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kvgymnast

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i am a freshman in highschool and a level 10 gymnast. i really want to become elite which means that i need a lot more time in my day to train. right now i am attending a really nice private school but i get a lot of hard homework everynight, so there is no extra time in my day between school and gymnastics. i think the only other option would be homeschooling, but i don't know if i want to do that because i would miss my friends so much and just getting out of the house and living normally. but like i said i want to be elite. any suggestions? is there anyone who is in the same situation or is homeschooled and has some thoughts on it? thanks!
 
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Billy

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Is there a way for you to attend school for fewer hours in the day? I've heard of some schools allowing high-level athletes take just their core classes and get out by noon or so. Another question would be is your mom (or dad) ready to home-school you? And another, would you be willing/ able to get your GED and get finished sooner? These might be some options to consider.
 
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kvgymnast

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first of all thanks for replying! my mom and i have been discussing this for a while and she is totally up to it. i know for a fact that at my school i would not be able to just take core classes and leave early. it is a school where they push you to do a lot extra in the arts and education, so they wouldn't allow it. there are not many other schooling options around except for public schools, but i would not want to attend the one that i would go to. i just wish that i could continue a social life while pursuing my dream!!
 

gymmomntc2e6

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Aug 25, 2007
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Perhaps if you home schooled you would be able to squeeze some social time into your schedule on Friday night or Sunday afternoon so you could hang with your friends then. It sounds like if they are from your school that they also have a lot of homework and activities that would keep them from doing social things during the week anyway. I know that you would no longer see them at school, but if you had time where you knew you would be with them and that you are following a dream that is important to you - it may be worth it.

I think in the end, if your parents support you either way, only you can make the decision.

Good Luck
 
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NYgymfan

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Hi Kayla! My school, which is a public school, won't allow people to come for less hours until you are 16. Once you are old enough to drop out, you can reduce your hours. But it sounds like your school won't let you do that. And I'm sure your parents probably don't want to pay private school tuition if you are only going for half a day anyway!

Life is a series of choices, at least thats what my mom always says. I don't think going to school less hours or having your parents homeschool you is a good idea unless you are really really sure you want to go elite, and that you will stick with gym through college and beyond. Because if you cut the amount of time you spend working on school work, you are relying more on gymnastics to get you into college then most people. And colleges probably won't be too happy if they see you spent less time on school work only to end up quitting gym.

But once you are sure your in gym for the long run, I think homeschooling is a great idea. The whole idea of school is to learn stuff. And if you learn stuff quickly without having to do a ton of HW, then that time that would would have spent on HW would be better spent on a subject that you find harder, or being in the gym practicing. In otherwords, your school work can be made to fit your needs and you can spend your time more wisely. But I'd talk it over with your parents and coaches to see what they think.
 

jls1969

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Sep 27, 2007
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I am so glad to see your post...we are trying to decide if changing my daughter's school is the right thing to do. Where we are, there is a school that accomodates athletes, actors and musicians. They would attend school for 2 1/2 hours each day and that allow enough time in the gym for extra training. Do you know of any schools like that in your area? Where do the elite gymnasts at your gym go to school? Is there a home-schooling co-op in your area? These might be some options to stay connected through school. I also think trying to maintain your current friends by hanging out on the weekends is a great idea. I think the decision to go elite needs to totally be yours---if you can deal with all of the changes and training, then go for it. You are doing a great thing by really weighing the options, I am impressed. Maybe you could talk to your school and explain what you are wanting to do... if it doesn't work out, then maybe they could let you have a place back in that school. Best of luck to you---keep us updated!
 
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kvgymnast

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thanks so much! i have actually been talking to TDiver and she was a forming gymnast training elite and homeschooled and she has really helped me with the pros and cons. i am leaning towards the homeschooling because my school doesn't allow partial days and i would most likely need to train at another gym anyway because my gym probably wouldn't be the greatest for the elite level...camps and other places is what i'm gonna look at. so thanks again and good luck with your daughter also!!
 

Aussie_coach

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Homeschooling can have many benefits, even if you don't stick with your gymnastics in the long run it can still have a positive effect on your education. In home school you can go at your own pace, if you find work easier you can get through it quicker and save time, if you are struggling with something you can devote more time to it.

You will save a lot of time in your day when you homeschool as there is no need for a lot of the time wasting activities that go on in school Your schedule will be much more flexible and you will be able to work it around any of your gymnastics training hours. You can bring your school with you when you travel away to competitions and things. You wont have as many distractions as you would in the classroom.

Home school does take a lot of dedication, discipline and committment both on your part and on the part of your parents. But if you are a high level gymnasts then the odds are you already are a very dedicated, disciplined and committed person with and very supportive family.

