thatmom

real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

june 13 podcast

“Here is another question. What about sports? This is always one of my favorite questions….we heard it a million times when we began homeschooling. Since my husband is quite tall and went to college on a basketball scholarship and we have 5 boys, enough for a whole team, the assumption was that their being involved in sports was a top priority to us and that certainly we must have forgotten about organized sports. Here is the Campbell family perspective on sports….” LIsten here for this week’s podcast entitled “So You Think You Want to Homeschool ? Part 2”

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6 Comments»

  Juliene Herr wrote @

Karen, I have really enjoyed the last two podcasts,”So You Think You Want To Homeschool?”. They were very encouraging and full of good wisdom! I’m looking forward to the ones coming up that you mentioned and hope you will do the one you talked about on nutrition! Juliene Herr

  thatmom wrote @

Juliene, I am glad you were blessed by these podcasts. There is just so much to say and I could have easily made a dozen podcasts out of this topic. I hope to revisit some of the points down the road. I have learned so much about myself and about being a parent since we began homeschooling…God has been so merciful and gracious to us!

  TulipGirl wrote @

While I found this encouraging overall, I was surprised at how strongly (almost harshly?) you dismissed sports–especially since it was immediately preceded with talking about nurturing our children as the individuals they are and their dreams.

We are definitely not big sports people (in spite of having four boys!), but I have known homeschool families for whom sports were a key part of their children’s gifts. They incorporated the sports with learning about discipline, team building, and putting one’s all into the areas God has already given talents. Opportunities for sports involvement don’t HAVE to lead to public schooling or other school-building schooling.

Grace and peace,

  thatmom wrote @

Regarding sports:

I’m sorry if this came off as sounding harsh! I certainly didn’t mean to but I guess my passionate feelings about this subject came through!

What I had hoped to express is that I believe organized team sports in a school setting should never be a reason to NOT homeschool. Since I have heard many people say “Oh, we could never homeschool because Johnny would miss the sports” I wanted to be sure to place it in its proper perspective. It isn’t that sports are wrong. But I believe making organized sports a deal breaker when considering homeschooling is a problem and, unfortunately, I know too many people who have done that.

I went back to the transcripts of the podcast and thought it might be helpful to see what I said:

“Here is another question. What about sports?
This is always one of my favorite questions….we heard it a million times when we began homeschooling. Since my husband is quite tall and went to college on a basketball scholarship and we have 5 boys, enough for our own team, the assumption was that their being involved in sports was a top priority to us and that certainly we must have forgotten about organized sports. Here is the Campbell family perspective on this….why is this such a big deal? Seriously, why does that question even come up on the radar? The answer is that we live in a sports crazy culture and it has become such a high place to people who ought to know better.

Years ago I lived near a woman who had one little boy. When he was still a toddler, she read everything she could find on homeschooling and longed for the day when this would be how she spent her days. She began collecting books and fun things to do with him, even planning where she would set up a schoolroom for him. When her second son came along, she had visions for an entire classroom. And then her husband put his foot down. You see, this man had played baseball in high school and had always wished that he could have gotten a college scholarship to play ball, eventually taking him into the major leagues. Sadly, because his own dream had not come to pass, this dad just knew that one of his boys would become a professional player. And he also just knew that they would have to be involved in sports at all grade levels in order for this to happen. So he made sure that his wife chased any thoughts of homeschooling right out of her head. Years later, his sons have a few team trophies from little league and high school competitions. But neither of them pursued any sports professionally and quite honestly, they both had dreams of their own that were not their fathers’.

There is nothing wrong with sports in and of themselves. There is much to be said for learning teamwork and enjoying physical activity. And now many Christian schools will allow homeschoolers to participate on their teams. But it should never even be in the top ten list of things to consider when considering homeschooling.”

One more thought about this from my husband…Clay grew up without playing a lot of organized sports but when he grew to 6’5” in high school, he was asked to play basketball. He enjoyed it and it was helpful for college money but when people have asked him about his sons, he has suggested that it is better to pursue an athletic activity that you can do all of your life and at your own leisure. To this day he runs 3 miles several times a week and doesn’t feel under the tyranny that so quickly can happen when you get involved with organized teams, coaches, practices etc. Just his thoughts…

I also wanted to address the idea of children and their dreams because this is really important. You are correct that some children are athletically gifted from a young age. In fact, sometimes the natural abilities are amazing. I think it would be a very rare situation for those gifts to be used outside of a formal schooling situation. Not impossible, but rare. Isn’t there some homeschooled young man who was drafted by a major league baseball team recently? If anyone knows, bring me up to speed about how he did that. I’ll bet that is an interesting story.

  TulipGirl wrote @

I assumed that is what you meant, TM, and I’m glad you clarified. Like I said, when I first heard it, it sounded harsh to say that sports “should never even be in the top ten list of things to consider when considering homeschooling.” For some families I’ve known, sports has been VERY important–and they’ve made it “work” with their homeschooling.

  Michelle wrote @

I was interested in listening to this podcast, as this was a reason given to me by my cousin’s wife why they wouldn’t homeschool. She asked me if we’d be sending our kids to school this fall, and I replied that we were going to be homeschooling. She told me her husband would never allow that, as he wants their sons “to be able to play football”. The kicker is, the last time I checked, the school they’ll be going to (the one I graduated from) doesn’t have a football team! ?! I don’t know why it’d even matter to them, then!

We have 3 boys, but my husband and I are definitely not sports nuts. It is absolutely true you can fit that into homeschooling, but, unfortunately for some, unless the team their children play on is connected to a school, it isn’t “real” and they won’t have that. 😦


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