Occupation Education for your homeschool can be done in a fun and engaging way to teach your children about important occupations and give them a head start in their future careers. Through my “version” of teaching your homeschooler about the different occupations, your homeschooler will gain knowledge of different job opportunities. By doing an Occupation Education in a fun way, your child will be ready for their future!
Why is it Important to teach Occupational Education?
This is a question that has been on the minds of many homeschoolers for years.
For some, teaching occupational ed might not be important at all. As the education system in America has evolved, there are many who feel that it is no longer necessary to have an occupational education curriculum.
For some other homeschooling families, it might be very important for the family to teach their children about occupations because they believe that all students should be prepared for college and careers in whatever field they choose.
And lastly, some families, think it’s more important to prepare students for their specific job field than to go to college at all.
For our household… we somewhere fit in the middle ground of it all:
- We want our children to have the knowledge of the different jobs and occupations out there available for them
- We want them to choose their own career path, whether that includes college or not
- Ultimately we’d really prefer for our children to get into trades that don’t require a college education, but if they do choose a different route that requires college, we will support them for sure!
Occupational Education for Homeschooling – What does it Mean?
Occupational education is a type of education that focuses on preparing students for a specific occupation. For homeschoolers, this means that as a homeschooling family, we will discuss and teach our children about different job possibilities.
While some people still think of homeschooling as an alternative to public school or private schooling, some parents are beginning to see it as an opportunity to give their children a competitive edge in the workplace.
Because our children are at home with us, they have more of an opportunity to get the first-hand experience in some fields and careers in the form of field trips to businesses, on the job training (going to work with mom or dad), volunteering at a local business, interviewing local business owners, etc. We have so many learning possibilities as homeschoolers!
Is it just me, or does anyone else remember the bring your child to work day?
The Advantages of Occupational Education When Being Homeschooled
Homeschooling is an excellent way for children to focus on their individual interests and find out what they are good at without being restricted by a busy classroom environment or traditional coursework.
For example: If your child is really interested in becoming a firefighter, take them on a field trip to a local fire station for a tour where they can interview a firefighter, and ask all the questions they want to know. At a certain age (depending on where you live) you can also become a volunteer firefighter.
This same idea can apply to many different career fields!
How to Teach Occupational Education in an Amazingly Fun Way!
Here is how we are teaching our kids about the different careers and occupations out there!
Preparing for the Occupational Study
1. Come up with a huge list of careers, jobs, and occupations.
2. On strips of paper, write down each job and then cut them out.
3. In a bag, jar, bin, etc. place all the papers slips (or you can just write down a list of occupations on a sheet of paper).
Studying the Occupation
1. Have your child choose one out. Even if it’s a job or career they are not interested in, still have them do their research assignment on it.
2. Go to the library and get books on that career or job. (Older kids can look up information online, but I always vote for books over the internet).
3. Have them read, read, read, on that career or job to gain information about it.
Occupation Presentation in a Fun Way!
1. After your child has grasped and learned enough information on the job they chose, they will now do a presentation.
2. Your child is going to pretend they are a person in that occupational field.
3. They can dress up in the attire that a person would wear in that field.
4. Your child will get into “the role” of a person in that job field, and do a verbal presentation on that job, explaining what they do, where they work, what their job entails, etc.
5. To make this presentation more beneficial for your homeschooler, you can do this entire occupational study and presentations with your homeschool co-op, homeschool group, or other homeschooled kids.
If you want to learn how to make your very own homeschool group, you can read all about homeschool groups HERE.
Or they can do their presentation this way…
1. They can create a poster or paper on the occupation they studied and then present it to the family. I always tell my kids to make the posters colorful and engaging for their audience, so using colors and pictures is better than pencil on paper text for the whole poster or presentation sheet, in my opinion.
2. They can read excerpts from the books they used to gather their information.
In what ways can this fun career exploration study help my child’s education?
For starters, this will educate your child on the many different careers out there that are available to them. The sky is the limit here, you can literally do this career exploration throughout all their homeschooling years, from kindergarten to high school!
They will get public speaking skills by doing their presentation in front of the family.
They might develop a deeper interest in a specific career path that they might end up going in when they get older, all because of doing this occupational study.
Diving deeper for older children with this occupational education study
Have your child research what educational requirements they would need to be able to be in that occupational field. How many years of schooling, what kind of degrees, etc.
There are four common levels of education that are generally needed for any career:
1. Basic/no credential
2. High school diploma or GED equivalent
3. High school diploma with college algebra, chemistry, and biology courses
4. A full post-secondary degree in a specific field or field of interest
Let your older children dive deeper into their studies and also find out what level of education they would need for that career path (or not!).