Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Public School or Home School for Figure Skaters?

Ice Dad and I have kicked around home schooling for Ice Girl, but not for figure skating reasons. As a former teacher, I'd like to give Ice Girl the individual help she needs, but well, that's something for another day. Anyway, I have this whole job thing I do, so home schooling isn't really an option.

For other figure skating families, home school is an option and a choice they're considering.

World- and national-level figure skater Jennifer Kirk posted about the choice between home schooling and traditional schooling. You can read her post here.

Kirk comes down on the side of traditional schooling, and I think her logic's pretty sound.

It's always been my thought that parents need lives outside of the rink and so do kids. We also need lives and activities separate from the kids, too.

Update: Interesting NYT artilce about the home/online schooling phenomenon in tennis.

What do you think? Ultimately, we all want what's best for our kids. So. Does that mean traditional or home school? Let the battle begin!


Anonymous said...

I think it is up to the individual skater and parent. I have contemplated home schooling my daughter since she was 5 years old. Mainly because she has always been academically advanced compaired to children her own age and grade level.
But I have to say that I'm very happy that I kept my daughter in traditional school. She has met some good friends and had opportunities through school that she would not have had if she had been home schooled. For example, She was able to be a People to People Student Ambassador and travel to Europe during the summer between her 5th and 6th grade year.
My daughter wants to be in school and loves socializing with her school friends as well as her skating friends.
Many of the kids that have been homeschooled for skating do experience difficulty with socialization outside of figure skating and coping with problems they experience off the ice.
But there are also many problems with sending your student to traditional school (peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, sex). That is why I completely feel that it is up to the skater and the parents. Season

Summerilla said...

When I was growing up as a competitive skater I did a combination of both public and home schooling. Instead of the traditional home school I went to Laurel Springs Academy, which is an online school that allows children to have flexibility with their schedule. However, you also have the perks of having real teachers and doesn't leave the pressure on the parents to do the teaching. A lot of famous figure skaters have attended this school. Most of the top novice - senior level girls at the rink I coach at also attend Laurel Springs.

ebingley said...

I have been investigating High performing Athletes' Programs in the public system here in Canada with cirriculum designed for young athletes where kids do core classes for half the day and train for the other half. Maybe your board has something similar?

Anonymous said...

We started homeschooling my daughter back in March. It was done academic reasons only. Her figure skating has of course reaped some benefits of her being able to be flexible, but her skating was not a main reason for homeschooling. She has been tested for the gifted program over a few years now, and has always gone back in for the 2nd tier of testing too. She always misses the 95% percent cutoff, by 1% 2 years and by 2% the other year. Even though her teachers were calling the program and telling them and her father and I that she was becoming bored and fustrated in traditional classrooms we still couldn't get the program to budge. Luckily I found that homeschooling covers so many diffrent programs that I think people shuole explore all options before the exclude it. We found one in our area called the Alliance Academy, and we couldn't be more thrilled. She is still considered a public school student, does things at a public school, sees a real teach, ect, ect, ect. I really cannot list all the things I love about this program. She gets more sleep, better meals, she is happier , brings up things she is learning on her own, I can't say enough. I know homeschooling is not for everyone and not for every child, but take the time to banish all sterotypes you may have of it, and take a look, they're may be a program that fits both worlds like ours, and you may be lucky to find one like ours, where she still has school, but is homeschooled. I know it sounds confusing, but there are programs like that out there and they work.

katiedear said...

I homeschooled for 11 years. It was very successful and my daughter went on to graduate from college with honors. She is working on her master's degree now.
There were other parents who "homeschooled" but really didn't. It is a matter of responsibility. I am pro-homeschooling. It is a wonderful choice that we still have in the United States.

John @ vmware monitoring said...

Ice girl seems to be very luck to have you as her mom.

Joanne's Depression Support Group said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sierra said...

I started homeschooling two years ago because of the inability of my county to have a proper School Choice and bus system. My mom put her foot down and started me on Florida Virtual School. There is real teachers that you can email and phone, and they grade all of the online assessments. The courses are much more engaging and spread over a wider variety of curriculum than public school and it takes me much less time. It's absolutely free for Florida residents.
So then my mother found homeschool lessons at the local rink that were cheaper than regular lesson. As I advanced into the highest group, the two other girls in the advanced group were light years ahead of me, they were doing double jumps. I'm Freeskate 2, and normally the group lessons only go up to Freeskate 6, which ends with axel prep. However, for some strange and completely unknown reason, the coaches allow very high level skaters to be taught very high level elements in a group lesson, whereas their other regular group lessons only go up to FS6. These double jumpers do take privates, but they benefit from the group lessons, which is basically a four way semi private lesson since there is one coach and four skaters of various levels in my advanced group (the other groups are the ones that are still in basic levels.)
I currently do homeschool group and two half hour regular group lessons, one is a jumps/spins lesson and the other is patch figure/edges. The jumps/spins I will not be able to take anymore when I advance out of Freeskate 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, but in homeschool I will be able to work on single axel and double jumps, and of course at that time I will supplement homeschool group with privates on freestyle ice.

I would never go back to public school, because I love my homeschool group. The three other kids and I mesh well whereas the other kids in my Saturday regular lessons are rude and never say excuse me when they blatantly skate right in front of me. Also, I skate public skate at noon when it is practically empty, and whenever I start having privates on freestyle, I will be able to pick a late morning session that will be less crowded. I've already had my fill of "socializing" at school; several bad "socializing" experiences have happened to me at school. I prefer to socialize with homeschool skaters.

Ice Mom said...

Hi, Sierra.

I posted this on the new blog, too.

Ice Mom