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I have an idea about Education

There are 8 kids in our family. 4 are in high school. One of my nephews is not challenged and doesnt push himself. He tells me that he wants to be a lawyer.

An idea popped into my head. What if he took his GED and started his basic college education now? He is 14. By the time he should graduate high school, he could have a Bachelors degree or be close to it. He is a really smart kid. I fear that he will slip through the cracks and I want to find a solution before he does. My sister is against the idea. She says she wants him to be a kid. While I agree with her, I believe that if he took online classes, he could still be a kid.

If the public school system is failing our kids, we should have the freedom to educate our kids in a way that works individually. If a child can pass the GED and start college early, it can give them a head start.

Does anybody know if this is even possible? Any educators on the DP want to chime in please? :)

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The MOST Important Lesson:

Someone here posted a John Gatto link and after watching some of his vids I realized, this is one of those rare people who understands what a successful human looks like.

I think the most important characteristic this kid can develop is INDEPENDENCE, and whether he's a lawyer or a street sweeper shouldn't be the issue. It's his life.

Kids are ready sooner than society allows them to venture out. In fact, society keeps them sheltered so long, that many people lose their WILD INSTINCTS. They become docile, domesticated, Yes-Men. It's unnatural and debilitating.

So I would pay LESS attention to his formal schooling, and more attention to things like:

Can he get a job wherever he wants?
(who cares if he's 14 - get an under-the-table job; or just be an apprentice)
Can he thrive on his own? Or does he rely on a 'crowd'?
Does he think about and present his own ideas? Or does he seek the approval of his ideas from his peers or his parents before he jumps in?
Does he do any solo sports / activities ?

I think you're focused on the wrong issue.

Schooling & Jobs don't bring happiness -> the ability to get what you want when you want it brings happiness, and that comes from a FIRM FOUNDATION - a Heaping Dose - of INDEPENDENCE.

As a comparison, 16 yr old girls circumnavigate the globe, alone, in a boat. Could he?

John Gatto

Real good link. I'll link it here, since our fellow Friend IN Liberty bear linked it to me.


WARNING: The listener has to focus their attention on the information, this information is not going to transfer to you subliminally, so you have to turn your mind on when listening.

Here is a good book on the subject:


The Disadvantages of being Educated by Albert J Nock

That is an important book to read for anyone ever questioning Institutionalized Monopoly (including "eduction" monopoly).


Do Not Go to Law School — Here’s Why

Cyril's picture

LOL ! Now, THAT TELLS something !

"Tucker Max gives six reasons [...] I’ll add a seventh: if you want to study constitutional law in law school, you would be happier studying economics under Paul Krugman."

LOL ! Now, THAT TELLS something !

Or, if that doesn't... I have no idea what does.


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

He's 14. 14 year olds do not

He's 14. 14 year olds do not have a good idea of what kind of work they want to do. There's some lawyer he looks up to, and that's it.

Cyril's picture

There's some lawyer he looks up to, and that's it.

"There's some lawyer he looks up to, and that's it."

Well, these days some (most?) kids that age don't even have that...

I guess the OP could be less lucky. ;)

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Cyril's picture


Dear OP,


Funny you bring this up. A few weeks ago, dear wife and I discussed / debated about all the things wrong in that nonsense that "college" education has become nowadays - and not just in the U.S., if that's any bitter consolation...

Indeed, everywhere, we have gone LIGHT YEARS AWAY from what "Universities" used to be about ... centuries ago.

Anyway, without restating the obvious we all know about public education systems that pursue the planners' specific agenda to brainwash always more young people and more broadly TO JUSTIFY THE EXISTENCE OF THE BIG STATE ... we ended up... dreaming...

We ended up dreaming of a society so free and prosperous that 90% of the higher education could be provided by the free markets of the brains OF PROFESSIONAL PEERS.

Seriously. PEER engineer. PEER architect. PEER nurses. PEER accountants. PEER mechanic. PEER baker. PEER farmer. PEER you name it. In your community. Or city. Or county.

If ONLY WE WERE ALLOWED to keep all the wealth we create for ourselves and our families ... couldn't we EASILY AND GLADLY train the youths? For free or small or big fees ... depending where we live in, and what are our YEARS of experience AND REPUTATIONS?

