Register Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 2      1   2   Next
aking9957

Avatar / Picture

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 58
Reply with quote  #1 
Is anyone home schooling your dancer? If so what are the pros and cons? Are there any recommendations?
0
tendumom

Avatar / Picture

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,215
Reply with quote  #2 

Dd homeschooled for the second half of her pre-college education. We did not start because of dance, but it certainly did allow her to pursue dance in a way that would have been more difficult for her if she had stayed at her prior school. 

Homeschooling laws varying greatly by state. We live in a state with a tremendous amount of flexibility, so what we did may not work for others. 

We started off with an online school. There are no "free" virtual schools in our state, so I researched and looked at several different programs, narrowing down the list to those that offered the most flexibility. If we were going to do this, no point in choosing a program that was as inflexible as most schools are. There are some that require "seat time" meaning that the student has to spend so many hours logged in. I am not a fan of that as it defeats the whole work at your own pace concept. Dd thoroughly enjoyed working at her own pace. She started working similarly to what would be a block schedule some places- she might do a full weeks worth of English one day, history another, etc. She found that she preferred to get more in detail in one subject than to do a little of each every day. 

Another pro was the her education became very much tailored to her in a way that doesn't always happen in traditional schools. With the online school, they looked at her transcripts and also gave her assessments for placement purposes. She was able to move ahead in multiple subjects. We eventually left the online school to homeschool on our own. She took courses from various sources, some from online schools (such as science because they provided the lab kits), some individual curricula we bought on our own, some college classes, and some courses we created on our own. The latter were the best courses IMHO. She did a lot of dance history which included books, videos, trips to an arts library and even some communications with a dance history professor while she was researching a rarely done ballet. We did dance anatomy and kinesiology using books recommended by a PT friend with a special interest in dance PT. 

The flexibility was fabulous! It allowed our family to take vacations outside of typical school vacations. Dd often started her school year early so she would have more time during the academic year. She would do little during Nutcracker but would take advantage of winter break to get more work done. Eventually, we were basically schooling year round. In the summers, even while away at SIs, she would bring books to read for whatever we were doing for English and history. 

Cons would be group interaction for projects. When dd started, I signed her up for a local homeschool group that met once a week. This was on top of her virtual school. The group did things like a month book club, engineering challenges, etc. Eventually, it was too time consuming and we stopped after 2 years. She had plenty of social interaction in her life and didn't need the extra work as both her academics and dance became more time consuming. Same thing happened with her music lessons. Just not a priority for her over dance as she got older. We also did one science course at home with a friend that gave her the lab partner concept. 

Others may say that cons are missing on certain traditions- school dances, football games, proms, etc. Dd does not feel like she missed out on a thing. She could have gone to a homeschool prom but  did not. Might have even been able to go to one at a local school with  friend. Instead, she attended some ballet company galas (it was the dressing up part she wanted to do [smile]). She'll say she wouldn't have gone to football games anyway. LOL. She's right. She would have either had dance or would have been doing homework to make up for all the hours when she was dancing. 

Another con might be cost. Dd came from a pricey private school, so the cost was almost laughable to us in comparison (it was a huge relief actually). But if you are coming from a public school to a private online school, the costs might be a concern. Many states do have a "free" online school such as K12 or Connections Academy (free is in quotes because you pay for them with your taxes). These come with their own rules and regulations (for ex vacations, time to finish a course, some may not allow you to work ahead or stop working for a period of time.. it can really vary by state). 

As we went off the grid a bit with her education, my job was to act as not just facilitator (which was my role when she was in a virtual school- I kept on eye on where she was in her assignments, making sure she stayed on task, etc). Once we were not using an on-line school, I had to keep records. I kept a running transcript with her grades and kept course descriptions as well as reading lists for the purpose of college applications. You also need to stay alert to things like SATs, APs, and arrange them as needed. 

