If it is winter, then basketball season at our place is in full swing. The sport is popular in these parts. A local homeschooling family shared their plans with us a few years ago with the intention of creating a homeschool sports league for our children to participate in and enjoy. They moved forward because both parents had previous experience coaching, organizing athletic events, and teaching their children to play sports at home. There are now homeschool athletic teams in our region for both boys and girls in the sports of soccer, basketball, and track and field.
In the beginning, there were only a few teams comprised of students in grades 4-6. However, over the course of the years that followed, our organization expanded to include teams comprised of students in grades 7–12 as well.
At the moment, our leadership is made up of three families that are all involved with our programs to varying degrees. Each of these families has a unique role. During the first six years of our existence, we did not participate in any leagues, and as a result, we had greater control over our game schedule. On the other hand, since it can be challenging to fit enough games onto the schedule, we have recently become members of a league that is comprised of Christian schools.
There have been a lot of good times, but there have also been a lot of difficult times. We’ve had trouble at times finding parents who are both able and willing to coach, we’ve had trouble finding teams that are willing to work us into their schedule, we’ve had trouble keeping our fees low while still having the funds necessary to build the program, we’ve had trouble finding available home gyms and fields for practice and games, and we’ve had trouble coming out on top of our competition. fought hard to achieve victory. struggled, persisted, encouraged others, and stayed positive throughout it all.
However, the benefits have been substantial. Our children have gained the ability to work together as part of a team, how to honor a commitment by keeping their word and appearing on time for every practice and game, and how to maintain their dignity regardless of the outcome of a contest. They have been provided with excellent role models in the form of coaches and other parent volunteers, and because many of them are coming from various area co-ops and groups, their social network has also expanded significantly.
All of our children have participated in basketball with the Mighty Oaks for a number of years, and it has been such a pleasure to observe their growth in terms of both their skills and their capabilities as well as their pure love of the game. Our youngest child is also beginning his third year in the soccer program, and he couldn’t be more excited about it.
We don’t like to admit that homeschooling has any drawbacks, but let’s face facts here and be open and forthright. One disadvantage of homeschooling is that it does not always provide children with the opportunity to collaborate with their peers to achieve a common objective. Participating in homeschool athletics therefore provides the solution that we and others like us have been looking for all along.
It has been a fantastic season, and I would like to express my gratitude to all of the coaches, including Chad, as well as our other friends who are the engine that drives the program. I am very grateful to all of the players for maintaining such positive attitudes, regardless of whether they won or lost. And I have to admit that I’m more than a little relieved that our trip across the tri-state area is finally over. Despite the fact that I will miss those car rides packed with middle school and high school boys, who would enthusiastically discuss every play, call, and bucket on the way home from practice. But not the odor of perspiration from junior high and senior high school boys. I am certain that I will not miss the odor at all.
Do your children who are educated at home participate in any sports? Do you participate in the program offered by your local school district or do you have a homeschool league of your own?