Football star Tim Tebow said his homeschool years taught him “love for God, love for one another.”
“They wanted us to learn reading, writing and arithmetic, but it wasn’t No. 1. It wasn’t the most important thing,” Tebow said of his parents. “They wanted to instill love in our hearts, love for God, love for one another. They wanted us to be able to learn a work ethic, a dedication.”
Tebow, 30, did not attend public school until he attended the University of Florida, a college with about 50,000 students.
“I still have such a heart to encourage the homeschool kid,” Tebow told an ESPN analyst. “To let them know that they are loved, and they are special, and they might feel different, and sometimes might feel alone, sometimes might feel afraid. There might be those times where you go through that.”
Tebow’s 2017 book, Know Who You Are. Live Like It Matters: A Homeschooler’s Interactive Guide to Discovering Your True Identity, discusses how homeschool impacted him as he grew up.
He said he first had chores on his family’s farm, Bible study, and then academic work.
“I did a lot of different projects on Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens … because I was so interested in it,” he said. “I also remember doing science projects on why my parents needed to let me take protein because they didn’t understand that protein was a good thing and I needed to take shakes.”
While he was homeschooled, Tebow did play sports with other public school students.
“I went to work on it, and eventually we became friends,” he said. “But people are going to view you as different, and that’s OK. And sometimes I think it’s pretty good to view yourself as different, and that’s OK.”
Tebow’s parents, Bob and Pam Tebow, were his homeschool teachers.
“The amazing thing about homeschooling is that you get to love on your kids, you get to embrace them, you get to believe in them, you get to share that with them over, and over, and over and over again,” Tebow said. “And the chances of them believing it are so much higher, and that’s what we want our kids to be … not be afraid of the world.”