Any Massachusetts homeschooler can use a letter from their local school department as legal proof of homeschooling status. AHEM has available "membership" cards. While they are not legal proof of homeschooling status, homeschoolers have found that many retailers do accept such cards as evidence of homeschooling, allowing homeschoolers to be eligible for educator discounts at various retail stores, most notably book stores, arts and crafts stores, and educational supply stores. Anywhere that offers discounts to teachers is probably receptive to offering the same to homeschoolers. It can't hurt to ask!
If you would like an AHEM membership card, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to AHEM, PO Box 1307, Arlington, MA 02474. Indicate "membership card" on the envelope, and allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. People requesting cards will be added to the Friends of AHEM list, so include your email address as well if you have one, as that is our preferred form of communication.
Businesses and organizations
We list the following businesses and organizations as a service to Massachusetts homeschoolers, but being listed here does not imply an endorsement by AHEM. AHEM reserves the right to remove a listing at any time.
To apply for a Teacher Discount Card, please mail a copy of one of the following requirements:
• Teacher Union Card
• State Issued Teaching Certificate
• Home Schooler Affidavit or IHIP approval letter from School District or
• Home Schooling Certificate
• AHEM membership card (front and back)
Along with your Card or Certificate you must send in the name of the
school, address, phone number, and principal name. Also, we need the individual teacher's home phone number and address where the card should be mailed. Please mail your information to:
A. C. Moore
Attn: Teacher Discount Program
130 A.C. Moore Drive
Berlin, NJ. 08009
Apple is pleased to offer discounts to homeschoolers through the Apple Store for Education. Visit http://www.apple.com/education/how-to-buy/.
Barnes & Noble stores
Barnes & Noble stores recognize homeschoolers as educators, and will issue an educators' discount card to them with proper ID.
Barnes & Noble says: "At Enrollment and renewal homeschooling parents must provide photo ID and a letter with the following information: family name and address; name of homeschooling parent(s); grade level of each child being homeschooled." [From http://www.barnesandnoble.com/bn-at-school/faq.asp?PID=29904&cds2Pid=29282]
*Tip from a Friend: if you give your email address when you sign up, they will flood your inbox with ads.
The Container Store
Homeschoolers are able to receive the Organized Teacher Discount. Any form of ID is sufficient -- they just need something to substantiate that you are a current homeschooler [an AHEM membership card should work]. You can sign up for the program here: http://www.containerstore.com/teachers/index.htm. For the school address, you would list your home address.
Got Books Superstores
Any teacher can get 20% off of his or her entire purchase at our Used Book Superstores in Burlington and Danvers every Wednesday from 10:00 am - 8:00 pm. All that we need is some form of proof that you are a currently employed paid teacher (a school pay stub, MTA card, or something else) or an officially approved home schooling instructor (letter of intent or approval from Superintendent, etc.) http://www.gotbooks.com/Superstore.php
Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts
Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts does extend discounts to homeschoolers. Stores issue cards directly or register online. Verification of teaching that may be required by your state or a card from a recognized organization such as AHEM, is sufficient to receive a card. Please provide this information to a member of the management team at store level.
The Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St., S. Hadley, MA
20% off all regularly priced books* purchased for classroom or educational use.
Homeschool teachers are eligible for the Teachers Rewards Program. To enroll, go to http://www.staplesrewardscenter.com/SORC/UserManagement/Benefits/benefits_base_teacher.aspx Iindicate on the enrollment form that you are a teacher.
The American Textile History Museum
Educators, including homeschool parents, always receive year-round complimentary Museum admission at ATHM. They just need to present some sort of identification as a home school parent. An AHEM membership card will work.
Boston Children's Museum
Children's Museum will recognize a homeschooling parent as an educator, who therefore has the following benefits:
Free Resources and Other Benefits for Teachers
• Free admission to the Museum at all times
• 10% discount at the Recycle Shop
• 10% discount at the Museum shop with your educator I.D.
Simply identify yourself as a homeschooler at the admissions desk.
The Butterfly Place
If you homeschool your family, visit Monday thru Friday between 1:00 and 3:00 pm and pay only $6.00 per person. Regularly $12.00 for adults and $8.00 for children 3-12 years. You do not have to come as a group to receive this discount.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Artful Adventures offers a specially designed home school program for children ages 3 and older that meets on Friday afternoons, September through June, from 1:30-3 pm. Children are divided into 4 groups by age (3-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-11 years, and 12-15 years). Each visit lasts an hour and a half and combines gallery exploration with an art-making activity.
