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home school time?


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Help, my 13 year old who has worked so hard for many years is finally in a great professional training program in NYC. We love the teachers and the growth in her this year is truly astounding.

Here is the dilemma, she took a High School entrance exam and scored in the top 1% in country and was awarded a significant scholarship to attend. The program this year is after school but will be more than likely switching to a day program.  Not many more weekly hours, but different time.  This would of course require her to be on lined schooled, pass up this scholarship and of course we would have to pay for the on line school as well as the ballet school tuition.

I am sure we are not the only ones that have had this situation as I know most ballerinas are also gifted academical students. 

She of course wants to do anything to stay with this program, I love it to, but giving up this opportunity is something that has me questioning it all.

I know we will more than likely pass it up, but wanted to put it out there, to see if there are other variables that we should consider or if others have done the same.

Thank you







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Are you saying her per professional ballet program is a day program?  

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Well I would definitely not turn down the high school scholarship.  Who know what could happen in a year.  The dance program may not actually change, she may love and excell at school and not want to give it up,  just so many things.  I would not pass up a program for what may or may not happen.  Also a top 1% student is something very special and cultivating her education is as important if not more than cultivating dance.  Ultimately I hope it works for her to do both.  But really this is only a decision your family can make and what would be best for your child is most important.  Good luck!!  And congratulations to your DD on the scholarship.

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Thank you so much. She is flourishing like never before in this ballet program.  I am pretty sure it is going to a day program next year. Why is the life of a ballerina in training filled with so many difficult decisions  Also, she has many challenges as a ballet dancer, many gifts but also many obstacles to overcome.

If we take the offer it might be sealing the deal that ballet won't happen for her. This year and next are the tipping points. 


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Ballet training sure is filled with so many difficult decisions and there isn't always a "right" choice, sometimes we have to just choose and pray!  It really is too bad the dance program for middle school and high school aged kids is held during school hours but clearly that is out of your control.  My daughter who was in a gifted program in elementary and middle school moved away from home at 15 for an out of state ballet program.  It killed me to let her go and give up her amazing schooling but it was her dream  and we knew she had to move to have a chance to make her dream a reality.  She had to do an online program, which was very good and did offer advance and honors classes but I know it was not the same as the private school she attended.  I questioned our decision many times over the past 3 years but in the end it was the right decision for her.  Also 13 is very young but maybe you could ask her teachers about potential and if passing up the high school program would be something they would recommend.  

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yes, I am planning on having a frank discussion. So hard...glad it worked out for your daughter. In the end, I don't want to put the light out of her eyes, which I know is there because of ballet.  These teachers she has now are amazing, not always so easy to find.  

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.

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You are so right about finding good training and you are very blessed if you have training that allows your daughter to live at home!  Again best of luck with your decision your daughter sounds extraordinary and if you have any other questions feel free to ask here or direct message me.  

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It's such an individual decision.  I would throw out there that the decision to homeschool does not have to mean the decision to shortchange academics.  I have homeschooled both my kids from before dance was even in the picture, so my perspective comes from that experience.  We are now really thankful for the flexibility that homeschooling offers us so that my dancing daughter can do as much dancing as she wants while still pursuing a varied and rigorous academic program.

As you are considering your options, I would encourage you to research homeschool resources in your area.  While I know that many dance families use online school, some of the best experiences my dd has had have been in small in-person academic classes offered locally for homeschoolers.  I'm sure in the NY area there must be a lot of resources available.

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I would like to moot an opposite view: the ballet career is so short already and school will always be there.  A top student will be able to get help as needed when the time comes. For ballet, however, the time to dance is quite short. I would suggest that she dance while she can.

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I agree the time for dance is quite short but I don't think it's quite as easy as dance while you can especially at 13.  Not that that isn't what she should do but so so much goes into making that decision as a parent.  Can you imagine letting every child pull out of traditional school just because they love dance.  Passion is one thing but I would make sure every teacher and professional that the child works with also thinks it's worth that next step.  Potential and talent should be factored in.  Putting aside an amazing academic opportunity to dance is completely understandable if the child is equally talented as a dancer.  But I do agree it is such an individual decision and what is best for one child may not be what is best for another. 

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There is no one right answer and there are many options. 

Academically, you have the excellent school with the nice scholarship. There's also the possibility of online school. You also have the possibility of the Professional Children's School if she is dancing in Manhattan. They allow for a great deal of flexibility. There are ballet students there from various well known and lesser known programs in NYC, including some who attend ballet classes during the day. They also offer financial aid in the form of grants. 

Ballet-wise, if she is already in one great pre-professional ballet program in NYC, she will likely be able to get accepted to others. There are other options if she wants to continue ballet at as high of a level as possible and attend a traditional high school. I have known students who made this choice. 

Does her ballet school have academic arrangements with other institutions in the city? If there already is a day program in place, what are those students doing for their education? 

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Hi. It’s a new ballet program so no relationships.   The professional school in city is for students that go to ballet in earlya afternoon they require you to go to the school in the am. Also they are very expensive. We aren’t one of the ballet families that seem to have unlimited resources lol.  Currently our level is after school. They are changing to say epigram next year so we are all trying to figure it out. Everyone wants to stay in program bc teachers are so good. Many do the good inline programs very expensive. I appreciate all of the responses.  I value education especially for my academically gifted child. Her heart is in ballet and it isn’t just a passion it is really who she is. With that being said she is not one of the kids that gets accepted everywhere, she has many physically disadvantages vs others, her determination drive and focus is how she got this far and she has much further to go.  I agree with one post here that said she will probably get other help academically later but this window in dance is very important right now. I will continue to hold her to a very high standard academically as i have for many years.  Thank you so much 

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Is there an option to "dual-enroll" at the high school? Our DS (13) is doing that for middle school and the high school he will attend has agreed to let him follow the same path. Basically, he does two classes online and the rest at school. For middle school, he leaves every day between 12:30 and 1:15 depending on the day. For high school, he'd be out by about noon each day. Is that something you could explore?

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