Homeschooling athletes

Students in Texas choose from many educational alternatives, including public and public charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling. The Tomball Kings baseball program serves student-athletes whose families have chosen the homeschooling option. We support these student-athletes and their families through our emphasis on scholarship ahead of sports. We also encourage our student-athletes to prepare rigorously for the future by developing as many options for themselves as they can. These options may include admission to selective colleges or universities and participation in college baseball or other sports.

Tomball Kings baseball players studying at picnic table with one of their coaches. For homeschool athletes, the classroom is everywhere.
Several Tomball Kings high school players learn about former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden and his “Pyramid of Success” before a fall training session on October 15, 2020. Photograph courtesy of Priscilla Owens.

About homeschooling

As millions of families learned during the spring of 2020, homeschooling presents unique challenges. This is true even when homeschooling is a deliberate choice. Homeschooling is not simply a matter of where the student learns, but how. For those who travel the homeschooling path purposefully, however, it can be an incredibly fulfilling experience.

Few begin the journey free of trepidation, though. The sheer variety of approaches, methods, curricula, and resources available to homeschooling families can itself be overwhelming. As a community, our Tomball Kings families readily share knowledge and experience with new homeschooling families.

Our coaches and program leaders guide all Tomball Kings players to consider the lifelong value of their studies. They also emphasize to players the importance of honoring the effort and expense that parents or guardians undertake when they choose homeschooling for their children.

Homeschooling and other academic requirements

In keeping with our mission, we require that each of our players be homeschooled in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas. Each player must also be in good academic standing with respect to his homeschool curriculum, as determined by his parents or guardians. Playera must live at home with their parents or guardians, and must also be age-eligible for interscholastic play in accordance with the age-eligibility rules of the University Interscholastic League (“UIL”). Further, no player on a Tomball Kings roster may have graduated from high school.

Of greater significance than external requirements, though, is the self-determination of each of our student-athletes to excel in his studies. Homeschooling provides our student-athletes with the freedom to follow where their curiosity leads. Yet, this freedom is of limited value in the absence of self-discipline and self-responsibility. We find that scholarship and sports performance are mutually reinforcing, We therefore ask all of our players to be as diligent with their studies as they are with their training and practices.

College preparation

For our players who aspire to play baseball in college or beyond, preparation for success in that endeavor ideally begins during their freshman year in high school. We seek to understand each student-athlete’s goals and to help them develop a plan that will lead to their achievement. Our guidance encompasses academic preparation and eligibility requirements, including those set forth by the NCAA, a plan for researching their options and establishing lines of communication with colleges and universities of interest, as well as programs for training and nutrition.

Learning by teaching

We field rosters across five age divisions, but operate under a “one team” concept. We treat all players, irrespective of age, as part of one Tomball Kings team. Fundamental to this approach is encouraging older players to help their younger teammates. Our high school players can often be found teaching at youth practices, or cheering at games for our younger players. Teaching enforces learning. This tenet of our program helps to prepare student-athletes for their futures as fathers, coaches, and in business.