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Ballet Talk for Dancers
meilingsmama

Fork in the road

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slhogan

My son was in a similar situation. He did afternoon/evening training through 8th grade. Then, for 9th grade, he was invited to come to the daytime program 2x a week. Fortunately, he already was attending a "university model" type private school where he attended all his class on Mondays and Wednesdays and then had independent work to complete the other days of the week.

That was actually a pretty hectic year for him. It was a lot easier in 10th grade when he made the switch to all daytime training and simply did online school (and easier even still when he transferred to a ballet boarding school his senior year that had offered academics). 

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Salmonpoint

Rc5678,  our family has used Stanford Online High School as both part time supplement to other schooling, and full time.  It is outstanding and very rigorous.  For a certain type of student it will work beautifully.  My nondd who attended full time met several ballet students through her classes.  She is at university now and was extremely well prepared.  The teachers are amazing but because it is live online at set times, it is not as flexible as other asynchronous programs.  If you have specific questions feel free to PM me.

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rc5678

Salmonpoint, thank you for the info! I believe we are leaning away from online schooling for the 2018-19 year (at least full-time), but in the future if I have questions I would love to have you as a resource. Thanks!

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Little Pointe Bird

I'm glad I ran across this thread. We've been talking about the prospect of alternatives to bricks and mortar school for a while but have not yet made the jump.  She's ready to enter high school and I"m thinking now would be a good time because the proposed fall dance schedule promises to be a tough one. But MD doesn't seem to offer any of the hybrid learning centers. Nor does it offer the free online charter school option. There's a paid version, that I'm looking into. But MD just seems to be behind in alternatives.

 I'm going to look into what others at our studio, who are home schooled,are doing for high schoolers but I work full time - I just don't know if I'm equipped to also serve as a supplemental teacher beyond what I do now to help keep her work on track. She's a diligent student so, an online environment may work for her. I'm not worried about the socialization. But really would like to find a reputable program that offers what it claims.

I've looked at some of the online schools and the reviews are so wildly opposite it's hard to say why anyone had a very bad or very good experience. And some of the good experiences feel fake.  So I came to this forum because I thought - if anyone already has some insight it's Ballet parents!

Does anyone have any experience with Keystone? I believe a non DD of a friend went there and recently graduated. They seemed to like it. But it would be good to hear from any dance students who may have tried it. I know The Rock School uses them, as well. So, at the very least they seem to be endorsing it as a program.  

The info offered so far does help provide other options, but right now this feels like a mountain. It's hard enough keeping up with choices for dance and we knew this day would come eventually...still I'm feeling overwhelmed.

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ballet1310
13 hours ago, Little Pointe Bird said:

She's a diligent student so, an online environment may work for her.

Hi Little Pointe Bird - my dd is a good student also and I made the mistake at the beginning of saying to myself exactly what you quoted here ...  The problem becomes a time management one... putting all the responsibility into a 15/16 year olds hands to get the work done, and it IS  a lot of work - we also needed a tutor for Math and at some points for chemistry.     The best advice I got from a mom of a professional dancer was to keep my dd in regular school for as long as "possible", which we did until she was a sophomore.  I understand "possible" is different for everyone but if your dd is at a home studio and just has a hard dance schedule, I would keep her in a brick and mortar school for as long as you can.  Just my thoughts and experience so far.

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Little Pointe Bird

ballet1310, thank you for that. I appreciate that insight. Ironically, sophomore year was when I had originally planned to try alternative school options because of dance. But considering moving earlier is more because of safety concerns.  One of the most recent school shootings was 2 counties away and I'm feeling less confident about safety in schools these days, so it's moving my plans up.

With that said, I don't relish this search or having to do this. I believe in the public school system and am a product of it. But since I was open to doing it for the 2019-20 school year no sense in me having cold feet now. If I can find the right fit for her - and maybe it's a hybrid of some sort - then we'll move forward. I have some parents at our studio who have always home schooled and another whose child had to do online for medical reasons.  I'm hoping to gather as much data as I can from them plus my other research to see if it's best.  

She and I just had a talk about what alternative school would mean and I mentioned that we would have a schedule because I don't expect her to be able to go from all the structure of public school to on her own. I plan to be very active if we do this, I just know I can't serve as a teacher of any sort re: homeschooling.  My heart is quite heavy having to do this a year early. I wanted her to experience high school like everyone else, but...my gut is saying now is the time.

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ballet1310

Yes, I understand many people choose other schooling for many reasons.  You hve to do what’s right for your child. There is a lot of advice on these boards about online schooling so you won’t feel so alone!

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dancemom02

Little Pointe Bird, to fit in all of her classes, my DD does a combination of public brick and mortar and online courses through various providers.  Some of her online classes are free through our state board approved online providers and some are through private providers. 

She has taken two classes through Keystone.  The benefit of Keystone is that everything is self-paced, so it is easy to work around students' schedules.   But with that flexibility, comes absolutely NO support.  The "teacher" (and I use that term VERY loosely) for one of her courses responded to emails and questions, but that was the extent of his support.  The teacher for her other class never responded to my DD's emails, including when she had questions about the material and needed a response before she could continue an assignment.  There were several times when I had to contact the department head and Keystone administration because DD had a question on the material or requirements that her "teacher" didn't/wouldn't answer.  Comments on work were automatic and ungrammatical.  Apparently she created responses that she could just click a button and they would autofill.  Because this second class was an English class with a lot of writing, this was an issue.  So while Keystone provided the materials, I critiqued essays and papers so my daughter could actually learn how to improve her writing.  The system also occasionally marks correct answers as being incorrect and because it was difficult to get responses/support from Keystone, there were times we just let it go because it wasn't going to affect DD's grade.  But it irked me to no end.  You are essentially paying for the curriculum/materials and a grade report from an accredited school.  

