THE BLOG

Make Entrepreneurship Education Your Summer School

06/05/2015 08:55 am ET | Updated Jun 05, 2016

Summertime is perfect for supplementing your children's education with entrepreneurship. Through projects based learning activities, you can teach sales, leadership, communication and emotional intelligence. Whether or not they aspire to become entrepreneurs, these skills will serve them well in life. Here are some ideas for the entire family:

Plan an Event for Charity

The event doesn't have to take place this summer. You can plan it now for the following year. For example, your family might volunteer to plan an annual Gala for your favorite charity. You will learn about event planning, social media, publicity, how to write letters and announcements, cold calling, sales scripts and more. Assign small tasks for your children to complete independently. Allow them to work alongside you to complete larger projects. The key to successful entrepreneurship education is to take the time to explain what, how and why you're completing tasks. Make sure they take notes. Encourage and reward them for asking great questions.

Give a Speech

Find opportunities to do more public speaking this summer. Think about your civic, church, community or social groups. Can your teen present a short presentation about the economic needs of a country that your church sends missionaries to? Can your pre-teen give a short talk about how much an after school program has impacted their life? You may have to get creative and make opportunities for your children that don't exist. If you can't find a live audience, have your children present on video, using a smartphone or video camera.

Assign Tasks in Your Business

I'm amazed at how many parents don't leverage the talents of their own children to build their business. It's often an emotional decision. Parents feel impatient when teaching the skills required to execute tasks. Your greatest fear may be controlling your anger when they don't perform to your standards. These are legitimate concerns, but they should never deter you from working with your children. There are so many ways that they can help. Some children can provide cleaning services at your location, manage your books, post to various social media platforms or enter data into your customer relationship management software. Pay them what you would pay a non-family member for the same entry level position. Train them well and give them positive and constructive feedback.

Plan a Family Trip

The process of planning a vacation or other family trip this summer will help your children learn to spot deals. Let them create a budget for the entire trip, compare flights and find the best deals on hotels and car rentals. As entrepreneurs and leaders, your children must master the art of negotiations. Deal making is a way of life for anyone in business and finding travel deals is a great start. Based on the budget, let them figure out what would be an appropriate spending limit for each family member going on the trip. Let them conclude that they can't spend $200 per day on clothes because the family would not be able to afford to go on the trip.

Organize a Sale

It took a while, but what I know for sure is that selling is the most important skill you must learn as an entrepreneur. Use the summer to build selling skills. Some projects can include holding a garage or storage sale. Before the sale, teach your children how to negotiate. Instruct them on what percent of the asking price they should never go below. Give them first-hand experience in dealing with people who want to pay one dollar for a twenty dollar item. You can challenge them to sell baked goods and keep all of the profits. Reward them with a percent of the earnings and a bonus for a job well done. Older children can organize a multi-family sale to really put their sales and collaborative skills to the test.

Try to reward your children with money for projects when appropriate. You want to associate hard work and entrepreneurship with a viable way to generate income. If everything they do for you is for free, they may not value entrepreneurship.