Parents Practice during school?

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My two daughters' coach just notified us that the final practices before states (I have one level 4 and one level 5) will be during school hours :mad:. She said it is because of the travel time on Friday evening. I still don't think it's right. I am constantly telling my girls, "School comes before gymnastics!" and I have never let them miss school for gymnastics-related activities. Yet, if they miss the final practice, they will have a 4-day-lag between practice and competing (normally they never have more than 1 day off between practices).

I am so annoyed with the gym for forcing me to make this choice. Is it only our gym that puts parents in this position? What do you all think of this?:confused:
Wow That would not make me happy either!!
I can see pulling a child out 5-10 min early 1 day !! bit not miss school!!

I do not htink our gym would do this!! (for one they are in a highschool) but
the coaches value school!!!
Our gym/coaches do this as well when the meets are 3 hours or more away - I personally see nothing wrong with it & actually think it is great that they offer anything at all, they could cancel practice completely. They simply add the practice during the day as a convenience, not to upset parents... Some girls come, some don't.

If you are so upset about it, why not just miss the practice.
We would skip the practice - school comes first in our house. At this point in the season, they either know the routines and have the skills, or don't. One more practice before states isn't going to make it or break it for them. Maybe the extra day off will even have them go in more relaxed and refreshed.
My dd actually leaves school early two days a week (at lunchtime) for training on a regular basis - it's not that school is not important (of course it is), but her gymnastics is also very important to her, and at our gym the best times for competitive training is during the day, as it is crazy busy with rec programs after school.

The coaches are very much in agreement that school is vitally important, and the girls must maintain a high average in order to continue day training.

Part of the problem is that (as they get a bit older, my dd is in grade 4 now) it is actually easier for them to do the schoolwork on their own time, than it is to train - they need their coach to train - ergo, some of their schoolwork can be done and is done on their own time.

It also makes for shorter days, as she finishes training at 5 pm and then has time to do her homework, instead of starting homework at 7:30 or 8:00. They definitely have to be an organized and focused individual - but IMHO, most gymnasts are - it's part of what makes them a gymnast.

Once they reach high school, we have a gymnastics academy that is run within our regular public system, and it allows for the gymnasts to day train around their other class schedules.

So, I guess I am the dissenting one here - I completely respect your points of view, but I have to say that after 3 years of pulling my dd early for training, I have yet to see any detrimental effect.

My daughter's gym offered a training time on the Friday before Provincials. It was completely optional, and we declined because she was already going to miss the following Friday to compete.

I don't have any real issue with school day training, it just hasn't been something we've ever had to worry about.

If the daytime practice doesn't sit well with you, just don't go.
Don't know how far away the state meet is and not everyone would be competing on Sat. morning anyway. Why not an additional practice on Thurs eve for those that want it?

Our state meet was about 1 month ago and the girls do have Friday night practice. They came in at their regular time and did what they would do during meet open stretch then the coach took them through all the events and ended practice about an hour early. Nobody missed school and my gymmie(plus 4 others) had to compete at 9am the next morning. Now, the meet site was only about a 75 min drive, so we didn't have to get up super early.

Actually I think the last minute practices are sometimes more for the coach and parents benefit than the kids. As the OP pointed out, they're pretty much ready to go---not going to fix much(if anything) at one last practice. School with us is a priority and I would have my child skip it also.
Is is possible to just miss a little bit of school? I sometimes pick up my DD early but her last hour of the school day is playground and quiet time (I think they play at centers, read, etc) so she doesn't really miss anything (of course she's still just in kindergarten). Maybe it wouldn't hurt your DDs to miss a little school and miss part of practice or some other compromise.
Our gym is such the opposite. Our coaches do not believe in last minute practices and in fact, even if girls are not competing until Sunday, they do not practice on Saturday. When we have our USAIGC States (where every level competes during the same weekend) the last practice is Thursday. Friday is the travel day, and competitions are Sat & Sun. When we went to Nationals, your last practice was the day before traveling, they did not have the girls practice once they got there.
I guess I am a little different than some other parents here, just as I don't regret missing an occasional gymnastics practice (52 weeks x 4 per week=208!!!) for something very important to my dd, I don't see a problem in her missing an occasional day of school for gymnastics. My dd is in the 7th grade now, and has been competing since the 2nd grade. All her teachers know how hard she trains, and we always discuss the gym at the beginning of of the school year. She attends a private school, but her best friend on team attends 7th grade at the local middle school, and they are very like minded as far as the gym/school thing goes. My dd has learned to work ahead on all projects, and we always let her teachers know what is going on, and ask for work before she leaves. We always make sure that all work is completed before she comes I feel it is not a problem. Her grades are very high and she stays on task very well.

