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Entrepreneurship happens naturally when you homeschool-- at least in my family! .... And a job opportunity for homeschool teens at the 'Twirly Top' ice cream shop!
Sarah Keckler, PHAA homeschool graduate and entrepreneur, PHAA homeschool graduate and entrepreneur

Editor's Note from Susan Richman: We've known Sarah Keckler and her family ever since the first full year of the PA Homeschool law-- and I was delighted to receive an email recently from Sarah wondering about finding a way to let homeschool teens know about flexible summer job opportunities at her 1950's-style ice cream stand, the Twirly Top, located between Carlisle and Gettysburg PA. I encouraged her to write up a full article about how she found her way to becoming a business owner and entrepreneur-- and I know you'll be delighted with all that Sarah shares here-- very inspiring (and funny!) for sure! Soooo, hoping some of you know homeschool teens eager for a great summer job where they can really develop both skills and character... AND hoping many of you opt to visit the Twirly Top and the surrounding area (the link above has links to local sites to see!). We're also hoping that Sarah just might be able to take part in the special panel presentation on entrepreneurship at this summer's PHAA Homeschool Conference, on Friday July 11th -- she'll be a terrific motivational speaker! And even if she's not able to make it (she may need to be managing the Twirly Top!), we're definitely giving out this article as a hand-out to all attendees ;-). Enjoy! And by the way... my husband says that Sarah was *star* student in his AP Macro-Economics online class when she was a high school homeschooler!

 

When I was a child, the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” seemed like a joke.  I don’t recall anyone in my family ever taking this question very seriously and I followed suit with answers ranging in career path from the unlikely (racehorse jockey) to the non-existent (professional tree-climber) to the relatively unemployable (flying trapeze artist).  Into my high school years, these responses became less acceptable so I picked a generic “something in business” reply with absolutely no idea what that might mean- I certainly did not expect it to entail owning and operating an ice cream shop!  My journey from a shy homeschooled child to a 25-year-old business owner has been nothing short of eventful and I hope this article will provide insights and inspiration for homeschool students and educators alike.

Childhood participation in entrepreneurial pursuits

     To be honest, I never really saw an up-close example of a ‘traditional’ 9 to 5 office job.  My childhood was full of entrepreneurial pursuits, although I did not recognize any of them as such at the time.  My dad was a truck driver and caretaker of our large backyard garden plot and my mom was the homeschool instructor for myself and all 6 of my siblings. In her spare time (tongue-in-cheek) she taught piano lessons, did homeschool evaluations, made and sold quilts, and ran our little farmette.  During my teen years, my mom expanded her scope by obtaining a bakery license for our kitchen and selling baked goods to nearby restaurants, neighbors, and eventually farmers markets.  Even my grandparents exemplified non-traditional “jobs” post-retirement.  My artist/inventor/mechanical genius grandfather with a passion for trains and old cars created highly-detailed pencil drawings of classic antique cars, train engines, and Harley-Davidsons.  He framed and sold the drawings at craft shows alongside my grandmother’s exquisite crocheted lace tablecloths, starched Christmas decorations, and homemade fudge.

     My siblings and I all had roles in each of these ventures.... 

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German Homeschool Family Can Stay!
Howard Richman, 3/5/2014

On March 4, Homeland Security reversed course. After spending years reversing the asylum that had been granted by an immigration judge to a German Homeschooling family, they suddenly decided to let that family stay in the U.S. where they can homeschool legally. 

If Uwe and Hannelore Romeike and their six children were deported to Germany and they continued to homeschool, the German government would have broken up the family.  The Obama administration might have been worried about the adverse publicity that would have resulted. More than 125,000 people signed the online White House petition that I told you about in my April 2013 blog posting about this case....

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