Posts Tagged ‘basketball’

Upward Basketball

Monday, February 25th, 2013

upward-basketball-1Upward Basketball is a Christian-based sports program that has games once a week for 8 weeks during January and February. Many homeschoolers participate for their homeschool P.E. program. The boys meet once a week for practice, and the volunteer coaches pray and give the kids cards with Scripture to memorize during the week. The basketball drills include dribbling, passing, shooting, layups, blocking, and teamwork skills.

Two of my sons were on the same team, even though they are two years apart in age. I saw my sons’ skills improving over the two months, and they even scored a few baskets. My boys have enjoyed playing Upward Basketball for two years now.

upward-basketball-2At the beginning of each game, the boys run through an inflated archway with a smoke machine creating a special effect. Parents and siblings line up on both sides of the archway , creating a human path through which the boys run, slapping the hands of everyone as they run through. The introduction to “The Final Countdown” blasts over the speakers as they run through.

The boys are given colored wristbands that match one player on the opposite team. This way the boy doesn’t forget who he is blocking. At the beginning of the season, watching the game is like watching an episode of “The Three Stooges.” It’s comedic really. By the end of the 8 weeks, actual basketball is being played, since the boys know what they are doing by then.

upward-basketball-3The basketball season culminates in an award ceremony which meets at the local school gym. Minute-to-Win-It-style games are played. One of the games had the participants shaking ping-pong balls out of a kleenex box tied around their waist. Whoever emptied their ping-pongs first won. (One of the coaches was much faster than any of the kids, so he won the challenge.) Another game had the participants put Vaseline on their noses. They dipped their noses into a basket of cotton. The cotton stuck to their noses, and they ran across the stage to shake off the cotton into another basket. There were three teams, and our team won. We had the most cotton balls in our basket after a minute.

Overall, Upward Basketball is a great way to get your homeschooled kids involved in a sport with a minimum time commitment. It’s hard for homeschoolers to pull together a team and find coaches, but here you have everything taken care of for you, by a nonprofit Christian organization. My kids have enjoyed it.

Practicing Sports Skills

Thursday, July 15th, 2010


The summer is the perfect time for practicing sports skills, especially if you are a homeschooling family and don’t have the opportunity during the school year. I’ve gotten inexpensive sporting equipment at Goodwill. For example, I bought a metal baseball bat for $4, and most of my leather mits cost me from $1 to $4 each. I bought enough for a whole baseball game because I was leading a Cub Scout group. If your family owns enough equipment for a real game, you can always invite one or two other homeschooling families to come play ball with you.

One way I helped my sons to learn how to bat a ball was to hang a wiffle ball from a tree branch or other contraption. With a wiffle bat, the child would bat the ball when it was not moving. This helped with the child’s aim. Batting T’s are helpful, too. I also drew a circle on the shed with chalk, and the child had to throw the wiffle ball into the circle. This helped the child to aim the ball when he was throwing it.


We always start learning about a sport by reading a picture book about it from the library. That way we know what the rules are and what skills we need to practice. We also find out what all the equipment is called. Sometimes you can find a video at the library that is a tutorial for one specific sport. These can be helpful, especially for people like me who always hated sports at school.

My children and I grab our sporting gear and walk to the nearest school. We use the basketball hoops that are there. The schools are usually empty in the summer, so you have the whole place to yourself, especially if you go in the morning. Sometimes Little League or other teams are practicing in the late afternoons.


Some parks have a rectangular sand pit with a volleyball net. You can play badminton or volleyball with your children. Volleyball is much harder for young children than badminton, but if you buy a large, lightweight bouncing ball at Walmart, it can be hilarious to hit over the net. Use your imagination, and you can improve your children’s sporting skills while having fun.