J had an early dance call this morning - 9am. The studio owner is not messing around anymore and will do what it takes to get everyone there at the same time. We're doing another competition next weekend. We do this particular one every year. J won TITLE (Junior Miss ----) there last year for her vocal solo. I'm hoping it's just on Saturday (like it was last year) because Sunday is my goddaughter's First Holy Communion and I really don't want to miss that. The studio recital is also coming up soon. The big recital rehearsal is on May 27th and then the actual recital is Friday night on June 4th. Once again, J will be in way too many numbers to count - plus leading her little ones from the pit again for 2 or 3 numbers - which is great, but really hectic when you have to squeeze everything into 3 hours. J went to a school dance last night with a bunch of her friends. She had a really great time and was home before 11pm. I was worried about her getting home late and not being able to wake up for dance, but she got right up on her own and was dressed in 10 minutes.
J pretty much smashes many homeschool stereotypes. "Homeschoolers are socially awkward and don't really know how to make friends". All I have to say to that is, HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. "Homeschoolers don't understand responsibility or having to do things even when they don't want to like they'll have to in THE REAL WORLD." Ok, this is another huge crock of garbage. Unlike her walled-up schooled friends, J has actually been IN and PART OF the real world every day, all day. Waking up early for competitions and performances are no problem. She has never missed a week of teaching her class of little ballerinas - and will start a workstudy next season (4hrs/week) for free dance tuition. My 13y/o is more responsible than many adults I know. "Homeschoolers are weird". No, they're just real. J has never been clouded by constant peer pressure, conformity rules, or following the crowd. Kids are drawn to her because of her realness and loyal friendship. She has more true best friends than anyone I've ever known and makes new friends constantly. "Homeschoolers are super-smart." Ok, this one has some truth to it. LOL. But it makes sense since there's so much individialized attention and extras. We also go on dozens of field trips during the school year. No school can say that. "Homeschoolers miss out on so many things, like being around other kids, group activities, and school dances" Umm...don't think so, lol. I honestly believe that school administrators and school parents were so shocked that homeschoolers outperformed schooled kids on standardized tests that they had to go and create other reasons not to homeschool in order to dissuade people thinking about it.
It really isn't hard to understand. You either homeschool 1. because your child has special needs and won't be able to handle the rigors of school, 2. because you, as a parent, are just fed up with the ridiculous school system and know you can do a better job yourself, 3. because your child is so ahead of where she "should" be and is totally bored and uninspired by anything in school, or 4. because of religion, 5. bullying, 6. celebrity matters, or 7. a combination of these. We all want what is best for our children and unless you're in an unescapable situation, we follow our instincts and make any necessary changes to what is obviously not working. I love that we have choices in this country.
I'm ok with high school, though. Maybe just some NYC high schools. There are 400 high schools to choose from in NYC's 305.8 square land miles. About 100 of those are amazing and focused on particular subjects with lots of competition to get in. My feelings about high schools differ a lot from elementary and middle schools. High schools come with a certain level of freedom and independence, maturity and understanding, and in J's case, readiness, excitedness, and perfectness. And most of all it's a school J hand-picked and put everything she had into being chosen for it. That makes a difference. Of course we have yet to see how it all goes, but I can usually trust my instincts when it comes to my kids' choices. It's a big change, but I have no worries. :)