Homeschooler Turned Apprentice

Friendly Persistence

By Leanna Getty

Andrew Kidd is the sixth of seven children born to Michael and Marilee Kidd. He and his family reside in Ravenna, Ontario.

Michael and Marilee chose to homeschool to the end of high school in order to to instil their faith and moral values in their children. The couple realized that all children have individual gifts, and desired to provide opportunities for each of theirs to develop their gifts and talents. Through homeschooling, Michael and Marilee were able to see their children grow and branch out into their individual interests.

Homeschooling allowed Andrew to follow his interest

Andrew decided that he would like to learn a trade rather than pursue postsecondary education, so he and his parents researched the option of an apprenticeship. His father, who is a licensed electrician, was able to approach his boss about hiring Andrew as an apprentice. After the boss agreed to the idea, Andrew and his parents looked into what was needed in order for Andrew to be entered into an apprenticeship. Andrew was 16 at the time.

By getting in touch with a Training Consultant in the Owen Sound office, Marilee discovered that Andrew needed a grade ten equivalency and to write the Canadian Achievement Test (CAT3). They were told that Durham college would not, or “could not” administer the test, because the ministry was re-evaluating how to confirm academic requirements for homeschooled students.

In October 2010, Marilee contacted HSLDA, as the potential employer was ready to hire someone as quickly as possible. HSLDA immediately telephoned the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (MTCU) to plead Andrew’s case. MTCU in turn contacted the Owen Sound office. The training consultant was able to set up the opportunity for Andrew to take the test through Durham College.

Durham College sent a copy of the test to Georgian College, where Andrew was proctored. The whole process was not smooth sailing, and required many hours of kind persistence from Marilee as she spent time phoning the two colleges, the test being couriered between the two schools. Since Andrew was a homeschooled student neither school knew which procedure to follow and much time was put into shifting the file from one department to the other. It was also a race against time because Michael’s boss was considering hiring someone else immediately.

Persistence paid off

Finally, the results were sent to Andrew and the training consultant signed him up for an apprenticeship program starting in January 2011. Andrew is now striving to complete his grade twelve math in preparation for the General Educational Development Test (GED), as suggested by the Training Consultant, as well as working four days a week for his father’s boss as a residential electrical apprentice. The program consists of nine thousand hours of hands-on work and classroom study.

Looking back, the family is thankful that HSLDA stepped in and believe that HSLDA’s involvement was a determining factor in allowing Andrew to begin his apprenticeship.

Update: Since publishing this article, Andrew successfully completed his apprenticeship program. He is now employed as an electrician, a position he has held for nearly nine years. When Andrew is not busy lending a hand as a volunteer firefighter, he fills his days renovating his newly purchased home. The skills Andrew learned from his father during his homeschool years have been an invaluable asset to him throughout the renovation process. His parents could not be prouder. “We are thankful Andrew has been a hard worker and continues to make new goals and perseveres to reach them (Marilee).”

Originally printed in HSLDA Canada’s Court Report & Communiqué Fall 2011

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