. Whilemuch of the world is chanting the mantra for you to finish school, (then get a job, openan IRA and retire) the following will seem to encourage you to do just the opposite! Thecollaborative writers of this guide feel that you are ready to consider that option.Moreover, we feel that the world is ready!
 You Live. You Learn. ±
Your 
way?
Upon first mention, the idea of simply opting out of school may seem extraordinarilystrange. Indeed to most people it
is
strange because the suggestion blatantlycontradicts everything we believe about how to prepare for a successful life! While theinitial concern over your fate is quite legitimate; it is important that we begin tounderstand why we experience that initial shock factor ± and ask ourselves, ³Why arewe
really 
here?´ If the answer is µto learn¶ then the next natural question should be µ
arewe accomplishing that?
¶ But let¶s take it a step further and ask ourselves, ³
Do we need to be
he
e, in sch
ool 
,
in order to learn?¶ 
´ And moreover, ³
is there a better way?´ 
For most of us the answer is yes ± there is a better way.
Your 
way! This is
F
reedom inLearning
. It¶s freedom for you to take responsibility for your own learning, experienceand life.This may seem like a radical and even bizarre idea, but as this guide will show you, it¶snot as uncommon as you may think. In fact, though our memory as Americans is oftenshort, historically, school is truly a relatively new
alternative
in learning. In fact, it wasnot the best way to learn for many of our ancestors, and it may not be the best learningopportunity for many of us.

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bratranec liked this
Blake Boles added this note
Nice work! Two resources to add this to document: College Without High School (book) and Zero Tuition College (website, http://ztcollege.com).
Lisa Velmer Nielsen added this note
@Jim B, Schools will be more exciting & relevant when students have the opportunity to develop personal success plans measured through ePortfolios. "Every child" should be able to read, write and do the math necessary for the world. This can be accomplished by preteens. After that, students can take ownership of the learning & discover and develop plans for achieving the goals they value.
Jim Butt added this note
Makes me wonder how many opt-outs are in our community and the trend. Can we offer courses or formats that would make traditional schools more exciting, challenging, relevant? As a nation, what does every child need (at a minimum, with full proficiency) and what can we do to facilitate them achieving their larger, individual potential in other ways? Is our state or our community out of step?

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