Fri, 02/14/2020 - 1:45pm

About this blog:

  • HOME SWEET HOME was embroidered on a framed sampler the living room at my grandpa and grandma’s farmhouse up on the mountain where we lived long ago and far from here.

    Those were the first words of wisdom I learned to read, write and understand. Looking back today, I realize how this inspiring motto guided me throughout my life’s work of building my own home . . . sweet and truly mine. That plus my collection of bumper sticker wisdom.

    I grew up, left home and explored various careers until I became qualified to teach Industrial Arts at my hometown high school. My plan to have my own home was in motion. I bought a modest little fixer upper at the edge of town. My intention was to fix it up, add an addition, live there awhile to make sure everything worked, sell it and finally start building my own home. I figured I could get most everything done during summer vacation. I was young and optimistic.

    I learned a great deal from that first building project. So much that I’ll have to tell you more.


Mama said, “It is better to aim high and miss than aim low and succeed.”
The goal of The Homestead School is to graduate students with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to build a homestead by themselves. A homestead, in this case, includes a home and a business. At the end of the curriculum a graduate will have acquired enough assets to finance his or her choice of a career minus the burden of student debt or a lifelong home mortgage.
The course will take two years or less and be taught in the form of an apprenticeship. In Phase 1 a master will instruct and supervise apprentices through the building of a complete home that is specifically designed for this school. Guided by the master during Phase 2, each apprentice will build an entire homestead on their own. Graduation occurs when the apprentice’s work results in their masterpiece, a finished basic homestead that can be kept or sold.
Financing of this education program is through tuition from accepted apprentices, funding provided by the school or investors, and the sale of homes built during the course. The home built by the apprentices and master during Phase 1 will be sold. Proceeds divided among the apprentices and master will fund Phase 2, the building of a homestead by each apprentice.
There are many details. I’ll explain in chapters titled Who, What, When, Where, How and Why. Let’s begin.
Well, this is tough. At first glance it would seem everyone would want to become an apprentice at The Homestead School. So let’s start with the people who could most easily benefit. High school graduates who would like to replace college with The Homestead School as their source of higher education is one group. Those desiring an alternative to military service or just going out and getting a job after graduating are others.
People who envision a profession, career, occupation or vocation that does not provide sufficient living expenses in its early stages are good candidates. Military veterans coming back into civilian life and needing something useful to do would also benefit from the program, as would most anyone needing a fresh start in life.  Okay, you are probably way ahead of me imagining all the people who could really appreciate and benefit from The Homestead School but, as they say in infomercials, “There’s more!”
The Homestead School involves a two-level curriculum. The Apprenticeship Program is the first level. A Masters Program is the other. Workers out there in the construction business who can read blueprints and build something from them could become a Master. Think about that.
Let’s review. The Homestead School will teach the building of a home and homestead to accepted apprentices by Masters who guide them through their apprentice project in Phase 1 and their masterpiece project in Phase 2.
Let’s have a revelation. The Homestead School could be plural. Imagine two, ten, a hundred or more schools spontaneously cropping up all over the country.  It’s a revelation that could start a revolution. 
Meantime, feed your head, come back soon. We’ll discuss the WHAT.