How to Homeschool an Athlete
Is your child more interested in spending their time training for a sport than going to school? Does it seem that there isn’t enough time for them to do both? Here’s my account of how homeschooling was the perfect solution for me as a young competitive athlete.
Kids that participate in highly competitive sports often don’t have time to adequately progress as an athlete and attend school simultaneously. Highly motivated athletes that have the desire to reach the top in their sport of choice will simply not be able to attend a traditional school. In order to stay ahead of their competitors, they’ll have to allocate an enormous amount of time to maintain and further their athletic skills.
Homeschooling or private academies are often the only plausible options. For me, homeschooling was essential in allowing me to relish every moment of my own experience as a teenaged athlete.
As a World Cup Mogul Skier, I learned that it was difficult to compete at a very high level and keep up with academics along the way. Luckily, I only had to do this for my last year of high school. In order for me to travel the World Cup circuit, being homeschooled seemed to be my only option, as the public school system only allowed a certain number of absences to graduate.
In my senior year, I started homeschooling. Due to the time required for skiing, it wasn’t feasible to take the same workload that other students take in their senior year of high school. In order to get through, I only completed the minimum requirements to graduate in order to be able to compete at the World Cup level. Without the option of homeschooling, I wouldn’t have been able to compete at all.
The prominent benefit of the homeschooling curriculum was the fact that there wasn’t a regimented agenda, especially since my schedule was constantly changing. There tended to be two extremes during skiing season: periods of very high stress or practically no stress. Therefore, during training weeks, I was able to allocate half the day to skiing and the rest to school work.
Due to how taxing skiing was on my body, training lasted about three hours at a time. Taking into account all the logistical aspects of getting to and from the mountain and gearing up, we would usually end the day by early afternoon. By that time we would do a cooldown and stretch to make sure our bodies are properly taken care of before the next day’s training. After all that, we would then be able to dedicate a couple hours to school work.
In contrast to the training schedule were the competitions. At these times, it was beyond difficult to allot any time towards school work due to the already hectic schedule. I didn’t want to tax myself mentally as well as physically. Instead of trying to jam in a few hours of homework, I would leave it aside until the competition was over.
Having the flexibility to do this was exceptionally helpful to both my athletic and academic performance. Not having to worry about homework gave me a clear head for competitions, and being free of the skiing pressure after competitions allowed me to focus more on my scholastic goals. In a traditional school environment, I wouldn’t have had this luxury.
Athletic pursuits are nothing but positive for a child’s character development. The extraordinary circumstances of a crazy training schedule shouldn’t limit the quality of education a student receives.
*This post was written by our Marketing Superstar and World Cup Skier Colin Lang*