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BusyMomof2

Member
Feb 2, 2022
50
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I'll echo what others have said in that I would absolutely not agree to missing school for lower-level gymnastics. I don't even know what I'll do if it's necessary down the road, but we're not there.

Something to consider -- our son was a soccer star when he was younger, on the best academy team, practiced 10 hours a week (which is a lot for soccer and 6/7 year olds). We spent thousands annually on his training, games, tournaments, uniforms, travel, etc. We both worked our work schedules around getting him to practice and every weekend was all soccer, all the time. Fast forward to today, he's almost 12 and has zero interest in soccer and didn't even try out for his school team despite being better than all the kids who made it. My point is -- a devotion to being the best at age 8 is really not enough, in my opinion, to make a massive change that could impact something like early childhood education.

Our 8-year old daughter is obsessed with gymnastics, very devoted, wants to be the best, is always practicing/reading about gymnastics/watching videos about gymnasts etc. We're told she has serious potential and is being trained as such....but I would not let her desire to be the best at age 8 trump the importance of school. (note: I am not opposed to homeschool but it's not something I would take on mainly because of my own career)

Finally, there are countless stories about young gymnasts that burnt out early because they raced to the top.
 

Ontariogym-mom

New Member
May 5, 2022
17
32
I'll echo what others have said in that I would absolutely not agree to missing school for lower-level gymnastics. I don't even know what I'll do if it's necessary down the road, but we're not there.

Something to consider -- our son was a soccer star when he was younger, on the best academy team, practiced 10 hours a week (which is a lot for soccer and 6/7 year olds). We spent thousands annually on his training, games, tournaments, uniforms, travel, etc. We both worked our work schedules around getting him to practice and every weekend was all soccer, all the time. Fast forward to today, he's almost 12 and has zero interest in soccer and didn't even try out for his school team despite being better than all the kids who made it. My point is -- a devotion to being the best at age 8 is really not enough, in my opinion, to make a massive change that could impact something like early childhood education.

Our 8-year old daughter is obsessed with gymnastics, very devoted, wants to be the best, is always practicing/reading about gymnastics/watching videos about gymnasts etc. We're told she has serious potential and is being trained as such....but I would not let her desire to be the best at age 8 trump the importance of school. (note: I am not opposed to homeschool but it's not something I would take on mainly because of my own career)

Finally, there are countless stories about young gymnasts that burnt out early because they raced to the top.
I feel this so much. Theres no guarantee your kid is going to "make it" theres no guarantee they wont lose interest. Athlete burn out is a big concern for me aswell. I hate that her gym has cornered us. I love the coaches and positivity they bring but this experience is turning me off. I think we are going to join program and skip the Wednesdays but like I said the culture has me worried for what the future holds. Thank you for your response :)
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
124
I feel this so much. Theres no guarantee your kid is going to "make it" theres no guarantee they wont lose interest. Athlete burn out is a big concern for me aswell. I hate that her gym has cornered us. I love the coaches and positivity they bring but this experience is turning me off. I think we are going to join program and skip the Wednesdays but like I said the culture has me worried for what the future holds. Thank you for your response :)
It will be interesting to see if they change how they behave towards you/your daughter after you exert some control. They might be great, or you might be “that mom who doesn’t want it enough.” Hopefully they treat you right and it’s the former, not the latter.
 

cogymmom2dd

Proud Parent
Feb 9, 2020
188
That is interesting, and might be specific to your district. I *think* I am in the same state, and my son missed 22 days one year, and left at noon daily for 3 years, with no issues. Never a letter or anything. He did have a psychomotor gifted plan, so maybe that was the difference, but it was never a problem.
It’s a state wide thing for me. When I followed up with het principal, she said the letter was just a formality and even though her absences were mostly ‘excused’ for medical reasons, she is still short on Horus and they are by law required to send the letter to parents. My guess is this has more to do with maybe high school kids who are skipping class and not my elementary aged kid with legit illnesses. Her academic progress was not impacted, so the principal said it was just a mandatory letter that they had to send, but it listed every single day down to the amount of hours she missed of school for things like ortho appts and whatnot. I should add that we are at a new school this year, so maybe it is just specific to this school and principal, but there is a law about truancy and they can go after parents if they really feel it is necessary.
 
