We lived in a log home in the woods for most of our homeschooling years.

Yet we had a great big lawn because we grew up in suburbia. With a big lawn came lots of dandelions in the spring.
This usually meant a lot of work for my wife Kathleen and me. We picked a ton of weeds to make things look nice for ourselves and our guests.

In 2002 my sister and her husband were visiting for a few days. We were standing outside waiting for them to arrive from the airport. I looked out over an ocean of dandelions…

…and suddenly had a life changing flash of brilliance.

“I’ll pay you two cents a weed!”

My enterprising daughters went to work. They picked  weeds while waiting for their aunt and uncle to arrive. They kept picking weeds during the visit. And kept picking dandelions after they left.

They made a big game of it. “Let’s see who can pick a thousand dandelions first. Ready, go!” There was a blur of activity as they frantically ran around picking dandelions.

After two weeks it was time to end this teachable moment and pay up.

I happily paid them $600 for picking 30,000 dandelions.

They were amazed they could earn so much money and have fun at it. They learned the advantages of being paid for productivity rather than by the hour.

And I avoided picking (or mowing over) all those weeds.

What did the girls do with their newfound wealth? They bought their first acoustic electric bass and a mandolin. They already had a guitar and it’s easy to convert a violin into a fiddle. Put it all together and….

The Emmons Sisters bluegrass band was formed. They were ready to roll.

You can find their CDs for sale on iTunes.

Without homeschooling none of this would have been possible. Except the weeds.

Always learning,

Richard Emmons

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