Names are funny things. Take the word “homeschooling.” What does that make you think of? Many who are new to homeschooling wrongly assume that children are at home schooling all day. In reality, homeschoolers are often not at home. In fact homeschooling parents understand that children’s early experiences can help to shape the calibre of adults they become. It is partly this knowledge that can lead parents to opt for a homeschooling approach to their child’s education. You want to have a hand in ensuring your children receive a rich and varied education, connecting with external opportunities they may not otherwise have in a traditional school environment.
Providing children with positive early encounters with their community instils a lasting appreciation for the importance of social contribution. By encouraging them to engage in opportunities that make a positive impact, you can help them become valuable global citizens.
It is never too early to introduce children to participate in community projects. Even simply allowing them to be present during activities to witness the work being undertaken can help give them a sense of personal fulfilment volunteering can engender. We’ll take a look at some effective methods to encourage your kids to play a more active role in their communities and the world at large.
Let’s face it, kids aren’t always going to be entirely enthused about the idea of engaging with community projects. Of course, you’ve helped them understand the importance of their volunteer time. Probably the last thing they want to do is commit to anything resembling labour even if it is volunteer work. There are, however, ways to make kids community service a more attractive prospect.
Choose projects which tie in closely to activities or subjects they already enjoy recreationally. If they are artistic, help them source projects that make use of their visual talents. Children interested in sports can engage with their local Special Olympics organisation, riding for the disabled or even the local sports clubs. Whatever it is your child is passionate about, it is likely you can find a community service project to match it.
For older homeschool students, you can help them connect with projects and organisations that are closely related to their career interests. Show them how volunteer work can provide them with additional skills. Demonstrate how they can gain experience that could be valuable on their path toward their vocational goals. Community work can also be an extremely positive addition to their growing resumes. This often provides useful contacts or references for job applications.
It’s important to remember that being active in the community is about more than engaging in volunteer work projects. There is equally valuable work to be done on an individual basis, building a habit of personal responsibility. These independent efforts also help to reinforce the sense that your child has a vital role to play in the world and that one person’s actions can make a difference.
Instil in them the importance of acting in small yet positive ways, such as noticing when litter has been discarded and taking the initiative to dispose of it. Encourage them to speak out when they notice community facilities that are broken or neglected— and teach them how to do so effectively and respectfully. This helps support their observational skills, which are key to recognising opportunities to make a difference in their community.
As a homeschooling Euka parent, you put a great deal of time and effort into supporting your child with an education program that is intellectually beneficial and holistically rewarding. Giving your child the opportunity to participate in some volunteer work is a great way to add to their education experiences.
You can approach volunteer work projects as homeschool field trips. Do some research to find out about events in your local area Even small efforts to make community involvement part of your everyday homeschooling routine can be effective in keeping your child enthused about their learning. Hang a bulletin board to place flyers about events or community newsletters. Make sure a calendar is visible, showing their routines for meals on wheels deliveries or tree planting. Their homeschooling environment can be a useful tool to demonstrate that volunteer efforts are not special occasions, but should be treated as an essential part of their routine.
Engaging with their local community is a valuable addition to your child’s homeschooling experience. What’s more, it provides them opportunities that help to develop their social skills and guide their ethical compass. Help them understand that their individual actions have larger consequences, combine activities with their interests or career goals, and make their community a part of their everyday life.