The annual Wild and Free Handmade Market took place at Knox Hall from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. yesterday. Homeschool teachers and students from the Weyburn area gathered to take part in this hands-on learning experience meant to help the children develop their skills as entrepreneurs. This included making their own products, marketing those products, and completing transactions with their customers. A wide variety of baked goods, toys, and other knick-knacks were presented by children ages 5 to 18. Maggie, one of the students presenting her wares at the Market, came prepared to take additional orders for her homemade bath bombs in anticipation of them being a hit.

"I'm feeling pretty excited, I just like selling stuff! I feel like my sister's ballet teacher will buy some of my bath bombs because I know she likes them. I'm hoping to sell all of them, and I brought a paper in case I sell out and people want to buy more. I should be able to deliver in 2 weeks once they're ready!"

Although consumable products like baking were widely available, seasonal decorations were also a prominent staple. Students tapped into their creative abilities to craft Christmas ornaments and household decor out of materials sourced from nature. Sam felt confident going into the sale, drawing from his previous 3 years of experience at the Wild and Free Market. He found his inspiration for making Christmas-themed decorations while experiencing the wilds of Northern British Columbia during a family camping trip over the Summer. 

"I thought about it and Halloween kind of sucks, so I thought why not make something about Christmas! We're selling stuff made from our trip up North camping in B.C., some pinecones made into Christmas trees and I made some snow globes as well. If I could make 40 bucks that would be nice!"

Also falling into the category of home decor, many forms of art could be found proudly displayed at the Market. Olive shared that she has been practicing photography for a few years but would be selling her work for the first time that day. She explained that her variety of prints depict natural scenery from across the province, and that she was thankful for the support of her aunt while taking on the project. 

"My photos come from all over Saskatchewan including a lovely place up North called Clarke Lake, and the Floral Conservatory in Regina. I actually have an aunt who is a photographer so I was glad I could consult her on things like what my costs should be and how I should be pricing my work. I'm expecting my one photo of these little red pinecones to sell quite nicely!"

The energy swelled at Knox Hall as the doors opened and patrons began their shopping sprees. Although students were aiming to make a profit at yesterday's Market, the lessons they learned were priceless regardless of their final earnings. The opportunity to express their personal interests while navigating the sales process encouraged creative problem solving and critical thinking to determine the success of each venture. First-hand, real-world lessons such as these are at the core of what Homeschool teachers strive to impart on their students, and are an important part of preparing for life in the adult world. Weyburn now eagerly awaits the annual return of the Wild and Free Handmade Market. 

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