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Making a Homeschool ID Card for Bargains and Deals
Homeschooling has never been easier or cheaper than it is now.
Homeschooling families can get educator discounts, get curriculum deals and free lessons on a variety of subjects.
Many stores may offer home education discounts if you ask. Here are some national stores that offer deals, plus other educator discounts available.
Make a Homeschool I.D. Card
In order to take advantage of homeschool discounts, most vendors and retailers will ask for a homeschool I.D. card.
Common wisdom says that this is usually as simple as creating your own. This card, combined with your ability to be with your kids in the middle of the day, is usually all the proof that you need.
There are places online where you can creat your own badge such as Big Huge Labs (http://bighugelabs.com/badge.php) or you can order a badge from an online company that makes them.
You can also make one at home using MS. Paint or something similar and then buy laminate at a craft store.
Once you have your homeschooling I.D., you are ready to find your bargains at your local, chain retailers.
Joann Fabrics Stores
Joann Fabrics is a craft store that offers a variety of supplies that may be useful to home educators.
There are art kits, fabrics, glues, papers and even some books and workbooks.
Joann Fabrics offers discounts to educators and this includes homeschoolers. In order to receive the discount you must fill out a form to receive an official card from Joann.
You can do this online or in the store. http://www.joann.com/teacherrewardsform/?icn=teacherrewards&ici=TeacherRewardsEnroll
Joann may ask for official proof (such as a letter from the county showing your enrollment in a homeschool program).
Percentage of discount varies based on items and dates. Joann usually runs a special, educator sale in early August with 25% off education and craft supplies.
Books A Million
Books A Million offers a discount of 20% to home educators.
To get the discount you will need to go to the store with your homeschool card and fill out an application at one of the registers.
Most Books A Million stores are happy to offer the discount to homeschooling families.
Supplies available include workbooks and curriculum plus other books. Some art supplies, kits and games are also available.
Barnes and Noble
Barnes and Noble also has a 20% discount available to homeschooling families. In order to receive the discount, a homeschooler must show I.D. and provide a letter to Barnes and Noble stating the family name and address, names and ages of the kids being homeschooled and grade levels.
Barnes and Noble also offers special promotions during the school year to educators.
Supplies include curriculum, puzzles and games, workbooks and other books.
Apple offers a 5% discount on its products plus periodic deals on computers, ipads, and iphones.
Discounts are available based on our school. You can contact Apple via their website to register your homeschool or have your homeschool co-op or group apply for the discount.
Your best bet is to have a representative go to the store in person to apply for the educator discount.
How much do you spend on curriculum each school year? (dollars)
There are also many curriculum deals available for homeschooling families.
- IXL Math
This is a great curriculum for math and it offers monthly subscription rates with discounts based on the number of students enrolled. But you also get a certain number of practice problems available for free. This is a great way to try out the program or to have a little, free practice for problem areas for your student. http://www.ixl.com/math/grades
This is a free reading program that teaches elementary age students how to read through games and interactive texts online. You only need access to a computer. The games engage the student while teaching the alphabet, phonics and reading. Lessons are leveled and are presented in increasing order of difficulty. http://www.starfall.com/
- Time 4 Learning
Time4Learning is a completely online curriculum for homeschooler through eighth grade. The company offers a free trial period and then an increasing discount based on the number of students you enroll. It is a great way to get the basics all in one place and it offers behind the scenes tracking for parents to gauge their student's pace and test scores. http://www.time4learning.com/
- Lesson Pathways
This website offers free lessons to supplement grade-level homeschool instruction. After registering you have access to grade-level lessons through fifth grade in subjects such as history, math, language, science and phonics. http://www.lessonpathways.com
- Local Curriculum Swaps
There are other ways to get reduced curriculum for your child. Look for local, homeschool curriculum swaps. You can sometimes find these organized through local homeschool groups or co-ops. Curriculum swaps can also be set up through social media sites like Facebook. Many offer books or sets of books for free or at a very reduced price. You can also post ISO (in search of) posts to let others know what you are looking for.
- Ebay and Craigslist
Another place to look for reduced price homeschool curriculum is on Ebay or Craigslist. You can search by type of curriculum (such as Charlotte Mason) or just search for general education materials by grade level.
Field Trip Discounts
Many times homeschoolers can take advantage of education discounts for field trips as well.
- Walt Disney World Weekday Pass and Homeschool Days
Theme parks such as Disney World offer special rates for homeschoolers, weekday passes (since homeschoolers would be free to travel then) and even have special days dedicated to homeschoolers. All of these are at reduced rates from regular park admission prices.
Many zoos offer educator discount rates for homeschoolers as well as classes specifically designed for a homeschooler. Each zoo is different so contact your local zoo for details.
- State and National Parks
Many state and national parks offer free admission. But for those that charge, there may be weekday discounts or educator discounts available. In addition, going during the week may allow you to take advantage of park ranger tours or spend extra time at historical sites.
- School Discounts for Homeschooling Groups
If you have a group of homeschoolers or a formal co-op, you can often ask museums and other popular school field trip destinations for discounts that are applicable to school groups.
As more people are turning to homeschool as the best choice for their families, businesses are extending their teacher/educator discounts to these homeschool families.
It never hurts to ask local business and curriculum stores what kinds of discounts they offer as well.
With a bit of paperwork and exploration, you can homeschool at a reduced price.