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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Home Schooling at residency ballet program


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After hosting over 30 students for both the various summer intensives and the year round ballet program at our Maine boarding school, I have stumbled onto an option for serious ballet students who want to attend the ballet program and yet continue as a home school student. I received such a request and now have my first home schooled student staying in our home and attending the morning and day classes across the street as well as the after school pre=professional Vaganova classes. My host daughter stays in communication with her mother as her facilitator by web cam and she continues all of her studies while the other students go to academic classes at the prep school. She is welcomed and included in ALL the ballet classes and rehearsals and performances. Her parents pay for the ballet tuition to the dance program, and room and board to me. I have room for one or two more home schoolers. It is working out so well I am going to encourage other dance students to consider this option at all residence programs out there. I'm sure through the ballet programs other ballet host homes can be recommended!

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kikiswede, I moved this topic here because it was on the Pro Shop forum. While it is about Residency programs, it's not about a specific program, so could not put it in that forum. Kind of a dilemma as to where it goes!

 

Anyway, glad to hear that the home schooled student is doing well with the program. :)

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Thank you. I guess I didn't step out of that forum. You are right, it's not about the residency program specifically...but about HOW to attend the ballet classes within a year round residency program as a home schooler. The ballet program (Bossov) here has grown alot and so has the dancer enrollment. Both of my daughters have benefitted from our moving here from New Mexico to attend. Because that is an impossibility for many families I began hosting as an alternative to the dorm choice. Ballet families have to stick together to help as many student dancers as we can!

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Because the mother is still in charge of the homeschooling, I'd say this is a great set up. Never say never but I would never homeschool someone else's child. I also think it would be a bad situation if a parent took a hands off approach to the education. Then you'd end up have a teen just hanging around the house during the day. It would work for me either as the host or the homeschool parent. They sound like a very serious homeschool family. You have the ideal situation with this homeschooler.

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You are absolutely right on both counts! With today's web cams Home Schooling by the moms in these programs can ensure that their dance students are progressing in academics under their own parental guidance, and yet take advantage of year round pre-professional ballet training away from home while staying with a host family. I would not venture into the home schooling piece...and don't have to. My dancer/student is very focused in both her studies and ballet.

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  • 1 month later...

kikiswede, thank you so much for posting this! It is encouraging to me to hear that this is working. It is an idea we had thought about during a brainstorming session recently but I wondered if it had ever been done and if it would be possible. Then I saw your post! In our case, we considered sending DD back to her old school in another state while continuing to homeschool her long distance. However, for certain reasons, we had to rule out that option...at least for now.

 

Would you be able to share a little more about how this is working out practically speaking? (If not, that's OK too.) For example, do they meet on web cam at a certain time each day? Does the mom have her own copy of the textbooks? Is the student sending certain work to mom for correction? I am just wondering how possible this might be for us and am trying to grasp just how it would work.

 

Again, thanks for posting this idea. It showed me that maybe it is not as crazy as I thought! At least I know it is being done.

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I can give you some of the details here of her schedule...but maybe it is also going to be a little different from one program to another program. You can check into the Sonlight program for instance about their mediums for study.

 

Our student attends morning ballet classes at the prep school across the road. She then comes home and checks in online with her mom about the assignments for the day. She does her work and attaches written work to her mom via email. She takes her tests, reads her books, does her math and other subjects, and everything is either sent via the web or completed in an online format. With the webcam, the mom and student also conference everyday. Our student is "in school" online or doing assignments when the other dancers in the house are attending classes at the prep school. After school, the home schooler attends her daily Vaganova classes and rehearsals. She is included in everything the other dancers do. The difference is that she follows the home school curriculum, eats when she is hungry as she has no prep school schedule interfering with that, ( the dorm students have dinner offerd from 5-6:30 pm, and dancers either don't like to eat before class, or if their ballet ends at or after 6pm it's a rush to eat a hot meal because microwaves are not allowed in the dorms...) so there are additional and not so obvious advantages about being a homeschooled dancer or a "day school dance student like my two DDs were. I do recommend the Bossov Ballet program as one that is technically excellent and flexible working with all families so their daughters and sons can avail themselves of excellent pre-professional ballet training.

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KAJ, Are you currently homeschooling? If so and it's going well with you dk then it could work well. My kiddos haven't been good about getting their work done without me standing over them. So this would not work for my family. You need to consider how you would hold you dk responsible for getting the work done. What consequences would you put in place? Would you implement those consequences or would the host parent be expected to do this? Simply having the consequence of "do it or you come home" probably won't work if you are committed to you DK's ballet training. It was impossible for me to take away ballet because of slacking academics. This would also take different consideration if the DK were 14 versus 16. I believe at 16 a homeschooler's education has to be their own. Because education is not compulsory at that point the kiddos need to be learning for their own benefit. I've found Maine to be very homeschool friendly. However, I don't know how well other states would take to the virtual parenting homeschooling under age 16.

