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meilingsmama

Fork in the road

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meilingsmama

Hello,

As a little background. Our family moved to a larger city with a big company school last summer. DD attended the 2017 SI, auditioned and was accepted to the year round school. They have an evening program that has levels to support dancers through high school. They also have a day training/trainee type of program that is by invitation only and draws students nationally and internationally. DD attended the evening program this year, attended 8th grade middle school. We spent a lot of time figuring out her high school plans. She hoped to be asked to the trainee day program but that usually starts at 15+.  We figured she would have at least one more regular year in regular school and train at the ballet in the evenings. She received enthusiastic evaluations and was invited to join a new option that is sort of a bridge between the two types of programs. She would attend evening classes in the next level for next year, but was offered to take morning classes 3 days a week in addition.

This means a switch to online school. I have so much research to do. I know so little. But what I am really curious about is to hear how others have made the transition. DD wants to do it. I am a little worried about her having enough social connections. Maybe it will go well. She is a focused, hard working child so I think she could manage online school. Do many feel it makes time management better? Does it reduce stress?
 

Any advice is appreciated.

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BalletValet

There are some other options besides straight online classes to look into if it fits with the ballet schedule.  There are "part-time" schools where kids do not go a full 5 days a week, but 2-3 days a week depending on the school.  You will find they are referred to by many different names - University Model schools, hybrid schools, collaborative schools, blended model, etc...  More and more of these schools are popping up around the country.  There are also places that offer a la carte classes to homeschoolers so you can put together your own classes and schedule.  Some of the hybrid schools also offer a la carte classes.  Community colleges and other local universities are also increasingly courting dual credit high school students.  The community colleges in our area offer free dual credit classes so you can start earning college credits while in high school.  Their schedule would be like other universities - classes 2 or 3 days a week (usually Tues/Thurs or M/W/F) and you can pick your classes to fit your schedule.  They also offer some of these dual credit classes online, so that would be even more flexible.  Finally, if your kid is really disciplined, there are also programs that guide homeschooled students through earning dual credit through taking placement tests - namely CLEP testing.  All the dual credit classes may be something to consider farther down the line when your daughter is older, but at least there are options out there besides just online classes.  Hope that helps! 

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Noodles

BalletValet gave some great input on schooling options. I would add that my DD did an independent study program where she attended class 1-3 days per week for her core classes and everything else was done independently at home. After a couple of years she switched to completely online. I felt that the transition from full time teacher supervision to part time and eventually to none has worked well for her. 

I will say that onion school is hard, and the social life is tricky....but the stress relief is HUGE and my DD would not have it any other day. She is able to dance during the day and does school late afternoon to night time. It has been wonderful for her.

Also be aware that many high schools limit the number of dual enrollment classes that one can take and I believe they are limited to 11 &12 graders. At least this is the case in ,y area.

Good luck in your research. 

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Sunnygirl

I think you really need to investigate what programs are available to you. Based on where you live you may have some state run online charter schools available as well as the popular programs.  I researched all of the options we had available and found a great state run charter school that fit our needs and times.  When she went to 9th grade we really had to dig to find the program that would work with her odd schedule.  Some programs, you will find, may be too rigorous to fit her schedule. We settled on one that she can work her dance schedule around, on days where she's not as busy she banks lessons and saves them to submit on busy days.  As far as the social aspect, when she was younger we took her to some of the "outings" the school arranged and it wasn't for us.  Her friends are her dance friends. 

As far as reducing stress, it's hit and miss. I've heard nightmare stories of kids that have tried to homeschool and failed. These are my opinions. You will have to help her.  I know people say that they just let their kid do it all, but I have a problem with this.  If they can "do it all" is the program too easy?  I have seen a lot of bumps when the parents have let their kid fly solo.  Sure my daughter does some work by herself, but she needs our guidance to be successful.  Be prepared that you are the one that needs to oversee what she's doing and I think she'll do fine and will lead to less stress.  

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Noodles

I completely agree with what Sunnygirl said about needing to help your child. A student going from a teacher led learning environment to a self led learning environment is a challenge. There is a learning curve and a parent should plan to be fairly heavily involved for those first years...easing up as the child learns how to manage on their own and is consistently hitting their deadlines on their own. Mine needed more support during the middle school years and had it figured out by 9th grade. But I believe it depends on what age they start with a more self led approach, if they start in 9th grade I would not expect them to take off running, they would still need parental support and they learn a new approach to education and time management.

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Eligus

I agree with Noodles and Sunnygirl. 