All in all, homeschooling was the best thing for our family. Dd had a more detailed, tailored education that was still rigorous and prepared her for entry into any college. I worked hard to keep all doors open as long as possible so that she would be able to major in anything she wanted (she still doesn't know what she really wants to major in and is the equivalent of a sophomore! LOL)

0
threegirlpileup

High Bronze Member
Registered:
Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #3 
We have homeschooled from long before my dancer started dancing, so our reasons for homeschooling really don't have to do with dance.  That being said, there is NO WAY my teen daughter could keep up her dance schedule and a full academic load at school and get enough sleep/stay sane.  She is a very engaged student, so really wants to do her work thoroughly and learn the material well.  So one thing we decided to do was to spread her academic high school work over 5 years instead of 4 to give her a little more breathing room.  She plans to pursue a BFA in dance, so it makes no sense for her to cut back on dance!  But she doesn't just want to check the boxes for her academic requirements--she wants to do them well.

The nuts and bolts depend enormously on where you live, so you should check out your particular state's requirements.

I wouldn't trade anything for the flexibility and ease that homeschooling has meant for our family.
0
dave9988

Avatar / Picture

High Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 719
Reply with quote  #4 

We do not homeschool, but have been considering it, and DD14 has numerous dancemates who do.  The other trend I see locally is high school kids taking courses at community colleges ... it's usually more flexible than the public high school schedule, and with pre-approval the local school district may count those as HS credits, meaning the kids can actually graduate from their local HS.  That's a plus for those of us living in a high performing NY district. 

Those going with a more "traditional" home schooling route are generally using online programs that result in out of state diplomas.  The George Washington (http://www.gwuohs.com) program seems popular here.

0
AtTheStudio

High Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 757
Reply with quote  #5 
A few things to consider with homeschooling (not that I homeschool but things I am aware of):

1) Check your state's high school athletics and activities association. I know of girl who was homeschooled but wanted to play high school softball. Kansas's rules allowed her to play with the high school she would have attended. It was a small high school and really benefited from having her on the team. This might not work as well at larger schools where there is more competition but it's possible. I suspect students who wanted to play football, be in the marching band, choir or orchestra or participate in school plays might be afforded the same opportunities. This would enable them to have some of those experiences while benefitting from homeschool as well.

2) In Kansas, a senate bill was passed several years ago which pays for high school students to enroll in specific Career and Technical Education based courses at the local community for free. There are more than 1500 such sections (some classes have multiple sessions) and over 600 sessions of those are online. So there are lots of ways to make education available.
0
heidi459

Avatar / Picture

Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 6,058
Reply with quote  #6 

My dd (17) is on her 3rd yr of online... University of Nebraska High School.  Best thing we ever did.  Initially made the switch because her schedule was a killer & we knew that if she kept it up both school & dance were going to suffer.  But as it turned out, the decision to do so ultimately allowed her to take advantage of different training opportunities... most recently an amazing day time pre-pro program. This new studio has 2 groups... the daytime one made up of home schoolers & an after school slot for those who go to regular school.  The difference in those two groups?  It's like night & day.  I truly do believe that she could not have reached her true potential in dance without switching to online.  

Pros... flexibility.  Every pro I can think of basically boils down to flexibility. 

Cons.... maybe the cost.  But my dd did a year of private school before going to online so switching actually saved us a boatload of money.  Other than that I really don't see any cons for her/us.  Doesn't mean that there wouldn't be cons for others though.  Homeschooling requires that a student is self-disciplined, organized, independent, & in possession of great time management skills.  For some that could be a con.  For us it's had it's ups & downs but I think that all that dd has learned through the process actually made even the occasional struggle w/it a pro.  Home schooling also takes a dancer out of the high school social scene.  For some that is a definite con... & understandably so.  But for my dd it wasn't even a blip on the radar as she wasn't interested in the typical teen social scene.  I'm sure there are others.  Just ask anyone who is against homeschooling & they're sure to give you a laundry list of why it's a bad idea.  But generally I find that the negativity stems from a true lack of understanding.  Be careful who you listen to.              

