This blog is a collection of my thoughts and experiences from ten years as a skate dad. For those of you sitting with your jackets in the bleachers, first I salute you, but second I want to give you an honest sense of what you are in for and what to expect. Ice skating is both a trying and a glorious sport, but it doesn't happen without the special group of folks who cheer, support, and console the participants. This is dedicated to you.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

- school


One of the big decisions for a skate parent is what to do about school. Not skating school: every parent recognizes their kid will go through several years of skate school followed by many more years of the more expensive lessons with a personal coach and off ice specialists. That's all just part of the sport.

But what the heck do you do about the "three R's" the regular boring state-mandated curriculum? If your kid is at all a serious skater she will be spending three or four hours every day at the rink or an off-ice session, and it is simply impossible for a parent to juggle this around a regular school schedule, public or private.

Inevitably then, the serious skaters also home-school. My second daughter skated, and as we had already done a bit of home schooling of the first, for us it was no big deal. For many parents though this can be a deal breaker.

Here in L.A., the district runs a parallel institution (www.cityofangelsschoolk12.com) for home schoolers where the kids check in with a teacher once a week and do the rest as independent study. Around half of this happens at home, but my daughter found the best strategy was to lug a couple books to the rink every day and study during session breaks, in between coaching and class times.

This also has some social implications for how your child is raised: it means skate parties instead of football games. And it's a big part of what causes the sport to be so clique.

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