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LABaby

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I'm honestly just curious. At our current studio, about 15-20% of the teens and seniors are homeschooled and the ones that aren't, about 80-90% of them do poms or go to the performing arts school, so their lives are very dance-focused. My dancer will be in 2nd grade next year, so we are A LONG WAY away from making that kind of choice, but I'm wondering what led you to start homeschooling? What age and what program(s)? TIA
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dancingpeanut

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Reply with quote  #2 
I have only known one home-schooled student at our studio, and it wasn't for dance reasons, her parents just preferred to home school. And we have a very large studio, currently around 150 students in the comp team with none home schooling as far as I know.
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tappinmom

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancingpeanut
I have only known one home-schooled student at our studio, and it wasn't for dance reasons, her parents just preferred to home school. And we have a very large studio, currently around 150 students in the comp team with none home schooling as far as I know.


Same for us.  Only one child homeschooled and it was for other reasons.  Most of our students actually went to very highly competitive private schools.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #4 
DD started homeschooling in middle school, but it wasn't because of dance. We were no longer happy with her school situation, I was not pleased with the local public school either and began to look at alternatives. At the time, there were a older dancers (16ish) who were homeschooling because of dance and several families who had been homeschooling from the start. They encouraged me to look at various homeschooling choices including virtual aka online schools. I looked at several, narrowed it down to 2 and sent dh the links. He thought it was a fabulous idea, as did dd, and we agreed to try for a year. By the end of the first year, it was clear she never wanted to go back to a traditional school environment. She went back and visited her old school and was surprised by how little material was covered in a single class and how slowly they moved through the material. Over time, we moved away from using an online school and became more eclectic. I bought a math program from one company, used an online company for a science course, created our own literature course, and she took something from a local homeschool group (just examples). She was also able to pursue topics as electives that she would not have been able to pursue in any of our local schools such as dance history, and dance focused anatomy and kinesiology.  

So, while we did not homeschool for dance, homeschooling made it easier for her to pursue dance. Because she was homeschooled, it was easy enough to add in an open dance class, sometimes two, during the day. It made it easier around Nutcracker time because she could just stop and take a few days off instead of worrying about whatever was going on in school. There was no "homework" to worry about, just her work. It was a great fit for our family and made her a very independent learner which has served her well in college courses. 
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LABaby

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancingpeanut
I have only known one home-schooled student at our studio, and it wasn't for dance reasons, her parents just preferred to home school. And we have a very large studio, currently around 150 students in the comp team with none home schooling as far as I know.


Maybe it's regional differences? We live in the PHX metro area of AZ - homeschooling is pretty common in general, our school district isn't that great and private school isn't in our budget in at moment. It would be an added "bonus" if it would give her the chance for more dance in her week. 
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LABaby

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom
DD started homeschooling in middle school, but it wasn't because of dance. We were no longer happy with her school situation, I was not pleased with the local public school either and began to look at alternatives. At the time, there were a older dancers (16ish) who were homeschooling because of dance and several families who had been homeschooling from the start. They encouraged me to look at various homeschooling choices including virtual aka online schools. I looked at several, narrowed it down to 2 and sent dh the links. He thought it was a fabulous idea, as did dd, and we agreed to try for a year. By the end of the first year, it was clear she never wanted to go back to a traditional school environment. She went back and visited her old school and was surprised by how little material was covered in a single class and how slowly they moved through the material. Over time, we moved away from using an online school and became more eclectic. I bought a math program from one company, used an online company for a science course, created our own literature course, and she took something from a local homeschool group (just examples). She was also able to pursue topics as electives that she would not have been able to pursue in any of our local schools such as dance history, and dance focused anatomy and kinesiology.  

So, while we did not homeschool for dance, homeschooling made it easier for her to pursue dance. Because she was homeschooled, it was easy enough to add in an open dance class, sometimes two, during the day. It made it easier around Nutcracker time because she could just stop and take a few days off instead of worrying about whatever was going on in school. There was no "homework" to worry about, just her work. It was a great fit for our family and made her a very independent learner which has served her well in college courses. 


