Many families who homeschool are interested in competetive athletics or other interscholastic competition. Illinois Jr. High and Sr. High music, sports, and scholastic competition is governed by the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) and the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) respectively. Below are the rulings from each organization according to their by-laws as well as a listing of community sports groups available to our youth.
IESA & IHSA
IESA (2.036)..."Students who are receiving their education through home schooling may be eligible at the public school at which the student would regularly attend, providing they are in full compliance with the following requirements: all eligibility By-Laws other than the attendance By-Law, the home schooled student's work must be accepted by the school district in which the student resides and be granted credit toward graduation by that school district, the school district shall establish a method to monitor the academic performance of the home schooled student on the same basis as for students in regular attendance at the school, and the school certifies that the student is meeting the minimum academic eligibility standards for participation."
IHSA (3.011)..."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 the eligibility requirements of all IHSA by-laws."
"Illustrations for Section 3.010 of the By-laws...
81) Home School Student Eligibility ~
- Q. May a student who is home schooled, participate on a high school team?
- A. Yes, provided the student is enrolled at the member high school, the student is taking a minimum of twenty credit hours of work at the member school or in a program approved by the member school, and, the student must be granted credit for the work taken either at the member school or in a program it approved. (By-law 3.011)"
Individual schools and districts interpret the by-laws differently. While some schools will require home school students to physically attend the required number of classes or even all day, others will work with parents under the "arrangements approved" phrase. In these unique situations, the school itself must verify adequate completion of approved courses taught at home, granting credit toward high school graduation. Many school budgets simply do not have dollars available to pay someone to verify and approve home school student work and eligibility.