Unschooling Math: A Cottage Business

Unschooling Math: A Cottage Business

I have already made it a point to say that I struggle with unschooling. so when my son wanted to sell his baked goods I was excited.  Ah ha, a homeschool opportunity.

Unschooling Math in Progress!

The world of mathematics danced around in my head.  The concepts we could cover, the “I told you so’s” that would be sung.  All the math that could be worked into this fun business.

He assumed we could just bake and go but I told him (mistake number one) we should ask my friend who sells baked goods from her home how she started.  I did ask her (notice the “I”) and she gave great suggestions and tips.  He tried to look up the information for our state but it wasn’t easy to find. Together we found the information and read it.  It read like it was something we couldn’t do as in an everyday business.  But we could test the waters.

Another friend of ours promotes a music festival, Hemlock Groove, where Oliver thought he could sell his baked goods.  When he asked if he could sell cookies the answer was a YES!

Let the math begin!  I asked Oliver if he would make a list of the items we would need to buy.  And let me tell you that my son does not like anyone to help him.  As far as he was concerned this was his project and it would be done his way.  So when “I” suggested we figure out how many cups were in a bag of flour, he jumped ship.  He was the boss not me.

“Can’t we buy what we usually get” he moaned.

I tried to ease him into the math by asking him how much money he was hoping to make.  Then I explained that you don’t want to under charge for your cookies and loose money.  That made sense but he had still lost his joy. We finally sat down and did the math.  It was fun.  I think he enjoyed the times that I made mistakes more then anything. He was back on board.

The two days we were at Hemlock Groove we discovered great music, kind folks and chocolate chips cookies are number one amongst music enthusiasts.  He didn’t reach his goal but he did learn about this market and how to sell to these folks.  He will get it down next time.

While I didn’t get to milk this for all those math opportunities I had hoped for he did see the need for it and learned how to use division and multiplication.  He also opened a savings account for his profits and can you believe it, he doesn’t want to spend his money like he did when his money is held by the Piggy Bank.

I would love to hear what kind of business your kid is into 🙂