One of my husbands initial concerns about homeschooling was the availability of homeschool sports. Sports were an important part of his childhood, and he didn't want his children to miss out on the many fun, character-developing experiences sports provide.
As evidenced by 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, homeschooling does not have to serve as a hindrance to even the most talented and competitive athletes. Homeschoolers can participate in sports via community organizations, city recreation leagues, competitive travel teams and, in some cases, through their local school districts. Here is an explanation of the many avenues available for homeschooling and sports.
In our home, we treat sports as a family affair. Our children take turns participating in sports and may only play one sport at a time. We attend practices and games as a family so we can cheer each other on. We limit our children to teams that focus on skill development over winning, and only require one game and one practice per week. My husband also helps coach my children's teams.
My oldest son has been playing sports for several years, and during that time I've seen him develop both physically and mentally. Andrew has learned to work with different (and sometimes difficult) personalities, how to persevere in challenging situations, and how to win and lose graciously. Sports have also given him something to look forward to and enjoy.
If you decide to enroll your child in a homeschool sports program, take a few simple steps to make the transition easier. Tell your child the rules of the game, how it is played and what is required of participants. Have your child commit to being respectful of coaches and teammates, attending all practices, and completing a full season before deciding not to continue.
Sports can be great family-building, character development activities if you choose programs that fit your family's needs and focus on having fun!