My apologies to my friends on Facebook who also read my blog. This is a post I put on my page this week, but I felt I should put it on my blog for others to read. For those who don't know I am not only a business owner, but I am also a homeschool mom. A couple of years ago, when my kids school got more complicated, I even changed my store hours to better work around our schedule. I love my kids very much and I love sports, hence one of my reasons for owning a sporting goods store! Whether you are for or against the homeschool sports access law currently going through the VA legislature, I hope this helps you to understand at least one homeschool family's view. Remember, I was writing the post on Facebook as a sort of response to some posts I had read where folks were making generalizations about homeschoolers and the law without knowing facts. So, if some of the responses seem specific, that's why.
1. I would like to know, how many homeschoolers are you around? How many are you friends with? You seem to think homeschooling is just for conservative Christian families with 12 kids. Many people homeschool now. Some because it helps their family to be better unit. They may have a strange work schedule and homeschooling allows them to be together as a family. Some because they live in inner cities or areas where the schools are not educating their children up to a higher level. Maybe some would put their kids in private school if they could afford it. I wonder, if you lived in an area where the schools rank in the lower in the country and are literally unsafe, would you have your child in public school? I personally don't, but I would definitely not send my kids to public schools there. The greatest gift I have in this world are my children.
2. The statement/question has been made about homeschoolers not being held to the same requirements as the public school students when it comes to academics. This is flat out wrong. We are actually being held to a higher requirement. We have to show academic progress for two years of our assessments, which are sent to the county superintendent to be reviewed in July. The public school athlete has only to pass 5 classes the semester before playing the particular sport they are in. In an aside to this, I have been told by numerous public school parents, that the academic standards are often skirted for certain star players. You can believe that my kids will not play sports if I perceive it is affecting them academically.
3. I guess that last line in #2 has to do with discipline. I keep hearing, "How do we discipline these kids?" Why is that being asked? How are the public school kids disciplined? They run laps, or get benched, etc... The same would apply to my kids.
4. I keep being accused of "keeping my kids away from the public schoolers" by people who are against the law. This isn't the case. My kids are friends with kids from all types of schools- public, private and homeschool. I have chosen to educate my children. It's my right as an American. I am actually taking a load off the overcrowded schools. Yes, I am protecting them, from the following things I have read in the paper this past year that have happened in our local schools: gang fights, bullying, drugs, bomb threats, racism. Do they know about these things? Yes. Do they have to deal with them as they do their schoolwork? No. I pay for my curriculum. I pay taxes that go to the county schools. I also pay taxes when I eat out in this county which also go towards the schools.
5. Rec League is not an option in certain sports once the child gets to high school age. Football, soccer, tennis would be several sports that can't be played in rec league at high school age. Soccer is offered, but the kids play it in high school, so there are not enough kids to fill a high school age rec team. Oh, and my kids have played in rec league sports. I have also coached.
6. We have to play in the district we live in. My kids can't go play in Harrisonburg, or at TA. We play where we cheer. Oh, yes, we do cheer. We go to games and support the team just like you do.
7. Finally, we are not guaranteed any spot on a team. Homeschoolers would have to try out. I remember watching as Broadway in football this past year. We were heartbroken. The thing is, these other schools have many students that play just one position. They have a dedicated kicker, punter, etc... Their teams are loaded. To me, it would make Broadway more competitive and maybe we could win that State Title in football in the next few years.
I guess the thing we are just asking for is a chance. It has worked in other states. I know you have heard of Tim Tebow, but what about Colin Klein? He's the starting QB for Kansas State. Here's an article about him: http://cjonline.com/sports/2012-01-05/homeschool-experience-shaped-k-states-klein#.Twd2FD2Qu5A.facebook You may have heard of a guy named Jason Taylor. He just retired from the NFL. He was also homeschooled. So, before you write off homeschoolers as antisocial misfits, think again.