0
joriebelle

Avatar / Picture

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,388
Reply with quote  #7 
I've homeschooled all 5 of my kids from the very beginning.  It wasn't done because of dance, but there's no way that DD13 would be able to train the way she does if she wasn't homeschooled.  The biggest pro as everyone else has mentioned is the flexibility.  The biggest con is that my DD is a perfectionist.  You might think that's a good thing and in some ways it is.  But she writes SLOW.  Her writing is so nice and neat but it takes her forever.  So the biggest con for us is that she is not getting her stuff done quickly enough.  Some of her friends at the studio, the older girls, go to the studio early in the morning and do their work there.  We tried that and it didn't work so she is at home until she gets her work done for the day.  Sometimes it's by 11, sometimes by 1.  If it's not done by 2 she doesn't go that day and does school the rest of the day.  That hasn't happened often.  Sometimes she'll do school on Sunday so that Monday she can go in early in the morning.  I don't use an online program; for each of my kids I've determined their strengths and weaknesses and found curriculum that's suited to each of them.  We basically have different curriculum for every subject and sometimes it's a different curriculum depending on the grade.
0
aking9957

Avatar / Picture

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 58
Reply with quote  #8 
heidi459 - this is exactly why I put the questions on this site. I want to hear both sides of home schooling and make our own decision from there.

Currently she is a freshman in the local High School but from what we have been noticing from middle school is; her grades went up tremendously. When we started looking deeper into it and watching more carefully we have noticed she is doing all the work on her own. When we questioned her she said that some of the other kids in her classes always need the teachers help so by time class ends she has no time to ask questions. 

This is why we are looking into home school. Part of us think that she needs the structure of school or the urgency to finish assignments on time before class and facing the teachers. The other part is saying screw it she is teaching her self anyway and getting straight A's.

So I really want to hear both sides of the argument for and against home schooling. 
0
tendumom

Avatar / Picture

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,215
Reply with quote  #9 
You can create structure if she needs it. As dd moved from traditional to online school, having the entire year's worth of work available to her was a bit too much freedom at first for a 12 year old! I broke it down and helped her develop goals as to where she would want to be in her schoolwork by a certain point in time, whether that was a week or a month or a few months. She did have teachers available to speak to by phone or email or skype, etc, but didn't need them often. I did meetings with another dance mom who spoke dd's foreign language fluently (native speaker) so dd could keep those skills up appropriately. They just met for coffee after or before rehearsals on the weekend and mainly chatted in that language. 

Best thing we ever did for our family and for her education was homeschooling. [smile]
0
aking9957

Avatar / Picture

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 58
Reply with quote  #10 
If anyone also has websites for online K-12 you can attach them, I am not sure where we should start. It looked like we could go to any online school so how do you know which ones are for certain states.
0
tendumom

Avatar / Picture

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,215
Reply with quote  #11 

http://www.k12.com/virtual-school-offerings/free-online-public-schools.html


https://www.connectionsacademy.com/high-school-near-me

The above two are for looking for public school versions of online schools 

 

There are MANY choices for private schools for online. Some have already been mentioned. When I searched almost 10 years ago, I wanted one that had both a middle school and high school because I hoped dd would continue with the same program. LOL. Like everything else in life, those plans changed. These are the two I had narrowed my initial search down to and actually used for a period of time. If I were only looking for high school, I'd look at a much larger number of programs today. 

https://laurelsprings.com/
http://www.keystoneschoolonline.com/


0
classydance

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,075
Reply with quote  #12 
DD just started this year and does Laurel Springs. 

1.  Pros-- Academic rigor in comparison to what she was getting. Flexibility within a day. More seamless day for dance. 

2. Cons-  DD takes about 6 hours of dance class a day and keeping up is very, very hard. She does 5 hours per day of school in between classes and she is very disciplined.  Up by 7:30 am etc.  But there is no break. She spent at least 5-6 hours per day working over Thanksgiving. They do not change "deadlines."  Although you can work ahead we have not found that DD can do that easily because the work load is so high.  She is taking 6 academic classes. (and she is a strong student).  So there really isn't "flexibility" for us.  She really can't take more than about 1 day off from it. Also, it gets lonely. She has a ton of friends in her residential program but with homeschooling you really don't mix with kids who are different than you (ie. non dancers). We are trying to figure out how she can finish out and just move on to college.
0
pirouettemom

Bronze Member
Registered:
Posts: 21
Reply with quote  #13 
Curious how keeping up with online schooling is harder than keeping up with regular schooling? Some kids who go to regular school also had a lot of work to do over thanksgiving break and deadlines to deal with as well ...
0
my2miracles

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,240
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pirouettemom
Curious how keeping up with online schooling is harder than keeping up with regular schooling? Some kids who go to regular school also had a lot of work to do over thanksgiving break and deadlines to deal with as well ...


