Between the high cost of private high schools and the spotty track records of a lot of public schools, many parents during the past few years have been turning to homeschooling as a cheaper alternative for educating their children. From our perspective at Via Meadia, more educational options are always a good thing, and for middle-class parents willing to invest the time, it is a good way to ensure that your children get a satisfactory education for a reasonable price, tailored to their individual aptitudes. As 21st century education shifts away from big-box schools towards targeted, individualized methods, this shift is likely to accelerate.Like every innovation, the rise of homeschooling carries with it a few growing pains. The most recent hiccup has come over organized youth sports, where homeschooled children (following the lead of star quarterback Tim Tebow) have been clamoring for the right to participate in the athletic programs of local public schools, especially in sports requiring specialized equipment and a large number of students and coaches. A number of states have already passed bills accommodating them, and now Virginia is debating one of its own, despite protests from local teachers’ organizations.Integrating homeschooled students into the community in this way strikes us as a perfectly reasonable goal. While academics should remain the central focus for all students, athletics can play an important role in a child’s life. Team sports can bring structure to a child’s life, and instill values of leadership, teamwork and discipline that can be difficult to impart in a strictly academic environment.As the influence of large schools wanes, there may be an abundance of large, organized sports leagues designed to complement homeschooling. In the meantime, there is no reason to discourage the homeschooled from taking part in one of the fundamental aspects of American childhood.
Sports for the Homeschooled
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