This is an ambitious article that includes not only profiles of homeschooled athletes in Iowa and Iowa information, but descriptions of homeschooler participation in school sports in other states, and reasons for opposition to allowing homeschoolers to participate.
Iowa opens athletic doors to home-schoolers, 27 May 2007, Des Moines Register, Des Moines, Iowa
“We faced some challenges initially from the school district but ultimately rules were changed to allow kids who were being home-schooled to participate in sports,” Taylor said in an e-mail interview. “I believe firmly that a parent should be able to instill their ethics and values and educate their child at home without the kid being punished for that decision. As long as the proper guidelines and lessons are being followed, that child should be able to join his or her friends and neighbors on the playing field.”
Opponents feel allowing home-schoolers to play can create a competitive advantage in individual sports.
“The major opposition is from the country club sports – golf, swimming and tennis – where kids can practice all day and don’t have to go to school the same amount of hours as other kids,” Hester said.
Another conflict is the use of sports as a reward for doing well in class, although given many of the health problems afflicting today’s children, perhaps going to class should be a reward for doing well in sports.
Would failing students use home-schooling to stay in the game?
“That’s a legitimate concern,” said Troy Dannen, executive director of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. “This is one of the potential pitfalls of the no-pass, no-play rule that was voiced prior to the state adopting it. We’re so early in the rule that I don’t know if we can see that happening or not.”
posted by Valerie