When did I learn the specific skills I use in my job every day?
The "three Rs" came, predominately, from my homeschool studies. I did not pick up reading, writing, or arithmetic on my own (though, I've heard a few of stories of kids who did). I benefited greatly from the formal education my parents effortlessly infused in me <cough>. These fundamentals were essential. Without them I would not be where I am today.
But aside from the foundation of learning, when did I learn the skills I employ while employed?
Summers. Winters. Really any time I could find some time to tinker.
I picked up typing while writing a novel at the age of 10 (the manuscript is terrible but my typing is passable). I learned how to layout web pages in college during a friendly web design feud before the ugliness of MySpace took over. I discovered much of the technical basis for movie making when my parents got me a video camera I used until it fell apart in my hands. I've been utilizing software and websites every day for well over a decade now, which enables me to direct web development projects today. I started blogging for fun back in 2005.
I learned the skills I use for my job largely outside of school.
As a life-long learner, this makes perfect sense. In many ways, our time "doing school" is preparation for the "real" learning to come. We don't get an education merely to have a piece of paper at the end. No. We get an education so we can continue to learn more and develop new skills that enable us to make a positive difference in the world, whether you are a homemaker, physicist, missionary, computer programmer, doctor, soldier, veterinarian, Bible translator, blogger, ninja cardio-thoracic surgeon poet, filmmaker, or whatever God has called you to do.
Summer breaks are fantastic. They are not only a well-deserved vacation from daily school, but they also give your kids time to be creative as well as develop skills they will likely use throughout their lives.
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester