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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Homeschool ID Cards - Posting this 4 Here

I had a few people ask me this question so I am turning it into a post. 

Since earlier this year the political leaders have begun putting pressure on companies selling educational materials, curriculum and more. So some companies are now being forced to require proof of schooling and proof of Homeschooling from homeschoolers all over. With this being said,

What should homeschoolers do? 

First, Please note that not all states require  you to notify them that you are homeschooling. However it is not a bad idea  in some cases to go ahead and notify them. I am not encouraging your decision by no means. We did even though we were not required to, but only because at that time when we checked we were told it was required and given papers showing it was in fact required. We then found out later that it was an error and we didnt have to. But... we recieved a state school identification number and certificate showing our school was an official homeschool and much support from the states HS leadership. {I want to note the state did not appoint HS leadership support. They gave us their information and encouraged us to get involved with the state hs administration to find support and get any help we would need.} The state was actually very supportive in giving out all the HS information they had from the HS Administration. Odd but none the less all was ok. 

The Id card can be good for a lot of reasons, more so now with the pressures being put on these companies selling HS material. (I will explain more below).

For some of these companies having proof to get your curric can be a pain. For one it can be a pain buying if you do not have a state Identification number. In some places the ID will be or is already  required to purchase, so in should there be a case to have ID, you will need to show letter or something from the state that you are allowed to purchase material. (Folks I tell you, In my opinion, this is just not politics. This is the goal to make it harder for homeschoolers to homeschool. This is rediculous none the less.)

Now not all companies are asking for ID up front or proof of homeschooling, YET! But a lot are. (NOTE: It varies by state).  Some online and some franchise stores in a lot of states require proof showing you are a homeducator in order to recieve any form of teaching discount. (again varies by state)  JoAnne Fabrics is one as well as Half Price books stores and some others. (at both JoAnnes and HP books we only had to do this one time by filling out a form they will keep on file to get our discount card).  That does not mean that you have to show anything from the state, It just means they want you to show some sort of proof that you are not the average joe trying to gain an extra discount on top of store price or sale. Again where a brief ID card is fine. So to better assist you in this case, You can make an ID yourself or you can download one from various sites like the site I attached.  [ http://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/ ] 

(Again I NOTE: This is not REQUIRED in ALL states. Please check your state to see what is required. Do not misread this post assuming that I am stating your required to do this! If you are not for sure about your states requirements, it is your duty to check your local State Guidelines and Legislation to find out if it is required. Other wise this is an option for you to consider. I note this as I have already had one who read in to this adding words and assuming an other wise wrong assumption!)  

What does my ID Card need on it? (Should you decide to do this)

Your ID card should have any of the following:  
  • Your State School ID  - [If you have one]
  • Your School Name  [ex. Jones Academy or Jones Homeschool Academy]
  • Your First & Last Name
  • Picture of your family  [Small picture for corner or bottom center and it is optional]
  • Year and Date you began homeschooling
  • school email [optional - although most places ask for it to send alerts on upcoming discounts]
This card in not required to be fancy and it not all of the information above is needed! Laminate your ID card and cut it out to wallet size then use it where ever you go that it is needed.  For those of you that do not have State Ids, If you have been asked to show proof by any company, I recommend trying any of the following first. 

First try typing up a similar card to the above. This time only have the following information:
  • Your Homeschool Academy Name
  • Your First & Last Name
  • Picture 
  • Year and Date  you began Homeschooling
  • school email
This would be my first recomendation. If they still need proof from the state then you will need to contact your state dept of education and explain to them politely what you need. Once you receive your note from the state and you have what you need I recommend the following:

  • Photocopy several copies of this note so you will not have to ask again.
  • File away one copy
  • If it is a partial page or smaller, cut it down and laminate it so you can keep it with you at all times.
  • If it is for an over the internet order you will have to either scan it on to your computer and contact that company sending that as an attachment or more then likely place the order through the mail.
  • Make sure they file this note on to your file so that you will not have to keep sending this to them.
Listen, honestly this is a pain and senseless but in some case I understand from a business view why businesses are starting to ask up front. It may be a one time thing and they may file it away, then again it may not be a one time thing. Who knows, it varies by state! Once you do the first time, It is my guess that you will not have to do this later on. Unless they make jurastic changes in some states. Again I note: This is optional and varies by states as well as businesses.  I honestly do not mind showing proof when I am asked but to have politicians try to force it I am totally against it. This is still a new push from politicians as I am told, Not all states or businesses are pushing this change in just yet.. Only some of these companies to my knowlede are doing this as precaution, (including a few over the internet). Personally, I have been asked at Joannes Fabric but I now have my card so little am I asked, sometimes at Michaels, at Half Price books one time to sign up and my card was issued and a few other Sm Franchise Educational Stores both local and internet based - again a few have asked but in my case mostly local.  Only a couple were big businesses that requried some form of ID but again locally. 

