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Volunteering for Homeschoolers, Part One

volunteeringMany homeschooling teens find volunteering to be one of the most satisfying part of their high school education.  In this three part series we will explore why teens should volunteer, where they can find volunteer opportunities, and how volunteering may be relevant in college admissions and scholarships.

Why Homeschoolers Should Volunteer

Of course the biggest reason to volunteer is to help other people and make your community a better place. While volunteering is primarily about helping other people, it is okay to acknowledge volunteers gain many benefits from volunteering as well. For many people volunteering is a kind of banking good will – help out because you can; someday maybe you or a loved one will need that help in return.  Some of the reasons teens may enjoy volunteering include:

  • Feels great to make a difference
  • Gain confidence from new experiences
  • Explore career options
  • Develop a broader understanding of the world
  • Reinforces and enriches homeschool education (such as volunteering on an election while studying government or volunteering to monitor stream water quality as part of biology).
  • Gain leadership skills
  • Build skills for resume or college applications
  • Meet new people including potential friends and mentors
  • To put beliefs into action

The next step is to consider what sort of commitment your teen would like to make to volunteering. Some volunteer jobs require only a single day commitment. For this type of volunteering what is needed is “all hands on deck”. They may include special events such as volunteering at a fundraising 5K race or helping to pack Thanksgiving baskets.  If your teen enjoys this type of event, you may want to encourage them to explore more regular long term volunteering such as working a few times a week or a few times a month for a single organization or cause. It is through these more regular options that students are likely to make the most difference and reap the biggest rewards from volunteering. A regular commitment will help the teen to develop relationships and learn new skills.

In part two of this series we will explore how teens can find volunteer opportunities and in part three we will look at how volunteering fits with scholarship and college application processes.

3 comments

  1. Amy

    Volunteering is great for homeschool families. We put together baskets at the food bank and my girls love it. Everyone should give it a try!

  2. Barbara Hettle

    Thanks for sharing your experience Amy. It is wonderful your family has found a way to help your community.

  3. Claire

    Do people consider programs like Jr lifeguard or explorer scouts volunteering or more of a club that has volunteer aspects to it.

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