The National Parenting Center

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Apprenticeships: An Important Teaching Tool

With high school dropout rates and teenage apathy running rampant through our schools, it may benefit many parents to consider other choices for educating their adolescents. One important option to look at is apprenticeships. Apprenticeships go back thousands of years and actually were the original schools of ancient times.

• In an apprenticeship, your teenager would study a skill or trade under the guidance of a trained and experience adult. The advantage of such an arrangement is that it provides your adolescent with practical training he can use almost immediately to begin earning a living, an important need for many teenagers wishing to prove themselves in the world.

• It also provides them with someone outside of the family structure that he can respect and trust, who can help him make the often difficult transition into adult responsibilities.

• Finally, it offers him a focus for his sometimes chaotic energies.

To help set up an informal apprenticeship for your teenager, contact tradespeople and professionals in your community.

Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. is an award-winning author and speaker with twenty-eight years of teaching experience from the primary through the doctoral level, and over one million copies of his books in print on issues related to learning and human development. He is the author of nine books including Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, In Their Own Way, Awakening Your Child’s Natural Genius, 7 Kinds of Smart, The Myth of the A.D.D. Child, ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom, and Awakening Genius in the Classroom. His books have been translated into sixteen languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Danish, and Russian.

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