Wednesday, April 6, 2016

sometimes why

Usually, this would be the point where I would write about how grateful I am that I can tailor Beach's school load to her gym schedule, and in a way I suppose it still could be but with a major twist. 

Instead of lightening her workload to give her a restful week before a big travel meet we have actually increased it. 

See we are in a big push to finish any remaining 6th-grade coursework before the gym schedule flips to the morning summer schedule.
The reason? Beach has enrolled in an on-line school for 7th-grade next fall. 

Of course, there were a lot of factors that went into making such a big decision. 

We both felt it was time emotionally and mentally to increase structure and expand our circle and outside resources. Beach is super excited! 

For me personally, as the sole provider of her education and educational content, I was feeling lonely and unsupported. 

Balancing working at the gym, the traveling, illnesses, and the constant last minute pop-up events were all making it hard for me to get the time I needed for lesson planning.

But one of the most important factors, so important it could almost be a stand-alone catalyst for the change, was the positive role models her older teammates have been. 

I watched them closely as we traveled together this year. I was so impressed by their work ethic and fortitude in managing their schoolwork while traveling. But not just managing nearly all of them are straight "A" students! 

Watching them do school work on the airplane on the flight to Florida was sort of light bulb moment for me.   

Honestly, one of the greatest skills these girls retire from gymnastics with is the ability to manage their time wisely. So many factors come into play (delayed gratification, discipline, goal setting, time management, organization, planning/prioritizing, etc.) it is arguably one of the best life skill sets one could have. 

It is definitely something I want my own child to have the opportunity to practice and acquire. Important enough to lead the case for jumping back into the system. 

So as we wrap up 6th grade and I fill out all the forms that try to explain what we have been up to. As we match-up our learning to the state school system I have discovered that in most areas Beach is actually ahead, which yes, surprised me. 

I know, I tell you to trust your child. That he or she will learn what they need when they need it. Turns out to be true.

I haven't looked at the curriculum in a few years. We have gone where we have gone under Beach's lead. She led us into high school level science and into advanced math topics.

Surprise, Algebra, the class I thought we were late in starting, is an advanced class for 6th grade. In fact, the school we picked offers pre-algebra as an advanced course in math for 7th grade. 

Even Beach's history, yes, the History Hater is at or above grade level there too.

The goal is to finish her course work in time to have a summer break with the other schooled kids. (Not to mention a good practice run for keeping to a tight schedule.)
  
Then we can spend the summer as life-long-learn families do reading and writing (the area Beach needs the most support), playing games, camping, hiking, biking, farming, swimming, climbing, running, and following around Beach's latest love of all things Peru, which she says, "...is a lot like Utah but with more llamas." 

We are pretty excited, looking forward to a year full of new challenges. Looking forward to new opportunities and adventures. We know there are things we miss about the old way of schooling but it is time to move & grown into a new way. 

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