My DD did a big mix of public, homeschool and online (cyber) schooling.  Each worked at a different time of her life; each method had its own problems, advantages and stressors.  What ALL of them had in common is that -- as parents -- we had to make sure DD understood that while our definition of "education" was not a rigid, "one way is the only way" view, education still ranked above ballet, and always will at all times.  Ballet was/is just something you DO.  Education is about who you are as a person and influences (IMO) your character -- something that will stay with you forever, long after dancing as what you DO must be left behind. 

We did find that because of her personality (not because of the type of schooling), our DD needed help in time management, prioritization, and goal setting throughout her years of living in our house.  She probably still needs help with that... :P.  It's just harder for me to "help" now that she's out on her own (as it should be).

From my perspective, the concern about the lack of "socialization" was a specter other people raised that never really worried me.  I do not consider my DD to be "under socialized" in any way, or at a disadvantage because of her home or cyber school experiences.  In my view, socialization is just learning how to deal with people and society... trust me when I tell you that ballet gives them PLENTY of practice of putting themselves in another's shoes, learning empathy, learning and practicing emotional intelligence, and handling themselves with grace and dignity while under pressure from bosses and peers.  Frankly, I -- myself -- learned more about "socialization" while being a ballet parent for 10 years than I had in any of my previous years, my brick and mortar high school experience included (lo, those many years ago).

So, don't let the fear about "socialization" stop you from considering the really important things:  sleep and health of your DD (I think this aspect is easily overlooked), family dynamics (ditto with this one), family expenses/budget, schedules, pressure, and educational standards. 

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threegirlpileup

Have you explored the local homeschool community?  In our area, there are a lot of in-person classes for homeschoolers—this past year my dd took English and two AP Government classes, as well as an acting class. There are also a number of organized social groups for families and teens.

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rosetwirl

Another possibility would be to consider a paradigm shift and explore what an education means for your individual child. This may be something different than what your local board of education has determined to be “necessary for all.” For my dd, dancing is very much a part of who she is as a person and is not merely something she “does,” so we decided to allow her study of dance to be a priority for awhile. This does not mean her education has been neglected. Rather, it has been personalized to fit her particular needs. The pursuit of a career in dance has a finite window of opportunity, while an education can continue for one’s entire life. Having a plan B is important, but it doesn’t have to turn a pre-pro dancer’s late teen years into a fever of non-stop study.

As far as socialization goes, there are endless possibilities for that, especially if one isn’t spending every waking hour training or studying. People managed to be socialized for hundreds upon hundreds of years before institutionalized schooling was invented. 

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Eligus

That's a better way of articulating my thoughts on "school" versus "education," Rosetwirl.  Thank you. 

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rosetwirl

You are very gracious, Eligus, and I very much enjoy your contributions. 🙂

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Noodles

Well said rosetwirl. 

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meilingsmama

Thank you all. It’s a big decision for us, though DD seems to have made up her mind. She’s a diligent student, which is good. I work from home so I am around to help as needed. I’m tending to think about an online program with guidance and planning for at least the first year. We are interested in in person classes but it may not work as she only has two consecutive weekdays free. The program has both day and evening training, so each days schedule is different. 

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Elf Font

Here is a link to a website that has a lot of information and resources about homeschooling:

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/home_sc.htm

We have used an assortment of online courses during the years my child homeschooled. 

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JKK

Moderators - I am not a parent of 13+, but an ardent fan of homeschooling 10 year old DD.  Post offered with full understanding that it may evaporate :D

Until 2nd Grade, much of our family decision making centered on ensuring our DD was enrolled in the best available public school.  Best = highest test scores, % attending 4 year universities, AP classes, etc. DH and I are products of this approach.

DD, however, took us completely by surprise as we watched her inner artist emerge.  Not being very artistically inclined ourselves, this disconnect presented quite a challenge, particularly when DD made a heartfelt and believable commitment to pursuing serious ballet training at a very young age.

As we warmed up to supporting DD’s dream, we decided to homeschool half way through 2nd grade using a state funded charter academy.  Now entering 5th/6th grade, we plan to stay on this track even if ballet is not in the mix.

We love the flexibility and control homeschooling provides.  Positive impacts include: 1)  DD is a nite owl and without homeschooling she would be chronically sleep deprived; 2) DD is “skipping” a grade which will help with ballet training but we would, for social reasons, not consider in brick and mortar school; 3) DD is in ballet related activities (including commuting) for so much of the day DH and I cherish having her home with us instead of at school, even if it means struggling with gerunds and polynomials :dry:; and 4) being DD’s teachers means DH and I are keeping our brains more in tune AND our hearts more open - we used to think homeschooling was a little weird! - to not so convential wisdom, which has been an amazing blessing.

 

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Momof3darlings

You are fine in this discussion JKK.  The 13+ and before 13 are now used loosely.  As long as a parent of one age group is not overtaking the discussion, we allow cross posting on these two forums and have for a while.  Thank you for asking.  

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