Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Tebow

Homeschool parents deservedly lose battle to get kids on public school teams

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This piece in the Joliet Herald News makes it sound like the Minooka (Ill.) school board members on the majority side of a recent 5-2 vote in favor of excluding homeschooled kids from sports made a decision tantamount to throwing those kids in the educational garbage can. To the contrary. The homeschooling parents already made their statement about public schools by not enrolling their children in them, so I don’t think they get the right to cherrypick when suddenly they decide the evil government school has something they want.

Before I get to that, a word from Chris Balkema, one of the board members who voted for allowing homeschoolers to play:

“Right now with students and parents who are paying our bills, the current policy discriminates against students who learn at home.”

This is laughable. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. For if Balkema had even the slightest understanding of his state’s laws on homeschooling, and on the state high school athletic association’s rules on homeschoolers, he would have punted this dumb suggestion out the door, too. (Of course, asking a school board member to be educated and even-handed is usually a lot to ask.)

Illinois, actually, is a very friendly state to homeschoolers. A 1950 court decision allowed for homeschooling, treating those children as if they were enrolled in their own little private school. Today, Illinois is one of 10 states that does not require homeschooling parents to alert their public school district that they are teaching their kids at home. A 1974 federal court ruling said that parents in the state have to file some sort of progress report with the district, but no one ever enforces that. So Illinois parents have carte blanche to teach their kids at home without the government poking its nose inside the kitchen, or the dining room, or wherever the home classroom is.

In exchange for being left out of the claws of the local government-run school district, however, home-schooled students can’t participate in it. You might say, but they pay taxes to the district! True. But state funding of the schools is determined by actual attendance. So the homeschooling parents would end up getting services on state taxpayers’ dime. The only services Illinois law mandates are given to private as well as public school students are drivers’ education, and a limited amount of special education. That’s it. But that’s the price you pay for getting to teach your child exactly the way you want, when you want. The Illinois State Board of Education says that districts are under no obligation to provide anything else. They can, but they don’t have to.

Plus, the Illinois High School Association has clear rules on whether private school kids — and, remember, that’s what homeschoolers are — can play for a public school. The rules are, they can’t. If the testimony of Theon Hill at that Minooka board hearing is to be believed, his playing sports at Romeoville High School while still a homeschooler would have been a violation of this IHSA rule:

A student must attend a member school and may only represent in interscholastic competition the member school the student attends. For purposes of this by-law, the term “attend” shall mean that the student is enrolled at the member school,
and is taking at, or under arrangements approved by the member school, a minimum of twenty (20) credit hours of work
for which credit toward high school graduation will be granted by the member school upon the student’s completing and
passing the courses. The school which enrolls the student shall be exclusively responsible to verify the student’s compliance
with all of the eligibility requirements of all IHSA by-laws.

I know that many states have passed so-called “Tim Tebow laws,” allowing homeschool athletes to play school sports. Florida passed the first such law in 1996, though not because of Tebow, who wouldn’t bless high school fields with his presence for about another half-decade. However, Tebow is usually cited as Reason No. 1 for creating such a law, as if every homeschooler was a future Heisman Trophy winner.

Tim Tebow sez: “Hey, homeschool kids! You’re not going to not have sex with someone like this if you can’t play school sports!”

Even if a state doesn’t pass a Tim Tebow law, in some cases courts have allowed homeschoolers to play. One might say, activist courts, if they didn’t have the support of right-wing, Christian organizations such as the Home School Legal Defense Association. That makes those judges honest, common-sense kinds of people.

The Home School Legal Defense Association itself shows how homeschooling organizations — still overwhelming evangelical Christian, even as homeschooling has spread beyond its population (insufferable liberals instead call it “unschooling” to separate themselves from the conservative rabble) — try to play both sides of the high school football field chain-link fence.

After a West Virginia lawsuit the HSLDA supported successfully overturned the state’s rule preventing homeschoolers from playing public school sports, the victorious attorney declared that the “homeschooled are part of the public education system.” The HSLDA said, um, no, they’re not: “HSLDA disagrees with this statement. Homeschooled children are privately educated and have only minor contact with the public school system.”

Yes — only the contact that homeschool families choose to have, the kind that makes up for what homeschoolers lack, without exposing them too much to bad things like cooties, street gangs, and Catholics.

Look, homeschool parents: you’re either all-in, or you’re out. It doesn’t hurt to ask a public school if little Mordecai can play, but if it says no, don’t walk out in a huff and act like you’ve been denied your inalienable rights. Plenty of other parents across the country have set up networks of homeschool athletic leagues, bands, choirs, you name it. Don’t have one in your area? Here are some resources for starting one.

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An example of a homeschool league. Also, an example of possible trademark infringement that might draw a letter from the NCAA.

Failing that, your local parks departments or independent sports leagues have teams that are open to anyone with only one qualification: the check clears. There are club teams you find as well. In fact, you’re better off with them if you think little Esther Homeschooler has a shot at a college scholarship, because most coaches scout elite leagues; they don’t even bother to look at school sports anymore.

