Homeschool Heroes: Meet Barrier-Breaking Broadcaster Jessica Mendoza
As a standout softball player, gold-medal winning athlete, and the first woman commentator for a Major League Baseball game, Jessica Mendoza is used to making headlines, but now she is receiving national attention for homeschooling her children.
As the 2018 Major League Season enters its first full week, Mendoza is beginning her third full season as an analyst for Sunday Night Baseball, an exclusive weekly telecast that has been a staple on the ESPN network for nearly 30 years. In her first appearance on the show in 2015, she witnessed a no-hitter as the Chicago Cubs defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Because studies have revealed that women comprise approximately 35% of Major League Baseball fans, Mendoza thinks the sport could benefit greatly from adding more women to her profession.
“Women that don’t watch sports, I think, would want to watch sports if they felt like they were being spoken to more,” Mendoza told the Washington Post.
Mendoza never planned on homeschooling, but as the barrier-breaking broadcaster’s career started to take off, she knew she needed to make a change.
“I am gone every weekend from the end of March through the end of October. When my oldest son started school, I realized I was losing too much time with him,” Mendoza told Good Morning America in a feature article that was part of the show’s cover story look at homeschooling. “If my schedule wasn’t this intense, I would never have looked to homeschool. Not that I ever disapproved, but it seemed crazy for a working mom like me who is already juggling quite a bit to add the responsibility of my child's entire education.”
In her interview, the mother-of-two revealed that she had her doubts about homeschooling, but she also acknowledged that she isn’t someone who gives up easily.
“I wasn't sure how teaching my son would work. It could be awful. I could fail. I might not understand. He might not understand,” Mendoza said. “But like most things I decide to do, I liked that it would challenge us. The best decisions I have made in life have been the ones that get me outside my comfort zone. This was definitely uncomfortable, and I wanted to try it.”
Now, two years into her homeschooling journey, Mendoza isn’t afraid to admit that not every day goes smoothly, but she loves that she and her kids are always learning.
“I’ve become a better parent,” she said. “Homeschooling has brought out every angle of parenting and multiplied it by 10.”