Rebekah Groop graduated from homeschool in 2010.
While her academic pursuits were extremely important to her during high school, her transcript was about much more than just those credits. Here are her thoughts about experiences she has had volunteering since homeschool graduation, and the importance her well-rounded homeschool experience had in preparing her for adult life.
Volunteering at MSB
by Rebekah Groop
No matter how far away we may move from school, the lessons we learn as children and youth stick with us. After hundreds of hours of volunteer work in high school, I went to Towson University ready to focus purely on academics and pursue a competitive and grueling double major in Deaf Studies and Elementary Education. But somehow, working 30 hours a week and going to school full-time was still not fulfilling enough, and volunteering crept back into my lifestyle.
I was interviewed and accepted to work as a volunteer at The Maryland School for the Blind (MSB), working one day a week for 4-5 hours during the spring semester of my sophomore year. This was a great opportunity, since I would be helping in a school and learning to work alongside children with disabilities.
Initially I spent a lot of time standing by a shredder, hearing the buzz of gears ripping paper into anonymous garbage hour after hour. When I wasn’t shredding paper, I was restocking it, counting it, organizing it, followed by more shredding. After I had cleaned out a lot of old, confidential records, I moved from related services to the head of administration where I worked on very elaborate and complicated projects, and my volunteering became much more serious business.
I can’t say it was glamorous work, or even fun. My hands got chapped and cut from all the paper I dealt with, and I frequently found myself confused or overwhelmed by the tasks given to me.
Unfamiliar equipment and tasks that required knowledge about the school far beyond what I possessed were always present, and these things frustrated me. But this frustration was a great tool in learning to be flexible and work with I have in front of me, an exceptionally important piece to my future career as a teacher.
Part of having a servant’s heart is being flexible. I made a lot of mistakes and had several embarrassing moments, but volunteering for MSB was a great way to practice for the future when my paycheck and career depend on my ability to be flexible and work with others.
A pretty diploma is wonderful, but without any real-world experience, my first job post-college would be much more difficult, and my efforts at MSB really pushed me to remain confident in myself, despite having little control over the tasks I was given or the circumstances in which I found myself.
Exposing our homeschoolers to lots of varied opportunities for volunteering is a great life-equipping tool.
Even the books we choose for their literature classes can include works that inspire them to serve others. Have you checked out the titles in our literature study guides for books by great Christian writers? Click here to view these affordable guides, adaptable for individual or group use.