Museum of Science, Boston
A student group of nine or more can go on a field trip to the Museum at these rates if you follow the guidelines below. For complete field trip guidelines, see http://www.mos.org/educators/field_trip_resources/field_trip_planner/field_trip_reservations.
Reservations by PHONE only. Call Science Central. Reserve at least 24 hours in advance: Exhibit Halls and Omni films. Reserve at least two weeks in advance: Field Trip Programs that require a reservation. School field trips and programs are NOT offered during Massachusetts holidays and school vacation periods.
Open daily, 9 am-5 pm.
Teachers Free [one parent per homeschooling family counts as a teacher]
All field trips must include Exhibit Halls admission, unless otherwise noted. Additional programs (Planetarium, Omnis, Special Exhibits etc.) cost extra. Seehttp://www.mos.org/educators/field_trip_resources/field_trip_planner/field_trip_reservations for current rates.
Multiple visits: If you return with the same students, you receive 50% off Exhibit Halls admission. When making reservations, inform Science Central that you will be visiting more than once with your students.
Chaperones and teachers may park cars in the Museum garage for flat fee of $3. Flat fee applies during field trip participation only; it may not be applied when visiting the Museum for other purposes.
Field trip participants may either purchase lunches in the Museum food court (Galaxy Cafés) or bring bag lunches.
Effective November 1, 2007: The Museum of Science will no longer accept reservations for student groups of less than 9 in number over the phone. Groups of less than 9 will be required to purchase tickets at the box office at the standard admission rates. It is our hope that home school groups will collaborate to form groups of 9 or more and make group reservations over the phone together. In this way they will be able to access our discounted student admission rates as they have in the past.
Old Sturbridge Village
Homeschoolers and their families are offered the Education Department discount during the School year.Homeschool students and accompanying adults are $7 per person, including adults and youths (those under age 3 are admitted free). You just need to identify yourself as a homeschooling family to secure the rate. There are specific days during the week and throughout the year that we offer this discounted opportunity to visit. These days are typically M-F, September through June (closed on Mondays in the winter). This discount is not offered during school vacation weeks and some holidays. We offer one Saturday a month which is typically the third Saturday. Click here to see the "Home School Calendar" and you can call 508-347-0285 before your visit to confirm the day you are planning to go is one that the discount is offered.
Plimoth Plantation offers discounted admission for homeschool groups of 15 or more.
From the website: " A minimum of one adult is required for every 10 students/children. Teachers and medical personnel are counted first as chaperones and are admitted FREE with presentation of school identification. Chaperones are admitted at the group student/child rate within the chaperone requirement. Chaperones above this ratio are admitted at the school group admission price."
For teachers [homeschool parents] to receive free admission within the chaperone requirement on school field trips, they must present a formal ID from a teacher organization or a letter from the school district.
[11/16/11: Plimoth Plantation is currently reviewing their policy regarding ID requirements for homeschool parents and will notify AHEM "if and what elements will change."]
From http://www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes/reduced_fare_programs/: "Students ride the T for 50% off the price of standard T fares and are eligible for a $20/month Student T-Pass good for unlimited travel on Bus, Subway, Express Bus, and Commuter Rail Zones 1A, 1 and 2 until 11 p.m.* on school days.
Discounted rides or passes require a Student CharlieCard or CharlieTicket..."
The MBTA issues student fare media to homeschoolers for use on the MBTA system. In August, they will be issuing magnetic plastic CharlieCards for the 2011-2012 Academic School Year.
Please complete the order request form with your best estimates for the session. Simply self-certify that you are a homeschooler - no further ID is required.
Up to two children 11 and under ride for free when accompanied by a paying adult. No ID required.
Homeschool parents who wish to make additional requests or seek general information about MBTA student services should contact Will Kingkade in the Automated Fare Collection (AFC) Department at (617) 222-4545.
*Time changed from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. as of September 1, 2009.
Do you know of other educator discounts that homeschoolers are eligible for? Let us know! Send AHEM more listings of Massachusetts stores and museums that offer discounts to homeschoolers.