The Blessing of Homeschooling – Networking and Job Experience

This is the final post in the series on the blessings of homeschooling.  We’ve talked about serving others and traveling.  Today, we’ll talk about how homeschooling offers opportunities to network and gain job experience.

The Blessing of Homeschooling - Your kids can network and gain job experience |

There is still a crazy misconception out there that homeschoolers have no social skills.  People on the outside of the homeschooling world assume that homeschooling is isolation at its best – or worst.  However, our experience has been that homeschooled children have MORE opportunities to socialize in QUALITY social situations than their public schooled and private schooled counterparts.

Because homeschooling hours are flexible, homeschooled children and families are able to be at events during hours most children are in school.  Sometimes a public or private school will be able to take a field trip to an event, but it is always a form of crowd control and rarely a time that involves quality interaction with whomever the event is centered around.

On the other hand, homeschoolers tend to go places as families.  There are the occasional homeschool field trips, but most of the time even those are attended by entire families.  The time they spend at the event or venue is usually not only better quality, but also higher quantity.  They have the time to spend truly learning and asking questions; whereas, a school group is on time constraints and is forced to shuffle from one place to another as quickly as possible.

As I mentioned, homeschoolers are good at asking questions.  These questions tend to lead to interactions that often result in more “behind-the scenes” information and opportunities.  For instance, several years ago, we visited a museum in South Dakota during the off season.  Our children were the only children there.  During the tour, our oldest son, who was 9 at the time, was allowed to help the docent by holding artifacts and answering questions.  She catered to our family, and even gave us extra privileges to explore various parts of the museum.

Museums are a great place to start networking.  Many museums have special guests, and if you can swing a membership, you are often invited to members only events where you get to meet important people.  Our children have met astronauts and mountain climbers, authors and entrepreneurs.

So, let’s talk about how cultivate these networking opportunities that can turn into careers  for your children.

First of all, teach your children manners and how to listen.  Teach them at home, and then take them out in public to practice.  Being polite and listening closely will go a LONG way in giving your children chances to meet people and participate in important opportunities.

Secondly, look for opportunities that match your children’s interests (and yours!).  Invest in museum memberships and magazines that will have events that will be of interest to your family.  Save up money to attend a “once-in-a-lifetime” event.  Encourage your children to enter writing or photography contests.  Take them to a variety of historical sites, shops, and restaurants as you travel from one place to another.  These types of investments will often lead to chances to gain knowledge and experience that will further your child’s interests.

Encourage your children to ask questions.  One thing people do not do enough of is ask questions.  It’s important to acknowledge that we can learn from others, especially those who are older than ourselves.  This is networking at its best!  To encourage your children to ask questions, be sure to ask your own questions when on a museum tour or at an events.

Teach your children to volunteer.  Some of the best networking comes from time spent learning a skill and gathering information without expecting to be paid.  You might call it good old fashioned internships or apprenticeships.  You never know when these opportunities will turn into a “real job.”

Teach your children to work hard.  Do everything as unto the Lord – even if it is something menial or boring.  There have been many times my son has been working hard doing something for his grandparents, and has ended up being hired by a neighbor to do the same thing at their house.  His hard work is evident.

I would highly encourage you to take a look at the 10KtoTalent Website for more ideas on how to gain valuable networking and job experience for teens!

I want to leave you with this…

Don’t be afraid to live counter-culturally.  Don’t be afraid to instill work ethic in your children by having them work hard at home.  Don’t be afraid to be different and not look like everyone else.  It will be noticed.  It will be appreciated.  It will lead to opportunities for your children.  But above all, don’t stress.  God has a calling for each of your children.  He fills in the gaps you leave – and you will leave gaps just as there were gaps in your education.  He equips your children (and you!) for the things He has called them to.  Rest easy in His faithfulness!

Coming this MONDAY – a unique way to build your homeschool library!  I love things that are out of the box, and this is definitely in that category!  There are some great digital products available in this year’s Build Your Bundle Sale, so be sure to click below to learn more, sign up for the giveaway, and get coupons!

Build Your Bundle 2015 Pre-Sale

Large Family Hacks – Built In Step Stool

Our family spent the evening with another large family (12 children) we’ve been friends with for many years.  I am always inspired when I visit their home, not only by their faith and joy, but by the little tips and tricks they have put into place to make their home run smoother.  It made me realize there are many things large families do that are a matter of efficiency and survival that would be great to share with others, no matter their family size.

So, I decided to start a series here on Raising Arrows entitled Large Family Hacks for that very purpose!

Large Family Hacks - learn the little things that make their homes run smoother! |

Today’s Hack is from last week’s visit with our friends.  Over the years, they have been slowly building their home debt free, adding to it a little at a time.  One thing they added in the bathroom was a built-in step stool that is the perfect hack for a large family!

Built-In Step Stool {Large Family Hacks} |

This step stool can hold up to 150 pounds!  It is housed underneath their bathroom sink on a metal track.

The reason this is so great for a large family is because there are so many ages and stages in a large family.  You might have teenagers and toddlers and everything in between trying to use the same sink.  Having a step stool you can slide under the sink eliminates the “kick the stool out of the way” game.

Additionally, large families need even their littlest ones as self-sufficient as possible.  Having an easy way to reach the sink to brush teeth or wash hands is a great way to give little people something they can do on their own!

It would even be a great addition for fixing little girls’ hair so you don’t have to bend down so far!

Built-In Step Stool {Large Family Hacks} |

There are a lot of different plans out there for this type of thing.  This one from Ana White calls for making use of the toekick at the bottom of the vanity.  This one I found on a woodworking forum has some extra perks built in.  This one has storage space inside the stool!  (I’m always looking for more storage space!)  No matter how you build it, it would be a great addition to any bathroom you want to make small child friendly!

Large Family Hacks - learn the little things that make their homes run smoother! |

Visit the Large Family Hacks page

The Large Family Living Pinterest Board

Large Family Living Home Page

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Build Your Bundle 2015 Pre-Sale Graphic

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