Benefits of Homeschool Co-ops

Benefits of homeschool co-ops with the Homeschool CPA, Carol Topp.Are you considering starting a homeschool co-op? What are the advantages of belonging to a co-op? They are many as Carol Topp, the Homeschool CPA, points out in this podcast. If you’re already leading a homeschool co-op listen in to see if you are offering these advantages to your co-op members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURED PRODUCT from HomeschoolCPA:

 

 

Homeschool Co-ops:
How to Start Them, Run Them and not Burn Out

 

Have you ever thought about starting a homeschool co-op? Are you afraid it will be too much work? Do you think you’ll have to do it all by yourself? Starting a homeschool co-op can be easy! This book Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out will give you ideas, inspiration, tips, wisdom and the tools you need to start a homeschool co-op, run it and not burn out!

Click Here to request more information!

 

Is a Homeschool Co-op a Good Option for Your Family?

Are homeschool co-ops a good fit for your family? |

 

There are so many advantages to belonging to a homeschool co-op such as socialization, learning from others, group interaction, and support, but perhaps you are asking, “Is it a good option for my family?” and “Am I ready for the commitment?”

Socialization

The most apparent benefit of a homeschool co-op is socialization. Most co-ops meet once or twice a week, giving students a “taste” of group learning without being overwhelming. They are a great place to make friends.

Learning from Another Adult

The other parents who volunteer as teachers and helpers in a co-op serve as role models, mentors and teachers. I think it is very healthy for children to have adults they respect outside their own family. Children will learn from college professors and trainers in the workplace someday, so a homeschool co-op helps them learn from different types of people.

Group Interaction

Co-ops provide a wonderful opportunity for your student to engage in group discussions and other classes that work best in a group setting including performing plays, public speaking, gym games, and choir. These types of learning opportunities cannot be done as well in a home setting, but they work beautifully in a homeschool co-op.

Encouragement

One co-op director believes that if a co-op helps even one mother to continue homeschooling, then all the work has been worthwhile. Specifically, she tries to support parents of high school students, many of whom drop out of homeschooling because the subject material grows more difficult at the high school level.

Another homeschool co-op offers a room for mothers to eat, talk and share each other’s burdens. Mothers feel free to share their homeschooling struggles because this group understands them without condemnation.

Time commitment

But co-ops come at a cost and have challenges as well. A commitment to joining a co-op will involve your time on co-op day itself. Joining a co-op means that others are depending upon you to uphold your commitment to teach or help in a class. If you do not show up at co-op one week, someone else will need to fill the gap. If you skip too many times, you may even be asked to leave the group!

Money

In addition to a time commitment, co-ops require money. While most of the co-ops keep costs low, a co-op cannot run without charging some fees. Overall, co-oping provides tremendous benefits for the money, but some homeschoolers are financially strapped and find even a small fee difficult to manage.

There are homeschool organizations that hire teachers and do not require the parents to volunteer. The cost of these programs is significantly higher than an all-volunteer homeschool co-op. Realize that you will pay with time, money, or perhaps some of each.

Structure

Some co-ops have a very school-like structure or require agreement to rules and policies. If you are a free spirit or an unschooler, you may not feel comfortable with too much structure. Before joining, visit the co-op in action to get a sense of the surroundings and the rules. You may decide that the benefits outweigh the negative feelings of a structured environment, or you may conclude that you can live with a little structure once a week.

Belonging to a homeschool co-op can have some challenges, but can bring significant benefits. Most homeschool parents find that co-oping is worth the commitment and expense. Understand the expectations before you join in to get the best out of your experience.


Carol Topp, CPA author of Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out is a retired homeschool mother who participated in homeschool co-ops for over 10 years. She now uses her accounting skills to help homeschool organizations at her website www.HomeschoolCPA.com. Carol’s podcast for the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network is called Dollars and Sense.

