Thursday, January 13, 2011

Peopleguy Tours

Ever since I first imagined homeschooling my kids (meaning, when Ryan was still in the womb), I've been thinking about Peopleguy Tours. And now I'm thrilled because we are beginning to be able to add these into our schedule on a semi-regular basis!

For those unfamiliar with the term, a peopleguy is an expert worker. Ryan coined the term before he was two years old, and we've been using it ever since. (And a good smattering of people we know use it, too!) A peopleguy can be male or female and can work in any job whatsoever, at any level (employee to owner). But what distinguishes a peopleguy from just a plain old worker are passion and excellence. A peopleguy loves his work, whether he's a bucket truck peopleguy fixing the electrical wires or a cook at a pizza place. A peopleguy does his work well and takes pride in his work. For more about peopleguys, you can read my article (originally published in Life Learning Magazine) which I reposted in two parts here on my blog.

So anyway, as you might have guessed, Peopleguy Tours involves going to see peopleguys do their work in their natural habitats. Field trips.

We've already had our first official Peopleguy Tour, back in September. When Earl gave a lecture about an architecture project he was working on to the Atlanta Objectivist Society, I brought Ryan. There he sat, with his notebook and pen, listening to Earl describe some of the ideas and processes that went into a home addition he'd been working on. While Earl talked, Ryan listened and drew pictures of houses and blueprints in his notebook.

Then we went to the house a couple of days later and saw how the designs looked in real life. Earl showed Ryan his blueprints and explained them to Ryan:

The rest of our homeschool was there, too (Morgan and Sean) and our friend Livy. The kids rode a horse and picked up dropped nails and screws from the construction site with a magnet and fed the donkeys handfuls grass. It was a fun day.

Since that day, we haven't done any Peopleguy Tours, but going on the house tour with Earl made me realize that I could get started. I'd been a little reluctant to plan very many tours because of having, you know, a two year old. But Sean did great that day, and had a lot of fun. I realized that I could get started on this grand plan of mine. We may have to start modestly, but things will only get easier on the Sean-front as time goes by (well, it might get worse before it gets easier, as he hasn't quite turned evil hit the tantrum stage yet).

So our next official Peopleguy Tour has been arranged (except for the date which I still need to nail down). We are going to take a tour of our favorite pizza place. We know the owners pretty well, and they have had a good amount of success with their franchised stores. It's a very family-friendly restaurant, and the owners, wait staff, and cooks are so nice to all of the kids who go there. Their own kids work there on occasion (they're about Ryan's age, maybe a bit older).

I spoke to one of the owners and he was all for this idea. We'll take a tour of the kitchen and back areas and learn about how they make their food. We'll ask them about how they do other jobs, too, like how to bus tables and keeping the place neat and tidy. We'll ask them lots of questions, and then we'll stay for lunch, to repay their kindness with a little business.

After this tour, I think it might be time to arrange another fire station trip. That was so fun last time. And then, who knows?  I want to explore all different industries and businesses with the kids. I want them to meet the owners and workers and talk to them and maybe even try out some of the real jobs. Trying things out will give them a chance to experience the job directly, and that will help them decide if they enjoy it or not. And it might get them thinking about jobs they can do now (or soon) for money.

Hopefully, another effect of these Peopleguy Tours will be that we make some contacts for the future. It won't be very long before Ryan will want to work. I hate that there are so many restrictions on the work kids can do for money. Not work here around the house, mind you, but in a "real" job. :) At any rate, the contacts we might make over the next several years might prove useful in the future.

So, homeschool or school-school, do you take your kids on Peopleguy Tours, too? If so, what were your best experiences?


Alasandra said...

What a neat word "peopleguy tours". It is always nice to meet someone who has a passion for their job.

Thanks for your submission to the CoH.

JanelleS said...

Being homeschooled myself and now homeschooling my children, "peopleguy tours" or field trips were huge in our learning. Local fire houses, ambulance buildings, post offices, bird/butterfly houses, large corporate facilities are all great places. Smaller run businesses are more likely to give individuals tours rather than in a group setting. But sometimes for visiting state capitals, large factories or plants like General Mills and Freihoffer's Bakery, you'll need a large crowd of maybe 10-20 attendee's.

My kids are the same age as yours and I totally understand your apprehension about taking your toddler with you. But as long as the day doesn't go too long, I found that they enjoy it as much as the older kids.

Enjoy your "peopleguy tours"! :)

Writer said...

What a great idea. I need to start doing the tours too. My kids would love going different places. My son, B, has loved going to see where my husband works.