Nearly ever week, I have one or both of my older kids coming to me with their newest business ideas. Can you relate? They have been thinking about how they can earn some money, and they want to tell me all about how they plan to do just that. I LOVE listening to their ideas, and I never - repeat, NEVER - discourage anything they want to do. Hey, if my kids actually plan to WORK for their money, I want always to encourage that spirit.
For a long time, I really just thought my kids were out of the ordinary and just plain great. Well, they are both of those things. But after talking to many other homeschool moms, I have found that this seems to be the norm with homeschool kids. Most of them have some idea of how they plan to start their own business. I LOVE IT!
But why do you think that is? Well, there are several reasons that contribute to an entrepreneur spirit. The first reason is simply a matter of time. Homeschooled children, as a whole, seem to have more free time to think and plan and create. Since you aren't dealing with the time constraints of an 8:00 to 3:00 public school day with homework to finish each night, most homeschoolers are finished with all their work by noon and have the rest of the afternoon to be creative. No, that doesn't mean my kids have all that time just to themselves. They still have chores and little sisters to play with. But they do have large chunks in the day that aren't scheduled or planned for them, and they are free to dream and create 'til their little hearts are content. And boy do homeschoolers dream BIG!
Another reason for this spirit of entrepreneurship is due to the fact that they have the time and attention and the backing from their parents. Since we moms are with our children all day, and daddy is home spending time with the kids in the evenings, they are able to ask questions of us, and we can, together, go find the answers. So when Britches told me she wanted to start an online craft selling business, she and I stopped what we were doing, and went to find out some details of how to make that happen. (No, she doesn't have an online craft business, yet, because when she realized how much time would be involved in actually making her products to sell, she changed her mind - for now anyway!) Also, with older teens, mom can actually incorporate some of the business learning into the teens school work. Thus, you are killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.
And one other reason is because homeschool children are often watching a parent run a business from home. Everybody always asks me how we live on one income, and let me tell you, it's HARD. The same is true for many homeschool families, so often, either mom or dad, or perhaps both, start a business from home to help supplement the income. So these kids are always watching mom and dad work and run this business, and it begins to shape their way of thinking. They start thinking of ways they, too, can start their own business and make money, just like mom or dad.
If you have a young one, particularly a teenager, who wants to be an entrepreneur, you are in luck! Gena Suarez (owner and publisher of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine) has written a fabulous article about her two sons and the amazing businesses that each of them started. One started a lawn care business that grew into something even bigger. And her other son started a computer apps business, and has some really big projects going on right now. Go check out her article, Teens in Business: Beyond the Lemonade Stand, and read all about their stories. Believe me, you will be greatly encouraged and will want to help your kids even more with their own businesses!
Another thing you will be excited to know about is that, during the Schoolhouse EXPO, there will be a Teen Track, which will present ways to help your teen in starting their own business. (It will help mom out, too, if you are thinking of starting up a home business!) So you are definitely going to want to have your teens sit in on that session with you. It is meant for them to hear!
The Schoolhouse EXPO will be held May 16 through May 20, 2011. That is awhile away, but you really want to get your ticket now during the early bird special. The cost is nearly HALF of what it will be! Until February 9, you can purchase your ticket for $19.50, but after that date, the price will go up to $39.00. So by purchasing early, you will save $20.00! Check out their web site to buy your ticket, and to see all the great prizes, bonuses, and freebies that come along with your ticket!
You say you won't be able to attend the EXPO, or can't sit through ALL of the sessions? Not to worry! When you buy your ticket, you will have access to ALL the sessions which will be available by mp3 downloads a few weeks after the EXPO. So you really have nothing to lose! And personally, I like the idea of having the sessions on a downloadable file, because, if I don't catch everything the first time around (can we say baby crying and needing attention?), I can go back and listen again.
So be sure to go read Gena's article to be inspired, and then rush over to buy your ticket to the Schoolhouse EXPO. You'll be so glad you did! And if you purchase your ticket through the link on my sidebar, you'll be helping me out as well!