For years, people have criticized the homeschool family because they feel the children don’t have the opportunity to associate with their peers. Critics say children miss out on socialization as well as physical activity because they are stuck in the house. For many children, especially as they get older, sport activities are major parts of their normal socialization process. When you are a class of one, it can be hard to get involved in extracurricular activities that children in traditional schools have. However, sport activities and the homeschool family don’t have to be separate entities. Many such families find unique avenues to expose their children to sports and physical activity.
Some state departments of education have created programs to meet the needs of the homeschool family. Homeschool families can see if the public schools in their area can work with them and allow their children to participate in physical activities or team sports at local schools. In that way, children get the best of both worlds.
A good example of local schools working with the families of homeschooled children is Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. Before he led his team to a national title, he was a homeschooler. While he was being homeschooled, Florida passed a law allowing homeschooled children to compete in high school sports. His parents let him play football at one of the local schools. Parents will have to see if these laws exist in their individual states.
If such laws don’t exist in the state in which a homeschool family resides, parents find out about local sports leagues and sign their children up with community organizations. Recreations departments and individual gym owners often provide youth activities for participation. If the recreations department in the family’s area have youth sports, parents can sign their children up for a small fee. Sometimes, they will have to pay extra for equipment rental or purchase.
Independent gyms may be a little more costly for families. Some of these establishments, though, compete against other local or state places. Many of these sport activities take place on the weekends, so they shouldn’t interfere with school work.
If these suggestions don’t work for the family, homeschool families in a general area can get together and for teams that play against one another. This is a perfect networking opportunity for parents teaching their children at home because others know what you are going through. They may be able to give each other suggestions about teaching techniques that they use to help their children better understand the information presented. It is a way for the children, too, to form bonds with people like themselves.
Homeschooling and sports activities don’t have to be excluded from one another. Creative families can find a number of ways to teach their children at home and give them physical activity. By doing this, children avoid the isolation sometimes associated with homeschooled children.