How to Earn Service Hours for the Homeschool Transcript

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Earn Service Hours for the Homeschool Transcript.

How to Earn Service Hours for the Homeschool Transcript

How to Earn Service Hours for the Homeschool Transcript

One of the blessings of homeschooling high school is the freedom to build a lifestyle of service for your teens. Volunteering and service mindsets help build good character. Not only that, but they build a good transcript!

Adding service or volunteer hours to a transcript gives it sparkle, which makes transcripts college-attractive. Admissions officers are often looking for students who understand how to build into a community because this can help build good college culture. That is, colleges like to know that homeschool high schoolers are not just sitting at home, but know how to contribute good to the world around him.

However, for non-college-bound teens, why not add your teens’ service hours to the transcript? When you show your teens’ full high school experience, it gives them a more accurate record of their high school years. In this case, transcripts become good memory holders. Not only that but it helps homeschool graduates remember things they can talk about in job interviews:

Tell me about yourself.

Well, not only am I prepared for this job, but I also have a history of being involved in my community…

So, how do you record your teens’ service hours and activities on the transcript?

As you know, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school…or to handle homeschool transcripts. However, I will share with you how we handle recording service and volunteer activities.

Record service hours

At the foot of the transcript, we include a section called “Service Hours”. In it we simply record the total number of hours our teens have done service or volunteer work.

This is similar to the way some traditional schools handle recording service on their transcripts. They have a “required number of service hours” for their high schoolers and they simply record the number of hours each teen has earned (equal to or above the required number).

We homeschooling families do not usually need a “required number of service hours” for our teens, since volunteerism is often part of our family lifestyles.

Anyway, you can simply have a section on the transcript titles Service Hours and simply record that total number of hours.

In the Extracurriculars section on the transcript, list service that is done regularly

We list our teens frequent activities in the Extracurricular section of the transcript, along with the school year(s) they were done. For instance, if our teens volunteered in the church nursery each month for their junior and senior years of high school, we would list as Extracurriculars:

Church nursery volunteer, 11th and 12th grades

We do this because it shows commitment and consistency in at least some of their volunteer activities. This does not mean that they should not participate in one-off service projects. Of course they should! However, those are not recorded as Extracurriculars.

What are some ideas for service for homeschool high schoolers?

There’s not ONE right way to earn service hours for the homeschool transcript! That is because there are so many factors in making decisions on how to serve. For instance:

  • What are your teens’ interests? Are there volunteer opportunities there?
  • Are there service opportunities available in the local community, such as church or homeschool groups?
  • What is mom available for? Really! Until teens can drive on their own, parents are doing the driving back and forth. This means juggling homeschooling lessons and family needs for the whole family.

Here are some service activities that our homeschool high schoolers have done for their homeschool transcripts:

  • Digital volunteer work (check out this episode of Homeschooling with Technology for tons of ideas)
  • Citizen Science (check Nasa’s website or your state’s natural resources department, they have citizen science opportunities)
  • Church service (nursery, Sunday school, set up/clean up, sound systems, worship team, church office help)
  • Missions trips (btw- not only have we given our teens some service hours- thirty-four to forty hours per week, but we also give them a quarter credit of “Cross Cultural Experience” as a Social Studies elective in the Courses section of the transcript.
  • Helping out the elderly- look around the neighborhood and see who needs leaves raked, lawns mowed or snow shoveled or home maintenance and do it for free.
  • Also, single moms- they often need the same things as the elderly. Who are the single mothers in your church or neighborhood. ALSO- babysitting.
  • Families in a crisis time, such as a parent in the hospital or experiencing an unexpected loss. Have teens prepare and bring a meal or do some babysitting.
  • Local organizations of interests to teens:
  • Animal shelter volunteers
  • Service animal training
  • Libraries
  • Hospitals
  • Zoos
  • Non-profits (Vicki’s teens did projects for Urban Promise)
  • Fire companies
  • Food banks (church food pantries, community food banks)
  • Rescue missions or homeless volunteerism
  • Even more ideas on volunteerism from our friend, Ticia Messing

How do you choose service opportunities for your teens?

Make this part part of your homeschool planning times and include your teens in a discussion on what they would like to do. Think about and discuss:

  • Their interests
  • Career goals (if they do not have a clue, check out this Career Exploration guide in our Authoritative Guide series of posts)
  • New experiences they would be willing to explore
  • What your family has time for
  • Needs in community and church

As you discuss this together, you both come to good ideas. Not only that, teens start building their confidence and personal meaning as they think about and begin volunteering.

Join Vicki for a discussion on service for the homeschool transcript.


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