Homeschooling and Sports
Team sports were at the top of my husband’s list of reasons my son should go to public school. However, Tim Tebow has alleviated any concerns my husband had about homeschooling and sports.
Tebow, a college football player who was homeschooled through high school, recently won the Heismann Trophy – the highest honor in college sports.
Homeschool sports have many benefits. They teach teamwork, sportsmanship, commitment, perseverance, and discipline, in addition to helping children stay physically fit. Even the most athletically talented, competitive homeschoolers can participate in sports programs.
Here are several options for Homeschool Sports:
Neighborhood Games – Informal, “pick up” games in the neighborhood are a great for letting children burn off energy and develop skills, without the cost and time requirements of organized teams. Unfortunately, as children join teams at earlier ages, these activities are becoming harder to find in some neighborhoods.
YMCA – The YMCA is a Christian organization that offers a wide range of sports programs to individuals of all faiths. YMCA leagues emphasize teamwork, cooperation, and good over winning. They also offer reasonably priced sports camps.
Upward – Upward is a Christian ministry that offers basketball, soccer, football and cheerleading to children in grades K through 6. The program focuses on character, skill development, and equal playing time team members.
Brief devotions are taught at each practice, and testimonies are shared during half time at each game. At the end of the season, players and their families are given an opportunity to accept Christ.
Parks and Recreation – Recreational sports can be found through your local parks and recreation department. They are non religious, inexpensive and competitive. Specific rules and requirements vary according to location.
Select Sports – Select teams, or travel teams, are for children who want to play sports on a more competitive level. Children must try out for these teams, and are not guaranteed playing time.
Because of time spent practicing, and traveling to games and tournaments, select teams can strain the family schedule and take time away from other meaningful activities. In addition, these programs are costly in terms of fees and money spent traveling.
Public School – Some school districts allow homeschoolers to play on local public school teams. Parents who take advantage of these opportunities will be subject to district rules and requirements. Children will be under school authority during practices and games.
Home School Leagues – Home School sports leagues are cropping up all over the nation. Through organizations such as the Home School Athletic Association, homeschoolers can play middle school and high school sports on a competitive level.
For more information on homeschooling sports, contact Homeschool SportsNet.
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