Feeling out of place, but here it goes!

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Faith

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Here's the link to the subtitled version. Well worth a watch- her parents talk about their journey too.
 
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mouey77

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Now a little advice....

Your child will be as good as she's going to be by the time she hits the age of 12 whether she starts getting serious now, or two years from now....... maybe even three years. One thing starting quite young can set her up for is falling in love with the sport before she's seen the rest of what childhood can offer. In that context, I would suggest you patiently make your daughter drag you through the levels until she's 6 or 7 years old.

It happens that some kids get in deeper than they realize, and some of them get very conflicted about getting themselves out of something that they really didn't want in the sense of what that desire evolved into. Spend that time avoiding the role of frog for the both of you, and remember that since she can't read yet (please let that be true) it's your job to do so and use your wisdom to protect her from her own blind enthusiam. So expose her to a handful of other choices during that span of time to see if she still prefers gymnastics, and then let gymnastics nature take it's course.

This is really interesting to hear. I am glad to hear this in light of the numerous posts I read on these forums about 6 year olds already competing level 3 (old 4). Reading those posts, it feels like we are late to the team game with a 6 year old. Our gym won't even take them on team at even level 1 until they are at least 6 years old.

Good luck, OP! We started off with rec classes when my DD was around 4. She hasn't stopped tumbling since. But the team is a huge commitment for such a young child, and I often have other parents look at me like I'm nuts when I tell them the hours she spends in the gym during the week. It is true that DD does gym and nothing else due to my other kids' activities and schoolwork.
 
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amphomma

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Update from my initial post: Since last week, Little A attended the different class. It ended up being with two girls her age and a boy a wee bit older--so all were in the 3-4 year old range. The smaller class was a blessing, of course. A did fine with more complex instructions and slightly more difficult activities than in previous classes.

She continues to practice everything she can at home--we have no official gym equipment in our home (mixed feelings on this anyway), so she does splits, headstands, handstands, and pushes herself up on the arm of the sofa, things like that. She continues to go to open gym twice a week, with no signs of slowing down or losing interest. Don't worry, she also plays in her pretend kitchen and reads books, too. :)

Yesterday, she discovered that after working on flexibility daily for about a month, she could do her first full front/back split! She was so proud. She showed her teacher at open gym today and that piqued the teacher's interest. She sat down by A and asked if she could do a bridge with her head off the floor. Yes. Raise a leg while in bridge? Not quite. Straddle press? Yes--and this was a skill I had never seen her do before. I was amazed. No handstand of course, but she held the straddle press for 3 seconds! So cool.

Her teacher said she can probably move up to another class soon, which she called "pre-pre-team". Let's see how this goes! One week, or even one day, at a time! Thanks again for everyone who offered wisdom and encouragement. Looks like I'll need it to keep coming!
 
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amphomma

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Can I post an update to the update? Since Little A was moved to the previous class, she was taken aside by another teacher a few weeks ago, given an on-the-spot evaluation (she wasn't even in a leotard or athletic clothes; we had just stopped by the gym for another reason!), and asked to join an "invitation-only" class for 4-5 year olds who "show signs of talent".

I loved the letter that accompanied her entrance to the class. It emphasized individuality, developing the whole person and not just skills, and not assuming any particular outcome this early on. That was very reassuring.

She has had three weeks in this new class. She is the youngest and smallest, but you wouldn't guess it by her enthusiasm, joy, and effort! I love, love, love watching her. She holds nothing back, never seems daunted by the gaps in skill or size, and surprises me sometimes with new achievements. Being with slightly older/stronger girls has elevated her skill level.

I see the teachers encouraging her and helping her with things as they can and as she needs it. I have asked her many times if she truly enjoys this class compared to the other one, and she always says yes. She looks forward to it every week and still jumps for joy when we go to open gym together two other days a week. One week at a time, but she's showing no signs of losing interest! One more thing--she got to use chalk on her hands for the very first time this week, and that just made her day. :)
 
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