Yesterday, Yahya and I completed the required environmental science community service hours while working in the Community Kitchen Garden at the local botanical gardens. The partner with the local book bank to provide tons of fresh vegetables to be turned into ready to eat meals which are distributed to the local needy school children and other shut ins.
Overall, this has really been a wonderful experience. I was also required to sign up and lend a hand as children under 15 or so need an adult chaperone with them to volunteer. That means I was also shoveling, raking, digging, and planting. Needless to say, today, I am very sore. It was a great workout though and I really needed that.
From these positive community service opportunities of which I am grateful to have been able to participate in, I am realizing more and more that this truly is the best way to learn and gain experience for myself and the children. Not only that but I think this is also helping to give a positive impression of Muslims in our area.
In addition to this project, Hannah and I participated in the Girl Scout legislative day this week where we learned about the three branches of government as well as the three levels of government. This was her first exposure to civics so it was a totally new experience and subject for her. We had the opportunity to visit the Richmond City Hall Council Chambers and tour the Virginia Supreme Court and the Virginia State Capitol building which included a tour of the Senate chambers and the House of Delegates chambers. In the House of Delegates the girls were given a mock bill that they had to discuss, debate, and vote on.
I learned more during that trip than in all my studies of civics and government while I was in school. You see I had just memorized that information for the test and was never really interested in how it really worked. Interestingly, it wasn’t really until I became homeschooler that I started to understand how the process worked. Just last year I was indirectly involved in changing the state homeschooling statute. Our local county homeschooling official had been very difficult to deal with for years and many of us have to deal with unneeded stress due to her interpretation of the law. So, I called our local homeschooling organization which lobbies homeschooling issues at the state level. They asked me to provide a copy of my notice of intent for them to use while asking for the law to be made clearer. Well, as a result of these efforts, a bill was passed and the homeschooling is now easier in our state and county! Alhamdulillah.