You will need to look at the other benefits that attending a 'real' school provides you amd make sure those are still being found in your life in other ways. For example a social outlet, making sure you still find time to spend with people who are not members of your family or your gym. This helps to provide a healthy balance in your life.
 
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Jojogymgirl

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First off, I'm a freshman in HS and a level 10 as well. Now I'm taking some pretty tough classes and get a lot of homework too. My gym is about 1 hour away, and I know how you feel. I miss the last period of school everyday, which would be like my art (which I had to drop and change to study hall so that I could leave). I still take one elective, spanish 2, and all of my core classes. Plus, my school won't let me out of gym class (you have to be a junior or senior on a varsity sport...STUPID!) and people have taken it way out of control in the past. I would say, DON'T HOMESCHOOL!!! You need to have a family outside of the gym, like your friends. it seems like you go to a nice school, so you wouldn't be getting the same education as you would there. what if you got injured and could never do gymnastics again? you would want a counseler at school to tell you what classes to take, and most importantly, have the right education to get you into the college you want, without gymnastics. Plus, I've heard that you cannot get a scholarship from some colleges...maybe stanford?...if you are homeschooled, but don't quote me on that. going to a real school would mean doing other things than gymnastics, and that can make your gymnastics even better (you have other things to keep you occupied rather than stressing all of the time). AT MY GYM, THERE ARE 3 ELITES. NONE OF THEM HOMESCHOOL. 2 MADE IT TO VISA CHAMPIONSHIPS (2008) AND ONE LAST YEAR!!!!! THE OTHER IS A PRE-ELITE. FORMERLY, WE HAD A GYMNAST GO TO CHAMPIONSHIPS NUMEROUS TIMES AND GET A FULL-RIDE TO A GRRREAT SCHOOL! So, as you can see, you don't have to be homeschooled to be an elite. Take a look at Shawn Johnson and Shannon Miller. Whatever you do, make sure you put both school AND gym into the equation, b/c you'll never know what might happen!!!! hope this helped!:D
 
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Jojogymgirl

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I'm not trying to say you can't do it, b/c i don't even know you, but you should make your decision soon b/c it's already freshman year. elite takes a while!
 
B

Billy

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To the best of my knowledge, homeschooling will not keep you out of college nor prevent you from getting a scholarship. Also, if you have a good group of friends that will keep in touch, you can socialize with them around your gym schedule. Also, there are homeschool groups that get together for activities, which might provide another social outlet for you. But, you are the only one who can decide. Also, you can try homeschooling next year and always go back to traditional school if it doesn't work out.
 
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flippymonkeysmom

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Homeschooling is such an individual decision. For some it is perfect, for others it would be horrible. I've played with the idea for my gymmie - not that she is going to be an elite or anything - more just because she is one of those kids who needs a lot of sleep, and with her gym and homework schedule I just don't think she gets enough. Next year she will start middle school, so we will see how it goes. I also think it is ridiculous that the schools won't allow them to replace gym with a study hall to get homework done - these girls are obviously getting enough exercise. Anyway - good luck with whatever decision you make - and remember, nothing is permanent. If it doesn't seem to be working out you can make changes down the road.
 

jasmine196

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If you are worried about the scholarship issue with homeschooling take look at the NCAA website. It has all the requirements that you need to deal with the NCAA. There was one past elite (that I know of) who had issues, and I believe it was with UCLA, she ended up at Utah, and had a very sucessful 4 years. If you do go the homeschool route, just make sure you taking the right courses that the NCAA clearinghouse requires.

As for the issue of homeschooling. We have a number of elite gymnasts and awesome level 10's that do part day (3 classes) at HS, then have another 3 classes at an online school. Seems to work out for them. Best of luck with whatever you choose to do.
 

canadiangymnast_eh

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in a couple of years i am going to go to a sport school (not shure if theres any in the us) but my friend from gym goes there and the teachers work around sport schedules and students have time during the day to do homework and they even get a couple of hours a week to do there sport at school. so theye never have home work and they have extra training during the day.

so if theres something like that then i would recomend it:)
 

kaenhu

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Jun 5, 2008
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We are homeschoolers, from day one, long before my dd ever stepped into a gym. We chose to homeschool for many reasons that had nothing to do with gym but now that she's competing, we're really glad that we have done it.

In order to be eligible to receive a scholarship of any sort, you need to be able to get into the school for which the scholarship is for. And the vast majority of colleges accept homeschoolers. Many colleges have a separate track/admissions process for homeschoolers. Homeschoolers have gotten into just about any school traditional schoolers have, including Ivy League schools. Just read up on the particular college and see what they require of homeschoolers.

I admit I'm a bit irked by the implication that homeschoolers aren't "normal" or don't have "normal lives". Of course they do. My dd has friends from her gym, dance and tennis classes. She also plays with neighborhood kids, as well as her siblings and family members and friends from church. No one can tell she's homeschooled because she acts like everyone else. She's normal and has a normal life!

