Tim Tebow Challenges Homeschooled Teens to Stand Tall
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Tim Tebow is an American sports icon. He's a two-time national college football champion, Heisman Trophy winner, and first-round NFL draft pick. After playing in the NFL for the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets, Tebow joined SEC Nation on ESPN. These days, Tebow's hitting homers and recently signed a contract with the New York Mets.
Off the field, the native Floridian is the founder of the Tim Tebow Foundation and now a best-selling author. His New York Times best-seller Shaken: Discovering Your Identity in the Midst of Life's Storms garnered the new author praise when it published in 2016.
This month, Tebow releases his follow-up book, Know Who You Are. Live Like It Matters.: A Homeschooler's Interactive Guide to Discovering Your True Identity. In it, he shares his homeschooling story and encourages middle-schoolers to 'discover their God-given purpose and live it every day'.
Why did you decide to write your next book directly to middle-school-age homeschoolers?
Tim Tebow: I wanted to encourage them because these years are such impressionable times. I want these students to know that I went through what they are going through. They matter. God has a plan for them. And they can accomplish special things.
What are the key things you hope a child this age will take away?
Tebow: Remember not everything is perfect. You may wonder what everyone else is doing in school, but focusing on that will stop you from giving your all and diving into what you're learning at home. Trust me, it's worth it!
What do you wish you understood at that age?
Tebow: There were times that I was so discouraged because certain subjects like math and reading didn't come easy. I had to keep sticking with it. I also learned to be thankful that homeschooling gave me an opportunity to study and read about subjects that I loved, like nutrition and sports.
You write in your book that you appreciate your parents for taking a personal investment in your education. Have you always felt that way? Why?
Tebow: There were times I wondered what regular school would be like, and some days I even wanted to go, but there were so many things to be grateful for – that my schedule was flexible, that I could study things that I found fascinating, that I had the flexibility to go on missions trips. I didn't appreciate this every day, I'm sure, but it's easy to see looking back.
Your parents were pioneers in homeschooling. What misunderstandings about it did your family have to overcome?
Tebow: That they were crazy, weird, and that homeschooling was illegal!
What do you want homeschool parents to understand about what it feels like to be a homeschool kid?
Tebow: Put yourself in your child's shoes. It's not always easy not being with your friends or not being part of a group. Be sympathetic and at the same time encouraging. Help them develop their social life by getting them involved in sports, art, music, or even co-op communities. Don't bottle them up at home.
Is there a particular experience in homeschooling that helped shaped who you've become?
Tebow: There were so many. My mother was amazing at making learning fun. While I struggled to read being dyslexic, she would have me read Sports Illustrated for kids or have me research the benefits of protein, things I enjoyed learning about. She taught me that even though things may be hard, you can always find joy and even fun in them.
MIDDLE-SCHOOLERS ASK TIM TEBOW
What was the hardest aspect of homeschooling for you?
Probably wondering at times what I was missing out on.
Did you ever feel looked down upon because you homeschooled? How did you handle that?
Of course! This is where self-esteem comes in. I had to believe in myself, in who I was, that God had a purpose and a plan for my life. And I had to remember the blessings that homeschooling brings.
In those mundane days of schooling at home, what motivated you to persevere?
Remembering that my parents were choosing to homeschool for a reason, to instill in me character and help nurture my faith. There are pros and cons to everything, even not being homeschooled, so it's always better to focus on the pros!
*Q&A provided by WaterBrook & Multnomah.
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