Monday, March 31, 2008

Our Entrepreneurial Homeschooler



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. One of our daughters 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, and 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's in 11th grade, and we’ve been studying economics (Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell, excerpt here) 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.

8 comments:

Pam said...

Hi Barbara! I too love that about homeschooling! We are so excited to start our own vegetable stand this summer. Of course, we have absolutely no idea how it will turn out, but it will be a learning experience for us all either way. That is awesome that your daughter is so motivated--and creative! :) Pam from allofakind.com

Janet said...

That is so cool! I have always thought that it is definitely an advantage to homeschooling too!I'm off to browse....:-)

Amy said...

Your daughter is quite talented! I enjoyed taking a look at her creations. I'm thinking we need to get Sowell's book too.

Melissa Markham said...

Well done! My daughter is always trying to come up with ways to sell things. Unfortunately she wants to do things like a lemonade stand, but we live in the middle of nowhere. Kudos to your daughter!

Brumbemom said...

Hey, Thanks for your comments on my blog. After rading yours often, I too had thought that our kids seemed similar. Sadly though, mine have not caught that "entrepreneurial" bug yet.(I would have never known how to spell that if you hadn't had it in your title ;-) My DH and I are VERY much infected with the Entre... bug, but we stil struggle to find ways to make it pay the bills sometime. It is a fun and exciting lifestyle though. We are trying to get something going that the five of us can participate in together. Maybe some type of website or something. Who knows?!?

Brumbemom said...

Barbara, I meant "reading" yours often, but I guess "rading" works too ;-) Sorry :-(

Barbara Frank said...

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by. She made her first sale yesterday and was very excited! Today she shipped her order. She has also begun advertising...she designed a banner ad for her business which is now on a popular site for teenage girls; it's the same one on my blog. She's really getting into it. Thanks for your encouraging words for her.

Renae said...

How exciting! My son is always coming up with things we could make to sell. He used to want to make a toy store in our garage. ;) I'm going to continue encouraging him.

Peace to you,
Renae
Life Nurturing Education