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The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

March 16, 2011  


So Your Kid Wants to Make Some Extra Money


Nancy Carter Picture 


One of the blessings of homeschooling is having the time and flexibility to help your children discover what interests them, to guide them through the process of doing a thorough job, and to support them as they pursue those interests. I can remember reading something by Dr. Raymond Moore years ago that emphasized focusing on job completion with kids at an early age, rather than academics. He said that if a child is a good, attentive worker and thinker, he will be able to excel academically, but if he just hops from one task to another, he will never really get the chance to find where he succeeds.


My boys have always wanted to work and at times have been frustrated if we couldn't find opportunities for them. I'm sure some of you have dealt with that too. Yet, even dealing with that helps to build character. They certainly have appreciated the God-given opportunities to work even more because of those frustrating times, and since most of their opportunities have come through people that we've met around town, they've learned the value of making a good impression and always doing their best even when they aren't being paid.


Some of the jobs they've had:


  • Cleaning up spent shells at a trap range
  • Installing appliances for a local store
  • Mowing and doing yard work for older neighbors
  • Taking care of plants and animals while others are out of town
  • Doing land and wildlife management for a hunting lodge
  • Assisting a contractor


If you have children begging to work or sell their wares, do your best to help them pursue those interests and encourage them as they are developing good work skills. The time you invest now will definitely pay off later!


Oh, and don't miss Carol Topp's workshop, "Micro Business for Teenagers," at the online Schoolhouse Expo. It would be great to have your teens listen too. She'll discuss developing a business plan, keeping records, and more. A few tickets are still available.


Enjoy every minute,

~Nancy Carter 

Nancy Carter
THM Editor


P.S. Here's a great article to go along with this topic: How a Lifestyle of Learning Turned Into Entrepreneurial Education.




Deborah WuehlerMercy Every Minute
Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor

Our children are not paid for normal daily chores. We teach our children that they are part of a team and we all work together to make the household function properly. If a child does not work, he does not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Therefore, on normal days, our rules are such that you may not eat breakfast until you've done your morning chores, and you may not eat lunch until you've done your assigned schoolwork, and you don't get any playtime until you've done your set of afternoon chores.  


For the younger children who do not have a paid job, we give $1 a week, not as an allowance and not attached to chores. It is a gift of grace to teach them the proper handling of money. From that dollar, 10 cents goes to tithe, at least another 10 cents goes to savings in the bank, and they are free to save or spend the rest. Giving them little bits of money rather than larger amounts teaches them to save up for what they want and to find the best deal. It also teaches them to tithe and save regularly. These are important life skills!


We do help our younger children find work around the neighborhood, which helps the neighbors and blesses the children with some cash. They walk dogs, mow lawns, pull weeds, rake leaves, watch houses while folks are on vacation, etc. Whatever the neighbors need, they know they can ask our kids. Why? Because they are out in the neighborhood and not stuck in a classroom; because they are part of a community, making friends with adults and people young and old; because they have time; because they are home where they belong!


Start young and be consistent, and your children will learn the wise management of money by the time they are ready to fly out on their own. Teach them to work hard and enjoy the fruits of their labor. First things first, though; teach them Who the riches come from and where true riches are found: in Christ alone.


If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? Luke 16:11


But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19





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Gena Suarez

Hey from Gena

Gena Suarez, Publisher of TOS   


So, your little peanut is asking to earn some money. Good! He/she's normal. When I was 6 years old, I wanted to earn some money, so my dad and I went into the kitchen and made cupcakes, and then he instructed me to go from door to door (we lived on a military base and had lots of housing units in our tight "court" in Alaska) and offer them at 25 cents a pop. That was in the early '70s, so that was kind of a lot for a cupcake, I guess. But these were killer cupcakes. Yum. I want one right now. Anyway, it worked. Those tasty treats were gone in less than 20 minutes and I was an overnight entrepreneur. (Thanks, Dad.)


I did something similar with my kids. We went to the Dollar Tree when they were little and bought candy and calendars. I took the kids to businesses, and they sold them at a huge profit. We took the proceeds and went out to eat together, bought clothes and toys, and twice did some amazing things. Once we took the earnings and went to the California State Fair and had a blast, and another time we bought a huge trampoline for the front yard plus all the fixins for a major BBQ we had with extended family (my aunt's family). Jump and eat! All of these things thrilled my kids and taught them some valuable lessons they'll never forget. Today they love sales, they love business-to-business communications, and they say these are some of the best childhood memories they have. Score!


Levi (17) came to us last year and said he wanted to earn some money. We told him to go to all our neighbors and tell them he does odd jobs. Before we knew it, he was "rolling in dough" because of his strong work ethic (clients were his overnight). Soon he bought a tractor mower with his own money, and the rest has been history. I like it when he buys me stuff now (grin).


Moral of story(s)-get involved if they want to earn money. Teach, do, earn, spend. Enjoy your gifts, because those are coming. May your children be blessed because you took the time with them, and may you be blessed because your future earners will buy you lunch. And a new car (right, Levi?). Heh heh.






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Todd Wilson The Familyman
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries


So, do your kids want to make a little extra money like mine do?


Check out this resource for kids who'd like to make some money. It's called Better Than a Lemonade Stand: Small Business Ideas for Kids, by 15-year-old Daryl Bernstein.


