Teaching Values through Service and Leadership – Day 3

Teaching Values: Service and Leadership | Our Journey Westward

(This post contains links to my business website, Shining Dawn Books.)

Welcome to Day 3 of my Heart of the Matter 10 Days of… Series about Teaching Values.  Today’s topic focuses on one of the most important things (besides the Bible) we’ve added to our homeschooling schedule – Service Opportunities.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge in the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.  For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:13-14

Service and Leadership

Serving Others

In our home, learning to serve plays a major role in values training.  Of course, we train our children to serve one another in our home, but we’re also intentional in finding service opportunities outside the home.  As soon as our children are able to take part in service activities, we get them involved!  Helping to clean up after a co-op event, setting tables for a bereavement dinner at church and taking out the trash for grandma and grandpa are all simple to-do’s even for little ones.

{Serving at a local soup kitchen.}

As our kids get older, we actively seek opportunities to serve.  Working at the soup kitchen, making meals for shut-ins with the youth group, and bagging groceries at the food pantry are some examples.  Believe it or not, not once have my children complained about these times of work!  Oh, they will complain quite often about chores around the house, school assignments, not having time to watch a favorite tv show, or how often one of them touches the other in the car!!  But, there’s something magical about serving others outside the home that make us all very humble, eager and incredibly thankful for the blessing of serving others.  Through these experiences, my children have also learned values such as empathy, acceptance and compassion.  It’s truly beautiful to watch your children joyfully serve others.

{Making mop ponies for a children’s home for Christmas.  K.E.E.P. Youth Council}

Leadership Opportunities

As my children have gotten older, I’ve found serving in leadership roles to promote values training just as well (in different ways) than the type of serving I was talking about above.  My children (mostly my oldest – 9th grade – at this point) have been part of youth councils for various things like 4-H and the Kentucky Equine Education Project.  They have attended leadership conferences for Christian youth and helped set-up our state’s annual homeschooling convention.

With each of these opportunities, I’ve watched my children mature.  They’ve learned work ethic, respect, perseverance, cooperation, confidence and so much more.  Not to mention, in each case they’ve made wonderful friends who share common goals.

{Bagging food at the local food pantry.}

Just where do you begin involving your children in service and leadership opportunities?  Well, that answer depends very much on your child’s age and what is available in your area.  I’ve created a list of ideas to get you started below.

Just for the record ;), I address the topics of service and leadership in my new book, Homeschooling the Gifted and Advanced Learner – Chapter 8 “What About Socialization?”, p 116!  You certainly don’t need to have gifted children to participate in these wonderful experiences, though.  ALL children benefit in such character building moments!  What are you waiting for?  Start thinking seriously about how you can incorporate more service time into your homeschool!

I’d love to hear what you’ve done in your homeschool to serve others!

Tomorrow’s post…Teaching Values Through Chores and Jobs.

Be sure to visit these sweet ladies during the 10 days adventure between November 7th-18th!

10 days of Character Studies | Confessions of a Homeschooler
10 days of Christmas Countdown Ideas | Milk & Cookies
10 days of Creative Writing | Chocolate on My Cranium
10 days of Crockpot Meals | The Happy Housewife
10 Days to a Godly Marriage | Women Living Well
10 Days of Growing Leaders | Mom’s Mustard Seeds
10 Days of Homeschooling High School | Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
10 days of I Wish I Had Known | Fruit in Season
10 days of Keeping Your Marbles | The Tie That Binds Us
10 days of Kid-friendly Food | Planner Perfect
10 Days of Language Arts Lesson Planning | Jimmie’s Collage
10 Days of Learning Apps | Daze of Adventure
10 Days of a Mason Jar Christmas | Cajun Joie de Vivre
10 Days of More JESUS in Christmas | Preschoolers and Peace
10 Days to a Peaceful Home | Raising Arrows
10 Days of Raising a Life-Long-Learner | Bright Ideas Press
10 days of Science with Math | Blog, She Wrote
10 days of Teaching Values | Our Journey Westward
10 days of Winning your Child’s Heart | I Take Joy

This post is also linked to Homeschool High School!

Cindy