Education Options for Child Actors and Performers
Families who decide to allow their children to pursue a career in the entertainment industry face many unique challenges in ensuring their child receives a quality education. Keeping up with family life, acting, dancing and voice lessons, auditions, film shoots and performances can leave little time for homework and a consistent school schedule.
So, what are the options available to child performers and their families?
While many child performers have been able to create a successful career while attending public school, this option is the most unpredictable. While some public educators may support a student’s professional aspirations, allow make-up assignments and overlook regular absences, some may not. If a family does decide to continue with public education, they must ask several questions, such as:
- Will the school allow regular absences for work?
- Will the student be penalized in any way for being absent?
- Will the student’s school schedule be so rigorous that they cannot balance school and work?
- Will the school make accommodations for the student if they get a job out of state or country for an extended time?
There are many homeschooling styles and approaches where the child directs the learning and the parent facilitates by connecting the curricula to the child’s interest: Classic, based on the three stages (grammar, logic and rhetoric) of learning and Unschooling, organic, self-directed learning. A homeschool education can offer academic flexibility, individualized education and freedom to choose curriculum. However, homeschooling takes considerably more time on the part of a parent. In addition to the role of mother or father, a parent must also take on the roles of teacher, tutor, curriculum researcher and principal. Before getting started with homeschooling, families need to ask themselves:
- What homeschooling style is best for my family?
- Do you as a parent have time to devote to teaching your children?
- Which curriculum will you follow?
- Are you committed to homeschooling for the long haul?
Hybrid learning, such as that offered at Xceed Preparatory Academy, is the best of both worlds and provides a mix of traditional in-person and online learning. Some students may attend classes on campus, while others join classes virtually from anywhere. This educational approach allows for more flexibility, accessibility and immersive and interactive collaboration for teachers and students who need the flexibility to pursue their own interests and talents in a supportive, innovative environment. If a hybrid education is something your family wants to pursue, ask yourself:
- Is my child motivated and disciplined enough to be responsible for their schoolwork?
- Do we have or can we purchase the technology needed to ensure our student is successful?
- Is my child familiar enough with the technology needed for classes should any issues arise?
- What support might my child need to succeed, and does the school offer that support?
Whichever option your family chooses, it’s important to remember that all U.S. states have compulsory education laws that mandate that a child performer’s education shouldn’t be interrupted. So, as the parent of a child performer, it is crucial to be aware of your state’s education requirements.