Although different states require parents to cover different subjects according to their specific homeschool laws, in Washington State where I live there are eleven required subjects. The one that seems to consistently stump people is occupational education. So many people have asked me what this term means! I read a thread about this topic recently on a homeschool forum and it was quite funny to see what some people thought occupational education meant.
Occupational education simply includes anything your student does that will help them get a job later on. This could include job-shadowing, baby-sitting, dog-walking, yard work, teaching seniors to use computers, learning about careers through a career class, and just about anything that gives your student work skills.
Occupational education is by far the easiest class that you will ever teach. All you have to do is wait until your teenager is motivated by money and gets a job. Then you just count the number of hours they spend on their job; it’s that easy! If you're wondering how to grade your occupational education class, check out my Grading Homeschool PE and Occupational Education post.
Please note: This post was originally published in June 2012 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehension.
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Good question, Susan!
In her blog post "Determining Homeschool English Credits" Lee says, "There are some classes that simply take more time than other classes. Math, for example, at the high school level covers both Algebra 2 and Pre-Algebra. Math as a whole subject unit can take 2 ½ hours to get done and it’s still one credit. The same is true for English; sometimes it just takes longer than you think."
Also, Lee says "Instead of increasing the credit value, consider using that piece of information in other ways." (from blog post "When is a Credit More than a Credit?")
I hope that helps!
Assistant to The HomeScholar
Hey, y'all in the "audience" out there - what have you counted as "occupational education?"
Here's some of ours for a future veterinarian:
Volunteering at an animal hospital
Writing a resume
Assisting a racetrack veterinarian with recordkeeping
Various tasks associated with elder care, including providing critical information to medics and ER staff, comforting people after a loss, and basic minor surgical wound care. My great grandfather jokes about being treated by a "horse doctor."
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