Many of the anti-college crowd embrace apprenticeship. They send off their children at the appropriate age in order to have them learn the trade or whatnot from the “master.” Personally I believe that apprenticeship can be a profitable and worthy education choice for some people. What concerns me, however, is that many of the “masters” chosen to educate the children of these anti-college parents are actually not “masters” of the craft at all. They may have some talent in an area, but they are certainly not worthy of the title “master.” I find it strange to call such a person “master” when she hasn’t seen enough of the craft in order to have outside sources say, “This is a successful person who is a master of their craft!”

If, for instance, I were to send my daughter to apprentice under a Master Homekeeper, I would send her to work under the guidance of something of a Christian Martha Stewart. I would insist that the Master be an ingenious gardener, able to identify all plant life (using latin names, of course). She would be a fabulous cook, knowledgeable in the cuisine of many cultures, able to chop quickly without cutting herself, organized enough to have a well stocked kitchen at all times yet on a reasonable budget. The master would have to have magic in her fingers as she sat at the sewing machine. She would never have pizza stuck to her kitchen floor and if, for some reason, something similar were to be stuck to her floor she would not automatically give the clean-up job to her apprentice — she would do it herself and her apprentice would see that mama normally takes care of such jobs. She would be a dumpster diver and treasure seeker. She would have a well-worn Bible and would teach my daughter from it regularly. She would have a model marriage in which her husband serves and loves her, in which she serves and honors him. She would have to be a gentle mother, with kind hands and words. She would not take advantage of my daughter, her apprentice, delegating the primary childcare to a novice. She would teach this greatly important task to my daughter by example, primarily. She would be well-versed in child development, and would pass this, as well as the practical aspects of child-rearing and homekeeping.

Above all, I would want to be sure that my daughter would be learning that a mother needs to know many, many things in order to be most successful in her job — and that oftentimes, mama has to “go it alone.” Her husband will be there some of the time, but for the most part, mother carries the homekeeping and child-rearing burdens. She will need to know that she may not have a “mother’s helper” in her own home one day, that she is not apprenticing to be a mama who has a mama’s helper, but that she is apprenticing to do the job, to do it well, without complaining and with joy, by herself.

Of course, college girl that I am, there is about a 99% chance my daughter will be a college girl, too, so . . .

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