The development of character is an important facet of creating a child who is whole and emotionally healthy. As a home-school parent, it is important to not only help the child develop intellect through study, and a work ethic by giving opportunities for both useful and gainful employment, but an altruistic spirit by creating opportunities for service to others. Children from tots to teens can purposefully serve others, bringing joy to lives of others, and growing beautiful hearts at the same time. Service to others should be a family focus and an integral part of every home-school plan.
Here are some of the things our family participated in for service projects:
1. make tray favors for a local hospital
2. gather supplies for shoebox packages to send overseas to children
3. rake leaves for elderly in the community
4. bake cookies and deliver them to neighbors
5. take pets to the nursing home and visit the elderly there
6. prepare and present a Christmas program at the church (music and readings)
7. offer to care for an infant and have the children help
8. sponsor an orphan from another country; send pictures, letters, etc.
9. grow vegetables that can be given to a local food bank
10. offer a free neighborhood service to take care of feeding or walking their pets
11. visit a shut-in neighbor; help with dusting, sweeping, or washing dishes
12. make “memory verse” books using pictures, text, and a photo album
13. adopt a “Grandma” or “Grandpa” from a nursing home and visit them on a schedule
14. gather up toys and clothing that are no longer needed and take them to Goodwill or other charitable thrift shop
15. adopt a family from the Salvation Army Christmas tree and make a box of food and gifts for them
16. make a lap quilt as a family and give it away to someone who needs it
17. invite the pastor and his family over for a meal and have the children help prepare it
Service to others, when planned and implemented in the family, brings joy and growth to all involved!