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HEADS UP:NC

Filed at 9:38 pm under by dcobranchi

Senate bill S259 would allow HEKs to play g-school sports.

14 (23) Power to Adopt Eligibility Rules for Interscholastic Athletic Competition. –
15 The State Board of Education may adopt rules governing interscholastic
16 athletic activities conducted by local boards of education, including
17 eligibility for student participation. These rules shall provide that any high
18 school student who attends:
19 a. A public high school that does not have an interscholastic athletics
20 program in a given sport may participate in that sport at the high
21 school closest to the student’s school that has a program in that sport,
22 subject to the terms and conditions applicable to a regularly enrolled
23 member of that school’s student body.
24 b. A private school, home school, or charter school that does not have
25 an interscholastic athletics program in a given sport may participate
26 in that sport at the base public high school for the student’s address,
27 subject to the terms and conditions applicable to a regularly enrolled
28 member of that school’s student body. If the student’s base school
29 does not have a program in the sport, the student may participate in
30 the sport at the public high school closest to the student’s base school
31 that has a program in that sport, subject to the terms and conditions
32 applicable to a regularly enrolled member of that school’s student
33 body
.

That bolded bit, I think, is the key. If you’re going to have to meet the”terms and conditions” of the g-schools, it’s not worth the trouble.

One Response to “HEADS UP:NC”


Comment by
Pauline
February 27th, 2009
at 9:55 am

I gotta disagree.

First, remember that there are two questions when it comes to g-school extra-curriculars: 1) Whether taxpaying homeschool families should have the right to participate should they desire to do so, and 2) whether individual homeschoolers should choose to participate. I can think of lots of good reasons homeschoolers might decline to participate, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be allowed to participate if they wish. The school’s extracurriculars don’t interest me much, but I know hs kids who benefit quite a bit from their participation in, for example, sports or band.

subject to the terms and conditions applicable to a regularly enrolled member of that school’s student body. That bolded bit, I think, is the key. If you’re going to have to meet the”terms and conditions” of the g-schools, it’s not worth the trouble.

This kind of clause generally means two things.

1) You have to make the team, or pass the audition, or do whatever it usually takes to qualify for the kinds of activities that have such entrance barriers. You can’t just walk in and be all “I’m a homeschooler so I have to have the lead part / play varsity / be first violin. That seems fair to me. Yeah, it gives some leeway for a school to limit access, but some access (for those who want it) is better than none.

2) You have to figure out a way to deal with the academic eligibility stuff, which schools can get really strict about with their own kids. The worst arrangement I’ve ever heard is that the hs mom has to email the school on Fridays and say her child is not failing any course. Annoying, of course, and probably silly when applied to homeschooling, but do-able.

Sure, for most of us it’s not worth the trouble. But I think we should have the right to participate if we want. Why would a homeschooler want to participate? I can think of a couple of scenarios:

— In some communities, kids can play soccer or lacrosse or football in community leagues when they’re young, but in middle or high school everyone changes over to school teams, which can leave the homeschoolers high and dry. If they really want to compete at a serious level, the school team is often the best option. Yes, I’d like to see more homeschool leagues, and more community leagues, but geography and timing make this a big undertaking, especially in more rural areas where avid, skilled players may be few and far between.

— Participating in extracurriculars can build ties with other kids in the neighborhood. Of course, some of us homeschool specifically to avoid this! But for others, it can be a great way to strengthen ties with the local community.

–Some hs kids are out because the school can’t meet their needs – for example, a dyslexic kid might be pulled to be given daily one-on-one tutoring in reading. It can help such a kid if he can maintain his ties with school friends through extracurriculars, especially if he will only be out for a year or two. Sure, stuff like scouts and dance classes can be had outside the school, if that’s what the kid is into, but other things may be only available via the school-based activities. Just because a kid isn’t a good fit for the school’s curricular program doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be able to partake of the rest of what the school offers.

–Hs offerings can be pretty far away. I usually don’t mind driving a good bit to find a quality program in the hs community. But I’ve known hsing families who, due to illness or other family crisis, have had to stick closer to home. G-schools tend to be nearer, and neighbors can often help with car-pooling, so a hsing mom who must care for an ill family member can still provide opportunities for the other kids in the family. Sometimes arrangements like this can help make hsing work under difficult circumstances, when the alternative is full-time school.

Again, let me be clear that I think hsers should try to find or create stuff in the hs community first, and only resort to the g-school offerings if there’s not another way. But more choices for hsers, IMHO, is a good thing – the more options out there, the more we can custom-design the right path for each individual child. Doesn’t mean we have to partake – just that we aren’t restricted from doing so.