THIS IS  just a tip I am passing along to all homeschoolers should you come across this problem in the near future you will be somewhat ready ahead of time.

The other good thing about having the HS ID is that alot of schoolers are out and about on Field Trips and people have asked why the kids are not in school? I have heard other hs'rs say that they made the ID cards merely to show them they are homeschooled and after showing their cards those asking be it businesses or random people they see the card and become more supportive. So I see the other side to why some homeschoolers went ahead to do this.

Listen, please note this, I am going to be a bit abrupt and may be rude and I have that right to do so after the comment I recieved. But I dont say this honestly to be rude, frankly I dont care what the other has to say. When someone feels they need to do something and they have probable reason to do so, it is not up to me or anyone else to make any form of judgement on them or their decision. Which is why I made this post to help other HS'rs understand what this is all about. Some have already heard about this others have not. What ever the case is I really dont care, it is here to help you better decided what to do. I want to make it clear, that in most states this is not required. Notice I repeat this so many times, because one didnt understand I noted this already above. Lol! That is ok! Life, just please make sure you read and understand this before leaving any form of a rude or regular comment, please and thank you.
Some hs'rs may feel this ID card or this post would be a threat against what much of us HS'rs are fighting to achieve as well as what others in the past have already achieved. So to see other hs'rs making ID cards it may seem as though they are caving in to the Government rather taking a stand. What ever the case is, YOU DO WHAT YOU SEE IS BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!  No one is walking in your shoes and no one can make that decision for you!  I completely understand both sides, I am also prepared to stand my grounds to defend my schooling against the Government push fro control. So I am not by no means walking away from taking any stand with my HS friends all over. But I am going to note  to some of the HS'rs that may be upset none the less, To you I note: that not every person is strong willed like the other. Nor is every homeschooling situation the same as the others. Until you walk a mile in anothers shoes, keep your mouth shut and hold judgement for the one who makes all judgement. Harsh, Yes I know, I apologise but apparently that needed said. NO Homeschooling family needs any form of intimdation or others speaking for them let alone against them because of a fellow or other group of HS'rs.  These families are doing what they feel they need to do or is best for their family - be it in public field trips, recieving discount cards, buying curriculum or whatever else. So I encourage everyone first to take a breather and chill out and allow families to make their own decisions they see best. AGAIN I NOTE: Check your state laws and legislation.

Now after that whopper, I apologize it is not my attempt to be rude in this post as I was trying to make other HS'rs aware so they can be prepapred for later on what ever happens. I do have to say all of this sounds rediculous in so many ways! But... I again can understand why some companies may feel they need to do this or may consider beginning this. [Probably pressure or not just pressure but also those false claims made just to recieve discounts, companies may be losing profit. Dont you know that today we can not lose profits. Its all about the money and the gain who cares about the average joe anymore!]
However  for politicians to pressure all companies because of their political stance, hah! Thats a cheap shot and they are low lifes just wanting to gain more control to benefit who? Them maybe as well as put the money in their own pockets and take it from others. I dont agree with this and of course, we all know homeschooling is under an attack, obviously! Please! Please! Please! Remember that we are all in this same boat together. It only takes ONE person to ruin it for the rest of us. Please be wise in your decisions as well as firm on your believe. NO form of Government should have TOTAL control over the people peroid! If we give them total control then what was the Constitution for? What about the lives lost for the fight of freedom for this country, so be wise, pray about everything before jumping in to anything! 
  •  I encourage you also to be kind and in obedience with your state laws, this will benefit our Homeschooling in the long run. IF we choose to handle it hostile they will just come down harder each time and it ruins it for everyone trying to obey and stay with in the laws.

 As of right now I am just passing this along from a notice earlier this year that Currclick had posted on their site. I didnt think about it then because I didnt know more then and really up until recently when I heard others asking and talking about it. Everyone needs to be aware of what is going on. I recommend everyone following your states sessions when the house and congress are in as well as follow the HSLDA Alert updates. Thanks for reading and I hope again no one finds this information to be misunderstood or as a push to make the ID cards!

I hope you find this useful!

Blessings to all!

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