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Published on June 7th, 2017 | by Library

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Talented Teen? Consider These Alternative Educational Opportunities

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It can be difficult to foster a child?s athletic or performance abilities with the demands of high school. High school requires a full time schedule, plus additional time for homework, studying, and other extra curricular activities. In many cases, your teen is required to put their hobby or skill to the side, only practicing during the summers or once they have completed high school. This can lead to poor grades and a lack of high school focus, if your teen is entirely focused on their other passion. What if there was a type of alternative school options that allowed them to do both?

Performing arts high school

A performing arts high school is similar to a traditional high school, except that it places a greater focus on the performing arts. The traditional high school is filled with numerous classes that may be unnecessary to your teen and their overall goals. For example, a lot of U.S. high schools require classes such as physical education and music. If your teen would rather spend their time practicing their performing arts skill, these classes would be replaced. This is not a possibility in the regular high school setting, but performing arts high schools do allow students to make these decisions.

Online high school

A free online school is another option. Online schools provide many of the same lessons and classes that a traditional school does, except that the student can work at their own pace. A lot of high school time is spent sitting in class, waiting on others to finish their work. Because you are required to be there for a certain number of hours, a lot of time tends to get wasted. Online learning, however, gives students the opportunity to complete work on their own time. They can then spend any extra time as they wish, such as practicing their skill.

Many parents also agree with this online learning model. Approximately 62% of parents who responded to the 2013 Trends in Online Learning survey cited the ability to work at one?s own pace as benefit of online courses for students. This type of academic learning can also be beneficial for those students who require a little more time to grasp the required material.

Blended schools

Blended schools are a mix of the traditional high school and the online school. They free up time for students by allowing them to complete coursework online. Yet, they are still given the normal experiences of a high school education, including social interactions and group presentations. Some believe that both aspects of learning are necessary for success. During the 2013 to 2014 academic year, 33 states had full time virtual schools and 16 states had blended schools. Blended schools might also include performing arts lessons. Students spend half their time learning the normal curriculum of high school and the other half, in something like an acting school.

Finding the right fit for your teen

Your teen?s success is priority. It is important that you find something that will cater to their academic learning, as well as their art or skill. Consider their dedication to their performing art. Also consider their learning style. Find an academic program that will provide them the opportunity to succeed in both. A performing arts high school is often a great option for those serious about taking their skill to the next level. There are many accredited online schools available, contact a couple of them, and consider feedback from your teen.

Most artists who are able to take their skill to the professional level begin their training in their youth. This presents some problems for the demands of high school. Fortunately, there are alternative school options that provide your child with academic knowledge and skill practice. Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Cristensen believes that by the year 2019, 50% of all classes for grades K through 12 will be taught online. If you want to free up practice time for your teen to foster their talents, consider moving them to an entirely online high school program. You can also choose from a blended program or a dedicated performing arts high school. Give your teen the opportunity to succeed.


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