The primary motivation for volunteering among teen homeschoolers should be making a contribution to their community. Teen volunteers can be a helpful source of labor and energy for community organizations. While it should be that the primary reason to volunteer is altruistic, it is okay to acknowledge that volunteering may also help teen homeschoolers prepare for college admissions and scholarship process in several ways.
Enrich Academic Experience
Volunteering is a way for students to develop real world connections to the subjects they are studying in their homeschool. For example, a teenager may volunteer to plant trees while studying environmental science. For many families homeschooling is at its best when it goes beyond the traditional paper and pencil approach. Volunteer experiences can deepen the student’s academic experience and help provide important motivation and perspective.
Without the traditional avenues of school clubs and sports, homeschoolers need to be proactive in seeking out opportunities to develop leadership abilities. Volunteering, especially over a period of several years, can be a way to work with others and learn about organizations. Colleges need students who enjoy being involved on campus and have the skills to lead others.
Volunteering can be a great way to meet adults who have had a variety of experiences with higher education. Adult volunteers may help make the student aware of new colleges they may want to consider. Also, some scholarships require a recommendation from a person who is not a family member or teacher and volunteer supervisors may be good candidates for writing recommendations.
During the process of college admissions and scholarships students are often required to write several essays. Students who have had “real world” experiences will be better equipped to face this process.
Community service and volunteering are key area recognized in awarding many scholarships. Several national companies and organizations provide substantial community service scholarships that homeschooler volunteers are eligible to apply for.
Maturity and Responsibility
For many homeschooling parents, helping their children mature into responsible citizens is one of the main reasons they chose to homeschool. Volunteering can help teens develop more mature perspectives and understanding of the world. It also helps teens understand they have the power to make a positive difference in their community. This can go a long way in helping students plan for the future.
If you are interested in helping your homeschooler find volunteer opportunities you’ll want to review part two of this series. There are many teen homeschoolers who are volunteering and making a difference. If your family has experience with volunteering, please leave a comment and share your story.