If my kids had holidays from homeschooling whenever we travelled they would not learn very much! Due to the amount of time we are away from home (wherever that may be) I continue homeschooling my kids when we are on the road, especially in the village in Thailand. It may not be as full on as when we are in Australia but whenever there is a quiet day planned then I make sure I get out the math and reading books out as well as getting the kids to update their diaries.
A big part of homeschooling is using real life to help you teach. We spend a lot of time studying ‘life’ and whatever is happening around us. Many different learning opportunities come about as a result of questions such as: What are Rubber trees for? Where does the water from our river go to? How do you make glass?
It was a question from Ariya about small business that gave me an idea for a great school lesson. It was time for my kids to start their first ever business.
Every Sunday and Wednesday we have a tiny village market that happens outside our house so we decided that this was where we would operate our new business from.
Our first lesson was about coming up with an idea. As expected the girls wanted to sell what they already knew. Drinks, snacks, toys – basically everything that was already on offer at the market. After I explained the need to offer something different we decided on Jelly cups. We already had the ingredients and it was easy for kids to make.
We then had to price it. We decided on a 100% mark up and had some great math lessons as we tried to work out whether to sell small cups at 5 baht each or bigger cups at 10 baht. Large cups were the eventual winner.
Marketing was next with lessons on good customer service as well as making the best possible sign for the front of our ‘shop’.
Then it was time to start the production line before eventually selling the product. Here are a few photos from the day.
The girls worked from 4pm until 6pm which is when they sold out of Jelly cups! Business was great and our fears of not selling everything were unjustified. The first two customers were the neighbouring stall holders which was really sweet of them to give the kids some confidence but the rest of them (apart from one Auntie) I think were genuinely interested in trying out the farang banana jelly.
At the end of the day 23 Jelly cups were sold for a profit of 110 baht ($3.50). It would have been 130 baht ($4.10) except for some poor mixing and a little spillage – a great lesson in something that my Dad taught me years ago – ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’.