Community Service is a Vital Part of Homeschool
Growing up, I have always loved serving other people. Whether it be watching kids during church meetings or bringing mail to elderly neighbors, it gave me joy to help them out. I would say that being homeschooled has opened up extra opportunities of this nature. In fact, I would even say that serving my community has been a vital part of my homeschool education. The flexibility of my schedule allowed me to volunteer places during the morning or daytime, when most kids would be at school.
I first began to serve my community when I lived in a small beach town called Ocean Shores. I was a part of the cleaning team for my local church doing everything from cleaning the building, to arranging chairs, to organizing closets. I also helped with the tech on Sunday mornings and volunteered with the kids’ programs and child care. Another way I have served my community is by picking up trash in my neighborhood. When I was young, my mom and I began a tradition of walking the streets every week after the garbage truck came, to pick up loose trash that had blown off the truck. This was one of my favorite things to do, because there was no way of being recognized for it, but I knew it was having an impact.
After I moved from Ocean Shores to a town called Montesano, I immediately looked for ways to help out in my new community. When I discovered that there was a food bank within walking distance of my house, I was sold. I volunteered at the Montesano Food Bank once a week for two years. I loved volunteering there because it allowed me to have a direct way of helping people. In this case, it was addressing one of life’s most basic needs, providing food for people.
Lastly, I helped out young students at my hip hop dance academy. For a year I volunteered as a teacher’s assistant in, what we call, a “tiny hoppers” class. In this class I worked with the four- and five-year-olds to improve their dancing abilities. While helping small children learn to dance may not seem like a very impactful activity, I think that just being a positive role model and encouraging them to be creative, can make a big difference in their lives.
I think being a homeschooler has not only led to more opportunities to serve my community, but has also given me a sense of responsibility for it. Public school students can usually be a part of so many different groups at the school, like sports or clubs, whereas homeschoolers have to go out of their way to belong somewhere. This is why I think having homeschoolers be an active member in their community is so important and can provide lessons that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.