Starting a Homeschool Co-op with a Friend

Starting a Homeschool Co-op with a FriendIs it a good idea to start a homeschool co-op with a friend? Carol Topp, the author of  Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out explains the pitfalls to avoid when starting a co-op with a friend.

 

Visit Carol’s website here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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How to Self Declare Tax Exempt Status

How to Self Declare Tax Exempt StatusYour homeschool group can have tax exempt status without applying with the IRS. Want to know how? In this short podcast, Carol Topp, CPA, the HomeschoolCPA, tells you how to self declare tax exempt status and keep all of your surplus for your group, and not pay the IRS.

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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 I share in my book has been helpful to homeschool support groups, co-ops, music and sports groups and will help you 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

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Don’t take the summer off! What you need to be doing this summer to be ready for next year

Sometimes homeschool leaders take the summer off to have a break for running their homeschool programs. But Carol Topp, the HomeschoolCPA, doesn’t want you to completely forget about your homeschool group this summer. She offers a few tasks that you should do this summer to make the fall much easier!

Carol mentioned this list of topics for your board to discuss: http://homeschoolcpa.com/calendar-of-board-topics-for-homeschool-groups/

Visit Carol’s website here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

How Should We Handle Reimbursements in our Homeschool Group?

How Should We Handle Reimbursements in our Homeschool Group?

It’s that time of year when your homeschool group is trying to wrap up its finances for the year. In this podcast episode Carol  Topp, the Homeschool CPA, explains how to give reimbursements to your members properly, so they are not considered taxable income.

Visit Carol’s website here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURED PRODUCT from HomeschoolCPA:

 

Money Management for Homeschool Organizations

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!

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How can I thank my homeschool group’s volunteers?

How can I thank my Homeschool group's volunteers?How Can I Thank My Homeschool Group’s Volunteers?

It’s the end of your homeschool organization’s school year and you want to thank your volunteers. They work so hard, so you hand out generous gift cards as thank you gifts. You may have just created a tax liability for your volunteers! Carol Topp, CPA, the Homeschool CPA discusses ways to thank your volunteers that are tax-free.

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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Can My Homeschool Group Collect Money Now That’s For Next Year?

Can My Homeschool Group Collect Money Now That's For Next Year?Can My Homeschool Group Collect Money Now That’s For Next Year?

Many homeschool groups collect deposits in the spring for next fall’s programs. This helps with determining how many families will be returning. But how should these early deposits be recorded in a homeschool group’s bookkeeping. Carol Topp, the Homeschool CPA offers some ideas.

In the podcast Carol mentioned a handout that explains how to record early deposits in accounting software like QuickBooks. Here it is:

Deferred Revenue in QuickBooks (pdf)

Visit Carol’s website here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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Is There a Penalty for Misclassifying my Homeschool Group’s Workers?

Is There a Penalty for Misclassifying my Homeschool Group's Workers? Carol Topp, the Homeschool CPA has your answer to this question!Is There a Penalty for Misclassifying my Homeschool Group’s Workers?

The IRS imposes strict penalties on an employer who treats workers as Independent Contractors when they should be employees. These penalties have put businesses and nonprofits out of business. Carol Topp, the Homeschool CPA, discusses this topic and some programs the IRS has to avoid crippling penalties.

Visit Carol’s website here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURED PRODUCT from HomeschoolCPA:

 

 

Paying Workers in a Homeschool Organization

  • Is your homeschool teacher an employee or independent contractor?
  • Should your homeschool co-op director be paid as an employee?
  • How hard is it to set up a payroll system?
  • What happens if my homeschool group misclassifies a worker? Are their penalties?

Worker classification can be a confusing topic.

My book Paying Workers in a Homeschool Organization can help clear a lot of confusion, but perhaps you want to discuss your particular situation in a private, individual phone consultation.

I offer phone consultations to help you determine if your homeschool organization’s workers are employee or independent contractors. The phone call will be followed up with an email containing a fact-based determination and information to help you take the next steps.

Click Here to request more information!

 

Is My Homeschool Co-op Teacher an Employee or Independent Contractor?