For those Minooka, Ill., parents all upset that their kids aren’t going to be future Indians, if it means that much to you, put your kids in public schools. And trust that your influence doesn’t disappear the moment your child is out of your sight, and that you can still educate your child even when others are doing some of that work for you.

Tim Tebow's parents teach you how to raise your own divine child

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With Tim Tebow likely trading his biblical eyeblack (now banned by the NCAA) for sitting on an NFL bench, how are we are mere mortals supposed to get our divine guidance as to what He (Tebow) would want us to do (unless he can plop a Bible verse on the back of a clipboard)? How can we learn to be more like Him?

Fear not, my sheep. A few hundred tickets remain if you want to learn from Joseph and Mary themselves about how to raise and nuture your child to become Tebow-like.

On Sat., April 17, David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., is hosting Bob and Pam Tebow to host a parenting seminar called “Bringing Up Tim Tebow.” Sure, Bob and Pam have four other kids, but can they run for a touchdown and heal the sick in one motion?

So what can you expect from Bob and Pam? Probably something heavy on the homeschooling, considering all the Tebow kids were homeschooled (and Tim’s allowance to play on his public school football team has inspired states to pass what are called “Tim Tebow laws” to allow other homeschoolers to play on school teams, which also makes him the only person not kidnapped and murdered to have state laws named after him). Lots of talk about their missionary work and ministry, given Bob is a minister himself, and both have traveled the world to spread their faith.

And, definitely, their No. 1 piece of advice in raising your own little Tebow: don’t abort him.

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If you’re among the 5,000 or so plunking down $50 apiece to hear Bob and Pam Tebow tell you how to raise your own golden child, your money might be better spent elsewhere. After all, the chance of your child being a Heisman Trophy winner/walker-on-water is probably pretty small.

If you want a parenting seminar that might be more practical to your child’s more likely future, I would advise you to sign up for “Bringing Up Ben Roethlisberger.”

Written by rkcookjr

April 16, 2010 at 12:25 am

If Tim Tebow has trouble going pro, then what about your kid?

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Blanket coverage of Florida quarterback/living anti-abortion protest Tim Tebow tends to be annoying, though it’s a godsend (no pun intended, quarterback-who-wears-Bible-verses-on-his-eyeblack) for the first week of the Super Bowl pregame trudge. The coverage of Tebow’s appearance in Saturday’s upcoming Senior Bowl college all-star game has focused on how a player considered one of the greatest college football players ever is going to suck at the professional level.

The consensus is that Tebow, who led his team to two national titles and won the Heisman Trophy his sophomore year, doesn’t have the quick throwing motion or pinpoint accuracy necessary for the NFL. To hear some scouts talk, it’s amazing Tebow would be able even to walk onto an NFL field without his someone tying his shoes for him. From USA Today:

Tim Tebow did not elevate himself into a top-echelon NFL draft QB prospect at this week’s Senior Bowl practices, ESPN analyst Todd McShay said Thursday.

Tebow, who drew attention on Monday when he struggled taking snaps under center in practice, still has talent but doesn’t yet have the makeup for a successful pro quarterback, McShay reasoned.

“He’s practiced, he’s gone through every drill, he’s shown improvement in terms of getting snaps under center and he’s working at it,” McShay said. “But he’s just not there.”

So what does this have to do with your kid?

Every time your athletic child advances a level — whether from 7-year-old to 8-year-old or junior high to high school — the competition gets tougher. Kids who aren’t interested or aren’t able drop out, but the strongest ones stay in. Where they were five leagues, there might now be the same number of kids competing for spots in three. Three junior highs feed into one high school. On a younger level, kids who grew way ahead of everyone else find others catching up to their size, or their ability.

The key to success at negotiating up each level is not the innate talent and mastery of opponents displayed at the earlier level. If that were the case, Tim Tebow would be a top-five NFL pick. Moving up is a process of starting over again, and, yes, while advantages in talent and size help, what helps more is the young athlete’s (and his or her parents’) ability to handle the initial setbacks. If the child athlete can learn from them and improve, then he or she has a shot at continuing to move up. If the child athlete is nothing but frustrated — and this can happen with kids who have shown ability as well as those who have struggled at earlier levels — then it might be time to start thinking about how much of a future a certain sport might have.

Certainly, Tebow is going to be going pro. The Jacksonville Jaguars might want him in hopes he sells tickets to a franchise whose attendance has stumbled. But other teams might say that even though things that worked in college for Tebow won’t work in the pros, he’s shown the mental fortitude to overcome those initial setbacks and improve his game. That will be the determination of whether he thrives in the NFL. And that, usually, is the determination of whether your 9-year-old can handle moving up the ladder as a 10-year-old.