Why do we even NEED the state for ANY higher education which isn't about very few domains where academia is indeed, soon or late, desirable ... I am thinking about brain surgery, or nuclear physics. THAT, okay. Professors and amphitheaters likely needed.

Also, this is the age of FEASIBLE WIDELY AVAILABLE INFORMATION, isn't it?


Think about it. List of the professions in use on the (captive, less and less free) markets ... our bet is you WON'T find more than 1 or 2% of the total volume of professional curriculums ACTUALLY needing A VERY FORMAL education (comparing what's taught in college today w/ what happens in businesses) - and that will probably be several years, the last couple ones, AFTER today's high school level-equivalent anyway...

Hence, back to your post and relevant I hope:

I think it is a good idea you have - especially if you can help it out with a recognized professional peer to tutor / mentor your kid as a preparation or during the cursus.


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Funny this subject came up

My daughter is nine years old and is very interested in business. She is in a public school which is pretty good but I have been looking to challenge her more. I set out last night to search for good middle schools and high schools that would give her an education in business. All I could find was overpriced liberal type schools. She reads economic books like how an economy grows why it crashes, whatever happened to Penny Candy, and other such books. Does anybody have any ideas of where to send a kid with a keen business mind. Or I do I keep teaching her about business the way I have been doing it for over 30 years.

I'd suggest that traditional

I'd suggest that traditional education is no good. It has frustrated me, as a user and an observer. Individuals must do what they believe to be right. Diversity in education is what is needed. Don't believe another's dogma, just do what you think is right while you encourage others to do the same. The establishment form of education has been a form of indoctrination, I'm suggesting that you reject it. Your ideas are almost certainly better--you don't need someone else telling you what to do!

I understand how you feel, but "head start" to where?

This is just my opinion, but speaking as a parent, someone with an education degree (trad'l ed), and also having a particular interest in child development as per the philosophy of Waldorf ed... I agree with your sister. It's not all about intellectual development. Physical development (relating to the will), emotional & social development, and intellectual development are interrelated.

Transferring from a private elementary school, my children were also unchallenged by public school. They responded differently. One diligently did assignments (if often with the least effort to get credit so as to maximize time outside of school for other things). He couldn't wait to get out and doubled up courses, graduating a year early. He took a year to pursue an interest before starting college, i.e., with his age peers. While it's more common now, at the time he was told by some colleges that taking a year off could, or would, hurt his chance of admission; he followed his heart and did it anyway - with no regret.

The other hated school and wanted to drop out, longing for when he'd be 16 and could so. But he had an epiphany: he refused to play the game but nonetheless decided to get out of school all that he could. One of his interests also happened to be law, so he joined the Mock Trial club. The county's schools were given cases and had to argue on one side or the other in court in front of actual judges. Just as he'd read Roberts Rules of Order (and other things) related to his participation in Model U.N., he was always thumbing through Black's Law Dictionary for Mock Trial. (I happened to recently write a post on the experience. http://www.dailypaul.com/275244/nytimes-gym-class-isn-t-just... )

While it's hard to make a recommendation without knowing the individual involved, in general, I'd say it's important to remain with age peers; and that one should work towards being a well-rounded student/individual, while using resources available in school, after school, or outside of school to pursuit some special interest. P.S. Maybe your nephew would remain focused on law. Maybe four more years of academic subjects, electives, and extracurricular activities will turn up new interests. My son who once aspired to be a lawyer discovered a particular aptitude and interest in only his last two years of high school, related to science, a field in which he's now employed.

Well, I wish your nephew the best!

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Maybe I am being overprotective..

My goal is to help him to the best of my abilities. When he said that he was interested in law, I understood that a law degree takes a lot of time to attain. If he would be inspired to push himself in a scenario where he could start college early, its a win/win.

What I fear is the state getting a hold of him. He is truant and not taking his studies seriously. He isnt doing anything illegal and drugs are not an issue. Anyone that has dealt with the state knows the heavy hand that can come down.. Once they have your kid, they tend to dictate what happens next.

Thank you for your words.

