July 10, 2020 – Apprenticeships

In this age where there is a class curriculum for every task in life, we sometimes forget about learning from people in our lives. For centuries, people have learned trades and occupations from masters in the business. Leather tanners and workers taught apprentices how to become leather experts. Blacksmiths shared their trade secrets with their best helpers, who carried on the tradition. Cooks passed down recipes and knowledge to people in the kitchen with them. Musicians mentored others to create a love of music passed from generation to generation.

Paycen has learned many skills from his Papaw.

As homeschoolers, we have embraced learning from those around us. Another mom has taught my daughter to crochet. My children have learned livestock knowledge from me and my husband, but also from 4-H leaders and others in the livestock industry. My middle son is working with an electrician this summer and learning a helpful skill that he can use the rest of his life. All of my children have learned music from people wiling to share the love they have with a younger generation.

Father teaching son to smoke meat.

My eldest wanted to learn piano, and those teachers are relatively common. However, when my middle decided he wanted to play the banjo, I asked him if he realized that we lived in south Louisiana. There are no banjo teachers here, especially in our small community. But that didn’t stop us from trying to locate someone. We found an older gentleman (old enough to be his grandfather) who played banjo in a band (The Fugitive Poets). We asked him if he would be willing to give banjo lessons to our son, who was the ripe old age of 12.

He said he’d never given lessons and wouldn’t know how to begin. I asked him to simply play with my son and give it a go. He could quit if he didn’t like it or if he didn’t feel like Owen could learn to play. That was 5 years ago and Owen has played with the band on numerous occasions.

In fact, after he mastered the banjo, this amazing mentor taught him the guitar and he plays both quite well.

Owen and his banjo.

My point through all of this is to remind you to ask people what they love. Many people have hobbies such as pottery, sewing, carpentry, blacksmithing, baking, gardening, ranching, and so much more.

Find something that interests your child and allow them to pursue that. Don’t make excuses that there is no one to teach. Make a way!

You never know where it may lead.

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