If your son or daughter is considering a career but is uncertain whether it's a good fit, then suggest that he or she pursue a part-time student apprenticeship while in high school. The minimum age for most federal/state registered programs is 16 years. This arrangement will provide your teen with experience and a step up for seeking full-time apprenticeships or employment following high school graduation. Some places to contact for more information about student apprenticeships are community colleges, vocational schools, individual companies, unions, and employer associations. If student apprenticeships are not available, a short-term internship in the particular field of interest may be sufficient to give your teen evidence that this is the career to work toward through a full-time apprenticeship.

As your teen looks ahead to her future goals, remind her of the importance of staying the course through high school in order to graduate and receive her diploma. Along with the diploma, a transcript is of utmost importance to show the level of study she's completed. Both of these documents will attest to her perseverance in finishing tasks and completing a prescribed course of study.

Some apprenticeship programs may require homeschoolers to obtain a GED to participate. If this is the case, we encourage you to contact the program to request that it accept your homeschool diploma and transcript. Members of HSLDA may also call our legal department for help in this regard. However, if the program continues to insist on a GED and your teen desires to enter into this particular apprenticeship arrangement, encourage your teen to prepare well before taking the GED test.

The links below provide a starting point to explore various apprenticeship opportunities. Once your teen narrows down his options, take time to investigate the possibilities and set in place a plan for him to apply for a formal apprenticeship or arrange an informal apprenticeship on his own. Whether your teen is interested in being a carpenter, chef, childcare development specialist, construction craft laborer, dental assistant, electrician, fire medic, over-the-road truck driver, pipe fitter, or computer programmer—or many more!—there are apprenticeship programs worth checking out.  

Learn More About Apprenticeships:

Federal: Department of Labor & Industry - Federal Office of Apprenticeships:  www.doleta.gov/OA

Vocational Information Center: www.khake.com/page58.html 

Occupational Information Network (info on apprenticeships, occupational skills, and careers): http://www.onetcenter.org/ladders.html  and http://www.onetknowledgesite.com/pages/onet_resources.html

State: www.doleta.gov/OA/stateagencies.cfjm 

*This article published May 7, 2010.

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer currently serve as High School Coordinators for Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), and helped develop HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru Highschool web site four years ago. As former homeschool moms of now-grown children who have graduated from college, Becky and Diane can relate to your good times and bad! Their desire is to help you homeschool high school with excellence. Most of all, they pray that your homeschooling years are full of joy and the delight of knowing that your investment in your teens is seen and rewarded by the Lord. 

This article was originally published in the Mar/Apr 2010 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. Sign up now to receive a FREE sample copy! Visit www.HSEmagazine.com today!