Many stores that offer discounts to teachers will offer discounts to homeschoolers as well. TO obtain your discount, you will need an ID card. You can make your and your child’s identification cards. The first time I ever made our cards, I measured the dimensions on a business card in my wallet to make sure it would fit correctly. Then I used a word processing program to design the cards. I added the information I wanted the cards to have such as our names, our homeschool name, and the current year. A to Z Home’s Cool has more information about choosing your homeschool name.
Over the years I have used programs such as Word Perfect, Excel, Word, Microsoft Picture It (it’s a photo editing and design program), and a few others. It is easier every year if you use the same program because you only need to edit the year and add a new photo if you choose to put a photo on the id cards.
Here’s an example scenario using me as the main character. For Michigan, I only need to show an id card to get a discount card. My daughter and I go into Jo-Ann Fabrics to get my discount card. Typically we go during the day, aka “normal school time”. First stop is the customer service desk. I ask for my discount card. The store asks me for my teacher’s certificate. I state that we are homeschoolers and I do not have a certificate. The store needs to somehow verify that we homeschool I do not, nor have ever, brought my curriculum to show a store employee. I show them our id card. The beauty of going during “normal school time” is that the store can see that my child is with me. I have shown cards form other stores as, for lack of better words, a backup source of verification. If you blog, have your own website, or run your local homeschool co-op group, make a business card for that as well. There have been a couple of years where I either did not update our cards or forgot them at home, so showing them my website on my smart phone has sufficed. Specific to Jo-Ann Fabrics, I have shown them their information on my website due to as seems as every couple of years an employee will disagree with me about getting a discount. You do not need to join any business or consumer group to receive your card in-store. Employees have said that and I set them straight. I have also made others in my local homeschool group know the discount is available. I have even offered other homeschool parents who had been given a hassle at Jo-Ann’s to go in with them to speak with the employees. Why it has at times been a hassle with Jo-Anns, I don’t know. It possible could be that some of the employees are just uneducated on the discount procedure.
Once you have your first new discount card form a store, obtaining the rest are much easier. You can show the next store the previous stores discount card along with your homeschool id card. Some stores you do not have to renew every year. For discount cards with card numbers that are scanable, you can enter the information into an app so you don’t have to drag your discount cards all over. Example is Staples. With CardStar, you can also type in the card number if it won’t scan in. If the discount card does not have a number, you cannot use the app and will have to show the card at checkout time to receive your discount.