Integrating Volunteering with Homeschooling

There are so many organizations and people needing your help. How can you possibly fit volunteering into an already full schedule of homeschooling, running a house and perhaps even work or running a business?

One effective way is to integrate it instead of “fitting” it. Volunteering can provide many educational opportunities beyond the cultural and societal education they provide.  Most volunteer organizations offer free training and unique insight into the organization you will be working for.

To choose the perfect volunteering opportunity for you and your child look at the blocks you are studying right now. Are you studying measurements in math? Perhaps working at distributing or cooking food at the local food bank would give you a real-life opportunity to use some of those skills. Are you doing the house-building unit for third grade? Perhaps volunteering for Rebuilding Together and Habitat for Humanity would be a good fit.

Sofi and I integrated our local history block and study of animals into our volunteering opportunity. When she was in third grade we didn’t spend enough time on this unit so we have been catching up by working for the Red Rock Wildlife Education Center. The director at the center is teaching us all about wild animals around America and the history of wildlife in Iowa. We have been supplementing our education at the center by reading classic works by Ernest Seton, including his classic story about “Lobo”. During our time at the center we learn about animals, watch videos about them (that are playing in the background for visitors), talk about what we have learned and learn to identify different animals. The director has me reading the DNR documents about wildlife in Iowa, which I have been condensing and sharing with Sofi verbally. And, we get to cuddle with a baby cougar (see picture).

In return the center gets help from Sofi and I with their computer and networking needs and assistance greeting and showing people around.

You might be surprised at what volunteering opportunities there are in your community! Take some time to look around and ask around to find the perfect fit for you and your child.

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