Money Tips: Accounting software for homeschool groups

Money Tips: Accounting Software for Homeschool OrganizationsDoes your homeschool group use software to manage it’s finances? It’s something you should consider. Carol Topp, the HomeschoolCPA, discusses when you should use software and offers  her opinion on software that’s best for homeschool groups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURED PRODUCT from HomeschoolCPA:

 

Money Management in a Homeschool Organization

 

Does your homeschool group manage their money well? Do you have a budget and know where the money is spent? Do you know how to prevent fraud? This 115 page book will help you to open a checking account, establish a budget, prevent mistakes and fraud, use software to keep the books, prepare a financial statement and hire workers. Sample forms and examples of financial statements in clear English are provided.

Click Here to request more information!

 

Money Tips: Bank Reconciliation. Do it! 

Money Tips: Bank Reconciliation - Do It!Bank Reconciliation! Is your homeschool group reconciling your bank account every month? You should be!

Carol Topp, the HomeschoolCPA, explains why bank reconciliation is the most important task you should do to manage your group’s finances. But don’t let your treasurer balance the bank account! It should be someone else. Listen to the podcast to understand why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURED PRODUCT from HomeschoolCPA:

 

 

Money Management in a Homeschool Organization

Does your homeschool group manage their money well? Do you have a budget and know where the money is spent? Do you know how to prevent fraud? This 115 page book will help you to open a checking account, establish a budget, prevent mistakes and fraud, use software to keep the books, prepare a financial statement and hire workers. Sample forms and examples of financial statements in clear English are provided.

Click Here to request more information!

 

Prevent fraud: Separation of duties 

Prevent Fraud: Separation of DutiesWhat’s the best way to to prevent fraud or mistakes in the finances of your homeschool group? It’s called separation of duties and Carol Topp, the HomeschoolCPA explains why your treasurer should not be doing all the financial tasks in your homeschool organization.

In this 12 minute podcast episode Carol explains how you can separate and share the money management tasks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the podcast Carol mentioned a list of suggestions to prevent fraud.

Excerpt from Money Management in a Homeschool Organization on preventing fraud (opens as a pdf)

 

 

 

 

FEATURED PRODUCT from HomeschoolCPA:

 

 

Money Management in a Homeschool Organization

Does your homeschool group manage their money well? Do you have a budget and know where the money is spent? Do you know how to prevent fraud? This 115 page book will help you to open a checking account, establish a budget, prevent mistakes and fraud, use software to keep the books, prepare a financial statement and hire workers. Sample forms and examples of financial statements in clear English are provided.

Click Here to request more information!

 

Tax Form 1099-MISC to Independent Contractors

Tax Form 1099-MISC to Independent ContractorsIf your homeschool organization paid an Independent Contractor more than $600 in 2017, you need to give them a 1099-MISC form. Accountant Carol Topp, the Homeschool CPA, explains how to fill out the form, how to get the form and tips for filing it correctly.

She recommends using a filing service like Yearli.com. Email Carol@HomeschoolCPA.com for a discount code.
Visit Carol’s website here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURED PRODUCT from HomeschoolCPA:

 

 

Paying Workers in a Homeschool Organization

Are you paying workers in your homeschool organization? Can a volunteer be paid? Should a worker be treated as an employee or independent contractor? Do you know the difference?

Homeschool leader and CPA, Carol Topp, has the answers to your questions in her book Paying Workers in a Homeschool Organization.

This 130 page book covers paying workers as employees or independent contractors. There are alos chapters on paying volunteers and board members. It includes sample forms, tips and advice to help you pay workers in accordance with the IRS laws to help your organization pay their workers correctly. Written specifically for homeschool organizations.

Click Here to request more information!

 

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The Difference Between Nonprofit and Tax Exempt Status

The Difference Between Nonprofit and Tax Exempt Status Do you know the difference between nonprofit and tax exempt status?

The difference can be confusing, so HomeschoolCPA, Carol Topp, explains the difference in plain English and gives a real life example in today’s podcast episode.

 

Visit Carol’s website here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURED PRODUCT from HomeschoolCPA:

 

 

The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization

 

Does your homeschool group need to pay taxes?  Could they avoid paying taxes by being a 501c3 tax exempt organization? Do you know the pros and cons of 501c3 status? Do you know what 501c3 status could mean for your homeschool group?  I have the answers for you in my book The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization. The information in this book has been helpful to homeschool support groups, co-ops, music and sports groups and will help you to understand:

  • The benefits of 501c3 status
  • The disadvantages too!
  • What it takes to make the IRS happy
  • What your state requires
  • Why your organization should consider becoming a nonprofit corporation
  • What is the difference between nonprofit incorporation and tax exemption
  • IRS requirements after you are tax exempt

Click Here to request more information!