I think the PP's point is that some programs aren't flexible so it doesn't really help.  You can find flexible programs like Keystone Online School.  There are no assignment deadlines except an occasional if you submit this assignment you must submit your corrections within 48 hours and small things like that.  You just need to finish the course within a year.

Another option if you can would be to do traditional homeschool where you pick the curriculum and go at your own pace completely.  You just need to follow your state homeschooling laws.  We are fortunate to live in a state where there is no oversight - no standardized tests - which is one of the reasons we left public school and no reporting.
0
heidi459

Avatar / Picture

Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 6,058
Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by my2miracles


I think the PP's point is that some programs aren't flexible so it doesn't really help.  You can find flexible programs like Keystone Online School.  There are no assignment deadlines except an occasional if you submit this assignment you must submit your corrections within 48 hours and small things like that.  You just need to finish the course within a year.

Another option if you can would be to do traditional homeschool where you pick the curriculum and go at your own pace completely.  You just need to follow your state homeschooling laws.  We are fortunate to live in a state where there is no oversight - no standardized tests - which is one of the reasons we left public school and no reporting.


I think your interpretation may be right but we looked at Laurel Springs and know two people who are either currently doing it or did it in the past.  And the lack of flexibility/deadline comments threw me as that's not my understanding of that program.  You can make your own deadlines to help with time management, yes, but I'm not aware that they create deadlines for you (beyond the end of the course... but they may even allow extensions for a small fee, not sure though).  Would love classydance to come back and talk more of her experience.  I thought LS was a great program and would've gone with it except for the cost.  Really pricey.
0
classydance

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,075
Reply with quote  #16 

1.  Time over breaks--  I have  a 17 year old son in a competitive HS in top 12% of senior class taking 3 APs and Calculus.  He works hard.  Attends school 6 hours per day and then 2-4 hours of homework per night.  He did not work 5 hours per day over the break or on Thanksgiving. 

2.  Laurel Spring is a great program.

3. "There are no deadlines," yes. They provide pacing guides with "due dates." Honestly, I if you did not keep up with the work due each week, it would get pretty overwhelming. Doubling up in just one subject for a week would be too hard. But, DD is dancing (or cross training) many hour per day. )

You must complete all work to take the exam and you must have a 70% in the course to take the exam.  So if you are sloppy or you don't master you have to redo a lot of stuff. 

For my Dd if she did not meet the guidelines for what is "due" each week she would be hopelessly behind.  We now have an estimate on the amount of time that most activities take.

Technically, you could just work through modules as you wanted but it's too many different courses to keep track of. 

It feels like a grind to me. I'm constantly checking on it all.  She has all A's and she's learning a lot but it does not really feel "flexible" to me. Flexible in the sense that you can do your work any place but not "flexible" in the sense of "I could take a week off and be able to make it up."
0
tendumom

Avatar / Picture

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,215
Reply with quote  #17 
We used Laurel Springs when DD started off.

One of the reasons we left was because of a series of changes that resulted in less flexibility than she had the first year. I called and discussed this with several people, pointing out that they were destroying one of the big selling points. They were quite responsive and did not implement all those changes. We started in August, during that break between her August SI and the normal school year at the studio. That have her time to spend more hours working, getting ahead so to speak, to open up more time when she really wanted and needed it. It is definitely a rigorous program, but you can choose less rigorous courses. Not that I offered that option to DD.

