A few years ago, Bookworm Beauty was bitten by the sports bug.
Her first experience with organized sports was roller hockey. It was interesting, to say the least. To begin with, she could hardly walk on the roller blades that came with the enrollment. By the end of the 6 week season she was at least skating and learning the hockey skills. We let her participate for three seasons before deciding to put up the hockey stick – so to speak.
The team experience itself was lacking. We wanted her to have the opportunity to experience being part of a team and although she was, there was no cohesive team spirit in roller hockey. I can not speak for other locations, but at our location there was nothing to encourage that kind of team cohesiveness. For example, the kids did not even know each others names, except the names of the few “good” players; there was no real team practice to assist in that either as practice was for all teams at once. To top it off, at the end of the season, the team party was held at the same time for all of the teams (10 or so) during a regular open-skate public session. It was fun for her nonetheless, but we really wanted her to have an opportunity to be part of a team not just a group of kids getting together.
Then last year rolled around… one of her 5th grade friends gave her a flyer for the local youth basketball team. She showed a bit of interest and we found ourselves on our way to town to buy her a pair of court shoes.
The team experience was everything we had desired for her. She was part of something and felt important. Even more important, she got to know most of the kids on the team.
Now Bookworm Beauty is in 6th grade and this changes everything. Where we live, 6th grade is when students can start participating in school sports. Suddenly it is as if the sky has parted upon Bookworm Beauty and the angels are singing.
Many homeschoolers are not aware that their students can participate in the local school programs – a la carte. We love our local school (I know… we are lucky), we love it so much that I would not be worried if I sent my kids there at some point. In the meantime we are enjoying what we can utilize their programs and Bookworm Beauty has been playing volleyball with many of her friends.
Volleyball was a great experience for her. She is excited though as she is now trading her volleyball for her basketball and in the spring she is considering running in track. It has been a joy to watch her actively participate in these sports.
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