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

Yeah, you're right about wanting to

find a way to keep control out of the hands of the state. (My own fear would be counseling, where to be sure DRUGS would be recommended.) If homeschooling is not an option, then there would seem to be that risk. I think it's a great idea to try to capitalize on your nephew's interest in law - either via some out-of-the-box idea that might be possible or even just as an inducement to get him back into school (at least until he's of legal age to have a say in the matter). I do remember what it was like when one of my own children was going through the same thing; it was very sad for me to see him languishing. Fortunately, he did have that change of heart, realizing that to at least some extent, his education could be on his own terms. In any event, I think your nephew is lucky he has an uncle who cares.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

He is lucky..

because he has an entire family that cares. We are all pulling for him and wanting to find a way to make this work. He is not a bad kid.. and I fear that he will succumb to popularity while he fails personally.

It is very frustrating to see a talented person squander their gift.

I truly appreciate you perspective. I read your NYT post and it is a great piece. You stand up for individualism and bucking a system that rewards cows instead of fox. Punishes the innovative and buries good ideas. Empowers the state at the price of the free.

Lets hope we can move forward on the issues that can rally both sides of the political spectrum to our cause of Liberty.

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

young people can go to college early--

what they cannot do is study what they want to study; there are always the 'required' courses--

a person should be able to study in a particular field without wasting two years getting in the 'generals'--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Dual Enrollment

Most colleges allow high school students to take courses. Many high schools allow the credit to apply within the high school and allow the students to spend their time off campus. This doesn't always work.

There is always the option of homeschooling. If the kid can really make a go of it in college courses, I don't see any reason to continue in the high school. (I'm not advocating going to college, but if the kid/his parents etc. are still committed to the system, then it should be admitted that the level of university is really equivalent to a mediocre high school, so there is no reason to wait.)

The first step would be to take the SAT or ACT. If your ninth graders can score in the top 50 percent of kids enrolled at Harvard---and they give you this kind of information when you take the SAT, then there's no (academic) reason to wait---maturity issues may be another thing. Check into "dual enrollment." With a decent SAT score, most local colleges will be more than happy to admit a high school student.

If the kid hasn't got a decent SAT score, get him a study book for the SAT, and let him catch up. (Or help him catch up---the school isn't going to do it for you.)

follow up

The point I tried to make above is that you don't have to graduate from high school or have a GED to go to college. A high SAT score is your ticket. In most (almost all) states, a student can nominally home school and dual enroll at a local university or college.

jrd3820's picture

P. Nicholson

I did almost that exact thing.

Check out CLEP and DSST tests. They are standardized tests that almost very university in the country accepts for credit. Basically there are tests for almost every college entry level class so while your son is working on his GED he can be testing out of general requirements for college. I tested out of 30 credits that way... that is 10 classes.

Also I graduate today with my masters (3 months early!!!) I have two bachelors and I all I ever had to borrow in loans was $10,000 because I used scholarships. There are so many scholarships available based on essays or merit. I will go get a list of some sites for you on those.


Im forwarding this to my sister. Thanks for the input!!!

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

jrd3820's picture

Forward these to her also


Also if you have any more specific questions about this, find me and ask me. It can be done.

I graduated high school at 17 and when people my age were graduating high school I had already finished my 1st year of college and I did it for free because of scholarships. I also graduated undergrad in 3 years because of testing out. I have tons of resources on this topic so let me know if you need anything else.

I did this, too, but I did it almost 50 years ago--

and it was highly unusual--

I liked getting my undergraduate degree at 20. :)

I could tell which professors/administrators/students were 'real' and which weren't by how they treated me--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

jrd3820's picture


I am 27 now. I graduated with my 1st bachelors at 20, then I got a 2nd one by 22. I took a bunch of time off and as of today when I go defend my thesis in an hour I will have a masters and will be graduating early from my masters program 3 months early also.

It always made me laugh watching my professors and administrators in the registrars office trying to get me to do it a different way. I was also always one of the only girls in my economics classes and they seemed surprised that one of the basics of economics (don't live in debt) was so easy for me to live by instead of just talking about in class.

Yes, I definitely could tell who was "real" and who was not by how they treated me.

Probably varies by state

When I was teaching in Iowa, you had to be 16 to take the GED. Although, I think there is a history of special cases where schools sponsor a kid to graduate early, usually an exceptionally gifted child.

"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."--Mark Twain


for the feedback.

Seems like it could be a freedom issue from my perspective. I am certainly going to look into alternatives for my daughter.

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul