Homeschoolers and the Public School Sports Team

In Kentucky, there is the possibility of a new law taking effect that would allow our homeschooled children to take part in public school sports without having to be part of the public school system otherwise.  Many homeschoolers in our state are in favor of such a law – and I can definitely see their point.  Especially those parents who have children that are really good at a particular sport and have no other way to participate except through a public school team.

However, this potential new law raises red flags for me.  Anytime we as homeschoolers allow the public school system to take “control” of any aspect of our children – whether in sports, special classes, special funding, etc., we are opening the door – if only a small crack – for the public school system to slowly (or quickly) start taking our homeschooling rights away from us.

In Kentucky, we are very lucky to have fair homeschooling laws.  There are those who would very much like to take those rights away from us, though. Giving those people even the smallest opportunity, will allow them the ammunition they need to start chipping away at the freedom we have.  In fact, I was just made aware of a quote from Representative Palmer where he states he would like to “look into the oversight of KY homeschool students.”

I haven’t heard an official stance from HSLDA, CHEK or KHEA yet on the topic of sports teams, but I would be greatly surprised if they find this law positive for homeschoolers in the overall picture.

Sadly, I don’t say all this just because I don’t have any athletically talented children.  In fact, I think Caleb will probably be a pretty good baseball player in his high school years.  Lord willing, probably good enough to make a high school team.  For me, though, it’s more important to protect our rights as homeschoolers than it is to be sure my son gets to play high school ball.

Besides that, there’s just too much at stake for our family personally – or maybe I should say for Caleb – when allowing him to take part in a high school sport.  He’s only eight and we already struggle with the influence of bitter coaches and worldly children in the dugout of coach pitch teams.  Twenty years ago, I was a statistician for my HS baseball team and realize now that those hours spent with the team were probably some of the worst by way of language, se*ual suggestiveness and other opportunities to stray from the Lord than any other part of being in school.  And what a difference in our world 20 years later!

Maybe I’m being overprotective or painting the picture of high school sports teams with too broad a brush.  Maybe I’m even worried about a law that will not harm us as homeschoolers in any way.  What are your thoughts?  I’d be glad to hear them even if you don’t live in KY.

**UPDATE:  After an update from the CHEK Leadership Convention this weekend, I have learned that CHEK is NOT in support of the new law that will allow homeschoolers to play on public school sports teams.

3 Comments

  1. Estella Adams says:

    Hi Cindy, I totally agree with your view of the public schools “allowing” our homeschoolers to participate in their team sports. The quote from Rep. Palmer, who hails from my hometown, is very frightening, considering that it can cover a broad spectrum of things, besides sports. Our girls have never partipated in sports until this past year. Our 12 year old and 7 year old play recreational soccer. I like to believe that it is an enviroment that I control, instead of the public school system. Most of the parents usually stay for the practices and games. Although we have seen the occasional poor behavior (mostly on the part of the parents), it is nothing that we haven’t seen or heard at the local grocery store. We have met wonderful people and all of us have made new friends. I have been able to share not only our faith in Jesus, but also our reasons for homeschooling. It makes a homeschooling mom’s heart smile when the coach makes a point to tell you that your child is such a good example and encourager for the other players. Anyway, just thought I’d throw my two cents worth your way. Thanks for all of your encouraging words and for keeping us informed. Love, Estella

  2. I also am leary of this law but at the same time, it could be a blessing to my family in particular. All B.T. talks about is playing ball for high school and college. Even at ten, we have already caught the eye of the UK women’s coach. It is still ‘doable’ for her to play in parks and rec or AA ball teams and get into a good school but the door would swing wide open if she played for the local school. As the law stands now, I’d have to enroll her in one class for her to play. That just isn’t going to happen. She already plays with public school children at the pavilion so I am already seeing the ‘mesh’ and how she responds to it all. So far, so good. I talked to my husband about this and not wanting the government in my home or my schooling. We both are in agreement with that but it seems this wouldn’t be the case in reference to the Tebow Bill. His situation is the example I’m looking at and from what I see, I see good things. Of course I still have a few years to pray and seek God’s face on this but at this point, I’d like to see the bill passed.

  3. I agree with what you’re saying about the environment of HS sports. I, too, believe that the potential damage to the soul is not worth the benefits of being on a public school team. Around here (IN – OH), there are some quite competitive homeschool sports teams and tournaments, particularly for basketball and volleyball. Hopefully, as time goes by, there will be more opportunities such as these for our kids…

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