Homeschool Kids Aren’t Sitting on the Sidelines
Homeschooling doesn’t necessarily mean “lone” schooling. While academic work may be done alone or in very small groups of friends or siblings, area parents don’t have to look far to find plenty of opportunities to engage their children in physical activity, including group sports.
One of the stipulations many parents make when deciding to homeschool is that the children be engaged in activities outside the home that will provide competition, physical fitness and socialization opportunities. While homeschooled students in some districts can join public school teams, teams exclusively for the homeschool child exist through Northeast Oklahoma Association of Homeschools (NOAH).
While younger students, preschool through early elementary, may simply take advantage of neighborhood walks or free play at Tulsa parks, older students benefit from participating on teams. The homeschooling parents in the area have access to plenty of organized team sports for their children.
The NOAH Jaguars compete in every season and in many sports from baseball to track and volleyball. Cheerleading and pep squads also have formed. Students are required to prove eligibility and get athletic clearance from a doctor.
One homeschooling mom said that she was surprised by the high level of competition available through these teams. She said she plans for her five children to participate through NOAH, but there are plenty of other options.
Her eldest, a 13-year-old boy, plays on a league baseball team with students from every type of school, from private to public to home. He fits in on the team as any other student would and, according to his mom, the issue of where and how they school never comes up. When it comes to baseball, the boys just want to play.
Independent teams field groups in football, basketball, baseball and cheer. Students can participate in any of the area league sports as well, taking advantage of rowing, ice-skating, volleyball, tumbling and pom. In other words, homeschooled students may have different looking classrooms, and being taught at home does not limit their ability to participate in athletics.
Sports for Homeschoolers
Oilers Ice Center. Tulsa. 6413 S. Mingo (across from Union High School). Ice-skating first Friday of each month, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Cost: $5/skater (includes skate rental). This is an open activity offered by the sponsoring business to the homeschooling community at a reduced fee. It is open to all home educators. oilersicecenter.net