Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Raising Kid Entrepreneurs

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The sign on my son’s door

Something we don’t do in our homeschool is fill every minute with stuff I’ve scheduled for them to do.  For every one thing I want them to learn, there are a thousand more that they are raring to discover on their own, and one of our big goals is to raise independent thinkers who love to learn.  I don’t plan to spoon-feed them knowledge their entire lives, so why should I do it now?

So, in their free time, we find that the kiddos do a lot of interesting things on their own. 

At the moment, we have a whole village of “little shops” on our 2nd floor, one in each of the kiddos’ bedrooms.  Today I’m going to give you a little tour of David’s “Critter Shop.”

Note:  Soon after this photo was taken, Mary broke off from David’s business and started her own…yes, they are even getting a taste of mergers, splits (no take overs, yet).

David has been trying out origami and decided to start creating custom critters that people could keep as low maintenance pets.  They’re inexpensive (under $ .50) and cheap to feed (they live on dust bunnies) and you can even purchase a fully outfitted “critter house” complete with water dish, bed, scratching post, and even a lava pit (if you so desire).

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Each of these little guys has a complete description in his master “Critter Wiki.”

 

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Critter accessories, including couches and boats

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They are having fun.  But, they are also learning a lot.  For instance, when David first set up his shop, his pricing was much higher, but he very quickly found that his prices were not competitive enough.  Likewise, when his brother set up his little shop of paper creations, he very quickly figured out that no one was willing to pay $2 for his pencil drawing of a flower that he cut out.  They all learned by some trial and error what the “going rate” was for their wares.

A situation arose when Mary left the apprenticeship with David and started her own shop.  She realized that because she had been his apprentice, she might lose her rights to designs she developed under his “tutelage.”   We were able to negotiate a simple licensing agreement between them, allowing her to retain her rights and him to use the designs if he paid her a percentage of his profit on those items.

Currently, David is working out how to entice patrons to buy new critters.  After the initial flurry of opening week, business has dropped off.  The market is saturated.  So, he’s working on developing new designs.

And that’s really just a very small sampling of what has been learned the past couple of weeks.

What independent projects are your kiddos’ working on?

You might also enjoy:

The Narration Solution for My Narration Phobic Kid

The Art of Exploration

Setting Our Goals in Our Homeschool

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