Colleges and universities of all types – private and public, secular and religious, large and small – ask applicants to list their participation in extra-curricular activities during the high school years. They are looking for students with strong community involvement. This could include volunteer service, work experience, after-school projects, and individual endeavors in whatever the homeschooled applicant is passionate about.
Dusty Di Santo, Admissions Counselor at Taylor University, explains: “These activities show the applicant’s ability to build relationships with all kinds of people. To flourish in college life means having the ability to work together with groups, with teachers, other students, roommates, and in campus activities. Future employers also look for students to have the ability to work well with a variety of people.”
This is true for all applicants, not just homeschooled applicants. However, it does give homeschoolers a chance to show that they are more than just good students, that they have a life outside of the house, and that they have good interpersonal skills and abilities. In addition, participation in outside activities will enable the homeschooled student to ask another adult besides a parent to write an informed recommendation letter for them.
Extra-curricular activities are especially important if you expect to apply for any scholarships. Besides, it’s a great way to meet people and develop friendships. The following list contains examples of community participation that can be easily accomplished while homeschooling. You will probably want to include a variety of them over the coming years. Make it your New Year’s resolution to get started doing one or more of these activities!
- Science fair
- Math competition
- Sports league
- Foreign exchange
- Speech and debate
- Public speaking
- Community theatre
- Music performance (choir, band, orchestra)
- Student newspaper or literary magazine
- Design web pages
- Regular part-time job
- Full-time job in summer
- Scouts, FFA, 4-H, etc.
- Adopt a trail with the Forest Service
- Civic improvement project
- Food or clothing drive
- Volunteer at an animal shelter, food bank, soup kitchen, etc.
- Exhibit a work of art
- Publish an article, poem, story, etc.
- Government or political involvement
- Special interest groups
- Join or start a club – chess, astronomy, computer, etc.
- Volunteer at a local hospital, library, museum, etc.
- Start your own business selling goods or services
- Religious activity or organization
- Teach in church or Sunday School
- Volunteer for your homeschool group
- Help out at a local child care center
- Work with physically or emotionally handicapped
- Moderate or administer an internet forum
- Hold a leadership or supervisory position
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