Monday, September 22, 2014

The Benefits of a Homeschool ID Card for Parents and Students

Are you a homeschooler? Yes? Do you have a Teacher's Card?

If you answered "yes" again, then way to go!

But if you answered "no" then let me convince you to print your own - tonight.

If you are a homeschooling parent, then you are an educator, and as such, you should have some form of documentation that identifies you as one for several reasons:

  1. You may be entitled to special discounts for entrance to - or classes at - certain museums and other field trip locations. 
  2. You can also enjoy additional discounts at may of your local stores.
  3. If you are ever questioned by a law enforcement officer as to why your child is not in school, you can prove that you are a homeschooling family. (This is really not likely, but it depends on your state and how serious officers are about such a policy.)
There are so many stores at which you probably shop where you could be saving money. Gift Card Granny (don't laugh!) has done an amazing job of compiling a Complete List of 80 Teacher Discounts. The ones that I frequent the most are Michaels and JoAnn's (we go through a LOT of art supplies around here). I absolutely love that in addition to using my store coupons, I can also whip out my teacher's ID card and get an additional 15% off my purchases. 

How to Get Your Own Homeschool ID Card

It is so easy. 

Some states will mail you a card when you register your homeschool (or you can ask them for one). But if they don't, then you can use one of several places online or create your own using Picmonkey.

My favorite way to create an ID card is through Homeschool Buyers Co-Op. You have to be a member to access their ID card maker, but membership is free (and confidential!) and if you are a homeschooler, you'll want to be a member anyway since the site offers incredible discounts on curricula and other resources that you can't get as an individual homeschooler. 

Once you become a member, you can access their ID card editor and upload a photo of yourself then edit the text on your card. You can also customize the colors and layout to some degree. Then you can either print the final design on your own computer for free, or you can order a sturdier, plastic (PVC) card for $7.95 and have it mailed to your home. You can create and order a student ID card as well.

I went ahead and printed my own card on some heavy photo paper, then laminated it using Scotch Self-Sealing Laminating Pouches (affiliate link). Overall, it took me about 10 minutes. I think it turned out very well and it's easy to just whip it out whenever I walk up to the register at Michaels. (You get a special card at JoAnn's after showing them your teacher's ID.)

So if you are a homeschooling mami or papá, this is one free resource of which you should definitely take advantage!

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