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Ultimate Guide to Extracurricular Activities for Homeschoolers
Why extracurriculars matter
Send an inquiry to prestigious colleges like MIT and Harvard, and ask them what the requirements are for enrollment. The answer would undoubtedly be something along the lines of
Basically, we’re looking for students with strong interests — both academic and non-academic — who have taken a rigorous academic curriculum and done well. We want to see that students are involved in things because they care about them, not just because they think certain activities would “look good” on their resume or college application. We look for students who demonstrate initiative and are willing to take risks, and choose those who we feel will bring something special and unique to the college's name community.
This applies to all colleges and universities. They want to see your passion in the field you chose, and your participation in other things other than academics. Extracurricular activities is the way-to-go to get experience in the workfield, to contribute to the community, and to learn to communicate for homeschoolers. Homeschoolers might not have the advantage of having an audience of that of a regular school, but they have more time, and they can make it up perfectly with participating in extracurricular activities that allows their passion to shine through.
Fall in love with something other than just academics.
So what's the hype about extracurricular activities for homeschoolers?
Homeschoolers--especially in countries where homeschooling is not as accepted as it is in the U.S.--think that they don't have the benefit of joining clubs like the regular schoolers. This is a myth. Homeschoolers can participate in wide ranges of extracurricular activities, which includes bake sales, community service, or working part-time.
Remember that extracurricular activities do not have to be sponsored by your school, so you should also consider things that you do with your family or within your community as viable options. - Prep Scholar Blog
You can form an extracurricular activity from your child's personal interests and passion. A few questions you want to ask yourself when you choose an extracurricular activity are:
- Does this activity serve to contribute to the impression of your homeschooler's personality and character?
- Is it something your homeschooler is interested and passionate about?
- Does it challenge the homeschooler and help her grow?
The great thing about homeschooling is, you can come up with an extracurricular activity by your own. Anything beyond academics and answers all the above questions positively can be made into a kind of extracurricular activity.
The opportunities are endless, but here is a list of extracurricular activities you might consider participating in
- Volunteering at local community service (i.e. pet shelter)
- Graphic Design
- Music (i.e. Piano)
- Tutoring someone else
- Creative writing
- Track and field
- Entrepreneurial skills (i.e. start a small business)
- Community organizations (i.e. the local chess club, book club, etc.)
- Writing articles on Hubpages
- Work experience
- Dance classes
- Horseback riding
- Competitions and contests
How do homeschoolers to engage in extracurricular activities?
There are a few ways a homeschooler can participate and socialize in extracurricular activities as a group.
- You can do it online. Be proactive and initiate an idea. I left a comment on a Khan Academy SAT lesson asking if anyone wanted to be my study buddy, and the responses were delightful. Four of us formed a study group and discussed over things at a set time of the week. Our members all come from different countries, but all of us have big dreams, and the SAT is a stepping stone for achieving our goals. They would not have left a response if they were not determined in doing their best in the SATs. We also realized our similarities and was glad that this study group was formed. Also do not hesitate to ask questions and contribute your own opinions to get the best out of the group.
- If your local community has a good amount of homeschoolers, you can collaborate to form a club (i.e. an astronomy club) on mutual agreement.
- You can join local public school events. If a school organizes a hiking event and invites outsiders to join, take the chance and participate in it. This is also a chance to socialize!
- Volunteer at your local community service. Take a briefing session at the pet shelter and visit them to offer your services regularly. Be friendly and communicate with the staff. Socialize. Do not hold back on your contribution. If you have the skills you believe the pet shelter needs, offer them for free. I did graphic design for my pet shelter, and it has been a great real-life work experience for me. I also learned to empathize with the client and acknowledge their needs instead of what you think their needs are. And when you're going to be graduating from high school, kindly ask if the organization is willing to write you a recommendation letter for college admissions. If you're leaving to continue your education at a place faraway, assure them that you will still be glad to help out with whatever you can.
It is important to express your gratitude for the chance to be able to work with your study group, local clubs, school events, and community service organization, instead of having a mindset that they should be the one thanking you for your contribution. Be authentic and genuine and it will shine through. This is why you should take on the extracurriculars you are truly passionate in because you'll do 200% when people do 100%. Nurture yourself to be eager to learn and grab any opportunity you get to improve yourself. Don't do it so that it would look good on your resumé or portfolio. Do it so that it will make you feel satisfied and proud of yourself.