Economics – How About a Lemonade Stand, Mama?

/ / Blog, Hey Mama, Hey Mama Monday

The children begged me to have their own garage sale and lemonade stand recently. I knew the amount of work that it would take, and my weekend was already full so I agreed as long as they did everything themselves. I knew they needed to learn their own lessons, but I had to fight the temptation to get involved to help “make them successful.” I would be there to give counsel if they asked, but it took a lot of self-control to stay completely out of the way. I had to laugh quietly to myself at some of their ideas of pricing their worn treasures and help them decide on a fair price for the refreshments.  

Their grandiose ideas of what they would do with all the money they were going to make were precious as I kept my dream-crushing thoughts of reality to myself. By the end of the day, they made enough to cover their output of supplies and a couple dollars and loose change after that. I was afraid that they would be disappointed in their meager outcome, but to my surprise, they had such a great time together that they were already planning their next sale. They had learned some business sense and had a good time setting everything up themselves and in such a responsible way. Had I been negative (or even realistic), they wouldn’t have learned so eagerly all the lessons I wanted to just lecture to them.

Hmmmm. I think I learned something here, too. I made some correlations with how I teach academics to how they learned through this experiment. I saw that they enjoy learning by following through on their own ideas. Some of the things I feel they need to learn may not be received as willingly or gladly because I am merely lecturing or allowing a textbook to lecture them. I am praying about how to make this next year more memorable for them as I would much rather they learn by doing. As I attend my local homeschool convention, I will be asking God for wisdom to show me how to implement more hands-on things this year.  

The problem with many of us is that we want to micro-manage everything our kids do–we even want to manage what they are supposed to learn from it. Then it no longer becomes memorable for them or something they want to retain. The learning experience they have is that they don’t ever want to repeat that thing that was taken over or forced in. There is more to learn in running a lemonade stand than I thought!

Summer is a great time to set aside normal academics. Even if you school year round like I do, you can take the summer to ease up and provide some truly memorable learning experiences as a family. Or put down the normal academics and start those fun games and programs you never had time for during the year. Spend time with your children. It’s the one thing you have to give that doesn’t cost you a thing, and they will remember the most.


Deborah WuehlerDeborah Wuehler is the Senior Editor and Director of Production here at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. She would say she is a very ordinary homeschool mom–with one exception: she has an extraordinary God Who provides all she needs for life and homeschooling. She has eight children aged 11 to 29. Deborah’s mission is this: to point other homeschoolers to the Lord in all they do, think, and feel—and to confirm that they, too, can find everything they need for life, godliness, and homeschooling in their knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3-4).

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).