This month I have been blogging through the alphabet with topic of unschooling, or organic learning. Today we reach the letter V, we will discuss the role of volunteering in a home education.
To give of oneself in service of others creates character. Volunteering is a wonderful way to help your child grow. When children have the opportunity to work out of their comfort zone and work with people of different cultures, and economic and social backgrounds it helps them become empathetic and compassionate. The benefit of volunteering happens in the giving and in the receiving. They learn how to support those who are less fortunate, in return they benefit in so many ways. Often new skills are acquired during volunteer work that can be used for future employment.
Our children are regularly involved in volunteer work, from the youngest to the oldest. They have worked on building projects, mostly helping feed the construction workers by working in the kitchen. They are also involved weekly in our work with the Deaf community. This has helped our children to be fluent in American Sign Language. They have friends of various ages and cultural backgrounds because of these experiences. This is also a great way to find mentors.
Another by product of volunteering is gaining self confidence and self worth. Simply put, it feels good to help others. There are many opportunities to build new friendships and meet some incredible kids that are focused on making a difference. Our oldest daughter, Pee Wee, met her current best friend through volunteering. They found they had a lot in common and have been great friends for years now. Recently her friend got to do some volunteer work in Nicaragua. We had her over for dinner last week. She prepared an authentic Nicaraguan meal and told us all about her experiences there with the food, culture and the people, complete with pictures. It was a great learning experience for us all.
There are many volunteer options available. You can volunteer through your church or local soup kitchens. Ask around in your area to see what volunteer options are available. My late husband, Ian
, worked for Comcast, which did a lot of volunteer projects in the area with restoring local historical homes. He really enjoyed that work. There are many volunteer opportunities out there waiting to enrich your child’s life.
What volunteer work have you found beneficial? What kind of volunteer work are your children involved with?