Friday, November 6, 2015

The Entreprenurial Spirit

Lately I've been writing a lot on our choice to homeschool.  One of the things that comes along with that choice is a one-income household.  We don't have a boat, or drive the new cars.  Our vacations are budgeted and far-between.  Fortunately, God has blessed my husband with a good job that can support us, but there have been some times in the not so distant past that were a little touch-and-go. God is faithful and He has seen us through!
Mobile Popsicle Cart idea from The Celebration Shoppe
Currently, one of my boys is going through Challenge A in Classical Conversations.  The theme for Challenge A is ownership.  Every assignment and book they read points them back to this theme of owning their education, their life, their choices.  It is theirs.  Theirs to squander.  Theirs to take advantage of.  It is on them.  We want them to learn time management and accountability and self-discipline when it comes to their studies.  Less than half-way through the year I can already see the growth!  And I figure why not ride that wave on into the financial sector of his life. 

Starting from now on, my children will be taking an active role in paying their tuition for CC.  We've broken down the numbers and for our kiddos to pay for half of their tuition for next year, they need to earn about $15/week.  That is doable.  SO doable.  While we were brainstorming through some possibilities as to how this would work, I thought I'd share them with other families as well.  These ideas could be used with just about any family, but are especially geared toward families who might be in CC or other homeschooling communities. 

  • Sell candy bars or snacks. Purchase in bulk at a wholesale club.  Have the kids help you with setting the price compared to cost.  VALUABLE lesson here.  Some places will even let you sell baked goods! Want to promote a more healthy lifestyle?  Sell apples or bananas.  On hot days, sell orange slices…already peeled and cold!  Or frozen pineapple on a stick!  Or try one of the specialty THM recipes and sell them to those mamas who want to eat healthy but can't find the time to figure it all out.  Where? 
    • Kids sporting event.  Many sports leagues will allow you to walk through with a box of candy bars, snacks, or drinks.  One walk through could probably get you to your weekly goal.
    • Supermarkets. Get permission for this first, but many places are ok with this as long as you agree not to hound their customers too much J 
    • Have mom or dad take that box of candy bars into work.  About 2pm those things will sell like hot cakes. 
    • Community days.
    • Farmers Markets
  • Offer as a family to provide a service for your neighbors.  Grocery shopping, car washing, porch cleaning, yard work, dog walking, freezer meal prep.  Make up a flyer and explain that you are raising money to pay for your child's school.  You could pay for CC, turn a profit, AND teach your kiddos some entrepreneurial skills with this one.  WIN/WIN/WIN!
  • Partner with other families and reserve a farmers market booth!  Get together with a handful of other CC families and sell goods at a farmers market.  Some could bring veggies from their gardens or fruit from their trees.  Others could sell things they are making, etc.  The possibilities are ENDLESS.  Booths can run anywhere from 0 to $30.  Split with a couple families, and there could definitely be some profit involved.
  • Make Christmas ornaments or hand-crafted gifts and sell online to family and friends.  Again, when people know you are trying to pay for education and the kids have taken the initiative, they are more willing to support!  Jump on the essential oil bandwagon and make gifts that are homeopathic. 
  • Teens can babysit of course...definite need here :) 
  • Tweens can be mommy helpers.  If you're in a homeschool community, there are bound to be some homeschool mamas who would LOVE to have an older kid come and keep their littles busy and happy while they spend some time working with their older kids or even to just go take a long, hot shower. 
  • Provide lunch for community members!  Make hot and healthy lunches and sell for $3-$4 on community day.  Some people will do anything to not have to pack lunch. You could even approach local businesses and see if you could do this on other days of the week. 
  • Have a community car wash!  Get with your director and plan a car wash on a Saturday morning.  Advertise on social media and email to be sure all of your local family knows to come support your kids and get their car washed.  Make signs and HAVE FUN!  Split the proceeds between participating families to apply toward next year's tuition. 
  • Provide some type of private lessons or classes.  Do a writing workshop on Saturday mornings open to all students.  Or provide math tutoring or math study sessions.  We're learning Latin this year and my kids LOVE it.  They could teach beginning Latin.  Do they play an instrument?  Have them offer beginners level classes. 
  • Tutor and have your director hold your last semester's payment for next year’s tuition!
The possibilities are endless!  While the tangible outcome in doing these things will be that we have money for tuition for next year, the intangible is that our kids will learn that they can do something to change their circumstances.  They will learn that hard work pays off.  They will learn invaluable entrepreneurial skills and financial lessons. 

Here are a few other websites that offer some other ideas for kids to get in the entrepreneurial spirit.
37 Great Business Ideas for Young Entreeprenuers
21 Great Business Ideas for Kids
101 Business Ideas for Kids

Have other ideas as to how homeschool families can increase that income flow and teach our kids those valuable lessons?  Share them!

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