Organized Sports for Homeschoolers

We’re entering into new territory in the life of our homeschool: organized sports.

If you have younger children you might truly be wondering what your athletic child will do when the days of Little League, Upward, and various other rec league opportunities come to an end. Sports opportunities are abundant when kids are little, but what happens when they get to the middle and high school years?

Quite a few parents have told me they have decided to send their child to traditional high school for the sports opportunities (among other reasons). I believe this is fear talking - or perhaps sports sound like a good enough reason to stop homeschooling your high schooler.

As the mom of an extremely athletic boy, I understand the importance of sports. They provide a much needed physical outlet, a vehicle for a competitive nature, and an opportunity to challenge personal limits.

Then that homeschool mom mindset kicks in. You know what I mean. We tend to be skeptical of “group” anything. We also tend to hold our children’s activities quite closely. We’ve done a lot on our own thus far, right?

Organized Sports for Homeschoolers

As you seek the best sports situation for your child, be sure it aligns with your homeschool vision. What are your ULTIMATE goals for your homeschool graduate? Will these athletics support those goals?

Have you prayed with and for your child about their education? About their athletic opportunities?

Sometimes FEAR begins to kick in as our children approach the high school years. Don’t ever forget we must have faith - not fear.

Organized Sports for Homeschoolers in Public Schools

First, we need to understand the facts - more specifically the facts for the area where we live.

Many states have passed the Tim Tebow Law. Basically, certain states have given the ok for homeschoolers to participate in public school sports teams. (Here is a list of the states and a little more about the law.)

I imagine that, if you live in one of these states, weighing the pros and cons of participating in a public school sports team is important.

If you homeschool for religious reasons, be prepared for God to be off limits now. You should also understand the INTENSE peer pressure that exists in public high schools today. Some of the statistics surrounding sexuality in public high schools are astounding.

Then again, you may know the exact situation your homeschooler would be stepping into - and if you keep close tabs on the situation all could be well.

Organized Sports for Homeschoolers in Hybrid Schools

Homeschool hybrid schools also provide sports opportunities for homeschoolers. If you aren’t familiar with this term hybrid schools are…

... a model where children split their time between homeschool and a more traditional schooling environment. This could be three days at home and two days at school, two days at home and three days at school, part of the day at home and part of the day at schools, or a variety of other options.
— Forbes Magazine

In my area (Atlanta metro) there are an abundance of these schools. These schools give homeschoolers a chance to play on their sports teams, sometimes regardless of their enrollment status.

Organized Sports for Homeschoolers in Private Schools

This option is one we have become acutely familiar with in the past year.

Many private schools (especially smaller schools who might need players for teams or who are trying to increase their revenue) welcome homeschoolers on their sports teams.

My son has been playing basketball for a local Christian school this season (in fact, they just won the state championships - how awesome is that?). The benefits have been TREMENDOUS, and we have loved the emphasis on Godly character and sportsmanship.

Organized Sports for Homeschoolers

Sometimes all it takes is putting out feelers to see if there are schools in your area that allow homeschoolers to play - and it never hurts to make a call to a school to ask about their policy.

And here’s an interesting side note - we actually had a choice of where my son would play basketball this year - a local hybrid school or a Christian school just down the street from us.

I love that we have CHOICE! (Homeschooling is so mainstream now, and the opportunities are endless!)

Create Your Own Homeschool Athletic Team

Homeschool parents are resourceful when there is a need for their children.

We have played on a tennis team that was organized by homeschool moms. They secured two tennis instructors and lessons were offered each Friday morning. Children who were interested could play on a USTA team (easily organized by a parent).

I can imagine the sky would be the limit with the sports opportunities you could create - if you know children who are interested and someone who is willing to lead/instruct the group, you are set.

Homeschool Sports - Use the YMCA

Finally, we have used our local YMCA for many years.

Our branch offers basketball, tennis, swimming, baseball - and probably so much more that I am not even aware of.