Thank you so much for your response! There definitely seem like so many benefits with homeschooling, especially since our school district isn't great. We don't have a Nutcracker but YDD and I would appreciate having off days the Friday and/or Monday following a big competition. 
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LABaby

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tappinmom


Same for us.  Only one child homeschooled and it was for other reasons.  Most of our students actually went to very highly competitive private schools.


Thanks for responding! Maybe it's regional differences? We live in the PHX area of AZ - homeschooling is pretty common. 
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mom2dancinboyngirl

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Reply with quote  #8 
No one at our comp studio is home schooled. Approximately 25-50% of the high school students are at a performing arts high school.
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heidi459

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My dd (now 17) is finishing up her 2nd year of online high school.  She was in public school through the 8th grade and then switched to a private all girls school for 9th.  That was the same year that she switched from her comp studio to a serious ballet school though and the schedule was brutal.  She'd be up at 7 and in school by 8.  I'd pick her up at 2:30 and race to the train so she could get to her ballet school where she'd stay 'til 8/8:30.  Then it'd be an hour's drive home getting her in late still with homework to do.  It just didn't make sense to keep that up.. she needed more flexibility... and we'd always been intrigued by the online option anyway so it was a no brainer.  It's worked out great.. no regrets of any kind.

At her comp studio I don't know of anyone, at any time, who was homeschooled but it's pretty common at the ballet school she switched to.  A number of those kids have no choice though because they come in from out of state... some even rent apartments where they stay during the week and then go home home on weekends.  It's a world unto itself.
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hsealover

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Reply with quote  #10 
DD switched to online school for second semester of 7th grade, doing public school since preschool. She is now in 9th grade, and loving it. Great choice for us. I think part of the motivation to do it was for dance, but not the only reason she did it. She was going through some rough times, her dad was pretty sick, some family issues, and the middle school she went to just was not good at all.

At our tiny studio, there is 1 other child doing homeschooling for gymnastics, dance, and as I said, the schools aren't great.

There is talk of a performing arts school opening in our area, so I can see DD maybe going there in the future, but she doesn't know for sure.

EDIT: DD uses Connections Academy. It's a public virtual school. There are live lessons and such, so she does talk to other kids and has good communication with her teachers if she chooses to. She usually doesn't go to them, she only goes if she needs help. She regularly emails and has phone calls with her teachers also. Their school year is broken up into 2 semesters instead of four quarters/grading periods. She starts school after Labor Day and got out of school this year May 27th. She still has summer breaks, fall break, winter break, spring break, etc. She is required to be online 20-25+ hours in the week, but it doesn't matter what days and times just so she has enough hours in. You are also allowed to log other educational activities to up your time if necessary. They aren't super strict on attendance as long as you're getting your work done! They provide most school supplies and a free computer or laptop(you choose). Since it is considered public, it is free to all families. DD uses her personal laptop so she can take it wherever she wants, and it's nicer, but that's personal preference. You still have access to gifted programs and post secondary/college credit plus programs. Most of the teachers are also very accommodating and give great advice. DD has made several friends through meet ups/field trips/family engagement activities. At the end of the year, state testing is held at several testing sites throughout the state. We drove about 20-25 minutes for each session. She also made friends through this as well. Overall, very happy with our decision.
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brizziemum

