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You want to homeschool, and you can handle the academics. But what about extracurricular activities? If you are looking for homeschool sports opportunities, you are in luck!
Here are 10 ways homeschooled kids can play sports!
1. High-five on a homeschool sports team!
Homeschooling is on the rise. And so are the number of homeschool sports teams!
In fact, there is an entire website devoted to identifying and covering homeschool sports teams! Check out Homeschool Sports Net to search for teams in your area.
2. Play on a public school team.
Did you know that some school districts allow homeschool students to play on public school sports teams? Rules vary from state to state and district to district. So call your local board of education to find out whether your district allows homeschool students to play sports.
3. Join a private school team. (Many welcome homeschool sports athletes!)
Your school district may not allow homeschool students to play on public school teams. But private schools can make their own rules. So call local private schools to find out where they each stand.
4. Participate in a church team.
Depending on your geographic region, many large churches offer youth sports ministries. Make a list of larger churches in your area and check their online activity calendars. Then call church offices if you can not find the information you are looking for online.
5. Try out Upward. (My favorite homeschool sports option!)
Upward is a Christian youth sports ministry for grades K through 8 that operates at churches around the country. Check out their website to find out if there is an Upward basketball, baseball, flag football, cheerleading, or soccer program near you.
6. Compete on a PAL Team.
The Police Athletic League aims to prevent youth crime and foster positive youth attitudes about the police, largely through youth sports. Your local chapter may go beyond traditional sports to offer options from archery and bowling to boxing and equestrian sports. Contact your local PAL or visit the National PAL website for more information.
7. Train with a sport-specific organization.
Interested in a specific sport? Chances are you can find an organization tailored to teaching kids!
If you do not see what you are looking for in the list below, try a quick internet search. Just type the name of the sport into the search bar in quotation marks, and the words “youth”, “organization”, and “501(c)(3)” in separate quotation marks. You may be surprised by how many opportunities you find!
Here are just a few sport-specific options!
- First Tee: First Tee is a non-profit founded by the PGA. Its goal is to introduce golf to children. And to teach them about the values associated with the game.
- Frozen Ropes: Frozen Ropes is a private company that operates baseball and softball training facilities nationwide. In addition to training they have club team opportunities, and they even run summer camps focused on improving your child’s game.
- Girls on the Run: Girls on the Run is a non-profit running organization for girls in grades 3 through 8. Its goals are to improve the physical and emotional health of girls through relationships and team-building. The goal each season is for each girl to complete a non-competitive 5K!
8. Sign up for lessons at a local gym or sports club.
Call or check out the website of your local sports club or gym for youth lessons in various sports. Ours offers tennis and golf lessons. If you are looking for team opportunities, ask the pros on staff for their recommendations.
9. Consider individual sports.
When you homeschool, others always seem focused on how your child can interact with other kids. But do not discount individual sports.
These are just a few options that allow children to compete as individuals while still building relationships with other participants.
- Horseback riding. My daughter recently began lessons at a local stable with a few friends. The owner was able to accommodate us at a great rate with personalized attention because we go during the week when other children are not available. My shy daughter has become more confident and less anxious in just a few short months.
- Martial Arts. Martial Arts can build confidence and self-respect. As well as teach respect for authority, self-control, and self-defense. Classes allow group interaction, and children often have the opportunity to participate in tournaments and demo teams as they progress.
- Gymnastics. Our local gym offers classes specifically for homeschoolers during the week, and yours may to if you get a group of friends to commit. Or sign up for an afterschool class to allow your athlete to make new friends. We especially love that gymnastics allows children the opportunity to compete as individuals or on a team.
10. Gear up for a travel team!
Travel teams are a great homeschool sports option, because they have no school affiliation. And unlike town recreation sports, they often include members from a wider geographic region. So your athlete will not feel lost in a group of children who already know each other from school.
Homeschool Sports Opportunities Abound!
Relax mama! You can follow the call to homeschool and still provide your children with many opportunities to play sports! Consider the sports your family is interested in, and make a a list of organizations to check in with.
What sports are you most interested in exploring for your family?