Sports Involvement for Homeschooled Students
Benefits of Sports for Kids
Homeschoolers often search for positive socialization opportunities to create a well-rounded education. Sports are an interactive way to encourage active community contribution in your children. It’s also a great way to instill lifelong values of health and fitness.
Sports may help kids develop social competence, increase self-worth, facilitate growth and maturation, and benefit moral development, according to the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University. Sports also offer kids a sense of belonging, a sometimes neglected aspect of development, which comes from interaction with teammates and healthy competition.
Play Sports at the Local Public School
The privilege for homeschoolers to participate in public school activities remains a state, not federal decision, according to Chris Klicka, attorney for the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, or HSLDA. Each state decides whether or not to allow homeschoolers to participate in local sports at the public schools.
The best way to find out how to involve your kids in sports activities is to contact your local superintendent, or present your request to the school board. They’ll decide if participation will be permitted. Also note that most states require students to have passing grades in order to play sports, so you’ll need to bring grade reports to verify passing scores in a certain number of classes.
Concerning the right to equal access for homeschoolers, carefully consider the pros and cons of allowing your children to participate in public school sports. Each family must decide if group sports in the public school setting are the right choice for them.
Community sports programs are often an interesting cross-section of society, in which you’ll find homeschoolers as well as public schooled students. Anyone can sign up for the leagues, which means you’ll have no legal issues to deal with, as you might with public school sports. There are also more opportunities for girls in the community setting than there are in public schools.
Not only do sports offer socialization benefits, but the physical benefits are astounding. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can combat chronic diseases that are affecting our society and at an increasingly younger age, such as cancer and diabetes. It can help kids manage their weight, improve their confidence, and enhance the overall quality of life, the Mayo Clinic reports.
To get your kids involved in a community league, contact your local community center for upcoming sign-up dates and requirements. Try contacting your local homeschool group’s activities organizer and sporting goods stores for resources, as well.
Sports involvement is a great addition to a homeschool curriculum. It takes family participation and a time commitment on parents’ part. If it feels like the right choice for your family, then thoughtfully begin the search for local sports opportunities in either a public school setting, or with a community league.