Topic | Participating in high school sports with your local public high school?

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  • Claire

    Can anyone share their experiences in doing this here?  I’d love to hear how your son (in particular) handled the worldliness of public school kids; the social behaviors so prevalent and yet so contrary to your sons.  I know there are those who would never even consider such an environment.  I guess I’m not asking y’all – I mean that very sweetly but obviously your opinions wouldn’t pertain really here.  So, for those of you who would do such a thing/allow your kid to do such a thing …. how do/did they navigate this world of public high school sports and maintain their sanity and integrity?


    My daughter is in 11th grade and has done track with the local public high school every year. It has been interesting. She has worked to find a small group of students that are on the conservative side each year and really, has focused on the sport (practice is hard work! not a lot of time for goofing off). The hardest part is the bus rides to and from meets, those get a bit uncomfortable sometimes.


    My 15yo homeschooled son plays football for the local public high school. He is a very sociable kid and loves the sport. As Tristan indicated, from what I have observed practice is hard work and there isn’t a lot of time for goofing off. With that said, of course he has been exposed to locker room talk and hearing all kinds of stories about what these kids get into. It has been interesting to observe his lack of interest in getting together with most of the guys outside of football. He generally is home hanging out, watching movies or doing other things with his brothers or friends from church/co-op. It’s been good to have him go through seeing what the world is like outside of our house/church bubble while under our roof so we can discuss things as they come up. Coaches and other kids have remarked on his hard work, integrity and lack of cussing. He has also had the opportunity to evangelize a troubled kid which we only knew about through reading his text messages.

    I am of the “over-my-dead-body-are-you-going-to-government-school” type but I think that now and then, allowing for them to go off, be with the people, sin, etc., can lead to opportunities for their true character to shine through in these final years before they are legal adults.


    Thanks for the responses here!

    Tristan, if you are willing to share here … how does she handle those awkward situations that you mentioned occur?  Deflection? Humor?  I know I’m being a bit invasive and I apologize but I’m really struggling to offer viable suggestions past – ignore it, focus on the sport – which seems lame some how. I’m such a dork, it never occurred to me that there might be any issue because I thought they’d all be so focused on the sport they would have too little time for much else.

    My daughter pointed out something interesting too.  She said that in the public schools being a bad girl isn’t usually desirable; that girls are shooting for the middle.  Whereas with boys the “wild/bad boy” reputation is more acceptable, even desirable among their peers.  That perspective opened my eyes to how hard this might be for boys.  If you want be a decent young man, you might be painting an even bigger red target on yourself.  [How ridiculous is it to be typing that?]

    I always took for granted how much a homeschooled kid shares with their family!  I forget that that is not the norm out there.  It’s very reassuring and cool though.  This is maybe the first time I’ve really felt the road we’ve chosen is so very different than that of most families (present company obviously excluded) … it’s sort of sad.  I mean I went to public schools so I remember it all but now, as a parent, my heart kind of breaks for these boys not having a chance to stay their age longer.  The stuff they’re getting in to is so far above their ability to handle.


    Don’t feel invasive at all!

    Makayla does a couple different things depending on what is going on. She tries to be sitting with another conservative teen friend and they ignore conversations from the other seats. Or they deflect and redirect the topic. She also will bring headphones and a phone to listen to music instead.

    Yes, the bad boy reputation is more accepted, BUT there are usually a mix of people in any group so if your son can find others not on that end of the spectrum to group with it will help.

    And really, the kids will notice a difference and go one of three routes:

    1. Temper their wilder language/conversation/ways around your son as they see his choice not to participate.

    2. Ignore him but also not engage him in the conversations.

    3. Be antagonistic. This happens less often than the other two, but sometimes it’s just the way it is.

    Another suggestion for bus rides is trying to be near one of the coaches in the bus. They may not tone everything down, but they tend to discourage it so the area near them tends to be less obnoxious.

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