How to Prepare Homeschoolers for NCAA Sports

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Prepare Homeschoolers for NCAA Sports. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

How to Prepare Homeschoolers for NCAA Sports. Help your high school athlete prepare well for NCAA eligibility with these tips.

How to Prepare Homeschoolers for NCAA Sports

There are some teens who God has gifted with athletic ability. Some of these teens feel called to play NCAA sports in college. That’s great but is not always as easy as it might seem.

Homeschool teens who would like to play official college sports must start preparing during high school. Sometimes teens and their parents can feel overwhelmed by the process. Where do you even start?

That’s why Vicki asked 7Sister Marilyn and our good friend Barb Varnell t0 join us for a discussion on how to prepare homeschoolers for NCAA sports.

(BTW: You’ll also love this interview with Barb’s daughter, Sara, about becoming a veterinarian and this compelling discussion with both of them about whether one can be a creationist and professional scientist at the same time.)

Marilyn and Barb have been homeschool leaders for decades and have brought our homeschool umbrella school‘s athletic program up to status that will prepare eligible teens for NCAA applications. (The program included swimming and soccer.)

Our homeschool umbrella school, Mt. Sophia Academy, was the first homeschool program that was DIAA (Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association) approved. This was a huge undertaking because DIAA wants to make sure that all Delaware athletes are receiving a genuine education. This made our teams able to compete against other DIAA schools and tournaments. This also made our homeschool athletes eligible to apply for NCAA.

Marilyn and our first athletic directors worked diligently with DIAA to make clear what their rigorous standards would look like for homeschoolers in our Mt. Sophia Academy sports programs. These requirements included:

  • Taking a certain number of courses at Mt. Sophia Academy’s group classes (for accountability and oversight purposes)
    • At least 16 credits need to be from approved providers such as umbrella schools or online schools
  • Core courses must be at Level 3 (College Prep) or higher
  • Core course catalogue must be on the umbrella school website (with courses approved by NCAA)
    • Science, Math, Social Studies, Language Arts, World Languages
      • With course descriptions with:
        • Scope and sequence
        • Texts and other curricula, specific amount of work required in these
        • Tests
        • Grading
        • Other things as NCAA decides

Homeschooler wants to play NCAA sports? Start early! Tips on preparing your teen for NCAA eligibility.

Marilyn cautions that NCAA applications, just like college applications, are a game. You simply have to play the game by the rules.

Advice from Vicki:

If you need your coaches and teachers to be willing to go above and beyond for you (for helping find recruiters and writing letters for you):

  • Be coachable
  • Invest in being a team player
  • Practice LOTs
  • Show diligence at practice
  • Help out
  • Start early

Advice from Marilyn:

  • Do summer camp opportunities at a college near you or at a college of interest
  • Have a video created of you playing
  • Start early

Advice from Barb:

  • Do not aim for graduating early, even if that is possible. Especially for boys, they need an extra year of physical development and sports training
  • Start early

Note: There’s not ONE right way to apply to NCAA college sports. A homeschool high schooler can apply individually (not as part of a homeschool umbrella program) to NCAA schools.

Individuals applying to NCAA colleges will need to supply:

Be sure to start in 9th Grade. Check out NCAA website for their requirements for how to prepare homeschoolers for NCAA sports.

Need some encouragement? Listen to this Homeschool Highschool Podcast interview with a Mt Sophia Academy graduate who swam with our umbrella school in homeschool high school. He is now a swimmer at Harvard University.

Want to hear from a homeschool mom who has been through the process successfully with her teens? Our own, Felice Gerwitz, of Vintage Homeschool Moms talks about NCAA on this episode.

What if your homeschool high schooler would like to play sports while they are in college but do not want to play NCAA-level sports? What are some options? Our local homeschool graduates have gone on to play:

  • College club hockey (Check out this interview with 7Sister Kym’s daughter, Kendall. She and her twin, Carlie, played University of Delaware’s Women’s Ice Hockey at club-sports level.)
  • Intramural college sports
  • Church leagues just for fun

Join Vicki, Marilyn and Barb for a encouragement for your teen athlete.


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How to Prepare Homeschoolers for NCAA Sports

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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