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On-the-Job Schooling Example: Kids at a Cement Pour
"Floating" the New Cement Pour
Construction Related Field Trips Are a Regular Part of Our Schooling
My husband and I have worked in sheet metal construction together for seven years. This meant that our children have been raised in an atmosphere of hard work, and also that a combination of homeschooling and unschooling works very well for us. For those of you who may be contemplating such a move, I thought a peek into our lives would be helpful. I took some snapshots of the kids at a cement pour jobsite a couple of years ago (2009), and will be sharing these in this article.
Our goal is to create a sense of confidence and a can-do attitude in our children, so that no matter what they face in life, or what field they wind up working in, they'll have a better-than-average chance of success. Hard work won't solve everything, but knowing how to do many kinds of things can mean the difference between a ho-hum job and a life full of aspirations and worthwhile goals and dreams. I know you want this same confidence for your children, and we would love to hear your success stories (Comments Section is open, below).
We know there are many good ways of supplying children with an excellent education; this, mixed with consistent - and more formal - periods of intellectual learning, is what fits our lifestyle best.
About the Featured Jobsite
This was a fairly typical spring day for the kids. That is, my husband and I had been working on a site on an old farmstead for a few weeks. An older couple had bought the farm, with plans to run it hand-in-hand with their new son-in-law, who made his living raising Black Angus cattle. The place had been empty for some years, and, while the fields for growing crops were fine, the yards and windbreak were a mess. The first thing the couple did was to clear away all the dead brush and the fallen-down outbuildings, and construct a lovely new brick house. Then they planned the shop, and corrals. The shop/storage building is the one featured in this article. We built it from the ground up, and were on the tail-end of the job when I took these photos.
The kids have been accustomed from infancy to heavy machinery, heavy jobs, and discipline, so this was nothing out of the ordinary. They know how to mind, and how to either keep out of the way, or help on a jobsite, according to the needs.
Pouring the Cement
Using the Power Screed
Cleaning the Equipment
Hands-On Work Builds Confidence, Which Spreads to Other Jobs and Opportunities
The children didn't learn everything there is to know about pouring cement, nor did they get to get their hands dirty on this job. But they did learn a fair amount. Billy still talks about this pour, and the good time he had watching the truck and learning about the different parts. Dennis, the driver, was willing to answer his questions and show him how things worked.
On another day, Billy got to try his hand at troweling cement, and learned how careful he must be while washing the tools. My daughter just enjoyed running the length of the building, jumping the forms and shrieking...after this section of the pour was done. She will most likely have other opportunities to "help" with cement, and at that time will probably want to do all she can. In fact, she has helped her daddy do a couple small pours around the home, and is very proud of her skills.
Even if neither of the kids gets into construction as adults, they will have the confidence that they can learn, and do things well...whatever they choose to do.