Children who work in the entertainment industry must receive an education that meets legal requirements and allows them flexibility to pursue their careers. Parents will want to make sure they comply with state and district rules, but they also want to give their child time for training, auditions and professional work. There are options available for the working child actor in addition to traditional public school.
Public school. You may find a public school that’s very cooperative in providing makeup work and rescheduling tests if your child misses class time for auditions. Other public schools can threaten failing grades or even expulsion if you pull your child out of school early. You may want to look at other options depending on how many auditions you’re booking and the public school’s reaction to the demands of your child’s career.
Homeschooling. Your state’s Department of Education website can tell you about requirements you’ll have to meet to homeschool your child. This option gives you the comfort of knowing your child is getting the individual attention that’s needed. The advantage is that you create your own schedule and your child never misses a class. The challenge is keeping both teacher—that’s you—and student motivated and disciplined.
Internet schooling. The Internet is another approach that takes education out of the bricks-and-mortar classroom and into the home or other convenient location. Discipline and motivation are the challenges with Internet schooling just as they are with homeschooling. Look online for programs that meet state requirements. You may want to consider k12.com, which is accredited from kindergarten through the 12th grade.
Professional Children’s School. This is a school for professional children in the entertainment industry who already have work commitments that require them to miss class time. They offer shortened school days and online instruction for the kid whose schedule also includes acting classes, coaching and auditions. They don’t penalize students who land jobs that take them away for months at a time, but instead they work with kids and parents to keep up with state requirements.
A completely different professional children’s school is one that offers classes in the performing arts but does not permit kids to audition while school is in session. Your child can get amazing training in acting, dancing, singing and musical theater along with a core curriculum of English and math. Children won’t be working or getting professional experience during the school year if they attend one with a “no audition” policy.