Monday, November 16, 2009

"why sports teams?" (for homeschoolers)

Friends (who home educate),
(I suspect that this post will bring up "an unpopular topic"
to some, but may clarify, for others, something that many, or
most, of us, as parents, must make decisions about, for our
own children)

I have a series of questions I'm pondering. You may wish to
ponder them along with me. (that is up to you)

Parents who are convicted to home educate their children often
end up getting their children involved in local-area sports associations,
or forming "homeschool sports teams." (or they let their children
join already-formed "homeschool" teams)

My question is: When we were convicted to home educate our
children, looking at the benefits in the lives of those (from England,
France, Germany, and other countries, as well as from the U.S.A.)
whom we know as famous inventors, scientists, doctors, and medical
missionaries, as well as others, who became presidents in the U.S., and
legislators, ... and ministers of The Gospel, besides other worthy
professions, ... why, then, would we later find that we felt the heritage
of The Lord (our children are called that, in the Psalms, especially, by
David) should be directed to participate in a form of worldliness that
includes playing sports, week after week?
These "teams" do require practices, so that they can "win."
The practices do take families away from more spiritual activities,
that The Lord Yeshua haMashiach (Jesus Christ), did command
us to participate in (to do), such as soul winning, helping the poor
and widows, and helping the fatherless.

Is "involvement in team sports" an effort, through us, as parents,
to look for a positive way to provide some beneficial exercise for
our children's growing bodies? Are there not enough "chores to
do at home" for some good, physical exercise? Maybe our children
could be volunteering to rake leaves, or sweep a porch and walkway,
or driveway, of an elderly person, who lives very near, ... who "needs"
the help. The list of possible ways our children could be "getting
some good exercise" abound!

Should we let the children "learn" (consider themselves to be a part of)
the ways of thinking that are a regular part of the lives of the unsaved, by
"doing what they do?" Don't take offense. This is an honest question.
Your grandparents, or our great-grandparents, did not "all" have sports
on their minds, when they were growing up, even in the city. They did
chores, they worked at home, or for others, near their family's home,
and ... they "did" get plenty of exercise, unless they purposefully avoided
doing that. It's a choice, like so many things in life on earth.

If God calls us to be "separate" and not regularly associate with those
who "live" in "darkness," then why would we, as God-fearing parents,
want to allow our children to do this? (with local-area childrens'
sports associations, who offer "teams" the children can "play" on)

Are there not any families (near enough to where each of us live) who
will regularly "get together" for a simple (no special preparations that
would need to be made, or set up), and friendly game of some sport
that the families could enjoy "playing" together?

This has been thought about, and written about before, by others, but
am wondering if anyone who happens to stumble upon this blog has
thought deeply about this. That's, by the way, not an insult, but just a
question. Have we all thought "deeply" about this, before? Really?

Just wondering......

Perhaps there are a few families "out there (in America, I mean; but
anywhere, where home-educating families live)" who have pondered
this topic, and have determined that they will think very seriously
about this, in the future, and will make wise choices for their children,
regarding any participation in "organized sports teams."

Personally, we have had quite a challenge finding other home-educating
families who are willing to get together, regularly, to play a "friendly
game" of most any sport that they like to play, with more than one
other person. (who is a true believer) Not for competition, but for
fellowship, and for the enjoyment of the more physically-active members
of each family.

We are to live a "set-apart" life that pleases God. It does not mean
we don't do anything with anyone else, ever. It means we are to live
at a standard, spiritually, that is "higher" than the world's standard,
for things such as sports. Honestly, there were no official sports
that so many great men and women participated in "on a team"
back in the 1600s, and 1700s, and 1800s, and 1900s. So, why do
parents now think that their "home-educated" children "need"
a sports team to join?

Does getting our children 'signed up' to play on an "organized team"
truly benefit them, or the family, in their relationship (that they are
growing in) with The Lord, ...
with all the costs involved in that, and the schedules that often make
life "rather hard" for those who have babies in arms, or young
toddlers, ... or ... others who would like to do something they enjoy,
but these "other members" of the family cannot pursue "those other,"
worthwhile pursuits, because "the family" is, each week, or every
few weeks, at "the game" that one, or two, of the family's children
are "playing at" *with their team.* (ouch!)

Is anyone else concerned about this? I continue to see others
pursuing trying to get their home-taught children onto local
public-school sports teams, just because the parents are already
paying property taxes which support the local school district's
pursuits of any kind, but including sports that the local school
participates in.
By the way, what year did "sports teams" first become a
"regular part" of the public school system? Do you all know?
There are many, many years, in America (the USA) in which
men and women were found attending public schools where
The Bible was taught, each day, and ... there were no "sports
teams." Just some food for thought.

We are to live in moderation, doing things that give God glory.
We are to pursue peace with other believers.
We are to dwell among others "in agape love," which is "love
in action" but according to God's Ways and not our ways, as
humans. His Ways are higher than our ways. His Thoughts
are higher than our thoughts.

Am just thinking.
I know you are, too.

God bless you all in all you do for God's glory!!
... am hoping to share some links to information about the
lives of those who are known worldwide, but whose lives
did not include them playing on "sports teams" regularly
as part of their overall educational program ... of the "school"
they attended.

... and by the way, in my earlier years of life, yes, I actually
did run sprint races on foot, and played tennis, and ... swam
whenever I could (but not on a team), water-skiied (Dad
had a boat), and ..., in my 30s, learned to snow ski, and
much more. But do these things have to be done "on a team?"

Can we not consider these "sometimes events" when we get
to take time out, after our other responsibilities are as
fulfilled as can fulfill them, ... and "rest" (?) by playing some
physical game, that's not unhealthy or wicked, ... with others
who are believers? ... just for some enjoyment, out of doors?
... or, in the case of ping pong, or carpet ball, we can "play"

Let's provoke one another unto good works.
Our young people are actually inspired to get together, and
join in a voluntary effort to rake leaves in an elderly neighbor's
yard! Or help them with laundry or dishwashing, or simple
meal preparations, when an elderly neighbor, or church
member, is ill and needs help with this.
Do we want to work in cooperation with The Lord to develop
"a servant's heart" in our own children?
If not, then why did we choose to home educate them?
The kind of "work" I mention, with regard to helping an
elderly person "does" involve physical effort. But, the
spiritual aspect, of taking the opportunity to do something
that blesses the other person, is worth more than gold to
our young people's hearts and souls!

... keep thinking .....