 

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What Does a Treasurer Do?

Carol Topp of HomeschoolCPA explains the tasks a treasurer does in your homeschool board and why her position needs lots of oversight. Do you think all a treasurer does is write checks? Their job involves a lot more that that! Carol Topp of HomeschoolCPA explains the tasks a treasurer does and why her position needs lots of oversight.

In the podcast Carol mentioned a list of Best Financial Practices. Find it here: http://HomeschoolCPA.com/Fraud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURED PRODUCT from HomeschoolCPA:

 

 

Money Management in a Homeschool Organization

Does your homeschool group manage their money well? Do you have a budget and know where the money is spent? Do you know how to prevent fraud? This 115 page book will help you to open a checking account, establish a budget, prevent mistakes and fraud, use software to keep the books, prepare a financial statement and hire workers. Sample forms and examples of financial statements in clear English are provided.

Click Here to request more information!

 


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit TheStarMovie.com to learn more.


Homeschool Board Duties

Did you know that board members have four main duties: the duty of care, loyalty, management and compliance? Carol Topp, the Homeschool CPA, explains what those duties look like in practice. She offers tips and advice to help your board do a better job with their responsibilities in running your homeschool organization.

 

Visit Carol’s website here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURED PRODUCT from HomeschoolCPA:

 

 

 

Phone Consultation with Carol Topp, CPA

Phone Consultation: A pre-arranged phone call to discuss your questions. My most popular service for homeschool leaders. It’s like having your own homeschool expert CPA on the phone!

Cost: $75/hour to nonprofit organizations.  $100/hour to for-profit businesses. $60 minimum.

Q &A by Email:  I am willing to answer questions by email, but it is very time consuming to read and reply to emails. I charge a reduced rate of $50/hour to read and reply to emails. Minimum $25.

Contact HomeschoolCPA, Carol Topp, CPA, to arrange a telephone consultation.

Click Here to request more information!

 

We changed leaders: Who do we notify?

We changed leaders in our homeschool group: Who do we notify?Carol Topp, the homeschool CPA explains what government agencies you need to notify when you change your address or change leaders. She explains the forms and organizations you need to notify.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURED PRODUCT from HomeschoolCPA:

 

 

 

Homeschool Organization Board Manual

This is a real life conversation:

HomeschoolCPA: Do you have a copy of your EIN letter form the IRS?
Homeschool Leader: No. It was gotten by a former treasurer 15 years ago. All I have is the number handwritten on a sheet of paper from the bank.
HomeschoolCPA: Do you have a copy of  your Articles of Incorporation filed in your state?
Homeschool Leader: No; I don’t think so.
HomeschoolCPA: Has your homeschool group ever applied for tax exempt status with the IRS?
Homeschool Leader: I have no idea! All I was given when I took over leadership was the checkbook. 🙁

This is a sad, but true reality. Sometimes current group leaders have none of the important paperwork for their organizations.

Homeschool board  members should keep all their organization’s important papers in a safe and accessible place. Usually, a 3-ring binder works well.

Author and homeschool advisor, Carol Topp, CPA, has created a Homeschool Organization Board Manual. It is a template to create a board member binder. It has:

  • A list of important documents to keep in your binder
  • Section dividers so you can organize the important papers
  • Tools to help you run your meetings smoothly including
  • A sample agenda that you can use over and over again
  • A calendar of board meetings

Click Here for more information!

 


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Raddish – a cooking club and curriculum, specially designed FOR KIDS by chefs and educators! Raddish is perfect for homeschooling families! Teach thematic cooking lessons that incorporate math, science, nutrition, geography, and culture. With Raddish, the kitchen is the tastiest place to learn! Use coupon code PODCAST at checkout for $15 off a 6 or 12 month membership. Visit RaddishKids.com/Homeschool to learn more and to download a free lesson.
Check out this info pack: Raddish One Page

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