Are my homeschool co-op teachers employees or independent contractors?Is My Homeschool Co-op Teacher an Employee or Independent Contractor?

Should your homeschool co-op teacher be an employee or an independent contractor? What’s the difference and how do you make the decision?  Carol Topp, CPA, the HomeschoolCPA, sheds light onto this confusing topic and tells you how she determines if a co-op teacher is an employee or an independent contractor.

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 podcast to help homeschool leaders is back!

HomeschoolCPA
The Podcast to Help Homeschool Leaders is Back!

Carol Topp, CPA, the HomeschoolCPA took a break from podcasting, but now she’s back with a different format. The podcast will be focused on helping homeschool leaders and businesses run their programs legally and successfully. The podcast episodes will be shorter–15 or 20 minutes max and will air weekly.

Visit Carol’s website here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURED SERVICE from HomeschoolCPA:

  • Is your homeschool teacher an employee or independent contractor?
  • Should your homeschool co-op director be paid as an employee?
  • How hard is it to set up a payroll system?
  • What happens if my homeschool group misclassifies a worker? Are their penalties?

Worker classification can be a confusing topic.

My book Paying Workers in a Homeschool Organization can help clear a lot of confusion, but perhaps you want to discuss your particular situation in a private, individual phone consultation.

I offer phone consultations to help you determine if your homeschool organization’s workers are employee or independent contractors. The phone call will be followed up with an email containing a fact-based determination and information to help you take the next steps.

Click Here to request more information!

 

 

 

 

To Co-Op or Not to Co-Op – FAH episode 20

To Co-Op or Not to Co-Op

Homeschooling is primarily a family endeavor. Even the name “homeschooling” has the word “home” in it! One of its greatest benefits is the ability to customize one-on-one instruction with your children instead of the less personal group instruction they’d get in an institutional school.

So would it be inconsistent to move some of your homeschooling back out of the home and into a homeschool co-op? Not at all! Co-ops aren’t a good fit for some families, but they’re a great blessing to others. Of course, participating in a co-op (a short form of “cooperative”) requires that you cooperate. You have to give up some flexibility in exchange for sharing the planning, activities, and teaching, but the trade-off can be worth it.

Co-ops can range from very informal to highly structured. Some co-ops focus on field trips, activities, and enrichment, while some cover a few academic subjects, and others cover all academic subjects, often with a full day of classes every week.

I’ve just begun my 19th year of homeschooling. Some years we homeschooled completely on our own, and some years we were in more casual co-ops for a few subjects. For the past 9 years we’ve been part of a formal classical co-op that was a huge blessing to our family, but this year we’re flying solo again. So I’ve had the opportunity to experience the many pros and cons of co-ops.

First, here are some of the many benefits of co-ops:

  • fellowship / community / socialization
  • accountability for both parents and students
  • structure
  • sharing the load of lesson planning and teaching
  • learning from other parent-teachers in a classroom setting (good preparation for college!)
  • delegating messy hands-on activities like oil painting or science labs
  • expert instruction in advanced subjects like chemistry or rhetoric
  • opportunities to make speeches and present projects to a group
  • group discussion

Of course, there are disadvantages too:

  • less flexible schedule
  • less customization of curriculum for individual students
  • may focus on co-op subjects and neglect at-home subjects
  • socialization may bring peer pressure
  • some instructors aren’t as good as others
  • cost—time and/or money
  • can over-delegate and become too dependent on co-op teachers

Participating in a co-op can be a help, a joy, and a blessing, OR it can become a hindrance, a crutch, and a burden. There is NO One Right Way to Homeschool. You have to decide what is best for your family. Consider your strengths and weaknesses, what kind of help you may need, what kind of schedule and commitment are a good fit, and what your local options are.

Whether or not you choose to join a co-op, I encourage you to be involved in some kind of local support group. It can be a wonderful source of fellowship, encouragement, and sharing ideas.

Have you participated in a homeschool co-op? How has that worked out for your family? I’d love for you to leave a comment and share your experience with us!

Remember, you’ll find encouragement and practical tips for managing your busy life as a homeschooling family in my book, Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms, available at FlourishAtHome.com.

Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms

 

 

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