Excel in the Community Jan. 11, 2018

Excel in the Community

 At Excel Academy, we strive to create well-rounded learners who are complex and empowered thinkers and community participants. Students shouldn’t learn for learning’s sake alone; it’s our goal that they use what they learn to help others. 

Our team of educators encourages students to take their knowledge and the lessons they’re learning out into the community. Here are a few ways our students get involved outside the classroom and a couple of reasons why it’s so important for their education.

How Our Students Are Getting Out in the Community

Field Trips

 Excel Academy offers several dozen field trips every year for our students. These give our students chances to connect with one another and take their learning outside their classroom or home. Trips to the Aquarium of the Pacific and Sea World, or whale watching, introduce the issues of sustainability, nature conservancy, and environmental protection, and provide real-life opportunities for learning. 

Volunteering

Excel Academy offers many opportunities for students to be active in and give back to the community. In the recommended list of community events not sponsored by Excel, many also center around charity work, community involvement, etc., such as beach cleanup, helping at soup kitchens, decorating rose parade floats as volunteers. Here are a few other ways our students are getting involved:

  • They volunteer through local scouts, church groups, and charity and conservancy organizations
  • Students visit working professionals and follow, or “shadow,” them on the job to understand what those duties really entail
  • They interview professionals in particular industries (police, firemen, biologists, master violin maker, food workers, etc.) to find out what kind of passion and education led them there
  • They also participate in grassroots activities to advocate for environmental protection, political activism, etc.

Our flexible scheduling allows them to volunteer and serve when students in traditional, brick-and-mortar schooling are unavailable. For example, some of our students volunteer at the Aquarium of the Pacific, where they share their knowledge and passion of marine biology with visitors from all over the country and world, including school students on field trips.

We utilize the Lion’s Heart volunteer program to help students organize, track, and report their community service hours. This gives students a chance to take control of their volunteer work and participate in the programs that really matter to them.

Why It Matters

 People crave a sense of belonging and connectedness, and for homeschooling families, it is even more important to be a part of a supportive community. Field trips and outside events provide our families with opportunities to socialize and learn from each other.

Volunteering and working within the community give our students the chance to apply the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired through homeschooling and explore their future roles and places in society.

We’ve found that our students are also more eager to learn once they realize the impact they can make with their education. Students often learn better through action, not just from worksheets and books. These real-life experiences allow them to see the big picture and open their eyes to possibilities they otherwise wouldn’t have noticed. Most importantly, being an active part of the community instills students with a sense of purpose and sparks their interests, motivating them to learn more about the world around them.

Ways to Learn More & Get Connected

 Excel plans more than 90 field trips a year, across several geographic regions, grade levels, and subject matters. These are opportunities for students to explore subjects like STEM, ballet, live theatre, history, visual arts, urban planning, farming, and food manufacturing.

Our educators also hand pick a dozen community events each month to share with Excel families. We encourage parents to enrich their students’ learning experiences by taking them to participate in these events. We also arrange internships, campus tours, and student clubs to help students get involved, pursue their passions, and engage with the community in ways that are meaningful to them. 

You can find out more about our field trips, volunteer opportunities, and community events by following us on Facebook, viewing our calendar, and signing up for our monthly newsletter.