And here's a resource for you to read when you are tempted to squash every idea that your kid suggests with sound advice like, "It'll never succeed . . . you can't make money by doing that . . . that's not the right way." It's called Dream Big, by the always charming Todd Wilson.


The hard part isn't for the child but for the parent who likes to have his child do it "my way." The key to teaching entrepreneurship is to let them try it, go for it, bomb, and succeed on their own. When they want to sell rocks for $5 each . . . let them. When they want to have a lemonade stand, let them. When they want to offer some service that they dreamed up, let them. Then stand back and watch what God does.


The bigger goal isn't to teach them how to make money, but to not be afraid, to trust God, and to do what God has placed in their heart. And of course to . . .


. . . be real,




The Homeschool Crew


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Developed by a homeschooling former kindergarten teacher, Pre K Scholars Kindergarten Readiness Kits are an effective, easy, fun way to prepare your 4- to 6-year-old for scholastic success. The new Core Curriculum DVD is masterfully structured to teach your child phonics, fine motor skills, math, science, and more.




It's Just Common Sense

Ruth Beechick, Curriculum Specialist 


Debbie Strayer, Homeschool Consultant 


"Five cents per worm; worms must be presented to receive payment," the homeschooling mom in our neighborhood told me. What genius! Worm removal from tomato plants, work ethic built (the kids are extremely observant), and children with spending money all in one stroke! That's what I love about homeschooling. There are as many solutions to problems as there are sweet families out there.


"Leading your child toward the higher goal of an educated mind is stimulating for both you and the child. We might say this is "close encounter of the mind kind." Such encounter occurs at scattered times in daily lessons as you try to explain some of the why's and wherefore's along with the how's. . . ."  

        Ruth Beechick, You Can Teach Your Child Successfully


Even though Ruth was talking about math thinking in this particular quote, it spoke to me about all the creative encounters we have with our children. Ruth has always said that homeschooling is heart-to-heart communication, and that speaks about real life, not just academics. These mind-to-mind encounters include solving problems in a creative and individual way. Our children learn from us, and conversely, we are stimulated to think of new ways to do things because of them.


When my daughter was in high school, we wanted to grant credit for many of the real-life experiences she was having, rather than just following textbooks. We searched the course descriptions in our state for things that would fit her. We found "Practical Entrepreneurship." The course description was informative and gave us tips on topics to learn about, but the focus of the course was already happening. She managed my book table at speaking engagements, ordered stock, and kept inventory and our cash bag. She earned credit and gained experience (and spending money) all at the same time. She also became a careful reader of course descriptions after that as well!


Talk with your children about ways they want to earn money. Challenge them to come up with a plan. Encourage them by discussing their ideas-just to keep it safe and legal! Try to let their ideas bud and bloom before you point out the ways they won't work practically . . . instead, water them with some faith and support and wait to see what fruit comes. Let springtime remind you that He often brings life (and fruit) where we least expect it.


~ Debbie 

Read more from Debbie at


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Contest Central  

For the month of March, 2011   

Opposites Are Fun!


A high-quality hardcover book and CD, Opposites Are Fun! introduces children to the world of opposites. In its 40 pages, the book covers 58 opposites. The CD has two songs that cover most of the opposites contained in the book. The opposites range from simple pairs, like "up" and "down," to more challenging concepts, like "plain" and "fancy." The book is colorfully illustrated with bright pictures that will hold a child's attention and help him understand each opposite presented.

The sing-along CD is also a great tool. Its sweet and simple songs cover the opposites in the same order as they appear in the book. The songs are catchy and make remembering the opposites much easier. I have heard a few "learning" CDs in my time, and some of them are terribly annoying! This one isn't; it is very easy on the ears and almost relaxing.

This set is designed for 3- to 8-year-olds, which I believe to be an accurate recommendation. My 5-year-old just loved it. After reading the book and listening to the CD three or four times, he knew all but a few of the 58 opposites. And learning them didn't hurt a bit! My 8-year-old also enjoyed the book and CD, even though she already knew most of opposites. (. . .)


Read the rest of the review here. Win this book for your family!



Email Deb with your name and mailing address and the subject "Opposites are Fun" for a chance to win* this book!




Homestead Blogger
*Disclaimer and Legal Notice:
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC ("Company") is sponsoring the March Contest Central contest running from March 2, 2011, to March 31, 2011. You must be 18 years of age or older and follow all rules to participate. Entering the contest constitutes full and complete acceptance of, and a warranty that the entrant has read, understands and agrees to, all contest terms and conditions, including without limitation all of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC Contest Rules ("Official Rules") and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Writer Guidelines
 and Terms and Conditions for Submitting Queries. All Official Rules apply. Entry also constitutes full consent and unlimited permission for Company to print, publish, broadcast and use all intellectual property and personal information submitted as part of the Contest entry on the Internet and in any and all Company publications in accordance with the Rules. Entries become the sole property of Company and will not be returned. Employees and independent contractors of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, Contest sponsors, individuals or entities furnishing Contest prizes and their family members may not participate in this contest. Company reserves the sole, discretionary right to determine contest winners and to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the contest or the Rules at any time with or without notice or cause, subject to applicable law. See Official Rules for details.
No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

For a full copy of the Official Rules, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine: Official Rules Request, PO Box 8426, Gray, TN 37615