0
pirouettemom

Bronze Member
Registered:
Posts: 21
Reply with quote  #18 
I just looked at the Laurel Springs website out of curiosity. I’m wondering how an online PE course works?
0
tendumom

Avatar / Picture

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,215
Reply with quote  #19 
When DD did it, it was a log of your activity and a discussion board. It was supposed to be 3 hours of exercise a week, which she hit on Monday if there were no Sunday rehearsals. Lol.. She felt like it was busy work. It's considered a private school in CA so they need CA guidelines by including the PE course.
0
Jacaranda

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,138
Reply with quote  #20 
There are lots of programs out there, you need to choose the one that works for you. Alternatively there is home education, for this you design your own curriculum, using different resources, then you can truly make it work for you.
0
Amomofonedancer

Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 459
Reply with quote  #21 
My DD attended a very competitive studio and danced approx. 20-25 hours/ week, with some weeks being 30+ hours (choreography, competition weekends, Nutcracker, School Performing Arts programs, etc). No one at her studio was home-schooled until last year.  And that person only decided to do home-schooling because of the distance of the drive to the studio.  We went to a number of competitions, swept almost all the top awards, and were asked how many of our studio home schooled.  The answer at the time was- NONE. 

My DD balanced the demands of the school year with dance by taking some summer online courses to lighten the load during the school year. so that she could still take a pretty rigorous schedule.  My observation of the online courses was that they required a great deal of homework- it seemed like more than what regular classroom classes require. Doing the online coursework was not as much fun as doing work in class while hanging out with friends and getting some social time. Of note is that she did the High School Dance Team, Performing Arts program, and Studio competition dance her freshman year and danced 35 - 40 hours/ week.  They do not allow freshman to take AP courses, so this filled her time since she found the honors courses to be easy. She dropped Dance Team , while keeping the Performing Arts participation at school and increased her dancing at the studio after her freshman year.  She ended up taking 3-4 AP/ College Dual Credit courses Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years. 

So, I guess my take on it is I think taking a couple of classes online over the summer and cutting back on a course or two during the school year is preferable than going completely to online instruction. Although I am sure there are many situations and dance schedules that would not allow for this.  Of note is that our SO is unbelievably organised, which really allows her dance students to organise and make the most of their study times.  We got a list of extra practices at the beginning of the year and only had unexpected rehearsals thrown at us when there was an injury that required re-blocking a dance. 
0
dave9988

Avatar / Picture

High Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 719
Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by classydance

It feels like a grind to me. I'm constantly checking on it all.


I have heard that with respect to home schooling from more than one parent.  Some of the kids do take a week off here and there ... but then also end up continuing to work through the summer.  So I guess they get to time shift, but in the end you still have to pay the piper.

Our local schools have suggested taking "summer PE" to help make the public schools work.  That annoys me to no end.  She's supposed to dance 8 hours a day at an SI after going to the public school's summer PE program?  Assuming that she's at a local SI?
0
heidi459

Avatar / Picture

Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 6,058
Reply with quote  #23 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amomofonedancer
My DD attended a very competitive studio and danced approx. 20-25 hours/ week, with some weeks being 30+ hours (choreography, competition weekends, Nutcracker, School Performing Arts programs, etc). No one at her studio was home-schooled until last year.  And that person only decided to do home-schooling because of the distance of the drive to the studio.  We went to a number of competitions, swept almost all the top awards, and were asked how many of our studio home schooled.  The answer at the time was- NONE. 

 


The bolded is the very reason that all of the dancers we know, my own dd included, could not handle the schedule... & therefore chose to home school.  We know many people who have come in from other states... some rent apartments during the week to make it work. And then there are others like us who may live within a reasonable distance, miles wise, but when you consider traffic (& other life responsibilities)... it's not close enough.  Not all parents in a position to give 4-6 hrs of their day away to driving & 'lobby sitting' duties. And when a dancer spends up to 3 hrs on the road a day?  Rushing from school to dance & then back home so they can do homework late into the night only to get up super early the next day & do it all over again?  It's just not healthy.  This year our own commute became so outrageous due to rush hour travel (there were days when it would take 2 hrs... one way!) that dd is now staying in her coaches' basement apt 4-5 nights a week.  It's a 20 minute walk from the studio. Talk about freeing  lol

eta:  fwiw dd didn't start out as a ballet dancer... did traditional comp for years.... & we never knew of a dancer from any of her old studios who was homeschooled due to dance.  It's only been older ballet dancers at her ballet schools these last few years.  And again, it's always been because at some point they needed to travel to get the best training.  Unfortunately, the best ballet training is rarely available right around the corner.  If you're REALLY serious, you do what you have to do.           