Written by rkcookjr

January 29, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Tim Tebow teaches your kids how to selectively quote the Bible

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In his last game tonight, the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is wearing, as he has so many games, a Bible cite on his eyeblack. (Tebow was Christian-home-schooled, and his name has been invoked in many states in legislation that would allow home-schooled students to play on public school sports teams, as his home state of Florida allows.) Tebow’s last choice was Ephesians 2:8-10.  The verses goeth:

8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Hey, kids, and parents, remember that if you put Bible verses on your eyeblack, your uniform, or your banner, some smart-aleck is going to look at the surrounding verses to check for context and/or selectively quote in a way that makes you look bad. Especially with Ephesians 2, a very short New Testament book that reads a lot like non-Israelites yelling “nanny nanny boo boo” at the Tribe now that they have a savior that YOU DON’T HAVE, even if you become as good a quarterback as Tim Tebow.

So without further ado, Ephesians 2:11-13:

11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

Please debate: Does this verse contain anti-Semitism, or are you too distracted by the image of Tim Tebow’s foreskin?

Written by rkcookjr

January 1, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Tim Tebow has not been kidnapped and murdered…

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…nor has he ever inspired Nancy Grace to harangue one of her guests.

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However, like a cute, doomed little girl, Tebow is getting his name attached to state legislation. “The Tim Tebow Bill” is shorthand for measures that would allow home-schooled children to participate in their public school’s extracurricular activities — such as Tebow was allowed to do in Nease, Fla., before he became a Heisman Trophy-, championship-winning quarterback. Here is one example of usage from the Bowling Green (Ky.) Daily News:

A house bill would allow home-schooled students to participate in public school sports, music events and other extracurricular activities.

And while 24 other states have adopted similar bills and more are considering the legislation, local school authorities said they still have a lot of questions about the “Tim Tebow Bill,” HB 179, that need answers.

According to the bill proposed by Rep. Brad Montell, R-Shelbyville, home-schooled students would not be “discriminated against” from participating in interscholastic extracurricular activities after guidelines are determined for student enrollment and a waiting period is specified for when a student transfers from a public school to a home school.

Montell said in a news release that the bill was inspired by Tim Tebow, a Florida football quarterback who went on to become the first sophomore to win the Heisman trophy at the University of Florida after a similar law allowed the home-schooled student to participate in public high school athletics.

“While most everyone knows who Tim Tebow is and of his many accomplishments in football at the University of Florida, they do not know that Tim Tebow never attended public school for academics because he was home schooled,” Montell said. “But thanks to a Florida law that allows home-schooled students to compete in high school sporting events, Tebow was able to excel in a sport … shouldn’t we provide our home-schooled children that same opportunity?”

tim-tebow-girl

The bill also promises home-schoolers the right and opportunity to grow or motorboat extremely large breasts.

The Home School Legal Defense Association, which does not seem Creepy Christian in the least, says Kentucky is one of nine states trying to pass Tebow bills (the use of the name is especially popular in states featuring teams Tebow beats the crap out of). Alabama’s backers, which have been trying for three years, already have registered timtebowbill.com, although with how things usually go in college sports, it should only be a matter of time before someone puts up a site called firetimtebowbill.com.

Twenty-four states already have such laws, including Tebow’s native Florida, which was a pioneer of these laws with the original, the Craig Dickinson Act of 1996. (The late Dickinson was a father who home-schooled his children.)

I’ll say first that I have known the pain and discrimination of having my children barred from participating in a school’s athletic program just because I chose not to send them there. After pulling my kids out of Catholic school, but keeping them in CCD, I was told my sons would be allowed to play football — but that no other kids could play no other sports, even though other area Catholic schools allowed their CCD kids to do the same. Perhaps I should sue, or get the Illinois legislature to pass a Bob Cook Act!

Or I could do what I did, and what so many homeschool parents are loathe to do — realize that when you pull your child out of a school, you no longer have a god-given right to cherry-pick activities for them from that school. Of course, I was dealing with a private school. But I’m amazed that home-schooling parents would find the local public schools too evil or just not good enough for everyday use, yet go running to them when they realize they can’t replicate a cheerleading program at home.

Homeschool parents’ argument is that they should be able to use the school because their tax money goes there. True, except that by not sending their child there, they are depriving schools state and other funding based on enrollment and daily attendance. Also, there is a question of whether home-schoolers are included in schools’ after-school activity insurance policies. Anyway, if their kids are on their way to being the Tebow of their activity, the parents might be better off paying for camps and private, elite programs, the kind college coaches watch more closely than high school games.

If the home-schoolers are going to be allowed in — and take the place of someone who goes to that school every day — they should meet strict academic requirements (which many Tebow laws dictate), and they should have to pay not only any fees charged to other kids (also a part of many of these laws), but some sort of premium to make up for the tax money not collected on their behalf and any premium for extra insurance the school requires.  Otherwise, start a homeschooler football team.

2295217857_459422e848_mOr a homeschooler band. From Flickr, a scene from a concert put on by the Minnesota Homeschool Chamber Orchestra.

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