I’ve been homeschooling for the past 11 years. I remember when I first talked about homeschooling my children, my husband was a bit reluctant because he definitely wanted our kids to play sports if they wanted to. Especially football! He always regretted not playing football in high school, so he wanted his son to have that chance.
Many parents have the same concerns! In fact, that is a very common reason why many parents don’t even look at homeschooling as a promising educational choice. I’m here to tell you that it is still very possible to allow your children to participate in sports and still homeschool. We are living proof of that!
My son is 15 years old and has played football for a local private high school for the past 2 years. He absolutely LOVES it! He lives and breathes football during football season. He is counting down the days until it’s time to play again, when it’s not in season. That just happens to be what works for us, but what other options do you have?
6 Ways Homeschooled Kids Can Still Be Involved in Sports
Play Sports for a Public School System
Many public school systems allow home schooled kids to play sports in their districts. Check with HSLDA to see what the laws are for your state and then check with your schools to see if this is an option for you. I’ve never been much of an athlete, but when I was a high schooler, my parents decided to homeschool me. I was still able to attend band class at our local high school. The same could be true for your students in sports. You never know until you ask.
Play Sports for a Private School
Each year, there are many small, private schools who are in dire need of more players so that they can still compete with other schools’ sports teams. That is the case with the school my son plays football for. They always have a small team. Some years they don’t even have enough people to have a team, so when the homeschool community joins in, they’re more than happy to accommodate. Living in a rural community, we’re super blessed to have a small Christian school nearby that he can participate with. My daughter hopes to play Volleyball with them this year!
Play Sports for a Homeschool Team
Many of the larger suburban area Homeschool Associations have enough homeschoolers in the metro area that they can have their own teams. They go around playing local public and private schools. If you’re in a large city, check with your state and city homeschool organizations to see if there are any homeschool sports teams already set up.
Form Your Own Homeschool Team
Even if you’re not living in a city, you could still possibly put together your own small team if you have enough homeschoolers in your area. You may have to get creative on who you play and how you structure it. In our area, we tried to have a family baseball team where all ages (including parents) could play on a team together. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough interest for this team to last, but it could definitely work in other areas.
Play Sports For City Teams
Many City Recreation Commissions coordinate sporting events for all ages. This is a good way to test the waters to see if your child is interested in pursuing athletic competition further. They have everything from soccer, baseball, softball, football, volleyball and more. When a blogger friend of mine was of high school age, she and her homeschooled friends gathered enough people to form a community volleyball team. They would play other adult teams in the area. We’ve used the city teams to play baseball, football and soccer.
Think Outside the Box
When all else fails, think outside the box. Think about alternate ways that you can get your child involved in athletic events. Sign him/her up for Karate lessons, boxing lessons or dance lessons. Organize a track & field day. Take up running with your child and join 5k races together. Just because you think your child may want to be on a team, you may be surprised to hear that he’ll be just as happy doing something totally different.
Do you know of other ways that homeschooled kids can take part in sports that I have missed? Please leave a comment below to tell me about it.
There are many excuses to not homeschool and the fabulous women of iHomeschool Network have tackled these reasons and given ways to overcome them. For more themes in the “I Can’t Homeschool Because” series with iHomeschool Network, click on the picture below: