Data from the National Center for Education Statistics along with key analyses from Brian Ray, a homeschooling expert at the National Home Education Research Institute, report that the number of children who are homeschooled is growing by 3 percent to 8 percent a year. If you take that percentage and add it to the 2012 estimate of around 1.8 million homeschoolers by The National Center for Education Statistics, the high end number of homeschooled children would be nearly 3.5 million children.
That’s impressive. And one of the reasons why so many parents are choosing homeschooling is because of the flexibility factor. They can create their own schedule, making it work around extracurricular activities such as sports, music, acting, writing, and almost anything else that certain children excel at.
Famous Homeschooled Athletes
It’s no wonder why some families who have children that play sports at a high level have chosen homeschooling as their educational option. After all, many sports activities require extensive travel and other demands that makes homeschooling a perfect fit for their needs. Top-flight athletes that were homeschooled include:
Michelle Kwan: Kwan is an American figure skater who won nine U.S. championships, five World Championships, and two Olympic medals. She started homeschooling at age 13.
Bode Miller: Miller is an Olympic and World Championship gold medalist and a two-time overall World Cup champion. He is also one of the most successful male American alpine ski racer of all time with 33 victories. He was homeschooled until the third grade.
Maria Sharapova: Born in Russia, but a resident of the U.S., Sharapova was the No. 1 women’s tennis player in the world five separate times. She’s won five grand slam titles and an Olympic medal.
Jason Taylor: Taylor played in the NFL for 15 seasons, mostly with the Miami Dolphins. He was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017. He was homeschooled from grades 10 through 12.
Tim Tebow: Tim won the Heisman Trophy at the University of Florida and played in the NFL. He is currently playing minor league baseball with the New York Mets. He and his siblings were all homeschooled by their parents and was the first homeschooled athlete to win the Heisman.
Venus and Serena Williams: The Williams sisters have won 30 Grand Slam titles between them — Venus 23 and Serena seven. Both players have won four gold medals at the Summer Olympics Games, one each in singles and three in doubles – all won together. They were both homeschooled through elementary and junior high years.
Homeschooling and the Flexibility Factor
Famous or budding athletes aren’t the only children that have been homeschooled. Everyday families choose homeschooling because it affords the flexibility and creativity that they desire. The freedom to customize your own curriculum, schedule out your courses, create a thriving and fun homeschool classroom, and more has drawn millions of people to the homeschooling way of life.
Parents and children love the freedom and opportunities to explore different ways of learning. Many embrace the educational open-mindedness and camaraderie that homeschooling offers. They love the fact that they don’t have four walls closing them in — they have the whole world to experience and learn about. So, even if you’re not a top-flight athlete — or even if you are! — enjoy your homeschooling adventure.
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