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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Graceful711

How do you know if it is time to take a different path

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dancingjet

I agree. And when it works well, all the better. DD is going to take one online course this year in something her school doesn't offer, and I see it as a way for her to dip her toes into those waters. Who knows? She may find herself needing to make similar choices about college courses someday.

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Blanche

I know how exciting this all sounds at first, and sometimes it is the right place at the right time, but honestly, school was less of a concern than all of the other aspects of making the move. There are a number of threads that address those issues, some of which are mentioned in previous posts here. I will try to find the links...

We have been in a position of an offer being made at the end of an intensive with just a few weeks to decide whether older DD should leave home to train. The program did not have integrated academics, and there was no dorm for year-round students. Additionally, the financial cost for our family was just too great at that time (even though she received a partial tuition scholarship) once we factored in living, academic tuition, and travel. She knew she was too young deep down, and she turned the offer down but made clear that she was still interested in the future. I also had some "checkpoints" I felt she needed to reach in her development as an independent person before moving away. She did go the following year with the same offer but with a much greater maturity, and though she complained at first that we should have let her go earlier, now she sees waiting the year as necessary.

Younger DD (14) is now at that precipice. I know she wishes she had auditioned for the year-round program after a phenomenal time at her SI. But her older (and wiser) sister knew many talented dancers who left the program because they weren't ready in some way and feels that one more year at home is not a detriment. Older DD saw quite a few dancers struggle with being away from home while juggling a heavy physical schedule along with academics and being expected to operate as an adult in some ways without the benefit of actually being an adult--especially if they became injured or even just sick. For older DD, waiting gave her an appreciation that I don't think she might have otherwise had.

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Graceful711

Thank you so much everyone for all the advice, guidance and story sharing.   DD and I had a sit down over the weekend and discussed  what she wants short and long term, and much to my surprise, she wants to wait a year before auditioning for their year around program.  Although she is having the most amazing experience, she said she needs another year to get stronger physically and emotionally.  Very proud Mama moment!  

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Oreo

Learningdance... I tried to personal message you, but it didn't work. Can you please contact me. I had a question for you.

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CakeMom

Learningdance - your post was chalk full of great wisdom and things to really think about.  Thank you.  

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Leigh28

I would like to add, from a homeschool mom perspective, homeschooling has been the single best decision we have made for our family.  We began long before dance was a blip on the radar. My oldest was in 1st grade when we decided that the traditional school lifestyle wasn't for us.  The flexibility of homeschooling has been a huge blessing in many ways, one of which was the ability to commit more time to dance.  My 11 year old is in a pre-pro program and when she began 3 years ago, her classes began at 12:30 pm. I'm not sure we would have changed school situations at age 9, but since we were already homeschooling it was a no brainer.  

We are looking at a year round conservatory for her in a few years. She's already attended their SI twice and loved it.  If she ever participates, we will likely just relocate so that we can continue with the educational choices that we feel is best, as opposed to an online school.  Another dance student at our school is making plans to relocate for the same conservatory next year.  She too has always been homeschooled and her parents will be relocating for the same reason.  

There are so many homeschool options these days that it's truly a lot easier on both the student and the parent. There are  options where the student can enroll in a few online classes or e-learning of just the subjects they want and traditionally homeschool the others. They are also blessed with the option of learning what they WANT to learn about as opposed to what someone else is dictating to them.  As an example, my 13 year old began learning American Sign Language last year at age 12 because  she wanted to. She has also done in-depth studies of equestrian science because  she is an equestrian.  Additionally, since she is able to finish her work on HER time, she's able to spend countless hours at her barn with the horses and training, just like my dancers do.  ;)   Before she even begins high school, she will have no less than 5 high school credits under her belt which will allow her to either start college early or complete higher level learning.  

I know that most of my post has been more about homeschooling and the benefits and less about dance. I hope that you find it helpful.  I have been at this for 10 years and have 2 high schoolers this year (well, technically the 13 year old is 8th grade)  You are welcome to message me if you have questions. One thing that I DO recommend for you is to take a different perspective if you choose this route. Think about all of the things your daughter will get to enjoy and experience BECAUSE of this educational choice and not focus on what she may miss out on.  
 

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Leigh28

Adding.  I also have a 15 year old dancer which is why I was in this forum.   Only my younger daughter will be pursing an away conservatory.  I tried to edit my post for clarification, but it wouldn't allow me. ;)  

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Ecourtney

My DD(14/9th grade) is going to start online school next semester so she has more time to dance and do conditioning.  The hours at our local school do not require availability during the day as classes start fairly late but they also rehearse until 8:30 most nights.  This has meant a full day of school, maybe an hour break after school and getting home around 9 and then homework.  She has managed her time very well and has her best grades ever.  This decision was hard for her father and me as she is at a fabulous school we truly love.  It is not at all a hard decision for her though.  I have 2 older teens and while they have had a pretty positive(happy) high school experience, that's not the case for everyone and probably not for the majority of kids.  There are also a whole lot of things going on socially that are not positive and I'm relieved to think she won't be in the mix of that.  She wants to go to a conservatory type program next year so this will give us a chance to see how well she manages herself at least academically.  I'm so glad I stumbled upon this thread tonight, we just submitted her online enrollment tonight and I'm going in to talk to the head of the high school tomorrow.  It helped me frame some things in my mind.

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ballet1310

Hi Ecourtney, My DD is finishing up her senior year - she began online schooling sophomore year, there are challenges but she doesn't regret one minute - if you want/need some tips/advice please reach out !! It can be alittle overwhelming at first :) 

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learningdance

Just some thoughts. DD just started online schooling.  It's no panacea

1. The volume of work makes it impossible to "put off" assignments and complete them later. DD would be miserably and hopelessly behind if she took even one week off (and she is a good student.)

2.  Flexibility is nice but often it means 8-10 hours (or more on the weekend.)

3.  It can get lonely.

4. Her only socialization is with her pre pro dance friends, who she loves but who, like her, have "the same"different world view. 

5. I want it done as soon as possible and I don't want her doing online college. 

 

 

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ballet1310

DITTO !!!

 

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Monet

Yes to everything learningtodance said!! She is spot on!  We would not have done online school of it were not the only real option as our DD  lived away from home.  Choosing to do online simply to dance more would not have been an option for her just as online school for her brother just to practice/play more football is not an option.  I also only recommend it for extremely good students.  My daughter's program offered many honors and advance placement classes so it is possible for them to still get a rich education, but the amount of work that goes into it is immense.  I will add one nice point about the program my DD did was she could work at her own pace, meaning she worked through the summers and normal school break times and graduated early.

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ballet1310

Looking back at Ecourtneys post again, For what it’s worth, if my daughter could have stayed at a regular school, that would also have been our choice - I had gotten the advice from someone to keep her in as long as possible, which was great advice - 

 

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learningdance

I agree ballet 1310. 

The options open to us for live schooling were pretty bad. And I would have had to supplement it as well with online courses because certain things were not offered. 

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