Work, Business or Apprenticeships: A Practical Guide to Home Education – Post-Secondary Options (Part 3)

Now that we have established that everybody is post-secondary bound and that all careers, jobs and placements are important, let’s discuss the matter of what has to happen to get beyond the post-secondary level to the world of adulthood.

Simply put, what is needed is training. No matter which way or where you go in life, if everybody is post-secondary bound, then everyone will need to specialize in some skills, somehow.

There are two possibilities for obtaining these needed skills: with or without further institutional training.

Some folks simply go to work, like their jobs and stay there. Training will likely be required to learn how to do the job. It may be “on-the-job-training,” but training nonetheless, even if it does not involve attending an institution of higher learning.

A job may require taking a few courses in order to safely do the required tasks, such as special licenses, safety training or first aid. These courses are available to everyone, regardless of the academic level attained in their learning program.

There are other placements that require little, if any additional institutional training, including taking over the family farm or fishing business, or other family enterprise. It is not that you won’t be learning in this case, just that you will not need to go to school.

It is important to understand that even though we can and do learn on our own, it almost always involves other people. Some are paid professionals delivering courses, while others are simply those who are more experienced, teaching the less experienced.

This can be “unofficial” as in a parent teaching and training a child, or a co-worker teaching you the skills required for the job, or more “official,” such as going through an apprenticeship.

Either way, to be mentored is likely the best way to be trained as it is always directly related to the task at hand. There is no specific academic level required to be mentored.

Apprenticeships are a great way to use the power of mentorship to gain skills and knowledge in a specific field.

Some apprenticeships can be conducted outside of official government programs, such as an experienced artist teaching a novice. The most common and well known apprenticeships are administered through a provincial or national board directing students through a process that results in a license to do the job.

Some trades such as electricians, plumbers and mechanics are required to be trained in this way, while others such as carpentry, millwright and bakers are not required, although encouraged to do so.

Any trade that requires a license in order to practice will likely require some combination of on-the-job and school based learning.

Although there are different requirements for different trades, it is pretty safe to say that if a student has a school grade equivalent of level ten, he or she is likely ready to do an apprenticeship.

Keep in mind that a school grade level ten is not a very high standard and that most home educated students are easily beyond that level by the time they are old enough to start working at age sixteen.

The process for engaging in an apprenticeship is simple. Get a job working within a trade. If you like it, work hard and show yourself capable and dependable. Then ask your employer to sponsor you in an apprenticeship.

Once the paper work is done, you will need to collect enough hours on the job before applying to attend school.

Depending on the trade, you may have to do an entrance exam to be able to proceed. This is done in order to ascertain that you have the potential to succeed at trade school and should not cause you any anxiety.

I understand that many of you who are good with your hands don’t usually like the “book learning” approach, but take confidence in the fact that any test required for an apprenticeship, indeed the entire process, was likely created by people who don’t like tests, for people like you, who may even hate them!

Also keep in mind that the reason you likely did not like tests was that a lot of the tests you have written actually had nothing to do with “life” as you saw it! Shakespeare is not really connected to plumbing, if you know what I mean.

Tests associated with the apprenticeship processes are meaningful as they are testing what is needed to practice the trade. In other words, there is a practical application of what is being tested, to what you are learning and doing.

I suggest you go to our web site under Resources and click on Apprenticeships for a more detailed description of what is involved.

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