Should Melissa From "Dance Moms" Homeschool Maddie and Mackenzie?
If your child were exceptionally talented at something outside of school, would you homeschool her so she could focus on excelling?
On "Dance Moms," Melissa announced that she is considering homeschooling Maddie and Mackenzie so they can spend more hours dancing, take additional classes in voice and piano, and also find more time for themselves.
Actually, Melissa is considering hiring a private tutor, which many parents of competitive athletes and young actors do at least part-time. When I hear of homeschooling, I generally think of a parent, drawing on some community resources, planning and implementing the educational program for their kids. Melissa seems self-aware enough to know that this would not be her thing, so she brings in a tutor to discuss the possibilities. Frankly, I am surprised that more of the young dancers do not already have tutors, given the number of hours they spend dancing and traveling for competitions.
Does this option make sense for the girls? Talent may be innate, but reaching your full potential requires a lot of time and effort. For Maddie, who has a laser-like focus and confidently says, "My mom says that school comes before dance, but I say dance comes before school," homeschooling may provide her with the opportunity to meet her goals.
I've been tempted to homeschool my children for many of the same reasons. My eldest comes home from school late in the afternoon, exhausted, with more homework. This leaves us little time for activities, such as piano or learning another language...activities that the schools have unfortunately cut. Even worse, it leaves her very little time to just run around and play and be a child. When we work from home, we can complete more advanced material, custom-designed for her needs, in a fraction of the time she spends at school. That leaves us hours for enrichment and fun.
Dr. Holly comes to the defense of the public school system, asking, "What do you want that the school can't provide for you?" Holly says school is more than busy work and teaches children to think and be world citizens. Unfortunately, excessive testing has pushed a lot of that out of schools. Homeschooling can be a wonderful opportunity to develop creative problem-solving and provide authentic opportunities to get involved in the community.
The Moms argue that the girls' education will be limited if they leave the school system. This is a very valid concern. Homeschooling allows children to specialize in their interests but also means they may not discover new interests.
And, as the ever-adorable Mackenzie adds, "I'll miss my school friends."
Would you trade school in for more hours of practice?