Monday, May 7, 2012

Homeschoolers playing sports for public schools?

Depending on where you live, your homeschooled high school student may or may not be allowed by state law (or Department of Defense Guidelines) to play sports for the local public school.

Personally, it doesn't bother me if my children cannot participate in public school sports.  In Texas, where I currently homeschool, they are considered students in a private school and may not play sports on a public school team. Period.

There is a revealing article in the 2 April 2012 issue of Time magazine.  
"Tebow Law" Article in Time Magazine  

The article in the 2 April  2012 issue of Time magazine gives great insight into the realm of homeschooled students playing on public school sports teams.  Twelve states are considering legislation, nicknamed Tebow Laws, which would allow homeschooled students to play on public school sports teams.

As a military family, obviously we move around.  As an Army family specifically, we move about every 2-3 years.  In the past 12 years I've homeschooled in Virginia, Washington state, Louisiana, Germany and Texas.  In Washington state homeschooled high school students can play sports in the public school.  In Germany, at least where we lived, my son could have played baseball for the local Department of Defense School.  I didn't inquire about any other sports there.  Time magazine says that homeschooled kids "have access" to play sports in the public schools in Louisiana.  Not sure if that was possible where we lived.   I now have a high school student and, in Texas, he cannot play sports on the public school team.

What do we do?!  Can he possibly play sports in college?!  On a college scholarship?!  Can he play competitively?! 
He plays club soccer, and last year he played select baseball too (yes sports are important in our family!).  He plays on the local homeschool high school soccer team which won the Texas Christian Athletic League (a Texas private school league) State Championship last year!!

He is playing in a D1 soccer league as is his younger brother who will be in 9th grade next year. And my next oldest, my 12 yo daughter, is playing on a club soccer team too.  My 3 year old desperately wants to be on a team too, but I told him, "When Luke graduates you can play soccer."  Fortunately, 3 year olds don't have a great concept of time!

The down side of club sports?  It costs money.  A lot of money for a military family.  

But we homeschool.  That costs money.  We know we'll have expenses above and beyond the free public school system and we deal with that.  We have the choice to homeschool! Ahh.  Remember, we homeschooled in Germany (which is allowed due to the Status of Forces Agreement that the US has with Germany).  In Germany, the Germans can't legally homeschool.  I guess I'll leave that issue for a potential future blog.  It's great being an American!
Is there a potential downside to homeschooled children being allowed to play sports in the public school?  Maybe.  According to the Time magazine article when homeschooled students have access to public school sports, the government is going to ask something of you.  A potential slippery slope for our homeschool freedoms.  

R. C. Sproul, Jr. in his book, When You Rise Up, eloquently and sufficiently stated that it really doesn't matter about all that.  I'll summarize, "If God wants your child to play college sports, or pro-sports, or do whatever, He'll make it happen regardless."   After reading and believing that, I sleep well at night. 

If you homeschool and you are thinking of putting your child in a public so he/she can play sports, go to the prom, get socialized (hehe), etc., consider reading When You Rise Up by R. C. Sproul, Jr. and talking to a highschool consultant at Home School Legal Defense Association.  You'll be glad you did. 

What did you agree with in this post?  What did you disagree with?  Leave me a comment and let me know. 

"It's Monday and I'm being "Miss Elaine-ous" over at The Miss Elaine-ous Life!" 
Miss Elaineous Life


  1. Loved this!! Yes, if God wants your children to play sports and go to college and pro, HE WILL provide a way!! Amen!

  2. The book, "When You Rise Up" really enforced that idea into my brain.