The Keystone curriculum is adequate - mostly not great, mostly not terrible - and there was no shortage of work to be completed for the classes.  My daughter found these classes - particularly the English class - took much more time than some of her brick and mortar AP classes.  Keystone is more affordable than many of the online providers, and I think you get what you pay for.  I will say that DD's writing improved a lot through the year, but mostly because she had to do so very much of it and she had help outside of Keystone.

So that is our experience with Keystone.  Good luck with your decision making.  

  

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Little Pointe Bird

Mods, sorry if my question has hijacked this thread. I have DM'ed some folks so as not to take over totally.

Thank you dancemom02 for that insight. Some of your insight aligns with some of the reviews I've seen.  I'm up for a hybrid structure, but my state is lax in the long distance learning. I keep getting conflicting information on it. And the courses available weren't even updated for the 17-18 year so I'm wondering if they even still offer it. *sigh* 

If anyone has experience with International Connections Academy, please do share via DM if you'd like.  It's the only online school that my state recognizes. So I'm curious. However, Dancemom02's comment about you get what you pay for is also aligned with some of the the reviews. So I'm not against considering a more expensive option if it would get me the support I need.

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dancemaven

If you want to discuss individual homeschool programs, it would be best to continue that discussion on one of the existing homeschool program threads.  ( Those can be found via the ‘Search’ function).   That way the information will be more readily available when others go looking, as this topic comes up regularly. :wink:

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Little Pointe Bird

Thanks dancemaven.  I'll do just that. Thanks everyone who has given me a little background.

 

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Leigh28

I have been a homeschooler for 10 years, it just worked better for us as a family.  We began homeschooling before dance was in the picture, but when the daytime Conservetory became an option, it was an easy decision for us. 

A few thoughts about homeschooling vs online.  I have seen kids thrive and fail in both settings and in my opinion, it's for the same reason that many do not succeed in traditional school...lack of parent support.  Obviously, homeschooling & online school requires more parent support than traditional.  I've seen many parents enroll their kids in online school and wrongly assume they will succeed with little to zero parent support. MOST do not. Only the most diligent, motivated, organized, self starters do and even then, it takes SOME parent help.  Many of these kids are spending 6-8 hours per day at the computer doing schoolwork.  In our state, the online schools are very test score driven, so most of their day is spent doing mindless test prepping.  



As for homeschooling, there are a great many options, so much so that it can be overwhelming. I am more than happy to assist anyone that is interested. I know many curricula options and have used quite a few as well.  Of course, homeschooling will also take parent involvement, but believe it or not, at this point I actually give LESS of my time than the parents of kids in online.  Over time, my kids have learned how to LEARN organically in many cases and use textbooks for only a few things.  We usually get started around 8am and finish up by noon and that's times 4 kids!  Of course, they are LEARNING all day every day.  

Once mine reach high school level, I enroll them in a couple of 1 day/week in person enrichment classes.  Last year my girls took Am. Sign Lang, Composition & European History.  They went in the morning and I picked them up in time for class.  Next year my 16 year old will begin dual enrollment at a local college.  She will take 2 classes and they will be in the morning.  Incidentally, 1 semester of college coursework is the equivalent to 1 YEAR credit of high school. Thus, she will earn a college credit for Eng 101 and a 1 year high school credit for Advanced Composition for the SAME course.   Same thing for World History.  Then in the spring, she'll take math and science, again, earning herself college and high school credits.  The really cool thing for her is that she'll earn a full years worth of core high school work (Eng, Math, Science, History) by only taking 2 classes at a time. She will continue her Am. Sign Lang class for a Foreign Lang credit.  

Again, please feel free to message me if you have any questions. 

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Elf Font

If one of the goals with homeschooling is to preserve the option of college (down the road), one suggestion I have would be to see what are the requirements of homeschooled applicants from your child's top picks for college. They may vary - some may be more flexible about "a la carte" type courses and not necessarily require that all courses come from accredited schools. Many people find that a hybrid works for them, and as long as you keep accurate records documenting what courses your child took, any official grades/evaluations received, your own "transcript" may be sufficient for transferring back into a bricks-and-mortar high school or for the purpose of a college application. 

We used many different sources depending on the interest of the child. For example, for math, I can highly recommend the Art of Problem Solving (AOPS) for students who are very interested or inclined toward the study of math. I believe that AOPS is also well-regarded by highly selective colleges, and that students who complete the courses have a thorough understanding of the topics. 

Another option to consider would be free online courseware at the colleges, such as MIT OpenCourseWare or Open Yale Courses. This would require more self-discipline, and most likely would work primarily for students in the later years of high school. 

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Jennsnoopy

We are doing connections academy here. We are starting this year due to my DD anxiety and that she is advanced in areas. We have some friends who have done connections for many years and say its great if your kid is a self starter and organized. 

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Little Pointe Bird

Thanks everyone for the additional insight. I've tried to take dancemaven's advice and seek out info on the homeschool threads.  I'll also DM anyone with questions but appreciate all that have added their experience. 

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