Granted, these opportunities tend to diminish once children are in 9th grade.

My children also use the YMCA for simply working out, too. Our membership has been of such value during our homeschooling years. At one point my kids even took a Homeschool PE class at our local YMCA.

(In the same vein, don’t forget about local sports academies that might offer things like soccer, flag football, etc… )

Organized Sports for Homeschoolers

I hope you are reassured about the ABUNDANCE of opportunities for athletics in the upper years of homeschooling. I’m in the middle of it all now, and will keep you posted as life for my sports loving boy continues!

Do you have an older child in organized sports?

Where do they play?

Leave me a comment below and let’s share situations!

Organized Sports for Homeschoolers

What We've Been Up To Lately: February Book Stack and Some Basketball

Are you a planner by nature?

I am confessing right here that I am NOT.

So, the very thought of laying out the books I want to read in a month at the BEGINNING of the month feels a little stifling to me. I have come to the realization, however, that this will be a good way for me to evaluate my bookish goals.

By “bookish goals” I mean my goal of reading more non fiction, more Christian works, and in general keeping myself away from too much twaddle.

February Book Stack @ Homegrown Learners

February Book Stack for Mom

I completed Inhertiance, by Dani Shapiro, just yesterday. I had heard the hype on this one, and I can tell you it lives up to that hype.

Dani Shapiro knocked it out of the park with this memoir about her shocking discovering of her ancestry.

In addition to that book, I have the following books on my TBR for February

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and LoveOne Summer: America, 1927Mere ChristianityThe Enchanted April (Penguin Classics)The Duchess of Bloomsbury StreetMiss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Persephone Classics)


Audio Books

I always like to keep an Audible selection going in the car.

I am finishing The Secret Diary of Hendrick Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old - it’s hilarious - but I’m warning you… you have to have a good sense of humor about aging and people being in a nursing home. I can chuckle at his stories because my dad lives in an Assisted Living, and this is SO TRUE to life!

Additionally, a book club friend asked me to read An Anonymous Girl, so that is next up in my Audible cue.

The Secret Diary of Hendrik GroenAn Anonymous Girl: A Novel


Reading for My Teens

Grant is reading short stories for his Challenge B curriculum. I have been reading a few of those aloud with him, which is interesting. I love the discussions we are having.

He is bound and determined to finish the Pendragon series. I think reading books in a series is a universal thing for middle schoolers, yes?

My daughter is taking a World Literature class this year and is finishing Julius Caesar right now. For fun, she just re-read Forever Today, which is a a story about the English musician, Clive Wearing. It is a truly heartbreaking and fascinating story.

We are starting a new read aloud this week, and I am taking the advice of so many and starting Echo. I have heard the audio is excellent, but we already own the book. What to do? I think I may use an Audible credit so we can listen and follow along.

Pendragon Complete Collection: The Merchant of Death; The Lost City of Faar; The Never War; The Reality Bug; Black Water; The Rivers of Zadaa; The ... of Rayne; Raven Rise; The Soldiers of HallaForever Today: A Memoir Of Love And Amnesia by Wearing, Deborah New edition (2005)Echo


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A fun aside - I’ve been able to get a lot of reading done because it is basketball season!

I do a lot of waiting at practices and before games. I also sneak in reading if my husband is driving us to an away game.

This weekend my son’s team is in the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!

We’re very excited. It is so much fun watching these kids play. He plays for a local Christian school that allows homeschoolers to play on their team, so he has quite a few of his homeschool buddies that play with him. Good stuff!

Initially I was resistant to a lot of organized sports, but this has been a spectacular experience, and I can see the many benefits this is having for my son. I anticipate he will play next year.

My life right now is SQUILT, homeschool, basketball, and BOOKS — and next week I’ll talk more about getting my oldest registered off for college, because that deserves a post all of its own.

What have YOU been up to?

Do you have a reading stack for February?