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Educators' Discounts/Ongoing Programs

AHEM Membership Cards

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:

  • Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to AHEM, PO Box 1307, Arlington, MA 02474.
  • Indicate "membership card" on the envelope.
  • Include your email address (required).
  • Please consider including a donation for AHEM (or donate online). Suggested donation: $5/card.
  • Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.

People requesting cards will be added to the Friends of AHEM list, so include your email address or subscribe online before requesting a card.

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.

Retail

A.C. Moore

Every time you shop, present one of the following to receive your disocunt:
• Home School Affidavit or IHIP approval letter from School District or
your State Home Schooling Certificate
• AHEM membership card
http://www.acmoore.com/specialpromo?spid=36

Apple

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

To receive your free Barnes & Noble educator card, Pre-K - 12 educators (ONLY), must complete this application and present it to a Bookseller.

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.

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.
http://www.joann.com/teacherrewards/

Michaels

Michaels extends teacher discounts to homeschoolers. You may be required to provide a membership card from a co-op or home school organization, such as AHEM, as proof of homeschooling status.
http://www.michaels.com/teachers--create-for-your-classroom/article-teachers.html

Microsoft Education Store

Individuals eligible to purchase from the Microsoft Education Store include faculty, staff, students and parents as follows:

K-12 Faculty/Staff- Any employee of a public or private K-12 institution in the United States (including Puerto Rico) is eligible, including home-school teachers. 

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/edu?icid=en_US_Store_UH_BusEd_EDU

The Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St., S. Hadley, MA

20% off all regularly priced books* purchased for classroom or educational use.
http://odysseybks.com/school-teacher-discounts

Staples

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.

Used Book Superstores

In-Store Discounts
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, AHEM membership card, etc.) http://www.gotbooks.com/Superstore.php

Museums

Boston Children's Museum 

http://www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org/index.html
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 

http://www.butterflyplace-ma.com/
If you homeschool your family, visit Monday thru Friday between 1:00 and 3:00 pm and pay only $7.00 per person. Regularly $12.50 for adults and $8.50 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 most Friday mornings and afternoons, September through June. Each visit lasts an hour and a half and combines gallery exploration with an art-making activity.
http://www.mfa.org/programs/community-programs/home-school-programs

Special arrangements can be made for groups of 10 or more children that are unable to visit the MFA on Fridays. For more information please visit Artful Adventures.

Museum of Science, Boston

 http://www.mos.org/
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.
Making Reservations 
Reservations by PHONE only. Call Science Central.

  • Reserve early! Programs fill to capacity and there is a limit to daily school group admissions.
  • Reserve the following at least 24 hours in advance (subject to availability): Exhibit Halls, Butterfly Garden, Planetarium shows, IMAX films, 4-D Theater.
  • Reserve the following at least two weeks in advance: Drop-in activities, special programs, and special requests for IMAX films or live presentations.

School field trips and programs are NOT offered during Massachusetts holidays and school vacation periods.

Science Central 
Open daily, 9 am-5 pm.
617-723-2500 (voice)

Payment Rates
Exhibit Halls
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.

Parking 
Chaperones and teachers may park cars in the Museum garage for flat fee of $5. Flat fee applies during field trip participation only; it may not be applied when visiting the Museum for other purposes.

Lunch Options 
Field trip participants may either purchase lunches in the Museum food court (Galaxy Cafés) or bring bag lunches.

New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is offering discounted admission and special programming to homeschoolers Fall 2016. Each Monday offers discounted admission and there are specific programs that will be offered on the 3rd Monday of each month through the end of the year.More information is available at the following location: www.neaq.org/homeschool. No special ID is required.

Old Sturbridge Village 

http://www.osv.org/ 
Cost is $14 per child. Home school parents receive the discounted $14 admission rate at a ratio of one adult to one child between the ages of 5 and 17. Available most weekdays (September through June) and one Saturday a month. Download the 2015-16 Home School Calendar.

Plimoth Plantation

Groups of 15 or more who reserve in advance receive a group discount. Visit our Field Trip Page to learn more.

Plimoth Plantation hosts homeschool days throughout the year with discounted admission rates: http://www.plimoth.org/learn/programs-homeschools

http://www.plimoth.org/plan-your-visit/groups/field-trips/reservations
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.

Various Museums with Free Admission During Specific Hours:

MBTA

The MBTA issues student fare media to middle school and high school aged homeschoolers for use on the MBTA system. In August, they will be issuing student CharlieCards for the 2017-2018 Academic School Year.

Please complete the order request form.

*** New in 2017: A homeschool approval letter from your Superintendent’s office or town is required. An acceptable alternative to an approval letter would be a copy of a membership card from a recognized homeschoolers' organization. ***

Per the MBTA: "Any advocacy for homeschoolers, homeschoolers support groups, and/or homeschoolers organizations that we can verify will be considered a recognized homeschoolers organization." An AHEM membership card should work.

All homeschool monthly passes must be paid for in advance.

See details about MBTA reduced fares here: http://www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes/reduced_fare_programs

Summer 2018 M7 Order Form.

Children 11 Years Old and Younger

Children 11 years old and younger ride for free when accompanied by a paying adult. No ID required.


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.