Tim Tebow, the Heisman Trophy winning NFL quarterback, was home-schooled as a child by his mother. He remained home-schooled through high school, but was able to participate in high school athletics with the public school district that his family resided. In 2005, Tim Tebow led his team at Neese High School to the state championship and as a college freshman, played on the National Championship Florida Gators team in 2006.
Many home-school families do not have the opportunities to play on athletic teams or participate in other extracurricular activities that high school students of public school districts have. There are several states that have already passed some form of legislation that allows home-school families access to public school activities.
Due to the various home-school regulations of each state, it is difficult to get an accurate count of the number of home-school students in the United States. According to the Center for Education Statistics, in 2007 there were about 1.7 million students who are being home-schooled. Due to Tim Tebow’s success as a high school, college and professional athlete and his status as a home-school graduate, he has authorized the use of his name to be used for a legislative bill giving home-school children the right to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities.
There are several states that have introduced a version of the Tim Tebow Bill to their legislation for approval. Some of those states include Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas and Alabama. There are a total of 27 states, including Arkansas where the Tim Tebow Bill has been approved, where there are regulations allowing home-schooled students to try-out and participate in sports for the public school district in which they reside.
Families decide to home-school their children for various reasons; religion, safety, type of education, better curriculum, etc. Tim Tebow is not the only professional athlete who was home-schooled. NBA player Mike Beasley was home-schooled as was NFL player Jason Taylor. College basketball star, Sam Warren was also home-schooled. Tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams were home-schooled.
Although, many would argue that home-schooled students who participate in individual or partner sports such as tennis, gymnastics, figure skating, ballroom dance, etc. have much more opportunities because they can hire coaches and train separately without having to rely on a team for training. Some home-school students who wish to play on team sports do not have the opportunity because their state does not allow for them to try out for the team of their public school district.
There are some home-school leagues out there, however, those leagues do not give the athletes the same opportunities to be seen by scouts as playing for their public school. Colleges are going to be watching high schools for their talent pool and those home-schoolers who are not able to play are not given the same consideration as those who are able to play. The Tim Tebow Bill promotes equality for home-school students.