Homeschooling/Unschooling teen learns from working his first job to earn money for travel

I’ve always hoped homeschooling/unschooling teens and young adults learning to earn their own money could be part of Worldschool Travel Tours. Recently, the mother of one of the teens on my upcoming November Japan 2009 tour wrote me telling me how working his first job has helped her son grow, learn, and gain confidence.

Sherry had mentioned her son David was excited to be earning his his own money for the trip. I asked her if she could tell me more about his experience and if I could share it on my blog to help inspire others.

I was really touched and humbled by what she wrote:

I truly believe this entire experience is meant to be for David and would love to share with you how it has all fallen in place.

Until this year we have been a home school family where dad worked and mom took care of the day to day mentoring of her two wonderful students.

This last spring my husband like many others lost his job after 25 years with the same company.  It has been a blessing in the sense that it has allowed my husband to become much more involved in our daily adventures.

Then your e-mail came to me from a friend letting me know that your group was looking for a place to stay while in LA and that maybe we could help you out.  My friend had no idea David was very interested in the Japanese culture she just thought we had enough space to accommodate you.

After contacting you and realizing you had a spot left for one student we were stuck with the choice of do we really try to make this opportunity happen even though both parents were currently not working or do we just let it pass by.

As you know we forged ahead and David became your last student.  At that point we reviewed your suggestions on how he could make his own money and took away some ideas of what would work best for our area.  We decided perhaps an after school mothers helper, dog walking and a garage sale might have been good options for trying to bring in some money.

As we were gearing up to market his skills I was speaking with the same friend that had forwarded me your original request.  I thanked her for passing along your message and let her know that David would be going on the trip to Japan and that he was now going to be looking for odd jobs to make money to help pay for his trip.  At which point she turned to her husband who runs his own business and said aren’t you looking for an extra person for some assembly work.

It has just taken off from there.

It truly is David’s first job and he’s been working on a week to week basis.  He has learned the business and economics behind assembly type work and why you need to be quick and why when the boss says he may need to bring in extra help that its not always a good thing.  It has been a great growing experience.

The owner even offered David use of their design software (the company designs lighting for restaurants, hotels and casinos) so he can play around and self teach himself.

The whole process has taught him to set goals, reevaluate his goals and even expand his goals when he realized he underestimated his potential.

Overall, I think it has taught us that no matter what your circumstance at the time if you really want to make something happen and you put it out to the universe and open yourself up you will get good things back.

Thank you for giving not only David but our entire family the chance to learn and grow from this wonderful opportunity.

Like I said: I’m really touched and humbled by what she wrote.

Just the fact that this work has made David realize that he underestimated his potential is such a wonderful thing to hear.

I know at least one other teenager on my tours who has had a similar transformative and empowering experience from earning her own money for the tour.

“Work” and “money” are sometimes considered “bad words”. But clearly work can be wonderful and very meaningful. This can be true even of working on an assembly line, like David, or pulling weeds and trimming plants, like me. I hope others will be inspired to earn their own money not just for my tours or travel, but for any dream of theirs or just to gain more independence.

Please feel free to post more stories like this as comments or e-mail me at: Thanks!

2 Responses to “Homeschooling/Unschooling teen learns from working his first job to earn money for travel”

  1. Carman says:

    Wonderful story!

    Eli, I hope you write more articles on the business and marketing theme.

  2. Eli Gerzon says:

    Yeah, I’m so glad Sherry shared the story with me and let me share it on my blog.

    There definitely seems to be a lot of interest in the business stuff which is cool. I have a few more thoughts I can share…. But honestly I’ve always wanted to hear more from you about your experiences in the business world!

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