Monday, December 8, 2014

Home-school Sports

Many folks wonder how we address physical education with a home-school atmosphere. Personally, I do not teach any specific things for physical education, although many families do. We spend LOTS of time outdoors when the weather permits, which allows for great physical stimulation and wear on my boys. But we do make sure both boys are involved in some kind of extra-curricular sport. In our area of the country, sports are a big part of our culture and rarely will you find a family that does not have a child involved in some kind of athletic group or activity. Because of that, home-schoolers have an advantage that many areas do not: public sports organizations that are not affiliated with the private and public school system. Locally, we have the YMCA and numerous sport organizations that have a wide offering of athletic opportunities. There are also home-school organizations that have formal physical education classes during the week at gyms or parks when the weather permits. These are typically taught by a parent in the co-op.

Over the years, both of our boys have been involved off and on with baseball and soccer. At this time it seems they've both settled into soccer. My husband coaches the eldest son's team and has for 4 completed seasons now, this winter season being our 5th season. We've kept the main core of the players this whole time, which has been very beneficial for team synergy and relationship building. The parents are dedicated, involved, and reliable. It's been such a blessing, not just for JK's stability and friendships, but for us as well!

Pregame huddle with Coach and all the little Vipers. I have loved watching our firstborn work hard under Daddy's tutelage and improve season after season. He's a very dedicated and focused child and is beginning to understand the concept and benefits of a hard work ethic.

Our youngest is starting his 3rd soccer season, but unfortunately, he has had a different team and different coach each season. Doesn't make for good team synergy or relationship building when there isn't consistency through the year. But coaching the preK age requires a special person...not too many people can handle that for more than a season. I'm not even sure I can handle it. Ha! Since we're homeschooling this year, we've bumped our youngest up to a Kindergarten league. If he were going to public, he'd technically be in preschool. But since he's doing some Kinder work at home and has a natural talent for soccer, AND he is the appropriate age, we do not feel there is any foul there. One of the benefits of home-schooling is there is flexibility with "grades". While we generally know what grade each child is in, we are not grade-focused, but development focused. There is no need to label.

This guy doesn't really even have to work hard. Lots of natural skill that just comes very easily. While Daddy works with this little guy often, we hope to find a coach that can partner with us in stoking the passion. In the meantime, this is a great bonding experience for him with Daddy and older brother when they practice, keeps him healthy, and runs off his truly endless energy.

I take great comfort in my husband not just supporting and encouraging my teaching at home, but for him to come alongside me in this specific department and just kind of take over. This takes a lot of pressure off me and allows him to be a part of our education. We are also blessed in that not only is this important to him as a father, but his schedule allows him to participate. I know of many husbands that don't care to do this, or even if they did, their work schedule just does not allow for it. Which is unfortunate, not specific to sports alone, but to the child's education and development as a whole. I think there is truly no lasting mark on a young boy than a father that takes a focused daily LOVING interest in the development of their son!

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