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Homeschoolers Head to Desoto Tennis Courts

September 11, 2008 01:52 PM

Lori Schiavone, Tennis Program Director for Satellite Beach Parks and Recreation and Meisje Connor, home school mother and tennis player, have created a new tennis program for homeschoolers in Southern Brevard County.  Homeschool Tennis began at the Desoto Tennis Courts on Sept. 12 and will run from noon to 1 p.m. in 4-week sessions every Friday throughout the school year.

Connor approached Schiavone about creating a tennis program solely for homeschooled children.  Connor sent e-mails and calls were made, and within three weeks, “There were massive amounts of interest for the program,” Schiavone said.

“This is something that is very much needed because homeschooled kids need to take physical education.” 

With 24 homeschooled children in Brevard County enrolled in the tennis program and ten on the waiting list (ages four to 17), Homeschool Tennis is a great opportunity for the kids to meet other homeschoolers, get a break during the day, exercise and have fun.  Afternoons are a perfect time to fill the courts at Desoto because they are normally empty during that time.  But why tennis?

“I think we have gotten a great response because tennis in this area is booming and these kids know that some of their friends who attend school play and they want to do it too,” said Schiavone, who runs the USTA Jr. Team Tennis programs at Desoto Tennis Courts. 

“The goal is to slowly introduce the homeschoolers into the Brevard County USTA Jr. Team Tennis program,” she said.  In the 2008 summer season alone, there were over 100 kids in the Brevard County Jr. Team Tennis program. 

“The Homeschool Tennis program is perfect to incorporate the new QuickStart format of play,” Schiavone added.

The QuickStart Tennis format is a new way for kids 10 & under to learn and play the game. The court size, racquet size, balls, net height and scoring system have been adjusted and scaled down to ease kid’s entry into the sport. On Saturday, Sept. 6, the Space Coast Tennis Association (SCTA) hosted a QuickStart Tennis Workshop at Desoto Tennis Courts to train coaches and parents in the new format of play. 

“A couple of parents of our homeschoolers came and took the workshop,” Schiavone said.  “They were so ecstatic and couldn’t believe how great the program [QuickStart] was.”  The newly trained parents will join in the Homeschool Tennis program and be on-court helping coach.

With the incredible interest from the community, Schiavone and Connor are sure they will have to expand the program soon.

“We had no idea this was going to boom,” Schiavone said.

For more information about programs at Desoto Tennis Courts, contact Lori Schiavone at 321.773.3313 or desotocourts@satellitebeach.org.   






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