Way back when I read the book that turned me on to homeschooling, Home Grown Kids by Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore, and then their subsequent books, one of the things the Moores described that fascinated me was the opportunity homeschooled children had for entrepreneurship. My older kids were babies then, but I could just picture them someday sitting behind their own little lemonade stand.
They did have lemonade stands when they got older, and I remember one summer when they made a killing by selling cold pop and homemade brownies to people attending one of our garage sales. Our younger daughter also sold handmade cards door-to-door. I’m sure there were other entrepreneurial experiments that I’ve since forgotten.
They learned so much from those experiences; lemonade stands were just the tip of the iceberg. Back when I first read that book, how could I (or the Moores) have foreseen the advent of the Internet and its usefulness for entrepreneurs of all ages? Indeed, I never would have imagined that I would someday be writing and selling my own homeschooling books via the Internet.
Well, homeschooled children have that same opportunity, and our dd16 has taken up the challenge. She’s gotten so many compliments on the funny stuffed fabric creatures she makes that she recently set up her own online shop to sell them. She’s still in the process of adding her products to her shop, but already has quite a few creatures online. You can see her shop here. Feel free to look around; she loves having visitors browse her shop.
This has been a great exercise for her. She keeps track of all her expenses very carefully, including the time it takes her to make each creature (around two hours including design time). She’s careful to use her raw materials conservatively (no waste). It took her a while to figure out how to use etsy.com, and she discovered that the site offers very cleverly designed virtual forums where she can learn more about marketing her wares. All of this has taken a lot of time, but being homeschooled, she has more free time than she would if she were in high school all day.
She is in 11th grade, and we’ve been studying economics (Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell) since the fall. But I have to think that the things she’s learning right now by setting up her little business are at least as valuable, if not more so, than what she’s learning from Dr. Sowell’s book. Add in the dinner time discussions her dad and I have about our own businesses, and I have to think she’s fortunate to learn real-life economics in her daily life. That she has the time for all of this is yet another blessing of homeschooling.
© 2008 Barbara Frank / Cardamom Publishers
Barbara Frank is the mother of four homeschooled-from-birth children ages 15-24, a freelance writer/editor, and the author of “Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers, “The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling,”and “Homeschooling Your Teenagers.” To visit her Web site, The Imperfect Homeschooler go to www.cardamompublishers.com.