You will find as your dd progresses through the levels, an extra day off school sometimes becomes a neccesity for travel, or just to relax. I think that as hard as they practice for the season, it is just a small reward for their hard work. Usually when we go out of town for a meet, we always take an extra day. I always feel sorry for the parents who have more than one dd competing, at our gym we once had 4 sisters on team, from level 5 to level 10. Their poor parents had to split trips on the weekend so that one parent could be with each girl, the comp. and the optionals don't always do the same meets. Sometimes one parent would travel while the other stayed home.

Last month she went on a school sponsored trip to Washington DC. Not all the kids went as the trip for us was pretty pricey. The other children were in school, while she "missed" 3 days. In my mind it isn't much different. I think I take both things seriously, and try to create a proper balance for my dd.

You should do what your heart tells you, but remember, very seldom will your child miss anything "earth-shattering" in the one or two days you will miss school, and if handled with the help of her teachers,she probably won't miss anything. I am sure your coaches will be doing a special pre-meet practice, and it could be a reassurance for your dd to attend. She has worked very hard for her gym opportunity too.

Hope our experiences help.

If you are uncomfortable with having her miss school to attend practice, then you should have her attend school.

From a personal perspective, I have let my dd get out of school early to have a lesson before a state competition. She really liked to have that last opportunity to walk through her routines and get feedback on any little things that she might have been doing wrong. For her, it helped and was a confidence booster. School is tremendously important to us as well. My dd does very well in school and balances her school work with a 6 day/week training schedule. Just as some people said that one extra practice will not impact performance at state if she is ready, I tend to think that missing a few hours of school will not hurt either if she is caught up and is in good standing with her teachers. That said, it has always been our choice to do it and not something that the coaches required. Is the practice they are offering optional?

Honestly, for me it depends on the circumstances. I would do it for a big competiton if my daughter wanted the extra lesson and her teacher said it was okay, but my daughter would never WANT to do it as a day to day reason to miss school. Sorry for the unpopular opinion...
That is a good point about how hard these girls work. Yes- school is an absolute priority. But, they do work very, very hard for their gymnastics, too. They should, in no way, blow off school. But, practice ought to be important, too. In our house, it's a judgment call. My DD loves having perfect attendance at school. This school year, the only day she missed was when she competed at Hilton Head. Her session was on a Friday so we had no choice. But, I never considered not letting her compete, either.

I think the bottom line is yours and your daughter's feelings. Will your daughter work hard to make up the missed work and be respectful of the fact that this is the exception to the rule? If so, then there's probably no harm in letting her go to practice. On the other hand, if she won't take school seriously, then skipping the day might be a problem. Also, what does your daughter want to do?
I guess I am in a minority. I have already pulled DD out of school at 1/2 day for a private lesson. Yes school is very important but I am willing to give her every opportunity. So if we were to have a practice during school. I would probably pull her from school and let her attend. Especially if her grades were good and her attendace was fine. I am one of those Mom's that give a mental health day and pull my kido's out for a weeks vacation too.

I have seen at our gym where team members have taken a day off to help prepare for states or travel to a meet. Like I said there are a lot of variables to take in account.
We pick our daughter up from school 15 min early each day to get to practice on time.As some parents mentioned gymnastics is also a big part of their kids life.
We decided to try homeschooling next school year.
I would allow it as it is a once off, it is not like this is being required everyweek. Some kids take days of school all the time for no good reason at all. If your daughter is one of those kids who is good about attending and goes everyday, then it wont do much damage. It is a wonderful achievement to qualify for a high level competition and this may be one special privledge. I'm sure your daughter will see it as this and not expect to get days off all the time.
Thank you all for responding. I really do appreciate everyone's opinions. My girls have not missed any days of school this year. I do think the gym had other options than scheduling the practice during school, but the coach said it is an optional practice. Both of my daughters feel strongly that they don't want to miss the last practice, so I have decided to go in and talk with their teachers. I will explain the situation to them and see if we are able to work something out for them to be able to attend the practice, making sure they make up everything they miss. I did let the coach and gym owner know that I would prefer that they try not to schedule any practices during school time again - it made me feel better to say something to them...

Thanks again for all your input.
I'm not sure if it's this way everywhere, but I'm in NY and my daughter has had 3 meets this year that were during school. It seems like we always get scheduled on Fridays.
We've had meets scheduled on Friday's. For the actual competition I take her out of school - which is probably why I won't for practice.
We pick our daughter up from school 15 min early each day to get to practice on time.

My dd also has to leave 10-15 minutes early to make practice 1 or 2 times a week. I have pulled her early or skipped school if we have to travel to a meet far away. It all depends on the circumstances. Sometimes there is a practice scheduled during the day when there is no school in the town we go to for gym and my dds school is in session but the coach would never expect her to skip either.

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