One of our 7th Sisters requested: How to Handle Apprenticeships for Homeschool High School.
How to Handle Apprenticeships for Homeschool High School
Ever met someone who graduated from college and then hated their career? Or maybe they changed college majors or trade school majors several times?
Sometimes the problem is that young people often approach the idea of careers with rose-colored glasses. They believe that if they like the idea of a career, they will like the career.
Homeschool high schoolers benefit from trying out careers before making a college or trade school decision. That is what apprenticeships are about! Teens get to experience a little of a career they may be interested in.
By the way, sometimes a 7th Sister will ask us the difference between an internship and an apprenticeship. In homeschooling vernacular, we tend to use the terms interchangeably. If you want to get technical about it there is a slight difference:
- Internships: Are time-limited agreements where a student works for free or is paid and gets some on-the-job training in a career of interest.
- Apprenticeships: Are job-training experiences, often with the goal of the student staying in the job after their training period ends.
- Here’s a post that goes into more detail (especially for post-high school level internships and apprenticeships)
- Actually, in our local homeschool experiences, employers have talked about internships as more long-term and job-training oriented) and apprenticeships as short-term and experimental (as in, the purpose is trying on career hats). This only goes to illustrate the concept that there’s not ONE right way to apprentice or intern!
Most of us 7Sisters’ had teens who participated in apprenticeship or internship experiences during their homeschool high school years. We asked some homeschool graduates what they had done for apprenticeships during high school.
Here are some of their apprenticeship experiences:
- Commercial film company: Answering phones, doing errands, helping out at film shoots
- Car mechanic: Assisting in the office (after graduation, they were able to work in the bays, but insurance costs prevented them during high school)
- Doctor’s office: Filing and answering phones (required HIPAA training)
- Farrier: Assisted local farrier in horse hoof care
- Large-Animal Veterinarian: Accompanied vet to farms, assisted in appropriate ways, helped in office
- Small-Animal Veterinarian: Assisted in office, and with animals in appropriate ways
- Florist: Helped around the shop with register, helped create arrangements
- Barista: Helped in a church-owned coffee shop making coffee, running the register, cleaning
- Photography: Served as second on photo shoots
- Library: Volunteered in shelving, checking books out and cleaning
- Teacher’s Assistant: Volunteered in public and private elementary school classrooms helping teacher with projects and read to the children
- Cosmetology: Worked as hair sweeper and general assistant
- Daycare: Volunteered at church daycare
- Nursing Home: Nurse’s aide, crafts assistant
- Babysitting: nanny, favorite sitter for a family
- Non-profit: volunteer office staff
How do you choose a “career area” for an apprenticeship for homeschool high schoolers?
There are several different ideas about choosing the types of apprenticeships for their homeschool high schoolers. Here are several of them:
- For teens who are clueless about what they might be interested in, this is a reasonable way to try on several different career hats. (Here is an episode of Homeschool Highschool Podcast about teens who don’t have a clue what they want to do after graduation.)
- Simply arrange for time-limited apprenticeships/internships (maybe one apprenticeship per semester) in several unrelated fields such as:
- Plumbing, carpentry, library, veterinarian
- Teacher’s assistant, barista, social media assistant, mechanic
- By the way: It is a good idea for teens who do not know what they want to do after graduation to complete 7Sisters Career Exploration textbook.
- Here is a post with more ideas on helping homeschool high schoolers find and develop their interests. Here is an episode of Homeschool Highschool Podcast on the same topic.
Developing an interest or skill
- For teens who have some idea about their interests and direction in life, it is good to have several different apprenticeship experiences or one long apprenticeship. Read about how Paul Drake of Code Apprentice followed his interests.
- Simply look for opportunities in different aspects of the interest area.
- By the way: It is still a good idea to complete 7Sisters Career Exploration textbook to solidify their thoughts or to tweak their interests
- Here is a link to our Authoritative Guide to Career Exploration with more ideas
- Also apprenticing for life skills is important
Where do you find internships or apprenticeships for homeschool high schoolers?
Finding apprenticeship or internship experiences for your teens requires some networking and sometimes bold asking. Most career interest areas do not make apprenticeships for homeschool high schoolers a priority. But they usually prioritize networking.
Ask yourself: What are my networks? What are my teen’s networks? You and your homeschooler can sit down together and make a list of people who are in these areas that you have a good connection to:
- People at church
- People in organizations that you or your teen are involved in
- Google search local businesses and have the teen drop by an experiential resume and proposal
Are apprenticeships for homeschool high schoolers paid?
Most of the time, internships or apprenticeships for teens are unpaid and time-limited. Sometimes, due to insurance regulations, the student must be paid (auto mechanics). Some require some special HIPPA training (doctor’s office).
How do you keep records for apprenticeships?
Keeping records about the apprenticeships is important for the homeschool transcript. You can also log this as a Career Exploration elective on the transcript. (Here is a post with more information.)
Keep records of these things:
- Log of hours (hopefully your homeschool high schooler will keep this)
- Job duties
- Networking opportunities, if available
- Photos or samples of work done, if applicable
- Feedback from supervisors, if possible
How do you record apprenticeships on the homeschool transcript?
Try to assign apprenticeship credits in 1/4 credit increments:
- Usually only record 1 credit per year with each type of internship (Thus, if your teen earned 4 credits worth of hours doing one internship, you really should only record one credit.)
- Many apprenticeship experiences would be recorded as Pass/Fail
- Only record apprenticeships that were “Passing Grade”
- Some people prefer to assign a letter grade.
- When this is the case, be sure to explain your rubric (what you will be considering for each letter grade) to the student ahead of time
Name the credit:
Your homeschool high schooler’s transcript needs a descriptive name for their apprenticeship credits. Here are a few examples:
- Career Exploration Apprenticeship: Photographer’s Assistant 1 credit, grade: P (or A)
- Photographer’s Assistant Apprenticeship 1 credit, grade: P (or A)