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Reply with quote  #11 
Simple answer -  we never. started for dance purposes. DD is home-schooling this year mainly for health issues - but she is managing to dance more hours ( age 13 in grade 8) because homeschooling means despite more hours of "school" ( we timetable 6 hours a day five days a week, about 14 hours of  direct contact with teachers via the internet) it is only the occasional weeks she needs to do "homework" i.e some revision or finishing assignments on weekends and occasionally some videoing of her physical education subject. She dances six days a week ( some days only 1-2 hours).
Homeschooling means no travel time to and from school, no wasted time moving from class to class, roll marking, assemblies, sports days.
We are fortunate that homeschooling for us is through our state education department - there are a number of distance education schools that educate remote, medically unfit  or travelling students which will also take home study by choice students ( for a fee). This means if she chooses to return to "normal " school she should be able to slot back in easily, her results are all recorded and if she continues to home school she can receive a score for tertiary entrance if she completes the criteria.
The same school does teach some "full time dancers" with some adjustments in their study - I believe they have a concentrated science semester in year eight ( five units) instead of 8 units over two semesters and other adjustments.
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #12 
We started homeschooling my oldest (she's 21 now and at university now) when she was 5, but not for dance reasons.  The lifestyle certainly helps with the ballet schedule though so it works for us.  
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Jacaranda

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Reply with quote  #13 
Homeschooling is very rare here. You would think it would be more common, as most solo dance comps (and even some group comps) are on during school time and lots of kids do many, many many of these and miss a lot of school. But we don't have the same strict attendance laws that yiu have in the US, kids would not be expected to repeat a grade if their attendance was poor and schools support kids participation in these types of things.

I think the other big reason why home schooling is a lot less common is because we have a lot of choice. Kids don't have to enrol in their local high school, they can enrol in any school in the state. The schools will take them u less they are reaching capacity. So if parents are unhappy with a school situation they can change. Also in Australia 30% of Primary school students (k-6) and 40% of high school students (7-12) attend private schools. So a lot of parents opt for this if they don't like the state schooling system.

The main reason for home schooling here is living in a remote area and having no access to a school. But even then most families would prefer to send their kids to boarding school rather than home schooling.
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #14 
LABaby - I'm in Phoenix too.  There are some good schools, but very few in this entire metro area of 5 million people IMO. (If anyone doubts this, just do some googleing about how badly Phoenix schools are funded.)   DD started at a private Montessori school at 3 and continued there until 2nd grade. By then, she was dancing enough that I couldn't afford private school and dance.  We found a great charter school until 5th grade.  She went to Cocopah for middle school and it was actually great. She was in student council, etc.  I made her go to one year of "real" high school (Chaparral) to make sure ballet was really as important to her as she thought it was. It was...she went away to a residential program for her sophomore year, the the training was very sub-par compared to her home school and she came home.  She home schooled her junior and senior years at University of Nebraska Distance Learning Program. (Not cheap, but a great program).  She is still "home schooling" now.  St. Mary's College in Northern California offers a year of credits toward a BFA for professional dancers. It's called the LEAP Program. She is now 4 classes in to her sophomore year.  Slow going but better than nothing.  

At her former ballet school, it's pretty much the norm.  She has been gone for 5 years now, but even when she was there, many kids home schooled.  I think almost all of the intermediate and upper level kids in the pre-pro program do now.  Those classes are during the day all week.  I also think it's more of a regional thing. When the schools literally suck, home schooling is better, in general and better for ballet.
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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #15 
I do know of a couple of kids who began home schooling because of dance as young as 11.  That seems a little crazy to me; most seem to start in 10th / 11th grades.  So far we've held out.  My oldest will start 9th grade next year.  And I would like her to experience at least one year of "HS life."

We do have good schools in general (NY State), but they are not very flexible.  Can't get a waiver for Phys Ed for example.  One extra study hall to work on homework before 10pm after rehearsals/dinner would be priceless. 
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jwsqrdplus2

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Reply with quote  #16 
We never home-schooled so I cannot answer your program question.  But I do agree it seems to be a regional thing when it comes to home-schooling for dance (or any type of elite sports training).  When we lived in AZ, it was quite prevalent.  About 30% of the studio dancers were home-schooled in some fashion, and classes did not even start at the studio until 3 or 3:30 (most schools got out by 2:30).

Where we live now, I know of 2-3 kids total who are home-schooled, and it was not for dance (most studios here start classes at 5pm at the earliest).  Although in the case of 1 family, the 9yo dancer/actor/model does have the flexibility for "career" choices because of home-schooling.


