HSLDA Discount Code

Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators is now a Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) discount group. Families joining HSLDA or renewing their membership can use our code to save $20 off the annual membership price. Home educators from the Northern Gulf Coast region who don’t have a covering are welcome to use our code. Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators – 210734

HSLDA Discount Code.jpg

Ben White: Unsplash

What benefits can you expect from HSLDA membership? Here are just a few…

  • Knowledgeable legal help and protection in a crisis; attorney on call 24/7
  • Up-to-date information on homeschool issues and legislation in your state
  • Veteran homeschool parents happy to give advice about all aspects of homeschooling, including teaching special needs children
  • Magazines, Newsletters, e-lerts, and Webinars
  • Shopping discounts
  • ID cards for students and teachers/parents

The choice to join a group for the purpose of homeschool legal support is a personal one. Some coverings specifically require HSLDA membership. Others do not. Families homeschooling without a covering, and those whose covering makes no specific requirement, must decide for themselves what they think is best.

NGCHE volunteers have made use of their HSLDA memberships over the years. We have received official legal advice on topics such as the scope of a covering’s authority over its members (Alabama), and the legality of homeschooling children who are not your own. We have referred to HSLDA’s website and newsletters on many occasions for guidance on matters such as interactions with social workers and navigating daytime curfew laws.

We at NGCHE highly recommend membership in HSLDA as a wise investment that protects not only your own family, but homeschoolers across the country.

Readers with questions or who need further information are encouraged to email us at NorthernGulfCoastHomeEducators@outlook.com.

© 2017 – Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators

AMF Pinsiders Loyalty Club

bowling-237905_1920Homeschool families need a break every now and then. Bowling is a popular pastime, and many frugal families take advantage of their favorite alley’s coupons and discounts. If you bowl at an AMF lanes location, check out their newest promotion — AMF Pinsiders Loyalty Club.

Just for signing up with Pinsiders, bowlers will receive exclusive invites, coupons, and promotions, including $20 off your next visit ($5 off per person, up to 4 people). That might come in handy for those joining us for our October Graduation Meeting at Skyline Lanes on October 19th! Visit the AMF website for full details and enjoy a discount on bowling regardless of where you live.

The “Fine Print”: You must select a specific bowling alley as your preferred location when joining Pinsiders. Your coupons and offers will be redeemable for that specified location only. See the AMF website for complete info.

More “Fine Print”: NGCHE is not compensated in any way for sharing this information. We do so because we love our readers!

© Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators – 2017

What Homeschoolers Should Know Before Using PayPal

Using PayPal
If you do business online today, odds are you’re at least somewhat familiar with PayPal. Homeschool parents take advantage of its convenience to pay for field trips, classes, and fees from the comfort of home or via mobile app. No need to chase down event coordinators or drop checks in the mail.

Homeschoolers who use PayPal may have seen conflicting instructions on how to properly tag their transactions. One person or group may instruct you to tag your field trip money as being sent to “Family and Friends” while another may require you to choose payment for “Goods and Services.” Knowing what to do requires understanding some of the details regarding Sellers and transactions. We contacted PayPal for official clarification. Gwen from the Fraud Department was happy to help us out.

A Seller can seek to profit off transactions or keep none of the funds that change hands. If the Seller charges the Buyer a fee or provides a good or service for which he keeps all or part of the money, he owes PayPal something for the transaction. In that case PayPal intends for the transaction to be marked as payment for “Goods and Services.”

If the Seller simply collects money in order to make a group payment to another party and is not keeping any of that money for himself, no fees are owed to PayPal. In that case, the Seller may direct Buyers to tag their transactions as money sent to “Family and Friends” and thus avoid incurring fees. The difference is whether or not the Seller profits from the transaction.

“But, what a minute,” you say. “I know so-and-so’s group is all volunteer and keeps none of the money they collect. Yet they are required to use a commercial account and pay fees to PayPal.” That is accurate, too.

Volunteer groups who take in regular, substantial amounts of money may be required to use commercial accounts. An example might be a statewide group that arranges multiple field trips or expensive events. Even though they may be all volunteer and charge no fees, their activities and transactions likely involve substantial amounts of money. It would be unwise for Buyers to mark those transactions as anything other than for “Goods or Services.” To mark as “Family and Friends” leaves the Buyer with no protection whatsoever in the event of a problem. That is not a situation that PayPal endorses.

Gwen assured me that PayPal keeps their Buyers’ best interests in mind by using algorithms to monitor for unusual activity in personal accounts. Some of the situations they look for include an excessive number of transactions received by a Seller from “Family and Friends.” Unusually repetitive transactions may also call for a closer look. In those cases PayPal may investigate a Seller’s account to ensure that Buyers’ best interests are protected. PayPal may contact the Seller and require him to convert his account from “personal” to “business” to better safeguard Buyers’ activities.

Sellers with commercial accounts must pay fees on all their transactions. On the other hand, when it comes to personal accounts, PayPal leaves it up to the Seller to instruct Buyers on how to tag their transactions. If no profit is made from the transaction, the Seller may correctly instruct Buyers to tag as “Family and Friends” with no fear of wrongdoing.

But… Buyer Beware. If you as the Buyer tag a transaction as “Family and Friends,” there is no protection whatsoever in case of a dispute. You have no recourse if the money is misappropriated or lost. You cannot file a claim with PayPal for fraud protection on money sent to “Family and Friends.”

The good news is that most of us use PayPal for small amounts paid to non-profit organizations or community volunteers not pocketing any of the funds. In that case, PayPal does not intend to charge fees. It is acceptable to mark those transactions as “Family and Friends” as long as the Buyer is comfortable foregoing fraud protection. In that case, most of us have no problem using “Family and Friends” to save ourselves a little money — especially with small transactions like $5 here for admission to a museum, or $7 there for a theater ticket.

If you the Buyer want that extra protection, you may mark any transaction as payment for “Goods or Services” even if it goes into a personal account and even if no money is made by the Seller off the transaction. This is recommended by PayPal for transactions the Buyer deems substantial. However, the Buyer should expect to add those fees on to his payment to the Seller.

PayPal currently keeps 2.9% of “Goods and Services” transactions plus a 30-cent fee per transaction. You as the Buyer will most certainly be expected to pay that amount over and above the original cost. Most Sellers cannot and do not cover those fees but must pass them on to Buyers. It is up to each individual Buyer to decide whether the extra to cover the fee is unnecessary given the situation or money well spent.

©2017 – Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators