“What’s the first thing we do when we cook, girls?” I asked, hoping for a specific answer.
“We wash our hands!” came the exuberant reply. The girls ran to the sink and washed for all they were worth. I meanwhile, focused on disinfecting the counters.
Next came the lemons. Not just a few, no. We had an entire Costco bag of lemons, and they needed to be mushed into something tasty and sale-worthy. That’s right. The kids begged me for a lemonade stand. At first I thought it would be a great way to keep the kids busy. Then suddenly, the homeschooler in me spoke up. “Dear lord, woman! Do you know what a great learning opportunity this is?”
Living on a boat means we don’t have a garage. That doesn’t seem like a big deal until your kids want things like bikes, skateboards, scooters, and lemonade stands. Necessity being the Mother of Invention, I had an idea. We picked up a dispenser from Costco, along with the lemons and paper cups. After a quick trip to Whole Foods, we had Stevia for our sweetener and everything was prepped.
The girls squeezed lemons for what they described as “about a million years”. This means they were actually at it for about ten minutes. “Mommy, can you help us?” No one can resist a request to get elbows deep in lemon juice. I jumped in, quickly discovering that squeezing a massive bag of lemons actually IS work. Who knew?
Into the beverage dispenser went our water, lemon juice, and stevia concoction. We loaded up our wagon and went for a walk. Our first paying customer was our much adored Harbor Master. He asked the girls what they were charging. Oh dear, they hadn’t thought of that. He suggested 25 cents, to which the girls quickly agreed. They were so excited to have made a sale, we hot-footed it over to a public trail next to a nearby business park.
I figured we would run into people on their lunch breaks, and boy was I right. One of the first potential customers was saddened to inform us that he had left his wallet in his car, but offered some advice. “People here don’t usually carry change. If you charge a dollar and give half to your favorite charity, you’ll double your profits right away.”
The girls seized upon this idea and immediately thought of completely different charities, both refusing to compromise with each other. Sensing a headache initiating argument on the horizon, I suggested the girls each give half of their portion to their own charity. Problem solved.
Our first time out, the girls brought in $10. Not bad for a lemonade stand. A week later, we gave it another go and they brought in $31.25. I whipped out my laptop and introduced the girls to Excel. They are now tracking expenses, logging sales, and after we have a few more days of sales to log, we’ll get into charts.
It’s things like this that make me so happy to be homeschooling. My daughters are building their confidence, learning a little bit about how businesses work, and learning computer skills in a pertinent and relatable way. So awesome.