Where It Began
In 2007 in Northern Virginia, I had the privilege of living next door to a wonderful homeschool family, the Moore's. At that time I had never heard of homeschooling. Ironically (aren't God's ways so fascinating sometimes?), my 2nd grader's bus stop was right in front of the Moore's house. I began to wonder why their 2nd grader was outside playing happily and didn't board the school bus with us. Eventually we got to know one another and she explained all about homeschooling. It seemed like a huge undertaking. But they looked so happy, and I remember thinking I wanted to be happy like that too.
My first year of homeschooling was such a learning curve for me. And to be honest, it continues to be a learning curve every year it seems! There's always a new season, a new medical issue, a new baby, new location, etc. I always say it never gets boring around here!
One of the first things I learned about my first year homeschooling in Northern Virginia was FISHE Soccer. My new friend coached one of the teams and her enthusiasm prompted me to sign up as well. There were so many homeschoolers in Fairfax County that we had 3 different teams in our league! I was blown away with the fact that I could drop my toddler off at the playground babysitting area and then help out with my 3rd grader's soccer team. I didn't know anything about soccer and I was super nervous. My friend, ever so gracious, fully assured me that I could do it. And I did! The first year I was a Team Mom for U8 (which in my opinion is the hardest job on the field, esp since I seemed to be pregnant every year back in those days!). The next year I wised up and became a coach for the youngest team. Even I could understand those soccer rules! Eventually the team needed a Field Coordinator and I offered to step into that role. God certainly knew what he was doing then, too. I learned the logistics needed to know how to run the league.
Fast forward to 2021 to our move down to Williamsburg. I was shocked when we arrived here to discover that there are no daytime sports offerings for homeschooled children. So we did what other parents do - signed up for after school/weekend sports. Never again. I found myself running to and fro, being flung around like a piñata, exhausted from week to week. The evening sports options were expensive too, which meant only a few of my kids could participate each semester. I kept thinking that I wish FISHE soccer existed down here! I want my kids to be involved in sports, but not the cut-throat competitive sports in these bigger leagues. I don't want it to be our whole life, just something we do for fun and exercise and relationships.
And then God laid it on my heart to start a FISHE soccer down here. I contacted the President of FISHE and he was amazing. Such a Holy Spirit-filled, joyful man. No wonder FISHE is so successful even after 20 years! This entire website is built from their website. I figure that if a model works so well, then we should use it too. I am so grateful for all the info from FISHE as well as their support.
I pray this soccer league becomes an answer to prayer for you and your family, just as FISHE soccer was for us.
And if you don't live in the 757 but want to start a FISHE soccer in your area, please contact me so I can help you get started! Many Blessings to you!
Jessica P., President, CHiPSoccer