Making the Team

Critics of homeschooling worry that those children are insufficiently socialized and denied the opportunity to belong to a team. Wrong. Cafi Cohen, a writer on homeschooling, says students in her two native states, New Mexico and Colorado, play on local high school teams. One mom told us her kids can choose to be on teams in a public school and a private one, and another says the local schools compete for her son’s athletic participation.

Younger home students do what all the other kids do for soccer and softball and swim team and tennis lessons: they join community leagues. Communities often provide more team sport opportunities, and more recreational avenues – parks and recreation programs, pools, bike and walking trails, skateboard/rollerblade parks – than schools do.

Homeschooling is a realistic option “for students who are serious about athletics,” says Cohen. “Homeschooling actually favors the training schedule faced by elite gymnasts or figure skaters.”

Fitness For Life

Your average homeschooled student doesn’t study at home in order to be a serious competitive athlete. Parents who teach their kids at home do so because they know there’s a whole person to be drawn forth. Health, fitness, and physical education are components of the whole. To those parents, physical education is an absolutely necessary pursuit for a long and rich life, and they pursue it with pragmatism. Ruth’s aim is to instill “lifelong fitness,” which she says the public school PE classes of her childhood did not do.

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