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YMCA Camp Cosby

YMCA Camp Cosby provides year round Outdoor Education programs and traditional summer camp programs.

American Heritage Girls

American Heritage Girls is a Christ-centered scouting program for girls in kindergarten through 12th grade. The AHG program seeks to develop the whole child – physically, mentally, and spiritually. Girls earn badges doing age-appropriate activities in diverse areas of interest such as Outdoor Skills, Family Living, and Science and Technology. Additional activities include camping, community service, patriotic salutes, and father-daughter events. AHG also stresses the importance of service to the community through several projects including participating in the annual National Day of Service.

30+ Stores that Offer Discounts to Homeschoolers!

Our homeschool year is almost over, and many of us are shopping for next school year. And I don’t know about you, but my pocket book is a little empty :) That is why I am super excited to share with you some AWESOME discounts available for homeschoolers.

You probably know that many stores offer discounts for school teachers. But, did you know that in some cases homeschoolers can also get a discount?

There are many stores that offer discounts for school teachers. But, did you know there are stores and businesses that offer discounts to homeschoolers!

Here are stores and businesses that offer discounts to homeschoolers!

  1. Adobe.com
  2. Academicssuperstore.com
  3. A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts
  4. Ann Taylor Loft
  5. Apple Store
  6. Barnes and Noble
  7. Big Lots
  8. The Book Barn
  9. Books a Million
  10. Colonial Williamsburg
  11. Creation Museum
  12. Dell
  13. Goodwill
  14. Half Price Books
  15. J.Crew
  16. Joann Fabrics
  17. Legoland
  18. Michaels
  19. New York and Co.
  20. Office Depot
  21. Office Max
  22. Ripley’s Attractions in Gatlinburg, TN
  23. Aerosoles
  24. Banana Republic
  25. Pizza Hut Book IT Program for Homeschoolers
  26. Great Wolf Lodge
  27. Scholastic Book Fairs Educator Discount

  28. Pat Catan’s
  29. The Container Store
  30. Staples
  31. Blick Art

Also, check with any zoo, museum, or aquarium that you plan on visiting before purchasing tickets. Many (including all of the Ripley’s establishments) offer a discount for homeschoolers.

A few things to consider when attempting to use the discounts to homeschoolers is proof of homeschooling. Some businesses require proof that you are an educator. This proof can be shown in a variety of ways including a membership card to HSLDA or another similar organization. A letter verifying that you are homeschooling from your state or local department of education (some states give these, some don’t it is dependent on your state’s laws), a membership card from a local homeschool group or state organization. It is recommended that you call ahead or check out the businesses website to see what they require proof wise for educators.

Resources:

HSLDA

The Frugal Girls

Homeschooling on a Shoestring

Is Public School Cheaper than Homeschooling?

I remember the first time I met a homeschool family. I thought they were nuts. This was for a variety of reasons, but one of them being the fact that they would PAY to homeschool their kids. I wondered why people would pay to educate their kids when they could send them to the nearby public school for FREE. It made no sense.

Fast forward a few years, and my oldest was in public school preschool. I realized early on that public school was FAR from free. In fact, I doubt that public school is cheaper than homeschooling.  Let’s take a look at some of what I had to spend when my daughter attended public school.

Is public school cheaper than homeschooling? Let's break down the expenses of homeschooling vs. the cost of public school.

School Fundraisers

Nothing irks me more than a school fundraiser. I honestly think they should be banned. Schools are given budgets. Just like we are. A child should not have to sell overpriced merchandise so they can go on a field trip, have a new playground, or some other random “experience”.

School fundraisers cost parents AND kids. If parents don’t sell the items their kids are left out. If they do then they know they are selling items that cost twice as much as they would in the store. Oftentimes schools offer a buyout option for the parents. This ranges from $25-100 in the cases I know of.  Parents with multiple children would have to pay that amount by the umber of children they have.

