As homeschoolers in New York State our children are not allowed to participate in school sports. While in New York it is up to each district, I do not know of one near us that allows homeschoolers to participate in school team sports. Having grown up in the school system and on sports teams, I think this is a very important part of both a child’s physical and emotional well being.
Why Team Sports Are Important
While I am not saying that your children are doomed if they don’t participate in any team sports, I am saying there are many benefits to participating.
1. Learning to Work Together
Participating in a team sport offers kids from a very young age the opportunity to work side by side with other kids toward a common goal. Just as when they are grown and out in the world they will need to work with other adults in the workplace and other social settings.
2. Forming Bonds
Being on a team where you are gathering on a regular basis offers children a chance to form bonds outside of their usual school or social circle. My daughter has been on a gymnastics team for 12 years and has formed many long lasting bonds with girls from all over our area that even going to public school would not have afforded.
3. Having Other Mentors
Being on various sports teams allows kids (even those in public school) to have the opportunity to work with and learn from other adults. Kids often grow to love a sport and find great mentors and roll models in their coaches along the way.
4. Fosters Follow Through and Commitment
When your children are on a team, other children are counting on them. They have a responsibility to be there and to do their best, not just for themselves, but for their other teammates. When you are responsible to someone else you are more likely to stick with it, show up, and do your best!
5. Physical Fitness
Probably the most obvious benefit of being on a sports team is for the physical fitness aspect. In a world filled with video games and computers it is growing ever more important to get our kids (and ourselves) up and moving! Having a scheduled and organized place to get up and moving offers a high incentive for follow through and participation!
I have a child who would choose to video game day in and day out, (which we do not let him do) but having a sports team he is committed to gives him the incentive to get up and out. He loves the sports, the kids, and the coaches and is forming strong bonds, learning about teamwork and commitment, and getting more physically fit with each and every practice!
Do you find putting money into extracurricular sports a drain on your budget? We are having a Back to Homeschool Giveaway that includes a $250 Visa Gift Card that could help with that! Check it out here.