This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Service and Leadership Teams for Homeschool High Schoolers. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
Homeschool high schoolers need a little SALT in their lives. What is SALT? Service and Leadership Teams! Join Kym and Vicki for a helpful and SALTy discussion.
SALT is an acronym for Service and Leadership Team.
All teens need training in how to serve and lead because they will all serve and they will all lead at some time in life:
- Many will become parents (who both serve AND lead)
- Some will be a church server or leader
- Others will be community servers or leaders
- Some may become politicians who both serve and lead
- And some will be leaders at work
If homeschool parents can give their homeschool high schoolers training in service and in leadership while their teens are still at home they are equipping them for important parts of adulthood.
Vicki points out that in her work as a mental health counselor, she has found one of the best ways to overcome social anxiety is to do volunteer work. Since many teens experience self-doubt and a little social anxiety, service can help.
Vicki and Kym have been involved in creating leadership and serving training at their local homeschool umbrella school.
In fact, at Mt Sophia Academy, the staff models servant leadership and invite the students in on the servant leadership by inviting them to:
- Clean up
- Introduce themselves to newcomers and invite them to sit with them (Check out this Homeschool Highschool Episode on creating a welcoming culture.)
- Hold conversations with quieter students
Teens naturally hang back. Many of them are nervous (or teen-lazy) and do not naturally volunteer to help out. IF you invite them to join you in doing chores or other service-type opportunities, they will join in. AND what you find is that they feel better about themselves when they finish their time of volunteering.
How do you ask teens to join you in serving?
- Offer an invitation (guilt free)
- Do not demand (or even tell them the solution to the clean up problem, just an invitation)
- Have a curious tone (not bossy tone)
- Who can do this?
- Find a way teens can be comfortable
Help teens understand that leadership is not just being a *front man*. Leadership IS service, it is being part of something (which is what volunteering is about). Servant leadership helps teens feel they belong.
One of the tenants of health (a good immune system) is a feeling of belongingness. So when you give teens the gift of servant leadership, you are actually helping them be healthier.
Kym addresses the myth that extroverts want to be part of the team and introverts want to be left alone. Extroverts might like to be noisy and the center of attention, but introverts need to be part of things, too (even if they have to go home and recharge afterwards).
There’s not ONE right way to serve or to part of a SALT team!
Kym leads Mt. Sophia Academy’s SALT team. The teens at the umbrella school lead by serving in many ways.
- Serving by cleaning
- Serve by using soft skills. Kym (and Vicki, while she was still serving at the umbrella school) trained the homeschool high schoolers on basic social skills:
- Starting conversations
- Welcoming others
- Greeting-type non-verbals
- Shoulders back, chin up, smile
- Handshakes (although they will not be practicing this for a while, due to coronavirus compensations)
- For more soft skills, check out our friend’s podcast: Skills 101
- Serving by projects that the teens come up with and run. (Kym trains them on planning by Scheduling Backwards and answering Who, What, When, Where, Why.)
- Coat drives for students in the inner city
- Food drives (The church where they meet has a food pantry they like to fill.)
- Toy drives for children in the local children’s hospital (so the children can take them home with them)
- Supplies for animal shelters
- Play on the ad-hoc worship team for umbrella school events
Join Kym and Vicki for this SALTy episode and give your teens the tools they need to be part of a Service and Leadership Team. Also, check out these posts and episode on serving and leadership:
- HSHSP: Leadership Skills for Introverts and Extroverts
- HSHSP: Leadership and Followership Skills
- 5 Skills Teens Need because They Will be Leaders Somewhere
- Teach You Teens to Thinkers, Not Parrots
- Teach Your Teens to be Culture Creators
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