Anyway--at age 9, she's reading at 10th grade level (this was determined by testing), and is almost done with 4th grade math. She'd just be starting 4th grade now if she were in traditional school--so homeschooling has clearly not impeded her academically.

Research your options, and especially your homeschooling options, if you choose to homeschool. There are literally thousands of homeschooling programs out there, and the best thing is, you can customize it to work for you. We finish all of our schooling in 3-4 hours, no homework. We take vacations whenever we want. It's great.

It'd totally work for you, if your goal is to turn elite and spend more time at the gym. You can finish your work in a shorter amount of time, even if you use an academically rigorous homeschool program, and take time off to go to meets when you need to. You'd have plenty of time to hang with your friends, probably more than you do now.

There is no reason to assume your life won't be normal or that you won't have any friends. Please.
 

mariposa

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We have always planned to homeschool, so our reasons have nothing to do with gymnastics and we love it. Kaenhu made all the awesome points that I would have made and more. ;)

I will just say again that my DD has tons of friends outside of gymnastics, actually more. We are part of a VERY active homeschool group and she has friends from there, neighborhood friends, etc. She is a Girl Scout, does drama and has lots of time for other things as well as school stuff.

With our homeschool group, we do field trips, parties, an academic fair and arts fest, she can do science fair through the Science Center and we get to go cruise the zoo, museums, science center, movie theatres, etc, etc, etc during the week when it isn't busy which is awesome.

I say if you and your parents are up for homeschooling, then give it a try. Find some local support groups and see if one fits your family and join in. There are so many options for homeschoolers, and many of the online type homeschool programs are accredited public schools so you get an actual high school diploma, etc.

Good luck on making your dreams come true!
 

gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
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We also homeschool - Not a gym decision as we always planned to homeschool. But it certainly has its perks. DD is in gym and DS is in select baseball. Both sports take a lot of family time. We can't begin to imagine life with 8 hours of school and 1+hrs of homework a day. No thank you!! LOL

In terms of college, most colleges are eager to accept homeschoolers because as a group, they are highly motivated, excellent students. Add elite gymnastics and it's a no brainer!

As for friends and a social life, this is no problem with homeschooling as there are always ways to meet up with friends. But if you are stepping up your training to 30+ hours a week, then yes this will no doubt run into your social time. It's a choice you have to make based on how serious you are about your goals.

Also remember that Shawn Johnson doesn't train nearly as much as other elites - I think she said she trains 24hours during the school year. Not sure if that's a gym policy or something that just works for her. I know it is unusual for other gyms, but it apparently is not impossible.

Alison
 

Livinatthegym

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Feb 4, 2008
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Hey there,

My job is working exclusively with college freshmen. I've seen homeschooled kids who are very well prepared academically, and some who are not--just like the kids who attend public and private schools. Just a couple of things for you to remember. When you homeschool, test scores, like the ACT or SAT, factor more heavily into the college admission decision. Homeschooling in high school is very different than homeschooling in elementary or middle school. Most parents can teach their kids to read and do arithmatic. Calculus, advanced physics, and foreign languages are tougher subjects for your parents to tackle. Sometimes groups of homeschoolers will get together to cover the more advanced courses. Some districts allow homeschooled kids to attend one class a day (but not all districts do this). You and your parents need to decide how you can cover the part of the curriculum where your parents have no expertise.

Quite honestly, the only thing I see you missing out on by homeschooling is exposure to a variety of teaching styles. Homeschooled kids have the most problems in classes where the teacher's style is very different than what they're used to. Kids who've had more teachers are better prepared to roll with the punches. Of course, not being homeschooled your whole academic life, you may not have an issue here at all.

Finally, if you see college in your future, do not go the GED route. Most four year institutions view the GED as an inferior degree. That's not to say you can't get in with one, but it's likely to be tougher. Get the diploma.
 

kaenhu

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Jun 5, 2008
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When you homeschool, test scores, like the ACT or SAT, factor more heavily into the college admission decision. Homeschooling in high school is very different than homeschooling in elementary or middle school. Most parents can teach their kids to read and do arithmatic. Calculus, advanced physics, and foreign languages are tougher subjects for your parents to tackle. Sometimes groups of homeschoolers will get together to cover the more advanced courses. Some districts allow homeschooled kids to attend one class a day (but not all districts do this). You and your parents need to decide how you can cover the part of the curriculum where your parents have no expertise.
In my city, the local community college accepts kids as young as 14, so most of the homeschooled kids I know who are academically advanced go on and start taking community college classes. There, they are exposed to different teaching styles, get a taste for what college is like, and earn college credit. It's a win-win situation, if you qualify.
 
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