If you earn a diploma when you’re younger than 18, you gain freedom from the law that compels you to go to high school, you also get out from under the laws that restrict your hours when you work and require you to have a work permit, and you gain independent access to community colleges. (You gain these advantages when you turn 18 just because of your age.)
You can earn a diploma by submitting a portfolio. I’m using the word “portfolio” here to refer to the collection of things you submit, not necessarily to refer to documents enclosed in a fancy leather binding.
Here are two basic combinations of things that can make up your portfolio. Each of the items is explained further on.