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mommyof1

Proud Parent
Jan 31, 2012
2,538
The car
Our school district sends out threatening letters after 5 absences and automatically fails elementary kids after 20 absences, middle and high school after 10. This is for both excused and unexcused absences; I don't even know why there is a difference between excused and unexcused if the consequences are the same. Although the exact policy may vary by school district, the insistence upon attendance is a statewide phenomenon. In other parts of the state, parents are routinely referred to court over attendance issues.

State funding depends on having kids in seats, and our schools do everything in their power to keep them there.
 

Aussie_coach

Staff member
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Gymnast
Club Owner / Manager
Jan 4, 2008
3,866
Wow, your schools are strict on attendance. There are schools in my state where the average school attendance is below 50%, so being the average some kids are there like 5-10% of the time.

Attendance is not part of the grades, and even if they hardly ever attend, they still move up to the next grade every year.

Which could explain why attendance at work when they are adults is not so crash hot either.
 
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JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
124
Wow, your schools are strict on attendance. There are schools in my state where the average school attendance is below 50%, so being the average some kids are there like 5-10% of the time.

Attendance is not part of the grades, and even if they hardly ever attend, they still move up to the next grade every year.

Which could explain why attendance at work when they are adults is not so crash hot either.
As someone said above, the schools don’t receive government funds when kids don’t show up — and I don’t think it’s linear like miss 10% and you lose 10%. I think it goes to zero money pretty quick, which is why the districts are so on parents about it. Orthogonally, this is why some states make it a big hassle to homeschool.
 
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Happyfeet

Proud Parent
Mar 2, 2021
13
I believe the initial poster is from Canada. Here in Ontario schools lose funding if they have to take someone "off role" this occurs when a student has been absent for 15 consecutive days without a medical exemption. So yes, technically that means you only have to attend school once every three weeks for your school to get funding. From this board it seems attendance at school is much more intense in the US.

Moving on to the poster's initial question I have a few thoughts:
1) Truthfully if you have an average to smart student it would not be that big of a deal academically to miss an afternoon of school. There are tons of extras in any given day that you can either make up in other ways at home or that aren't essential to learning ie. recess, lunch, phys ed, art, drama, library, silent reading, music, classroom chores, computers etc. Most essential learning takes place in the morning when kids are the most "fresh" anyways. While it may seem funny I actually think missing grade 4 is much easier than missing from grade 7 and up.

2) I am more curious about the gym you are at. If you refuse to miss school will things be "dead in the water" anyways? Will your gym bother promoting your child to elite or move them to the regular JO stream thinking they are not serious/committed enough. If that is the case it may make more sense just to make the move now and not have to worry about it.

3) What is the long term trajectory of this? After a year in the elite group will she move up to another group that requires additional missed school or does it stay with missing one afternoon? Is there an expectation of homeschooling if she moves up?

4) Is it even possible if you have to work. I assume you have to work to pay the gymnastics bills can you afford to be leaving early half a day each week?
 
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princesspower36

New Member
Mar 11, 2022
6
22
We are also in Ontario. My daughter is grade 4, level 3 this past year. She ended up missing Friday afternoons for practice which was “mandatory” but there were a couple of girls who didn’t do it.

I didn’t love the idea of it initially. But spoke to mom (retired teacher) and my daughter’s teacher. My daughter is a good student. It was made very clear to her that if academics suffered aft Fridays at the gym would stop. It hasn’t been an issue.

There is actually a middle school in our area (gr 4-8) that is a “high performance athlete” program. So she’ll go M,T, Th,F afternoons to the gym (16 hrs). School is condensed to M-F 8:30-12. They follow the same curriculum, nothing is missing but they have more self directed learning/homework to compensate. They must keep up grades to remain in the program. If she decides to quit gym, she’ll go back to her home school. There is a similar athlete program for high schoolers as well.
 

princesspower36

New Member
Mar 11, 2022
6
22
We are also in Ontario. My daughter is grade 4, level 3 this past year. She ended up missing Friday afternoons for practice which was “mandatory” but there were a couple of girls who didn’t do it.

I didn’t love the idea of it initially. But spoke to mom (retired teacher) and my daughter’s teacher. My daughter is a good student. It was made very clear to her that if academics suffered aft Fridays at the gym would stop. It hasn’t been an issue.

There is actually a middle school in our area (gr 4-8) that is a “high performance athlete” program. So she’ll go M,T, Th,F afternoons to the gym (16 hrs). School is condensed to M-F 8:30-12. They follow the same curriculum, nothing is missing but they have more self directed learning/homework to compensate. They must keep up grades to remain in the program. If she decides to quit gym, she’ll go back to her home school. There is a similar athlete program for high schoolers as well.
Sorry, to clarify - she’ll go to the athlete school program starting next year.
 
