How to Find Volunteer Opportunities for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Ticia Messing

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Find Volunteer Opportunities for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Ticia Messing.

How to Find Volunteer Opportunities for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Ticia Messing

How to Find Volunteer Opportunities for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Ticia Messing

One of the best ways to build a sense of community, good character and a strong transcript is through service opportunities. We asked our friend, Ticia Messing of Adventures in Mommydom, to talk with us today. She has prioritized volunteerism for her teens and has found that these opportunities have been life-changing for their family.

Ticia’s story of service with her family

Ticia has been homeschooling her kids from the beginning. She began her blog when her kids were in preschool, so she has been at it for a long time.

Today her three homeschool high schoolers enjoy the ability to concentrate on interests in history, movies and volunteering!

Ticia and her teens have loved homeschooling high school so far. Interestingly, her teens are all in the same grade. This simplifies organizing curriculum. However, Ticia is amused about what will happen to her in a few years when they all graduate!

One of the most important part of their homeschool plans is finding volunteer opportunities for her teens. As long as her teens can remember, her family has been in a church plant. Ticia began teaching service to her preschoolers helping set up chairs at the YMCA where the church met.

Ticia Messing of Adventures in Mommydom

Ticia Messing of Adventures in Mommydom. Photo used with permission

Volunteering as a family

They have also gone as a family on missions trips to the Navajo reservation and also to the Navajo who do not live on the reservation. They found that life on the reservation is like going to a third-world nation. Churches and families there often did not have running water, and thus, no plumbing. Their service looked like this:

  • They helped dig holes for outhouses at churches and did restoration on church and community buildings.
  • They also sorted clothing donations for the families.
  • They also collected Christmas bags at the local boarding school that was created for the Navajo children who live too far away from any school to travel their daily.

The Messing’s connections to the Navajo have been particularly poignant since the outbreak of COVID-19. As of this writing, the virus has been devastating to the tribe. The percentage of infection and death is the highest in the nation.

BTW- If your family would like to donate to the under-resourced Navajo medical staffs to help them fight COVID-19, here are Ticia’s recommendations:

Volunteering for homeschool high schoolers

As her kids entered high school, they could do more independent service project:

  • Ticia’s high schoolers run their church’s VBS along with lower-resource churches in Houston. This year, they planned on running VBS in neighborhood front yards (subject to the opening up regulations in their state).
  • Her daughter does clerical work at the church along with data entry. One of her twin sons helps direct the parking lot traffic at their church. Her other twin son teaches the preschool Sunday school class.
  • Ticia’s daughter loves animals, so she also volunteers at the local animal shelter. (In fact, she has earned the Presidential Service Award each year since she was eight years old.)
  • They help out at the local “serving center” where local people can purchase food and goods at bargain rates.

Include service hours on the homeschool transcript. Volunteering makes a strong transcript and builds character.

How do you handle showing volunteerism on the homeschool transcript?

7 Sister’s families are part of a local umbrella school that includes “Service Hours” at the bottom of the transcript. They also list the organizations they have volunteered for and the years they volunteered there. This is powerful for college-bound teens.

How do you earn the Presidential Service Award?

Ticia suggests:

  • Check out the website
  • Find a sponsoring organization (Ticia’s Daughter is in American Heritage Girls. Rotary Club is one organization that helps sponsor teens.)
  • Log hours to earn one of the levels: Bronze, Silver or Gold

Visit Ticia Messing at:

Join Vicki and Ticia for an inspiring discussion about volunteering in homeschool high school. Also check out these other discussions about service work:

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Service and Leadership Teams for Homeschool High Schoolers

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Service and Leadership Teams for Homeschool High Schoolers.

Service and Leadership Teams for Homeschool High Schoolers. Build your teens' skills for adulthood and life by developing their volunteer and leadership opportunities. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolHighSchool #ServiceForTeens #LeadershipSkillsForTeens #ServiceAndLeadershpTeam

Service and Leadership Teams for Homeschool High Schoolers

Homeschool high schoolers need a little SALT in their lives. What is SALT? Service and Leadership Teams! Join Kym and Vicki for a helpful and SALTy discussion.

SALT is an acronym for Service and Leadership Team.

All teens need training in how to serve and lead because they will all serve and they will all lead at some time in life:

  • Many will become parents (who both serve AND lead)
  • Some will be a church server or leader
  • Some will be community servers or leaders
  • Some may become politicians who both serve and lead
  • Some will be leaders at work

If homeschool parents can give their homeschool high schoolers training in service and in leadership while their teens are still at home they are equipping them for important parts of adulthood.

