Should service work count as school? (and service idea)

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Should service work count as school? (and service idea)

Unread post by Yodergoat »

We're doing MFW First right now and are loving it! We've done 30 days, 150 more to go to fulfill our state requirement.

Recently, our church became a host site for Second Harvest Food Bank, which gives perishable food to people in need. Our church hosts a food distribution once a month and then also another day once in each month with five weeks. My husband happens to have Tuesdays off, and he has always worked in the grocery industry and so is a natural fit for this. I have joined him, and our six year old only child has come along. We had worried initially that she would be restless or get into mischief, but she has been great and has served with great passion and energy. I think it is heartening for the recipients and the other workers to see a small child working and smiling as she does so. She has gotten lots of compliments from the church workers, which is saying something because many of those helping are the older ladies who often have a critical eye toward children. :~

Gail has helped by bagging loose fruit, bringing us big boxes to put the food in, running errands for the other workers (getting them more of a certain food product off the pallets, etc), and acting as a hospitality girl to the children of the recipients, offering them coloring pages and crayons while they're waiting. The wait can be a few hours, and the parents appreciate the distraction for their children. I told Gail that she can minister to the children in a special way by being kind to them. As a side note to demonstrate this, a little girl and her unchurched mom who had come to get free food last week came to visit our church services yesterday, and Gail was delighted that someone she had befriended at the food distribution was now going to come and learn about Jesus. She felt that she had a part in making that little girl feel loved and welcomed to our church.

A few other children have helped from time to time but soon Gail will probably be the only one due to the other children being in public school. So she will be a regular helper along with my husband and myself.

My questions is this:

Do you think that a day of service in this ministry could or should count toward our tally of school days? She is learning some great life skills while doing this, and there is even an element of "book learning" to it as she divides out items evenly between tables, estimates quanitities, and counts out fruit into bags. She is also learning to prioritize and make decisions when she sees an immediate need and fills it. "Hmm, there are only three big boxes left for the recipients' food. Should I get more boxes or keep bagging peaches?" Or, "I could keep bringing cartons of juice to Mrs. Sands, but her table is getting full now... and I see a little girl over there who is looking really restless. Maybe I can take her a coloring sheet and invite her to come to my Sunday School class!" She is also meeting all sorts of new people... the elderly, young single mothers, the very poor who may smell unwashed, those who look like they're doing fine but have just hit a rough spell, and more. Last week there was a woman who could not stand up straight, who was literally bent over double with her torso and head parallel to the ground. Gail saw her and it was an opening to talk about Jesus healing the woman who could not straighten, and we all had a new compassion for the lady in that account and the woman we saw that day. So Gail is learning how to approach all these different people with love and kindness, no matter how they look or smell or act. Afterward, we take a box of food to an elderly widow we know. That sort of great, nitty gritty, real-life learning. I think that is often the best kind.

Our state (Tennessee) requires 180 days but does not have a heavy hand in what is taught and how those days are spent.

Tuesdays are usually not a school day for us, because of my husband being off... unless we do something really "educational." We do school Mon, Wed, Thur at co-op, Fri, Sat.

What do you think? Count it or no?

I also just wanted a chance to say how blessed I feel to be homeschooling and to get to share in service work in the name of the Lord with my child. Just so happy! This ministry would be impossible if she were in public or private school.

It is great fun serving together as a family! :-) I love having this opportunity and am so thankful!
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!
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Re: OT: Should service work count as school?

Unread post by Buttercup78 »

I absolutely count days like that.
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Re: OT: Should service work count as school?

Unread post by cbollin »


Yes it counts with my umbrella school in TN.

I know you aren't to high school yet... but it will count as "portfolio" as community service in high school. and in MFW grading system in the bible credit.... service projects are part of the overall grade.

but for elementary..., yes. that is legit school time/day, just like a field trip, or co-op, or music class, etc.

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Re: OT: Should service work count as school?

Unread post by donutmom »

We also live in a state that you do have to count days (180), but where they have a list of what subjects are to be taught and where you have to submit a portfolio of work at the end of the year. Service days absolutely count in toward that 180 total for us. For us, those days are the most important to have--even if we didn't have to track days.

What a great way for your child to learn so young to do as Jesus did. . .serve.

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Re: OT: Should service work count as school?

Unread post by Kelly1730 »

What a wonderful service opportunity for your family! I would like to find something like that to get involved in. I would most certainly count it as school. Our local Christian school has community service days and they are counted in their school days.
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Re: OT: Should service work count as school?

Unread post by lea_lpz »

It sounds like a legitmate school activity to me! :-) How wonderfull that you're able to serve together as a family! I am not sure what the requirements are, but I am enrolling my dd in a charter homeschool and it seems like something like this would be permissable because I could use money for activities through approved vendors like classes at my YMCA or gymnastics, and it would be "school time", so why not service work? She learning about working with people, serving others, responsibility, sorting, counting, etc.
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Re: OT: Should service work count as school?

Unread post by tabrett »

At my dd public high school she took a class where they did service projects. So, yes, it counts.
Last edited by tabrett on Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OT: Should service work count as school?

Unread post by momonthemove »

You would be crazy NOT to count it! :) I would maybe even have her "dictate" to you what she is learning or the favorite person she talked to. Make a journal for her. It would be a great keepsake.
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momonthemove to 3 wonderful children, 12, 8 and 5
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