Volunteering as Part of Your Homeschool

Most states and many private schools require students to complete a certain number of service-learning hours (aka “volunteer hours”) before they can graduate from high school.

Some homeschool families may think service learning requirements are unnecessary. There are, however, a number of reasons why you may want to formally document your child’s volunteer efforts.

  • Career Exploration
    Not all service-learning takes place at an animal shelter or local food pantry. If your teen is interested in pursuing a certain career, look for creative ways to volunteer while also gaining experience in the field. That might mean starting off by fetching coffee and sorting mail while observing the more interesting work being done by others.
  • Scholarship Eligibility
    Whether you are hoping for a merit-based or need-based college scholarships, you’ll want to start looking at eligibility requirements now. Many scholarships require students to provide documentation of at least 75 service-learning hours.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    Letters of recommendation and references – which are required for college applications and part-time jobs – can be hard to come by for homeschoolers who have never taken classes outside the home. If your teen has regularly volunteered for at least 6-months with the same organization, they can reasonably ask the volunteer supervisor for a letter of recommendation.
  • Part-time Job Opportunity
    Some dedicated volunteers have been able to transform their service learning opportunity into a paying part-time job. It doesn’t happen often, but a good work ethic and a flexible daytime schedule can certainly open doors.
  • Completing High School in a Brick & Mortar School
    If returning to public or private high school may be in your child’s future, the service-learning requirement will still need to be completed. You’ll have eased the burden of transitioning to a brick and mortar school if your child doesn’t have to also worry about fitting in 75 – 100 hours of volunteer time in the last two years of high school.

Last modified on April 15, 2020