Vicki points out that in her work as a mental health counselor, she has found one of the best ways to overcome social anxiety is to do volunteer work. Since many teens experience self-doubt and a little social anxiety, service can help.

Vicki and Kym have been involved in creating leadership and serving training at their local homeschool umbrella school. In fact, at Mt Sophia Academy, the staff models servant leadership and invite the students in on the servant leadership by inviting them to:

Teens naturally hang back. Many of them are nervous (or teen-lazy) and do not naturally volunteer to help out. IF you invite them to join you in doing chores or other service-type opportunities, they will join in. AND what you find is that they feel better about themselves when they finish their time of volunteering.

How do you ask teens to join you in serving?

  • Offer an invitation (guilt free)
  • Do not demand (or even tell them the solution to the clean up problem, just an invitation)
  • Have a curious tone (not bossy tone)
  • Who can do this?
  • Find a way teens can be comfortable

SALT Teams: Service and Leadership Teams for homeschool high schoolers. All teens need training in how to serve and lead because they will all serve and they will all lead at some time in life

Help teens understand that leadership is not just being a *front man*. Leadership IS service, it is being part of something (which is what volunteering is about). Servant leadership helps teens feel they belong.

One of the tenants of health (a good immune system) is a feeling of belongingness. So when you give teens the gift of servant leadership, you are actually helping them be healthier.

Kym addresses the myth that extroverts want to be part of the team and introverts want to be left alone. Extroverts might like to be noisy and the center of attention, but introverts need to be part of things, too (even if they have to go home and recharge afterwards).

There’s not ONE right way to serve or to part of a SALT team!

Kym leads Mt. Sophia Academy’s SALT team. The teens at the umbrella school lead by serving in many ways.

  • Serving by cleaning
  • Serve by using soft skills. Kym (and Vicki, while she was still serving at the umbrella school) trained the homeschool high schoolers on basic social skills:
  • Serving by projects that the teens come up with and run. (Kym trains them on planning by Scheduling Backwards and answering Who, What, When, Where, Why.)
    • Coat drives for students in the inner city
    • Food drives (The church where they meet has a food pantry they like to fill.)
    • Toy drives for children in the local children’s hospital (so the children can take them home with them)
    • Supplies for animal shelters
    • Play on the ad-hoc worship team for umbrella school events

Join Kym and Vicki for this SALTy episode and give your teens the tools they need to be part of a Service and Leadership Team. Also, check out these posts and episode on serving and leadership:

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Service and Leadership Teams for Homeschool High Schoolers

HSHSP Ep 7: Service on the Homeschool Transcript

Join Sabrina and Vicki for HSHSP Ep 7: Service on the Homeschool Transcript!

HSHSP Ep 7: Service on the Homeschool Transcript

Service on the Homeschool Transcript The Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 7

Service SO important to record on the homeschool transcript!

Colleges want to see that your homeschool graduates will be skilled in creating a good campus culture. Service is one way to show that important community/culture creating ability.

Also, service shows selflessness and character development.

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym as they discuss why and how to earn those necessary service hours!

HSHSP Ep 7: Service on the Homeschool Transcript

Enjoy Fun, Food, Fellowship and SERVICE with a Holiday Co-op!

jonathan toomeyWith the holidays often comes a time of stress and commercialization and we often end up dreading, rather than enjoying one of the most important holidays of the year for Christians!  Why not plan a holiday co-op so that your family can join along with others to celebrate while serving this year?  If you begin planning now, you can make this year’s Christmas experience one that your family long remembers.  Listen in as I share a few ideas on how to make a holiday co-op fun and meaningful.

As promised, here are a list of favorite Christmas book titles.  If you visit our Facebook page you can add more titles, or see what others add!  https://www.facebook.com/dpkproductions

The Tale of the Three Trees by Angela Hunt
The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
We believe in Christmas by Karen Kingsbury
The Christmas Candle by Richard Paul Evans
Operation Christmas Child by Franklin Graham
The Clown of God by Tomie dePaola
Jacob’s Gift by Max Lucado
Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco
The Pine Tree Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs
Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd-Jones
The King’s Christmas List by Eldon Johnson
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey Book by Susan Wojciechowski
The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado
The Christmas Scrapbook by Phillip Gulley
The Homeless Christmas Tree by Leslie Gordon
The Gift of the Magi by O’Henry

Also, Advent Books (which do not work well for a co-op unless your co-op meets daily, but are great to include in your family traditions) are Jotham’s Journey, Bartholomew’s Passage (both by Arnold Ytreeide) and The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp.