As you probably have found out on your own, homeschooling your children can be challenging sometimes. One of the subjects that can be particularly hard to teach without a group of fellow students to participate in activities is PE, physical education, or quite simply, sports.
As a response to this difficulty, homeschool sports leagues have sprung up across the nation, so if you are in a medium or large city, do some research into local homeschool groups and sports leagues they may run. Homeschool groups can also organize other extra-curricular activities, and often get group rates on gyms, outings, and rock climbing walls, among other possibilities. With a group of interested peers, your child might just have more fun and discover a sport they are passionate about.
Public school leagues are another option in some areas of the country. Laws vary from place to place, but in many places, it has been deemed unfair to restrict homeschoolers’ access to the extra-curricular activities that public-schoolers enjoy. You will have to check with your local school board to see if this is an option. Also, consider whether you want your child enrolled in these programs, depending on the reputation of the programs in your particular area. You may prefer to look into community or private leagues instead.
Many parks and recreation departments run community programs that include sports classes or leagues, even in small towns. You can check at the town hall or Parks and Recreation department. Try searching online for information if you are in a fair-sized city, and you may find a brochure or booklet with different programs available. Keep in mind that these leagues tend to be grouped by age, so if your child is on the older end of the spectrum, he or she may find the instruction too basic. Sometimes, you can petition for your child to be accepted into an older age grouping if they act mature for their age.
Some neighborhoods or small cities have informal groups that meet up once a week or so to practice various sports. You can find all kinds of activities, such as extreme frisbee or ball hockey, by asking around and searching advertisements in your local paper. You will probably want to supervise your child the first few times they attend, but this can be a great way for your child to bond with others they might not normally associate with, while tackling the “what about socialization?” question head-on.
One of the easiest options, independent sports activities are an ideal solution for many homeschoolers. Many sports, including biking, running, tennis, and more, only require one or two participants. While you might not get the league experience, if your student isn’t keen on team sports, this is an easy way to get into sports.
It may be difficult to incorporate sports into a homeschooler’s day, but with a little effort put into researching the different options available, you can do it!