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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #17 
Just realized I didn't answer the 'what program' question.  Dd does University of Nebraska High School.
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Dancingemu

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Reply with quote  #18 
We have a few that are home schooled, but all for reasons other than dance. Our studio doesn't open until an hour after school lets out so there's no reason the leave school early. Our district also believes in giving very little homework so that's not a conflict either.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #19 
I also did not answer what program we used. We used Laurel Springs School for middle school and then used some courses from Keystone later on. I also bought curriculum from a placed called Thinkwell and she took some college classes as well. 

And, like ballerinamom13's dd, my dd is also still mostly "homeschooling" for college. It's also very slow going, but she takes classes on line through her university. She does have a residency requirement but can get that during summer layoffs. 
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #20 
I didn't answer either. . . I don't use any one curriculum.  I don't use the same thing for each subject and I don't always use the same curriculum from child to child.  Some of my favorites though are Saxon for math, Apologia for sciences, and Notgrass for history/government.
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disneymom2two

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Reply with quote  #21 
My daughter's school is good.  I don't know anyone at our studio who is homeschooled.
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Phx115

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Reply with quote  #22 
DD11 has been homeschooled since grade 2. She had some pretty debilitating anxiety/panic issues, which required several weeks of day treatment. Needless to say, she still needed an education. We found we liked the relaxed schedule and continued with it. I work from home, so it fits.

Fortunately, our school district is a leader in virtual education, and has had its own virtual academy for several years (Oxford Virtual Academy). There are several curriculum choices available - we've used Connexus the past 2 yrs. There is no cost to us, and they even provide a laptop for the school year.

They have partnerships with all different types of organizations around SE Michigan (hockey clubs, karate, dance studios, art studios, etc.) for students to take electives. Students in the district can take their electives at the brick & mortar schools, too. I just found out DD's dance studio established a new partnership with OVA! This means we will actually receive some money from the district toward her dance classes, IF she continues homeschooling.

Many traditional homeschooling families, though, don't like the testing and communication requirements required because it is funded by state tax dollars. I have zero problems with this. I need accountability and wanted a curriculum that essentially does all of the planning, testing and most of the "teaching."

Ironically, as DD's dance hours are going to ramp up A LOT this year, she wants to try the middle school. I'm not sure how that is going to work out as she's a night owl, and I can't imagine her riding the school bus that picks up at 7:02am. As I type this she's still sleeping (9:30 am). Our district is strict about attendance, and I have already counted about 10 days she will miss just for ballet competitions. I'm mixed on it, but if she wants to experience middle school, I won't stop her. My 14-yr-old son tried homeschooling in 5th grade and hated it. He started back to the brick & mortar middle school (grades 6-8) at the beginning of grade 6, which was a great time to start back.

Only about four or five advanced dancers homeschool from her studio because they are on the "pre-pro" track, which means dance classes during the day and evenings.
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #23 
My daughter online schools from home as well but not for dance reasons.  She has anxiety and a reading disability so having the flexibility to do what she can when she can is a great relief to all of us.  Plus there are other advantages too.   She's enrolled in Keystone Online school.
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MagnoliaDanceMom

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Reply with quote  #24 
I am amazed to see how many people have kids doing online school. I am very intrigued. What online schools would you recommend? I might need to do some research. This might be our only option as she gets older.
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Jerseyboymom

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Reply with quote  #25 
I don't know anyone who homeschools for dance reasons. We know one family in PA who does it for personal reasons, and we know a family who sent their dd to a ballet program that schools her (she is super talented and a pretty extraordinary case). Homeschooling in NJ is pretty rare; about 2% based on a few online sources I found. DS goes to a giant high school and loves it, so it would not be an option for him. He needs a million people around and all the resources at his fingertips, because he's too lazy to seek stuff out on his own. [smile] I have lots of non-dance friends in other states who homeschool/online school.

We do have students who have tried to switch high schools because of dance; we have a school choice program where you can apply for out-of-district placement if there is space. Our HS has a good school dance team and others in the area do not, so there have been kids who have applied to our HS for that opportunity.

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