You may be wondering how to involve your kids in sports activities when they are homeschooling. There are many options available to homeschool families for getting involved in sports. No matter what sport you are interested in, there is likely an option for you unless you live in an extremely remote area.
Types of Sports
In the beginning of homeschooling there weren't many options available for homeschoolers who wanted to play sports. Thanks to pioneering homeschoolers who have paved the way, today there are many options available.
Although the options vary widely by district, some schools will allow homeschooled students in their district to participate in non-competitive sports. Athletic association rules often prohibit non-enrolled students from playing competitively. However, each school system is different. For example, some high schools will allow a student to enroll for one or two classes and be homeschooled for others, thus allowing the student to play on sports teams competitively. Speak to your principle and superintendent to learn what options might be available to your children.
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) guesses that about one and a half million children are now being homeschooled. The growth in homeschooling over the last decade has also meant a growth in options for sports teams through local homeschool groups. Each area seems to focus on different types of sports, with track being quite popular along with basketball. Many homeschooling families also take advantage of church sports teams to play baseball.
Unless you are homeschooling in a remote area of Alaska where there are few other residents, you can likely find a local community league for sports such as soccer, basketball, baseball and even football. Community leagues are often run through the local parks and recreation department in each community and cost to participate is minimal. Teams are typically coached by parent volunteers, allowing parents an opportunity to get involved in the sport as well. Children are typically grouped by ability or age.
If you have a son or daughter interested in football or cheerleading, you may also want to look into the Pop Warner cheer and football programs or start a local league of your own.
Private Groups and Lessons
If none of the above options work for your family, there are always private lessons and groups you can join. For example, a young girl who enjoys cheerleading might benefit from tumbling lessons at the local gym and then join the gym's competitive cheer squad. While the cost of this type of sport is not going to be inexpensive, it can fill a gap in physical education or allow your child to pursue something she loves. Some other ideas include:
- Bowling leagues - Most bowling alleys offer leagues for kids. Some provide lessons as well and practice time bowling.
- Hockey teams - Many ice rinks offer hockey and ice skating lessons and some have teams.
- Dance - Most dance studios offer private lessons as well as competitive dance squads. There is no need to limit your child to ballet and jazz. For example, Irish Step Dancing has grown in popularity as has Swing dancing.
Sports can help children learn to accept both victory and defeat well and can give them an opportunity to socialize with other children while getting physically fit. Once you find the sport your child loves, you'll find many different options for your child to participate in that sport. Be creative and talk to other parents whose children are interested in the same things.