By Ann Zeise
One project for new homeschooling families is to create some useful stationery templates and forms to use to get deeply discounted materials for educators.
Using your computer and printer, you have all you need to create an “Identity Program,” as it is known in marketing, for your homeschool.
I have a template here for “calling” cards, letterhead, and a brochure, which you may edit to include your homeschool’s name, address, and principal contacts.
Nationally offered discount cards or Homeschoolers ID cards are duplicitous and/or unnecessary.
Coordinated set of papers for cards, letterhead and brochures are available online at stationers. The paper sets come with templates for laying out your page.
Logo for Your Homeschool
The most precious logo, of course, would be designed by your children. Even if you don’t have a color printer, you can create a nice one in a “draw” or “paint” program. Here’s a link for homeschool t-shirts, many have wonderful ideas for graphic themes.
Your Calling Card/Photo ID
Your calling card should look similar to this one and have the following information on it. A typical card is 3.5″ x 2″ in size. This is what mine looks like:
Independent Study Program
Mom Zeise is a tutor this school year.
I keep this card in my wallet to show at stores that offer discounts. My husband has one that is similar with him as the tutor and me as the principal. The cards have let us ask for and get educators’ discounts at book stores, computer stores, and craft goods. One sporting goods store gave us last sale price on some sports equipment. I haven’t yet tried a music store, but if you are a good customer at any type of store, it wouldn’t hurt to ask.
If you live in or near a city with a daytime curfew, add a statement on the back which states something to the effect that “(name of child) has permission to be off school premises during school hours.”
To use as a calling card, leave out the signature line. The card can be given out to other homeschool families you meet and want to be able to contact again, or to people curious about homeschooling and need you as a resource. Consider adding your email, fax or web site address to the card, too.
Independent Study Program
Child’s Name is a student this school year.
Our son has one with a photo we’ve laminated on, so he’ll have a picture ID. He has only needed the ID to get videos at a local rental shop, but it gives him some ID in case we’re in San Jose, which has a daytime curfew.
“Our daughter was using hers as a photo school ID to get her adult library card today, and while they had no problem with accepting it (they know us very well), because it didn’t have an ID number, she had to provide her SS card too. I never thought about putting an ID number on it, but birthdates might work well.” ~ Raisya
I recommend asking a public schooled friend to see their ID. Whatever information is provided there is what your community expects. While you do not want your student’s ID to look like a forgery, just be sure it provides the same sort of information as the friend’s student body ID. I do NOT suggest that you use your child’s Social Security number! Should the card fall in the wrong hands, their identity could be stolen. Use numbers that are public knowledge anyway – like a phone number all written as one long number.
To create business-like letterhead stationery, place your information at the top of a page, without your own name, something like this:
A2Z Home’s Cool Independent Study Program
.:. Street Address .:. City, State, Zip .:. Area Code & Phone .:. Fax number .:.
You can use your letterhead stationery to inquire about free sample text books from publishers, or to apply for an educators’ account at your local computer store, or any other similar offer that requires you to inquire on “school letterhead.”
One homeschooling mom in my park day group made a brochure because she just got so sick and tired of answering the same questions over and over again about why they were homeschooling, what did they do all day, what about socialization, yada yada… If you find yourself frequently in situations where friends and acquaintances are asking you about homeschooling, this may be a solution, especially if you are a bit shy. If you give the authors credit, and don’t use the brochures for profit, borrow some of the explanations for homeschooling found in the Help links or the reasons you’ve abandoned the school system from the School Issues links.
For a typical tri-fold brochure, create in “landscape” direction (sideways). Create 3 columns. The edge margins should be set at a minimum of 1/4″ and the middle two 5/8″ (1/4″ for each column, and an extra 1/8″ that will be lost in the fold.)
A to Z
Clip art from Web Explosion 20,000, Nova Development Corp.