An Outreach Program

As homeschoolers in the 21st century, we have a unique opportunity. An opening to not only educate our own children, but to use that education as an outreach to others.

I don’t think this concept became fully actualized to me until I was literally stopped in a store and commended for my wonderful children. (Seriously, me?) This woman went on and on about how well-behaved they were and how she was impressed with their demeanor. “You must be doing something right!” was her final comment.

Since then, I have been stopped on several occasions (both for good and bad reasons). It never ceases to amaze how much of an impact just living can be, without words ever leaving our mouths. Each time we have had the opportunity to speak with someone, it furthers the outreach of homeschooling.

Knowing this is often the case and wanting to present a wholesome view of homeschooling, the kiddos and I usually have a mantra we repeat on every outing.

An Outreach Program

See? (blush) Only at the park, guys!

Mom – “Who do we represent?”
Kids – “Christ!”
Mom – “What do we represent?”
Kids – “Homeschooling!”
Mom – “So….”
Kids – “No fighting, fussing, or anything else too crazy!”
Mom – “Thank you!”

(laughing) While this isn’t fool-proof and I would expect my children to be good all the time, it is a helpful reminder to all of us that we are constantly being watched and should be mindful of this.

There are so many ways and places our homeschooling can be an outreach to the world. My hope is that we take every opportunity share the heart of homeschooling. I would also hope we continue to fight for those who have yet to obtain that right themselves.

How does your family use homeschooling as an outreach?

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12 thoughts on “An Outreach Program

  1. So, so true! In our family, we are reaching out to the elderly from our church. The kids take pictures they have drawn, we sit and visit and if yard work is needed, we will also do that. We have also extended this outreach beyond the people in our church. I also encourage the kids to smile at people when they are in public, let an elderly person go first through the doorway and to not zoom past elderly people but courteously pass when there is plenty of space. Hopefully it will take root in their hearts and become a part of who they are! 🙂

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  2. My husband and I facilitate parenting classes in Nairobi. The classes begin at 6:30am every Saturday and run or 10 weeks. Our three children have amazed us at each class by entertaining themselves from 6:30-9:00am, being respectful to the people and the proceedings around them. When they need a re-fill, they walk to the assistants and place their order. Of course there is the occasional squabbling and dashing across the room but generally, they invite good questions. Parents want to know what school the kids go to, what Sunday School they attend and how our seven year old learned to read to her siblings. Our homeschooling journey is our gospel platform.

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  3. I love this. We live up north where it’s culturally normal for strangers to avoid eye contact and not interact much. It’s amazing what just saying “Good morning” and smiling at people does around here. Thanks for the reminder!

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  4. My daughters and I used to do a “mothers day out,” at our church. Once they were old enough, we were able to take a morning and give it to this ministry, which was offered from 10:00 – 12:00 every Monday. We were the only ones who could do it, since we were the only homeschoolers in our church. Sadly, this ministry is no longer available here, since I can’t do it by myself.

    Another thing my girls used to do, was go and clean the homes of some of our seniors at church. These people have all gone on to glory now, but they were so grateful for the attention, they used to cry.

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  5. My family is relatively new to homeschooling. We’ve been doing it for three years but it’s been a very unique three years with much learning on everyone’s part. My husband notices the ‘outreach’ portion most when he goes to the store with the kids during the day. Since most other kids are in school, it’s odd to see the three kids in the ‘quiet’ grocery store and he gets a lot of comments. He has been surprised at how often he is stopped and people offer their support and encouragement. Some have asked about socialization (doesn’t everyone get that?) but my kids are so ‘normal’ it really surprises those folks. 🙂

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      • Thanks. We have a massive church family and they are actively involved in so much that we’re often running every night of the week. It’s funny how that’s fine with public school and sports, but when it’s drama or praise team it’s not okay. 😉

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  6. With my older two this was easy- we often received compliments on their behavior, and it was nice. I am sensitive to what other people think of my children’s behavior, and it’s important to me that they know how to behave in public. I am wary of field trips with other homeschoolers because I’ve seen some pretty awful behavior. I think as homeschoolers we will be judged- people will decide what they think of homeschooling in general based on their encounters with a few. Some homeschooling parents seem completely oblivious to the fact that their kids don’t know how to behave, and that not everyone is going to see them as special. I think social skills are hugely important, being polite and respectful to others. it was a lot harder for me with my younger two- they are much wilder; but I’ve worked hard with them and can now take them out and be proud of their behavior.

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