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Ontariogym-mom

New Member
May 5, 2022
17
32
We are also in Ontario. My daughter is grade 4, level 3 this past year. She ended up missing Friday afternoons for practice which was “mandatory” but there were a couple of girls who didn’t do it.

I didn’t love the idea of it initially. But spoke to mom (retired teacher) and my daughter’s teacher. My daughter is a good student. It was made very clear to her that if academics suffered aft Fridays at the gym would stop. It hasn’t been an issue.

There is actually a middle school in our area (gr 4-8) that is a “high performance athlete” program. So she’ll go M,T, Th,F afternoons to the gym (16 hrs). School is condensed to M-F 8:30-12. They follow the same curriculum, nothing is missing but they have more self directed learning/homework to compensate. They must keep up grades to remain in the program. If she decides to quit gym, she’ll go back to her home school. There is a similar athlete program for high schoolers as well.
That's super cool you guys have a school like that. I'm not sure of anything close to me like that. I will be having a meeting in fall with new teacher amd principle to see what if any accomations can be made. Currently she leaves a hour and a half early 3 times a week and same talk was had with my daughter, if grades suffer you go to gym late. This schedule hasn't affected her school. I do worry about a whole half day every week missed. I think right now our plan is go to 1 Wedneaday practice a month, chat with teacher if all good ramp up gym hours before comp season. Thanx for your input!
 

princesspower36

New Member
Mar 11, 2022
6
22
That's super cool you guys have a school like that. I'm not sure of anything close to me like that. I will be having a meeting in fall with new teacher amd principle to see what if any accomations can be made. Currently she leaves a hour and a half early 3 times a week and same talk was had with my daughter, if grades suffer you go to gym late. This schedule hasn't affected her school. I do worry about a whole half day every week missed. I think right now our plan is go to 1 Wedneaday practice a month, chat with teacher if all good ramp up gym hours before comp season. Thanx for your input!
I think your plan is very reasonable. I do agree with you re the gym’s expectation that the child have daytime training one half day a week and miss school is not reasonable esp for lower levels. I don’t know if this is an Ontario thing??
 

Em09

Gymnast
Fan
Oct 13, 2020
152
19
Australia
Wow, your schools are strict on attendance. There are schools in my state where the average school attendance is below 50%, so being the average some kids are there like 5-10% of the time.

Attendance is not part of the grades, and even if they hardly ever attend, they still move up to the next grade every year.

Which could explain why attendance at work when they are adults is not so crash hot either.
That's Australia for ya!

No repeats, my high school liked to know why we were away but if you only came one week every term your parents wouldn't get threatened by the state!
 

Kolabola29

Proud Parent
May 12, 2022
32
40
When the pandemic began, we put our daughter (L4, 7yo) in a personalized online school program that some other gymnasts at our gym (mostly elite track) do. At the beginning, it was because our public school was an absolute disaster with online learning and she was falling behind grade level in reading and math as a result. After one year, she absolutely thrived—loved school, got way ahead of grade level, was able to do afternoon practice (so school 8:30-12, practice 1-4 and now 1-5), and had so much more time to spend with family in the evenings and on weekends. She’s been so happy and gets the in-person social component at practice. This isn’t our forever solution—at some point we will want her to go back to traditional school. But for the past two years it has been amazing and I have no regrets, despite starting this school program as a real skeptic.
 
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PeanutsMom

Proud Parent
Jun 14, 2019
188
Wow. That's early practice for school aged children. When my daughter was level 3/4/5 she went to an elementary school that didn't get out until nearly 4pm. Practice started at 4. So in order for her to get changed, eat something, and get homework done, I picked her up about 45 minutes early for grades 2, 3, and 4. When she got to Optionals we did one year of "gym school" just because those practices started at 3:30 and I couldn't get off work in time to drive to her school, get her changed, and to practice on time.

In our house, school comes first. I was willing in elementary school to miss the last 45 minutes of school three times a week. They had recess and specialists like art and music, so she wasn't missing core instruction time. I don't think our family would have agreed to basically missing a day of school once a week for gymnastics at that age.

Good luck making your decision. It sounds like a tough one.
 

GymnasticsVAMom

New Member
Apr 17, 2022
32
37
This has been an interesting thread to watch and read responses. Personally, school first always. But during competition season towards the end many of my DD’s friends did miss school for private practice. Majority are lower levels.
Good luck with your decision
 
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