Minding your own business

AngieHeadShot

Angela Verges

Today’s post comes from Angela Verges, one of our new writers who you’ll be hearing from on the first Tuesday of each month. I’m so excited to have her on board, and I love what she’s talking about here, as well as the book she recommends (which, I just learned while researching it a bit, is written by the nephew of the original author. I think that’s cool!)

Angela Verges is a writer and mom of two teen boys who inspire her daily (even when they don’t know it). She is the author of a forthcoming picture book, Abby and Zach Pray through the Alphabet. You can find her blogging through the corridors of parenting at www.mamaprayed.blogspot.com. Visit her website at www.angelaverges.net or follow her on twitter @AngelaVerges.

Minding your own business and making money

The kids have only been on summer break a short while, yet they are already asking, “What can we do today?”

“Mind your own business,” I responded.

My boys, Donovan and Joshua, looked at me with astonishment and confusion on their faces, “What?”

I proceeded to explain to them about a class once offered at our local recreation department called, Mind your business. It was a class that taught youth the basics of starting and operating their own business venture. The boys were hooked at that point, the thought of earning money for something that they wanted to buy intrigued them.

Although the boys did not have an opportunity to participate in the class, they still liked the idea of starting their own business. Putting on their thinking caps, they came up with idea after idea, then reasons why a particular idea wouldn’t work.

There was the idea of walking dogs as a business, but Donovan remembered a past dog episode. “Don’t you remember the time Norma brought her puppy for a visit and you ran as far as you could from it?”

“Oh yeah, scratch dog walking from the list,” Joshua responded.

As the boys were deep in thought, I remembered a book I came across recently. It was one of my favorite characters, Amelia Bedelia. The book was titled, Amelia Bedelia Means Business by Herman Parish. It features a younger Amelia Bedelia who wants to earn money to buy a new bike.

ameliabedeliameansbusinessTitle: Amelia Bedelia Means Business
Author: Herman Parish
Illustrator: Lynne Avril
Genre: Early Reader, Fiction
Age: Early Elementary

At her father’s suggestion, Amelia Bedelia started a lemonade stand business. True to her character, Amelia has a quirky response to her dad’s suggestion. When her dad tells her she can run a stand, Amelia wants to know if she should “run” or “stand.” Mixing the literal and figurative, Amelia’s adventures continue along this vein.

The book has a suggested reading age of 6-10 years and my boys are a little older than this. However, they like the idea of starting a lemonade stand and have agreed to take a look at how Amelia Bedelia does it, quirks and all. My only question now is can Donovan and Joshua go into business together without becoming too competitive.

lemonadewarTitle: The Lemonade War
Author: Jacqueline Davies
Genre: Fiction
Age: Elementary

As I thought about the challenges Donovan and Joshua could face (with each other) as business partners, I came up with another book for them to read. I don’t think the boys know it yet, but it can be dangerous when I start thinking. The additional book I spotted for them to read is The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies.

In the book, Jessie makes a bet with her brother Evan to see who could earn a hundred dollars first. Evan is good at talking to people and Jessie is good at math. So the lemonade war begins, and so does summer reading for my boys.

If your child is interested in starting a lemonade business here are a couple of helpful websites to check out. This site tells how to create an easy to assemble lemonade stand and includes templates, www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20210158,00.html. Another site lays out a “Kids Lemonade Stand Business Program” that gives the ABC’s of business for kids, www.teachingkidsbusiness.com/lemonade-stand.html.

The next time your child asks what he or she can do for fun, you can tell them, “mind your own business.” Then show them how to do just that, while earning money.

Has your child ever operated a lemonade stand or other business? What tips would you share?

7 Comments to “Minding your own business”

  1. Great article, Angela! I especially appreciate the resource links, as my own 11 year old is chomping at the entrepreneurial bit.

  2. Thanks for the comment Kathy! And I agree, it has some really cool resources. (I’ve heard Lemonade War is great, although I’ve never read it myself.)

  3. Thanks Kathy! I hope you find the links helpful.

  4. Great article, Angela! Welcome!

    My seven-year-old is just beginning to get the business bug and I suspect a lemonade stand is in his future, That means teaching him Storefront Rule Number 1: Location, location, location!

  5. Great post, Angela. I didn’t realize you have a book coming out. Congrats! And I love Amelia Bedelia though I haven’t read this one.

  6. heylookawriterfellow – thanks for the comment. Yes location is a great rule, you have to be visible!

    Thanks for the welcome.

  7. Natalie – Yes, the book is in the works, hoping for a fall release date (-:
    Check out the Amelia Bedelia book in your “spare time” it was a fun read.

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