I will represent the United States at the 2022 Winter Olympics. I’m letting you know in advance so you can start lining up for autographs. If I win gold, that signature might be worth something one day. The committee hasn’t specified a certain event yet. Since I’m gifted in so many areas, they will place me where I’m most needed at that time. Some of the events I’m up for are extended laundry cycling, extreme carpooling, and synchronized meal prep. Hold the accolades, please. I’m humbled and honored to represent our fine country in this way.
It’s taken years of training, but it’s been worth it. It’s been worth every folded towel that never made it to the cabinet, every stack of clean underwear that got pushed onto the floor instead of placed in the drawer, every dish that ended up dried and crusty on my teenager’s bedside table after a midnight snack. It’s been worth every mile of math tutoring from the driver’s seat of the mini-van, every inch of historical timeline décor pasted across my living room walls, every science-project-gone-wrong that I had to clean up off my kitchen floor.
It’s all been a labor of love. Sure, there were times I wanted to give up, but perseverance and hard work got me where I am today — standing in my laundry room with a pile of who-knows-if-they’re-clean “dirty” laundry I picked up off my kids’ floors while my son works on the forty millionth verse of an original song about adverbs.
During the next couple of years, there will be many more hours of practice. Hopefully, it will all pay off in the end, in the form of some sweet endorsement gigs. I’ll take a lifetime supply of Subway sandwiches and a Mustang convertible, please. Candy-apple red.
Though there may not be a specific Olympic event for homeschooling parents, the 2018 Winter Olympics do have a number of homeschooled athletes. Homeschooling offers the freedom for students to focus on their particular areas of passion and giftedness without the distractions and wasted time that come with traditional schooling. As a matter of fact, four members of this year’s U.S. Olympic Snowboarding Team were homeschooled! In case you’ve been hiding in a no-wi-fi-or-television igloo somewhere, they are listed below.
Olympic Snowboarders Who Were Homeschooled
- Shaun White, age 31, completed high school through independent classes at home, using a public school curriculum. He used the extra time to concentrate on his training, and it paid off! The Olympic medalist has won gold at the 2006, 2010, and 2018 Olympics. Shaun is also a renowned skateboarder and one of the richest Olympians, thanks to wise investment of endorsement money.
- Jamie Anderson, age 27, homeschooled for her entire education. Her mother, a certified teacher, wanted to give her children the chance to roam, explore, and be children. With the freedom to play came the opportunity to become an amazing athlete! Jamie won her first gold medal at the 2014 Olympics, and has racked up two more golds in 2018.
- Hailey Langland, age 17, has been snowboarding since she was five years old. She attended public school until 9th grade, when she began homeschooling. This opened up more time in her schedule to focus on her sport, which helped the teen earn a spot on the Olympic roster.
- Arielle Gold, age 21, began snowboarding when she was seven years old. She homeschooled using a K-12 online program. This gave her more time to focus on training and allowed her the opportunity to keep up with her schoolwork while she traveled. Gold earned a bronze medal this year while competing with a dislocated shoulder.
If that hasn’t lit an Olympic torch under you, here are some lesson plans for the Olympics:
- Here’s a great video about the history of the Olympics.
- Here are Olympics Lesson Plans for Homeschoolers complete with downloadable worksheets.
- And what better way to create lesson plans for the Olympics than by exploring the Olympic site?
Homeschooling requires colossal commitment from parents. But for those who are willing to make that sacrifice, there’s an enormous payoff. In traditional schooling, a one-size-fits-most schedule drives student learning. Homeschooling, on the other hand, allows parents to tailor their student’s classes and schedule to each child’s needs and interests. In the case of these four Olympians, homeschooling allowed Shaun, Jamie, Hailey, and Arielle freedom to pursue their dreams. Though not all homeschooled students will end up on the Olympic Snowboarding Team, there’s no question that the specialized, tailor-made education that can be provided through a homeschool curriculum will help all students soar.