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We are "homeschooling" while dd is in residency in another country. It's not easy but it can be done. She is 16 and is committed to both her ballet and her academics. Her classmates truly don't understand why she studies so much but she is realistic enough to know that you can't dance forever and she wants a plan for after dance and for her, that will mean higher education. She is also taking the high school program of her ballet school but because it's in a different country with a different educational system, she still needs her American high school courses. She isn't doing the classic homeschool where I am the teacher, facilitator. She is taking online courses from online high schools. She will have 4 transcripts, one from BYU, one from her freshman year in our local public high school, one from her ballet school and one from Keystone. She will have 2 diplomas: one from her ballet school and one from Keystone.

 

Last year, I left everything up to her other than a broad schedule of you need to have "x" done by this date. It didn't go well. She spent the summer catching up. Her grades were still very good but she did get behind. This year at her request, I make the schedule and assign homework. I leave Fri., Sat. and Sun. nights free. If her work isn't done, then she must study on her free nights. I also have to assign work for one of those nights if there is a long Sat rehearsal. So far, it's working better than last year and her grades are very good. It does require a good deal of clear communication to be able to make adjustments for rehearsals, performances, illness, etc. I do not check her assignments or read her papers; I wouldn't do that if she were back in our local high school either. Once she starts performing with the company, it will be harder. That starts to happen for her next year so she is really working to get a lot done this year so she can take a lighter load next year. As I said, this is not easy but it helps to have great communication and organizational skills and a highly motivated student (both academics and ballet).

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Thank you very much kikiswede, vicarious, and swanchat for your responses and for helping me think through whether this might be a viable option for us.

 

Yes, we are currently homeschooling...have been for some years now. It is generally going well, although this year in one subject, dd needs some additional tutoring from my dh and I am not sure how that would play out long distance. She is generally a good independent worker and desires to do well academically. Pretty motivated. This year has been harder b/c of certain life changing issues and new challenges unrelated to school.

 

Taking all these repsonses together, does this mean that Maine is friendly toward "virtual parenting homeschooling?" When we considered sending dd back to her old school in another state, (not Maine) I did call Home School Legal Defense to ask about whether this was possible. Technically it was. However, the host parent would need to file the paperwork (not a tremendous amount) even if the actual parent was the one doing the homeschooling long distance. There were other consideration though for us so we had to rule it out. In looking at Maine laws from the HSLDA webiste, it wasn't really clear to me how this works there. However, it seems that in the case of your boarder, kikiswede, this must be fine from a legal perspective.

 

I am not all that computer savvy so I am not sure how I would do divising an "online format" for her to complete. Attachments, yes. Online format that I design, probably not. I have given tests, etc. to her in the traditional paper format.

 

I have thought about Keystone as an option in the future and maybe I need to investigate that more. Swanchat, has this worked out OK in terms of computer glitches, etc?

 

Thank you again. Any other thoughts are welcome. We are in somewhat of an indescribable situation, one that is requiring us to think really, really far outside the box. We keep coming up empty. But we have to keep thinking about a solution and just trusting that eventually there will be one out there.

 

Thanks again...I appreciate you responses and the help of this board.

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Many of the "homeschool" curricula out there can be purchased in an online format. With those, and Skype or a similar service, you can ensure that the student is doing the work on the computer and that you are available as a teaching resource even if you're not particularly computer savvy. The advantages to using one of the prepurchased curricula is that they meet most educational program requirements in most states and raise fewer questions than creating your own program sometimes does. There is always the option of hiring an older student in the program your dancer attends, or a college student in the area where your child will be schooling, to tutor in subjects that may prove more challenging. I know my DD, at her residency-type program, has tutored high schoolers in French, English and (laughably!) geometry for a very minimal fee.

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KAJ,

 

Keystone is new in our plan this year. We are doing it so she can have the American diploma. They have also started a college guidance program and so far, I am very impressed with the counselor. I think this may be the biggest benefit in the end. DD has experienced some computer glitches but they have worked with dd to install a fix for her MAC, even across the pond! She said it was really weird watching her computer respond to remote commands!

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  • 1 year later...

Does anyone know if there are any preprofessional ballet schools in Canada that allow students to homeschool instead of attending their designated high school?

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Pre-professional schools with academic programs seem to be an exception and not the rule. There are so many pre-professional schools out there that count on families living in their city/community and the students attend their school of choice: public,private,or home school.

 

I would recommend finding out more about the pre-professional training, and whether or not the ballet school accomodates local students as well as resident students, (if at all.) Then ask for locally recommended host families. If there are summer intensives offered, there should be host families. (I began as a host family for ballet dancers in New Mexico for a summer intensive program before moving to Maine and hosting year round.)

 

If there is no response, go to your church/temple, or social organization and inquire about member families who would consider hosting. There are a couple of local dance families who have strong ties with their church and utilize this option.

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