Agnes and Joseph Horowitz, Upper West Side. Daughter Maggie, age 15
Maggie: I’ve known I wanted to be a ballerina since I was 6. I average around three and a half hours of ballet a day, so that’s why I started homeschooling. I’ve just always been self-directed. I hate wasting time.
Joseph:When she started homeschooling, we had no idea what to expect. All we knew was that she didn’t have time to deal with school. What we learned is that we can invent our own combination of online courses, parent courses, tutors, and group courses.
Maggie:For some, I have a private tutor; for others, I go to group classes with other homeschool children. I also take a college course at Borough of Manhattan Community College. And my dad teaches me—last year he taught me a Dvorák course.
Agnes: My husband and I let her take the lead. I will never forget this time—Maggie was maybe 4—and she was taking a dance class; she was in the Sunday session, and she observed that the Saturday class was stronger and the teacher was better. She looked up at me and said, “Mom, I want to switch to Saturday because they’re better.”
Maggie:As much as friends are fun, hanging out after school doesn’t really appeal to me. I love to put my energy into ballet, and while it would be great to become a professional dancer, I’m also thinking about applying to college. As a second track, I’m preparing for medical school. I guess you could say I’m a perfectionist.
Agnes: I try to temper that all the time. This summer she took three dance intensives, a math class, and SAT prep without any vacation. It was terrible! But it’s what she chose.