0
Amomofonedancer

Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 459
Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459



The bolded is the very reason that all of the dancers we know, my own dd included, could not handle the schedule... & therefore chose to home school.  We know many people who have come in from other states... some rent apartments during the week to make it work. And then there are others like us who live closer but still not close enough.  When you are spending up to 3 hrs on the road a day (more than 1/2 of it on public transportation)?  Rushing from school to dance & then back home so you can do homework late into the night only to get up super early the next day & do it all over again?  It's just not healthy.  This year our commute became so outrageous due to the need to travel in & out during rush hour (there were days when it would take 2 hrs... one way!) that dd is now staying in her coaches' basement apartment 4-5 nights a week.  It's a 20 minute walk from the studio. Talk about freeing  lol

Fwiw dd didn't start out as a ballet dancer... did traditional comp for years.... & we never knew of a dancer from any of her old studios who was homeschooled due to dance.  It's only been older ballet dancers at her ballet schools these last few years.  And again, it's always been because at some point they needed to travel to get the best training.  Unfortunately, the best ballet training is rarely available right around the corner.  You do what you have to do.           



Actually, the competitive studios that are known for their dancers being home-schooled are usually the ones that offer more extensive ballet training.  At her studio, they have excellent technical training all the way around.  SO and all the ballet teachers are Butler University grads and they actually have ballet professors from Butler teach the higher levels and offer private ballet lessons as well. An international ballet school recently posted a clip from one of their lyrical rehearsals that went viral with over 2 million views over the course of only a few weeks, with tons of comments about how their technical skills are their goals.

I will note that my DD also spent 3 hours/ day in the car.  Nearly every minute of commute time was spent either eating to and from dance or doing homework. However, the commute was generally only one hour each way to/ from dance and 1/2 hour to/from school.  Beyond that, we too would have considered home-schooling. ALso of note is that she did not dance one of the weekdays each week and this  allowed her to play catch-up and prepare for tests.  However, the other days, she got home at 10:30 PM, studied until 3 AM, and was back up and at school at 8 AM. This is a schedule I would only recommend for people who don't seem to need much sleep. However, I think it could be do-able for those who only take 5 classes during the school year, with a max of 1-2 AP classes and taking 1-2 courses over the summer.  I am not trying to judge, just saying there is more than one way to handle the time crunch. I think a schedule like this and home-schooling/ taking online courses are equally gruelling and require a lot of self-discipline.  I think the main benefit of regular classroom instruction is the social aspect of regular school and it might be a more enjoyable way of learning for those who don't like to spend many many hours learning on their own.
0
heidi459

Avatar / Picture

Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 6,058
Reply with quote  #25 
Hmmmm Based on that first paragraph, momofonedancer, I think maybe that you may have read something into my post that wasn't there. To clarify, I was merely offering up details of other people's situations that you may not have considered. My comments had absolutely nothing to do with your dancer/your studio/your choices. 

That said, I will be honest - while I'm sure it wasn't your intent, there seemed to be a hint of "a crazy schedule is not a legitimate reason to home school... just look at us, how crazy & amazing we are, & we do just fine"... in your initial post.  And right or wrong, it did take me a little off guard.  First, because no matter how much we may think our situation is the same as others... it's not.  And second, because this really isn't about need.  It's about desire.  Sure, every dancer who is home schooled "could" choose to stay in traditional school if they wanted to.  Maybe it might mean making different training choice (and accepting the consequences of that decision).  Maybe it might mean living life like a hamster on a wheel.  But the point is that homeschooling allowed them to choose differently.  And for that, they are thankful.  Nothing more, nothing less.
1
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.