Extracurricular Activities for Homeschoolers

I get the question a lot:

Can your child participate in extracurricular activities at the public school if they are homeschooling?

For us, the answer is, yes.It depends a lot on the District and their view on this. But if you’re paying taxes in town, you ought to be able to enroll your child in after-school activities.

Our oldest son is participating this year in the high school debate club. Debate is a fun activity where kids get to learn about logic and public speaking. Our family does a lot with other homeschoolers including field trips, Nerf Wars, STEAM activities, etc., and our son has been fortunate enough to start his own Pathfinder group at the library as well as high school video club, so he’s not lacking in getting a variety of opportunities for social interaction. That said, having the option of joining a group at the high school gives him a whole other group of friends, and allows him to feel tied in without the constraints of public education.

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Ready for debate

Our kids are not “sports” kids, but from what I understand, there are a lot of public school districts that allow homeschoolers the opportunity to participate in school sports and intermurals. I have also heard that some kids are able to go to school for just one class, or a handful of classes like art and music. We did this last year with our younger child, and it also worked very well.

Field Day friends at public school
Field Day friends at public school

Our kids like individual sports, so we have both of them enrolled in a martial arts class, which has been a fantastic outlet both for exercise and socialization.

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Earning stripes in Martial Arts

Extracurriculars at the local brick-and-mortar school isn’t for everyone. Some homeschoolers would rather not have their kids participate or feel it is a waste of time. For them, that may be true.

My feeling is that if you’re interested in having your child participate, just ask. If the principal says no, it’s worth a conversation with your District’s superintendent and even the school committee if necessary.