Why I’m Tempted to Cancel School

poor unsuspecting tourists

It’s hard to see what’s going on in this picture so let me explain.  All those people are tourists.  A couple on foot.  A couple stopped in their cars.  And they are all at that very moment being hustled by a couple of home-schooled kids hidden from my view by that tree.  After this series of shady transactions (shady, because I made them move their table out of the sun), I came down to get a close up of the culprits and their road side operation.

homeschooled hustlers

Those are 2 of my younger boys with a bunch of their junk that they’ve been selling to poor-unsuspecting tourists at exorbitant prices.  At ages 5 and 7 they’ve already learned that a tourist and his money are quickly parted and have made a hobby out of speeding along that process.

should know better

But it’s not just tourists.  The guy in this picture from the day before is a well-seasoned worker who should know better.  And yet he’ll fork over a buck for a couple cheapo used carabiners just because the kid selling it looks so cute sporting a gappy grin under his LA Kings Stanley Cup Champions hat that just screams “Winner!” (That shout-out’s for you, Uncle Jody).

People homeschool for different reasons.  We homeschool because 1. we believe in a Christ-centered education (whatever form that takes) 2. our boys believe they would truly wither away and die if someone made them sit at a desk all day and then top it off with homework.  In fact they are so convinced of this that when I asked them if they had lived during the time of the Industrial Revolution and had a choice between working in a dingy factory for very little pay or sitting in a classroom all day, they all took the cheap child factory labor option.  This tells me that just as much as they HATE the thought of sitting all day, they LOVE the thought of making a buck.  And isn’t this the basic motivation behind the traditional educational model?  You endure the torture of spending your entire child-hood and young-adult years sitting in class and doing homework when you’d rather just be playing with your toys in order that you can get into college, spend another 4+ years sitting in class and doing homework (and going into debt) in order to get a well-paying job so you can someday buy your own kids all those toys that you never had enough time playing with and they won’t either.

Education is really just a long, drawn-out route to making a buck.

That's Titus setting up his art display at a local gallery which earned him over $100.

That’s Titus setting up his art display at a local gallery which earned him over $100.

So if they’ve figured out how by-pass the process, shouldn’t I just roll with it?

So far, without us ever giving them a dime of “allowance” they are half-way to their corporate goal of buying a truck.  This, they figure will bring them instant income, as a truck is the necessary component to any-number of business ventures.  Just having one puts you in immediate demand to haul stuff for people, or here in Hawaii, because there happen to be no laws against it, you can even haul the actual people.  They have earned this combined fortune by  recycling all the beer cans the tourists leave behind, selling original artwork, doing jobs for over-paying grandparents, losing an inordinate amount of teeth (sometimes I think they pull them out just for the quarter under their pillow), renting their toys to the neighbor kids (I did put a stop to that one as soon as I found out about it), squirreling away all the ice-cream money the aunties send, unloading shopping carts for older folks at the grocery store (they are NEVER allowed to ask for recompense for this service but often receive it none-the-less), picking up trash at camp, and finally their latest venture of selling junk they didn’t pay for themselves from a table on the side of the road.  Zero manufacturing costs.  Zero overhead.  Zero labor, insurance costs or taxes.  100% profit.  An amazing business model that  didn’t take them 12 years of school plus a Master’s degree to come up with.

That's Joel up there.  He asked me when he came down how much I thought people might pay him to trim their coconut trees.

That’s Joel up there. He asked me when he came down how much I thought people might pay him to trim their coconut trees.

While I’m wasting my money on curriculum, they’re out there making it.

See why I’m tempted?


10 thoughts on “Why I’m Tempted to Cancel School

  1. I so enjoyed reading this! I feel as if I got a real picture of your life with your boys. It’s precious! I love that you encourage them to embrace their roles as little men yet guide them and show them what they CAN’T do… no renting toys, no asking older ladies for money, etc! This made me smile! 🙂 I would probably stick with school though! Ha! 😉 I’m sure there’s more to it than a route to making a buck! 😉 Sounds like you’ve got some creative, hard-working, intelligent boys!


  2. This is Opa –
    “Creative, yes. Hard-working? Not so much.”

    Times obviously have changed. I remember having to work for any loose change that came my way. Going door to door offering to mow a lawn (push mowers in those days) or carry groceries from the car into the house in our South St. Louis German neighborhood. In the 3rd, 4th & 5th grades during the war (1940s), I was good at drawing airplanes (from Messerschmidts to Mustangs) and classmates would pay me 5 to 10 cents for pencil sketches of their favorite fighter or bomber — done while they watched and waited. But I never hustled naive people, Julie. My goodness!



    • Oh! So you’re the one leaving comments under my account! I forgot I was using your computer this summer to set some of this up! Thanks for the comment, Opa. And yes times have definitely changed. But I have a feeling if you had grown up in a resort instead of the ghetto you’d have done your share of hustling as well! 🙂


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