homeschool and sports

There are many reasons families never consider homeschooling. One of the top reasons has absolutely nothing to do with academics. It’s all about the sports. Children and their parents love sports and are not willing to give them up for more freedom in education. As homeschooling has become more accepted, parents and their children no longer have to choose between athletic opportunities and homeschooling. They may now do both.

You may remember when homeschooler and football player Tim Tebow came on the scene. He is just one of several homeschool student athletes who shined the light on the physical and athletic abilities of homeschool students. Homeschoolers are popularly known for winning the National Spelling Bee. For some reason, many people do not associate homeschooler and physical athlete. It is a connection that typically belongs only to public and private school students. That is surprising when you look at the long list of accomplished homeschool students who have excelled in sports. These are just some of the successful athletes who were homeschooled at some point of their academic career or from kindergarten through high school.

Successful Homeschooled Athletes

Benjamin Agosto – ice dancer
Michael Beasley – basketball
Tanith Belbin – ice dancer
David Boudia – diver
Bethany Hamilton – surfer
Julia Cohen – tennis player
Alexa Glatch – tennis player
Chelsey Gullickson – tennis player
Katie Hoff – swimmer
Steele Johnson – diver
Todd Lodwick – skier
Tara McKinney – skier
Ariel Rittenhouse – diver
Serena Williams – player
Venus Williams – tennis
Kaitlyn Weaver – ice dancer

If you were ever wondering whether or not homeschoolers are talented and skilled enough to play competitive sports that list of athletes should answer your question. Homeschoolers are capable and athletically talented. Colleges and universities are now realizing that fact. Schools are now seeking homeschool students to complete their teams and award them athletic scholarships along with their public and private school peers.

Athletic scholarships have opened the doors for many students to pursue higher education. That is one reason sports is so important to many children and their parents. For some, athletic scholarships are the only ticket to higher education.

Opportunities for Homeschool Athletes

Many children not only dream of playing in college, but may desire to continue playing in a professional capacity. Although not all children will have careers as professional athletes, that does not reduce the number of them who want to have the option open and available to play in college. In West Tennessee, associations like the West Tennessee Homeschool Sports & Activities WTHSA, the Memphis Nighthawks and the Memphis-Area Home Education Association (MHEA) have answered the need for homeschoolers to have an option to play competitive sports. Although there are often fees for students to compete with those entities, homeschool athletes have competitive sports opportunities that may not otherwise be available to them. Each year, a number of athletes from those associations have students who continue to play in college on athletic scholarships. Check in your area to see what organization are available for your child.

Because of the large number of homeschool athletes who are served by HomeLife Academy (HLA) in Florida, HLA launched Home Life Athletes (HLA Prep) Preparatory School. HLA Prep serves Florida homeschool athletes and enables them to play competitive sports with public and private Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSSA) member schools. Students may compete in their sport and maintain their umbrella coverage, so they can continue to receive benefits and services from HLA. Administrator Karen Johnson Bateman shares how many parents are thrilled that their students can retain the advantages of a private school, like counseling, transcripts and NCAA help, and still meet requirements to participate in competitive high school sports.

“We have received multiple calls and e-mails thanking us for this opportunity, and that’s the kind of service we want to provide to homeschool families,” said Karen Johnson Bateman, HLA Senior High Counselor & Florida Support.

Get Your Athlete Involved

High school athletics is competitive. If you have a child who desires to play sports anytime during the school year, start checking on the opportunities months before the season begins. Many teams start practicing for tryouts months before a sport season opens. Football is a fall and winter sport, but some coaches will have prospective players on the field in June, July and August already practicing drills and learning key skills for the upcoming season. Depending on the sport, some coaches may have athletes practicing, in some capacity, throughout the year.

Along with homeschool associations, many states allow homeschoolers to participate on teams in their local school district. If you have a future athlete and know they may want to play sports with their local public or private school, start checking now to learn the requirements {/faq/sports-extracurricular-activities/}. There will be paperwork to complete and deadlines to meet, and you want to be sure your child does not miss the chance to try out for a team.

Each year, homeschoolers see new opportunities that open for them. Homeschooling does not only offer freedom in education, but also freedom in athletics.

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©2018 HomeLife Academy. Article by Jennifer Smeltser. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the publisher /.