All you homeschoolers know, one of the best things about homeschooling is that you can get the book-work done and dusted early, and get onto other things.
Because homeschooling does not take as much time! Homeschoolers save time in the morning, not having to get ready to go away for the day. They save time not travelling to and from school, they save time not doing roll calls and notices, and waiting for the teacher to get Jimmy to settle down and stop distracting everyone. And, they save time through not shifting around different classrooms numerous times a day.
All that to say: they’ve got more time to be productive with other things! Less time is wasted on admin.
Many homeschool kids are finished with their bookwork by noon and the rest of the day is waiting for them. The children might do chores, play outside, read books, work on crafts, or even fashion a squirrel out of a log of wood.
But once they’ve done all that, what else could they be doing?
Teaching Kids About Money & Business
We all believe that it’s important to teach our young ones and teenagers about money, and how, to a certain extent, it makes the world go round.
We start training early by getting them to do chores around the house and perhaps give them a small allowance as payment. They learn that money is earned, money is limited, and money is a kind of measure of the service they have performed.
With their earnings, we advise them to save some, spend some and give some – training them to develop these important financial habits.
However, by paying your kids to do chores around the home, you are, in a sense, teaching them how to work for an employer. You are their employer, allocating and directing the work, and they are your laborers. You are also taking money out of the family budget to pay them, which will be more or less of a burden on you, depending on your own financial situation.
Instead of incurring this cost yourself, and instead of doing the same old thing with the chores, wouldn’t it be great if you could teach your children to earn money by providing a good or service to their fellow man?
I think so!
Of course there is nothing wrong with teaching them how to work for an employer or how to be a good employee – those are good and necessary things to learn. But there’s also something liberating and exciting about starting your own business – especially a business heat pressing!!
A Heat Pressing Business
In this post, I want to give you some ideas of products you can make, or services you can offer, using a heat press machine.
What are they?
Heat press machines are used to press heat transfers onto t-shirts, wood, metal, tote bags, and many other items. You can turn a plain item into something truly spectacular.
And again with Conde, another very sellable item, photo panels:
These four products are just the tip of the iceberg of what can be done with a heat press. Just spend a few minutes on YouTube to discover so many more project ideas.
What Do I Need To Get Started?
There are a few things you’ll need to get going, and the price can add up. Make sure you have a budget set before starting out along this road. I estimate you can get underway for under $500, but you can obviously spend more by getting better equipment.
You will need:
A heat press
Either an inkjet printer OR a cutting machine
Either transfer paper and inks OR heat transfer vinyl (HTV)
Blank t-shirts suitable for transfers (or whatever other items you’re going to transfer onto)
And we’ll assume you’ve already got a computer (since you’re reading this!).
Heat Press Machines
There are plenty of heat press machines to choose from on Amazon. We have reviewed over a dozen on our site here. We’ll link here to a couple of our favorite machines:
There is the Promo Heat 15 x 15, another machine perfect for beginners – easy to set up and use.
Our article on US made machines lists the more expensive but far better machines that you can consider.
For beginners, I would suggest starting by purchasing a cutting machine and doing vinyl transfers over getting a printer and doing that type of transfer.
If you purchase a multi-purpose cutting machine, like a Brother Scan N Cut , a Silhouette, or a Cricut, you can also do innumerable other projects with them. You might have other children that would not be interested in making t-shirts, but that would like making cards. That way you will be able to get more use out of the machine.
Vinyl transfers are also simple and rather satisfying to do. Once you have the process down, you’ll be churning out so many shirts you’d think it was the Nike factory.
There are a range of machines at a range of prices – we have a few articles on cutters:
Printing onto transfer paper is another way to make heat transfers.
Inkjet & laser printer transfers
For this you must purchase the appropriate printer, inks and papers. You can read more in our article on sublimation transfers.
Who Should Homeschoolers Sell To?
To begin with, the budding teenage entrepreneur could sell their wares to friends and the extended family. They should think long and hard about their designs, what these people would like on their t-shirt, or better yet, ask them.
Beyond this, they might be able to market towards people in their church, neighborhood or sports club. Whatever they are involved in, there are opportunities.
Are you part of a homeschool co-op or support group? They might be able to do up a t-shirt or sweater design to signify their involvement in that group.
This has been a brief article to encourage you to think about the idea. One could write a book about how to start a t-shirt business (and many have). We were also keen to get you thinking about what small business your teenager might be able to start. As we’ve said, there are so many amazing life lessons to be learned in doing so.
Have your kids already started selling something? If so, let us know what they’ve been learning in the comments section below!
I’ve appreciated Joshua’s perspective on training children with money on his podcast “Radical Personal Finance”. They have a ton of other business related content to inspire and educate you and your children.
The Small Business Trends Website has a list of 50 Business Ideas for Teens – they obviously know what they’re talking about as they’ve added t-shirt designer to the list!