West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

. . . on "Home Schooling"

We, in the educational profession, are experiencing a new phenomenon in teaching children -- "Home Schooling." The question which has now arisen in the extracurricular activities realm is: "Should children who are taught at home be permitted to compete in wrestling (or any sport) and/or other organizations at their local schools?"

Before I give my personal answer in reference to the above question, permit me to opine on the institution of home schooling.

As citizens living in a free society, all American parents have a right to teach their children at home. However, in reference to this practice, I do have two concerns that have not been resolved to my satisfaction:

Having had a well-rounded K-12 childhood school experience, myself, I had to ask the aforementioned questions. But now back to the original query -- Should children who are home schooled be permitted to participate with other students their own age in local school-oriented activities -- be it wrestling, basketball, football, band, debate, chorus, etc.?

My definitive answer as a 34-year veteran in the field of education is "Yes, absolutely!"

Parents who believe in "Home Schooling" have every right to educate their children in the home environment. And we, as dedicated public or private school educators, have a professional obligation to further their social learning if asked to do so.

Needless to say, I am not a proponent of learning at home. Still, I believe in the rights of every individual in a democracy to make such a decision. Furthermore, as a teacher for all children, I could never deny "Home Schooled" students the opportunity to participate in school activities.

Mat Message
"Children playing together learn more than any scholar could imagine or teach."
-- W. Andrew Welker

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