Texas Tech University

Taekwondo and TTU K-12

Elementary student places in the U.S. Taekwondo Championships while taking online classes.

Rianna Decker

Rianna Decker

Rianna Decker

Rianna Decker

by Lucy Worley

August 8, 2017

Rianna Decker has been a Texas Tech University K-12 (TTU K-12) student for four years and has been staying busy with more than just her schoolwork.

The Decker Family decided to enroll in an online school when Rianna was in the second grade. “We realized that Rianna was an independent learner and because of this she was becoming bored in school,” Rianna's mother, Lois said.

Now entering her sixth grade year, Rianna has thrived within the TTU K-12 program. She recently tied for bronze in her age category in the 2017 U.S. Taekwondo National Championships. With five years of taekwondo under her belt, Rianna is rising through the ranks of this martial art. Her steadiness and perseverance recently earned her a blue belt.

“I wanted Rianna to try a martial art in order to learn self-defense. After some time of taking lessons, we decided to have her start sparring and turned it into something more competitive,” Lois said.

Knowing the basics of Taekwondo is good but it is being able to think on your feet and apply those moves under pressure that allows confidence to increase. Sparring gives students the opportunity to practice quick thinking.

Rianna acknowledged that Taekwondo not only provides her confidence but also offers other invaluable life lessons.

“A lot of what we learn in taekwondo translates into life. We focus on having courtesy and integrity, perseverance, self-control and possessing an indomitable spirit,” Rianna said.

Her mother would agree that these life lessons are sinking in.

“I have seen her grow in respect and humility from her training under Master Taegoo Kyong and these qualities are being translated into many parts of her life,” Lois said.

Rianna Decker

Rianna Decker

Rianna Decker

Rianna Decker

Taekwondo is not the only thing this family has added to their TTU K-12 curriculum though.

“Taekwondo is Rianna's physical education while piano and guitar make up her music curriculum. We really desire for her to have a well-rounded education. Her horseback riding is what we would consider extra‑curricular.”

Regarding the TTU K-12 curriculum itself, the Decker Family loves it.

“Rianna's favorite subject is science and TTU K-12 has done a great job with providing easy and fun learning experiments for an elementary level. They are easy to do with things you can find in your house. We have enjoyed these experiments a lot,” Lois said.

The family is excited to start on the middle school curriculum this coming year, as it involves more than just the core classes you take on the elementary level.

“TTU K-12 has been an excellent fit for our family. My husband is a doctor and his hours make it harder for us to spend time together or take vacations. Since switching to online learning, we can now plan schoolwork around my husband's schedule to ensure quality time together as a family,” Lois said.

In the past few years the Decker Family has been able to travel together to places such as Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., New York City and China.

The Decker Family has additionally enrolled their younger child, Hunter, in the TTU K-12 program.

“The freedom we experienced was valuable to us as a family so we wanted both of our children on the flexible schedule,” Lois said.

TTU K-12 exists to give families options for where and when their students learn. The Decker Family is the perfect example of a family who has made the most of that flexibility and we look forward to seeing what future accomplishments Rianna and her younger brother will achieve in their time with TTU K-12.