Homeschooling: NONE

Savings: $25 minimum per child (even if I didn’t do they buyout I’d purchase something from each child) $75 a year

Snacks and Other Donations

Every single week that my child was in public school she came home with a list of items that the school desperately needed. This list included snacks, juice boxes, hand sanitizing wipes, cleaning solutions, paper towels, napkins and other miscellaneous items. It was a normal occurrence to spend $50 a month donating supplies to the school. After all, no one wants to be the parent who doesn’t care right?

Homeschooling: Normal household budget

Savings $50 a month or $450 a year

Keeping Up with the Jones’

Back to School shopping. It is a time of year that public school parents dread. The one year my daughter attended public school I shelled out a couple hundred dollars easy just buying clothes to make her “acceptable” for the Jones’. That isn’t counting the new things she “had” to have because her friends had them.

Homeschooling: A few new items per child each year as they need them. They still fit in just fine with our homeschool group :)

Savings: I would estimate $600 a year based on the price of an extra $200 a year per child at back to school season.

Gas Money

My daughter attending public school was a HUGE hit on my gas budget. Yes, she could’ve ridden the bus, but that required her leaving 30 minutes earlier and getting home an hour later each day. So, I drove back and forth every day. This easily added another $100 a month to my gas budget. I am basing that on $5 a day at $5 days a week.

Homeschooling: No school transportation needed. However, we do probably spend around $25 a month driving to co-op and/or field trips.

Savings= $75 a month

School Supplies 

Most parents whose kids go to public school complain each year about the school supply lists. They get crazier and crazier each year. I have heard on average, that parents spend $50-100 per child JUST on must-have school supplies. This list includes many household items like tissues and baby wipes, as well as name brand school supplies, a certain type of backpack, binders and other items.

Homeschooling: I spend around $100 a year for all three kids. This includes notebooks, crayons, glue, and other items we need and lasts us all year.

Savings: $50-200 based on three kids and depending on what the school required.

Curriculum

Homeschooling does require you to purchase homeschool curriculum. However, many families still find ways to homeschool for free. The library offers many valuable resources. Also, many homeschool families are happy to sell their used curriculum or even give it away. Homeschooling CAN be affordable depending on what you want to spend.

However, this post is based on my experience on homeschooling vs. public school. I budget each year for $200 per child, so a total of $600. I have found that the bulk of that budget goes towards the oldest children because I normally only have to buy consumables for the younger ones. Many families spend more than that each year, and some spend less. Buying used, and reusing curriculum has helped us keep the price down.

So, is public school cheaper than homeschooling? 

 

 

 

 

Homeschooling Public School
School donations

 

0 $450
Gas

 

$225 $900
Clothes

 

0 $600
School supplies

 

$100 $200
School Fundraisers 0 $75
 Curriculum $600 0
 Total $925 $2225

Now, I am not including things on this list like field trips (because we still do those), school lunches (because we still have to feed our kids).  But, even if I did, I still believe that for most families homeschooling would come in at or below the cost of the FREE public school.

If the cost of homeschooling has kept you from giving it a shot, I encourage you to truly count the cost. Chances are, for most families, public school is NOT cheaper than homeschooling.  Don’t believe me? Check out these other posts on the same topic:


Misty Bailey planned on being a public school teacher, not a work at home, homeschool mom to three. But in 2009 God changed her plans!  She now LOVES helping and encouraging new homeschoolers, and sharing everyday tips and encouragement on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Bazooka Ball

NEW IN 2017!

Bazooka Ball is active sport that is fun & exciting! Bazooka Ball is great for team work. Children learn to work as a team, work within pairs, and help build self-esteem while having a blast! Children must be ages 7 and up and a signed waiver is required. Bazooka Ball has a nominal fee to participate and children play first-come, first-serve.

Bazooka Ball is located at the back of the Southeast Homeschool Expo. To access, children must be accompanied by adult with a complete registration to the Expo.

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