Homeschooling Teen

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Maggie Maplethorpe: Homeschooled Basketball Player

Maggie Maplethorpe signing on to play with Newbury College Nighthawks.

We each have our own unique stories and our “why we homeschool” reasons. For Sean and Samantha Maplethorpe, their son (17) and oldest daughter (27) grew up as typical learners. However, their middle child Maggie had some learning challenges, so they homeschooled her from 4th grade through high school. She eventually graduated from high school a semester early and was offered a full ride basketball and academic scholarship to a small college in Boston!

Maggie was always talented in sports. “We joke that our youngest daughter was born with a ball in her hands,” said Samantha. Maggie played recreational basketball through local programs as well as many other sports from 4-years-old through 3rd grade. By middle school, she was playing in regional elite programs. The family moved from Issaquah, Washington to Anthem, Arizona in 2014 and Maggie played varsity basketball for four years with Boulder Creek High School as a homeschooler.

Samantha said that one of the things she did for the high school homeschooler was to enroll her in a local music school, the Rhapsody School of Music, to learn guitar and later drums. “[Maggie] even surprised me and signed up for vocal lessons because she felt so welcome and safe in that learning environment. They had group lessons and individual lessons as well as semi-private lessons, recitals and performance groups. Eventually she was ready to play with her own band in their School-of-Rock-style rock band program! Wow, to see her come out of her shell was amazing!”

Mrs. Maplethorpe continued, “We were so inspired that we got more involved as a family, my son taking lessons on violin, and vocals and he has recently moved on to learn guitar, he too has been in several rock band sessions and loves it! My husband and I eventually got in on the act and joined adult rockband groups getting to sing everything from 60s Beatles songs to Sweet Home Alabama to Indigo Girls to Seven Nation Army. They tailored each session to the band member’s preferences so we even got to pick some of our favorites!”

The Maplethorpe family enjoyed their time with the Rhapsody School of Music so much that when the opportunity arose to purchase the school, they jumped at the chance. Samantha, a family physician, and Sean, formerly a Microsoft sales manager, now operate the music school as a fun business on the side. Samantha said, “We have built a fantastic community of instructors and supportive families and are hoping to have all of our kids in town for the summer and do a full family Partridge-style band.” She highly recommends incorporating some type of music/arts in your homeschool curriculum, “preferably in a place that connects your child together with other homeschool families as well as in a place where your child can really spread his or her wings.”

Meanwhile, while still in high school, Maggie started her own business training youth basketball athletes. She continued to play year round with regional elite programs and was eventually recruited by her current college coach out of a tournament in Kentucky. Maggie accepted a full ride basketball and academic scholarship to Newbury College, a small private college located just minutes from Boston in Brookline, Massachusetts. She was really excited about having opportunity to play with the Newbury Nighthawks!

Maggie is currently studying Exercise Science/Sports Management/Business at Newbury College. She will be back home this summer to coach Amateur Athletic Association (AAU) basketball with her former club AimHighEliteAthletes. She is definitely an inspiration to any homeschooler interested in sports! Her mom said, “Through all the time and energy it took, I would never change our decision to homeschool; I think I learned so much more along the way from our daughter about patience, hard-work, perseverance than I could have ever taught.”

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