An Ohio Mom's thoughts...
Is anyone else getting tired of sitting in the back of the
OK, maybe that's a little over the top, but I get frustrated with the attitude
that we should be grateful for the rights we have and that we can never hope for
anything better. Is it wrong to hope, dream...perhaps...even fight for something
better? Or should we just stay home in our denim jumpers, quietly encouraging
our energetic, athletic teenage sons to play chess and program computers in our
I reject the opinion that homeschoolers should not be allowed to play on public
school teams. My issue is not that we are tax payers and thus should have a
right to access government services (although most public school parents I talk
to think we should have the right based on this). I take issue with the fact
that the public schools in most states, including my home state of Ohio, OWN
athletics for students of high school age - and that's not right or fair.
Because of the strict regulations of the state athletic associations (as
referenced in this KY article), they have a virtual monopoly on team sports.
They swallow up community leagues that exist for children from pre-school age
until they reach high school age and force athletes to either conform to their
strict rules or drop out of athletics. Those rules include (obviously) whether
or not a student attends a school, how many classes they take, their grade point
average, and even when and how often their family can move!
In our situation, my son has played on the same soccer team, with the same boys
and the same coach since he was 7 years old. Suddenly, he has reached the ripe
old age of 15 and his soccer career in Chippewa Twp.
is over. Our wonderful Chippewa Youth Soccer League is swallowed up by the Ohio
High School Athletic Association.
Why should we accept that they get to own and control it all? Athletics should
belong to the communities and shouldn't solely be the domain of schools! The
usual answer I get is that we should just join a homeschool league or start our
own team. Certainly, we can do those things, but unless you are involved with
the schools, there is no way you are going to get the same level of competition.
Simply put, there are not enough homeschooled kids who want to compete at that
Most of the parents of kids who are the athletic types end up putting their kids
in school when they get to high school. In addition to "owning" the athletes,
the schools also own all of the infrastructure necessary for team sports. They
own the football fields, soccer fields, baseball fields (at least in our town
they own all of the high school size fields). (One could make the argument that
those ought to belong to the community, but one probably wouldn't get very far)
Athletic activities are unique and ought to be receiving more attention from
homeschool leaders/activists IMO. I can't think of anything else that the
schools offer that I can't either duplicate at home or find an outlet for. If we
need algebra help we can hire a tutor or join a co-op. We can find musical
groups, drama clubs, Spanish classes, speech therapy....even homeschool proms!
But I can't find a competitive soccer team for my
15-year-old son to play on this fall! And heaven forbid if he wanted to play
This can interfere with the ability of a talented athlete to earn an athletic
scholarship. Should we accept that homeschool kids in Ohio & Kentucky won't be
getting athletic scholarships for team sports? Or what about the Air Force
Academy? They recommend that applicants play two varsity sports. Homeschooled
applicants from PA or FL should be alright, but forget about it if you live in
Ohio or KY. Should we just be satisfied with sitting in the back of the bus
because we live in Ohio? All through the years homeschoolers have had to fight
for equal treatment in certain situations.....college admissions, military
entrance status, scholarships....this needs to be another one of those issues.