Sports and Homeschooling

By Heath R.

What is homeschooling?  According to Green and Hoover-Dempsey (2007), homeschooling is defined as, “the education of school-aged children at home rather than in public or private school settings…”  I was homeschooled all through my youth but that did not stop me from participating in sports.  As a homeschooler, it was quite difficult for me to participate in sports because all of the other kids would participate in sports through their designated school.  However, I was determined and resilient that I would one day play a sport with my friends.  Although this may not be the same type of resiliency that was talked about in class, I found that it was difficult for homeschoolers to participate in sports with their friends who were in the public school systems.  Because homeschoolers were excluded from certain activities, it would open up the door for scholarships and the ability for public or private school kids to play sports in college.  However, my parents showed great family support and eventually found me organizations that homeschoolers could participate in.

Another factor that played into my role of dealing with not being able to play sports with all my friends was the intrapersonal aspect of sports.  The major factor of the intrapersonal factors was my self-motivation. My self-motivation helped me motivate myself to try to find different sports programs that would allow homeschoolers to play. Eventually, I was able to find a homeschool basketball league which played local private school teams.  In one of the articles it talks about how self-motivation is not a fluctuating thing, but rather a stable personality.  Having self-motivation also helped me for whenever I would have a bad game in a sport I would play.  Self-motivation was also helpful when doing academics because I strived to do better and improve my knowledge of the subjects.  Once I found out that I could not play sports with my friends my self-motivation for sports and school increased.  Another intrapersonal factor that I dealt with was coping. As a homeschooler it was quite lonely to be left out of the group with my friends who were playing sports.  Because of the loneliness, I had to cope with this and figure out how to get over this loneliness.  This was quite difficult because most of my friends were busy playing sports, however the people who helped my through this were my parents.  My parents were able to motivate me and help me through this stage in my youth.  Although this loneliness was difficult, I was able to be resilient because I wanted to eventually play sports.

Although homeschoolers may not have the same resources as public or private school kids, if they show resilience and self-motivation they will find programs that will accept them.   Thankfully, I was able to push towards my goal of becoming an athlete like my friends.  My self-motivation also excelled me towards playing university sports.  Throughout my youth as a homeschooler sports were always my way of coping with stress or loneliness.  If it wasn’t for sports I do not know how my social interactions with other peers would have been.

Resources:

Green, C & Hoover-Dempsey, K (2007). A Systematic Examination of Parental Involvement. Why Do Parents Homeschool?, 39, 264-265.

Iso-Ahola, SE (1995). Intrapersonal and interpersonal factors in athletic performance, 5, 191-194.

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