callie posing for her gymnastics win March 28, 2017

A Day in the Life

How Excel Academy Third Grader and Gymnast Extraordinaire, Callie Scherbarth, Keeps up in School While Pursuing the 2024 Summer Olympics

With Los Angeles in the final running to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, Excel Academy parent, Vanessa Scherbarth, and third grade student, Callie, can’t help but root for the City of Angels to claim the Games. Callie is a budding gymnast who is already winning world meets.

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Vanessa and Callie about their homeschooling experience with Excel Academy and were delighted to hear that the program is helping Callie blossom not just on bars and beams, but also in school. At Excel, parents design, guide, and teach their children at home along with the support and knowledge of a credentialed Education Specialist. Here’s a day in the life of Vanessa and Callie:

Mornings: Flexible, But Focused

If there were two words to describe a champion gymnast, they would probably be flexible and focused. Callie’s mornings capture these same qualities; they give her the freedom to spend as much time as she needs on a given assignment, but also challenge her to string together a solid stretch of concentration before she heads to gymnastics at 11:30 a.m.

“One of the best things about homeschooling with Excel Academy is that we have plenty of time to get ready in the morning,” Vanessa says. “We usually begin schoolwork around 8 a.m., so we get a relatively early start, with no wasted motion.”

Callie typically studies up to 11 a.m., with the option to either power through the whole morning or take breaks as needed. She is currently two grades ahead in math and will often ask Vanessa if she can do extra worksheets.

Excelling in Gymnastics

From 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, Callie fine-tunes her bar, beam, floor, and vault routines. Being homeschooled, Callie has access to the gym at off-peak times, when it’s quiet, empty, and easy to focus.

Now, for a third-grader to put in 20 hours per week toward an extracurricular activity is impressive; to do it healthily and happily is truly inspiring.

“With homeschooling, Callie is able to spend so much time doing what she loves,” Vanessa says. “There is simply more time in the day.”

The routine seems to be working all around. Callie is one of the youngest Level 6 gymnasts in competition, and in February, she took the 2017 World Elite Classic by storm. She finished 1st in Beam, 1st in Bar, 2nd in Floor, and 3rd in Vault. Watch her routines below!

A Homeschooling Family

Vanessa also homeschools Callie’s older brother, Caleb. Part of the reason Vanessa and Callie make such a push to complete Callie’s schoolwork in the mornings is so that Callie can relax after gymnastics. The two attend Caleb’s water polo practices, and Callie also dedicates time to playing the piano.

Between Callie and Caleb, virtually no learning stone has been left unturned. Their past extracurricular activities span everything from crocheting to coding: physiology to engineering.

“I love homeschooling,” Vanessa says. “I truly believe in it and am a strong advocate for it.”

Growing up in a UCLA family, Callie loves going to see collegiate gymnastics meets at Pauley Pavilion and already wants to be a Bruin. Until then, she and Vanessa will be watching the possibility of the Olympics coming to their backyard for Callie’s first eligible Summer Games. It already sounds like a storybook run in the making.

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