You just never know what topics we will cover during our Friday Homeschool Chat. This past Friday we spent a good share of the morning discussing the pros and cons of a plan one member had for fostering her son’s entrepreneurial spirit. The plan involved providing snacks in an office environment, taking over an existing service that had continually lost money. We floated ideas about how to minimize the shrinkage of product and the resultant loss of income, discussed how much financial involvement the parents should have at start up, business licenses, child labor laws, sales tax licenses and much more. Since many members present Friday had experience in some of those areas, the parent in question came away from the chat with some answers and more questions to research. I am sure she will want to discuss the topic again in coming weeks.
Fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in our homeschooled children is a recurring discussion topic on Friday chats. Homeschooling often leads families (parents and children) to question the “worker” model that public schools teach their students. Many of us hope that our children will be able to avoid the “worker bee” mindset and find ways to make their interests and passions also provide their income. The question becomes, how to foster this entrepreneurial growth in our children, especially as they enter the teen years and (hopefully) begin to define their passions and focus turning them into career goals.
It seems as though we have always had a side business in addition to my husband’s main career income, businesses in which one or more of our children could participate. When they were very young, I had a two-acre garden in which I grew vegetables for sale. The children worked side-by-side with me in planting, weeding, harvesting, marketing and sales. Their favorite, by far, was the selling and collecting the money, which was fine with me, as I enjoyed the other aspects more. Unfortunately, after we moved from New York, that sort of business venture was no longer a possibility. But I believe it laid the seeds of an entrepreneurial spirit in at least two of our three children. Today, as teens and young adults, those two children have stated goals of owning their own businesses. The recent purchase and playing of Cashflow 101 (see my January 4th review) has only intensified that goal in the eldest.
I would love to hear how you have fostered entrepreneurial spirits in your children. Leave me a comment. If I get enough ideas, I will make a future blog post listing all of them!