Whilst discussing with a friend about how excited I was I would be able to take the children on lots of adventures, she asked if I had looked into reduced memberships or reduced entrance fees for home schooling families. I admitted I had not, and went off home to look….anything that saves money for a family of five (very often not fitting the “standard” family ticket of four) will be a bonus!! I was amazed at what was out there and how well home schooling families were acknowledged. When I first looked into home schooling our trio, a lot of what I read emphasised that people may well treat you like you have grown a second head, but so far support from family and friends has been positive, and now establishments recognising it exists, by reducing admission fees, is also supportive.
I first looked into the National Trust membership, as I find going to any National Trust place very expensive. I was very surprised to see that there was a specific home schooling membership rate that was very reasonable. I have sent off for the paperwork and await for it to arrive in the post to fill it in in order to become members. There are a lot of places I have already ear marked for taking the children on our adventures that are National Trust. Another collection of potential places to visit falls under the English Heritage. They offer free entry to most of their places for all educators, including home educators. They do ask that you book the visit in advance of going by 7 days, but some places do accommodate you on the same day of booking but it all depends on what is going on and how busy they are. It’s probably worth saying at this point that all these discounts are generally on school days in term time too (not really an unexpected condition of getting a reduction!).
I am also looking into a Home Education Card which I can put all five family members on for a year, costs £15 for the whole year, and gets us into a whole host of places across the country on some good discounted rates. I worked out one trip for the five of us to a local attraction, and the card would have paid for itself.
So I have been happily planning our new adventures with an extra eye on what is offered to home educating visitors, from discounts to guided tours.